- in an uncertain situation.
- in a state of temporary neglect or disuse.
- in an intermediate or transitional state.
- in a state of obscurity or oblivion.
- in a state of neglect or inaction.
- on hold, awaiting further progress or action.
- Our plans for the future were left in limbo due to the pandemic.
- The project remains in limbo indefinitely without additional funding.
- Thousands of refugees were stuck in limbo, waiting for answers from immigration officials.
- My job application has been in limbo for weeks with no update from the hiring manager.
- The athletes find themselves in limbo, unsure if the games will actually take place next month.
- The bill has languished in limbo for years, failing to gain enough support for approval.
- With no clear diagnosis, my health condition has been left in limbo.
The idea of limbo, a border place between heaven and hell, has been part of Roman Catholic theology for centuries.
There are two types of limbo described:
- Limbus Patrum refers to where Old Testament saints were thought to reside until Christ’s “descent into hell.”
- Limbus Infantum is supposed to abode unbaptized infants and mentally impaired people who died with original sin but without actual sin. They are considered not condemned to hell but deprived of heaven.
This concept developed in the Middle Ages as theologians debated the fate of unbaptized infants. Some Church Fathers, like Augustine, argued they could not enter heaven without baptism, while others believed unbaptized infants were admitted to eternal life. Later theologians taught limbo as an intermediate place between heaven and hell.
The role of limbo in Catholic theology has declined. In 2004, a Vatican commission declared the traditional view of limbo as “unduly restrictive” of salvation. With Pope Benedict XVI’s approval, the commission stated in 2007 that there is hope unbaptized infants may be saved.
The word “limbo” means border or something joined on. While never officially declared as a dogma, the idea of limbo as a border place developed in the Middle Ages to address the thorny theological question of the fate of infants who died without baptism.