Only a theological hypothesis ...explained Cardinal Ratzinger when opposing the concept of limbo in 1984.
After the Cardinal was elevated to the Papacy, it was not long before the concept of limbo was officially dropped as Catholic doctrine [Times, November 2005].
The New Scientist asked what other doctrines might be dismissed as mere theological hypotheses.
"[Are] ... the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the Kingdom of Heaven, and, indeed, the very notion of the soul ... more than theological hypotheses? How can they be?"Now that limbo has been consigned to limbo, does this mean that no other doctrine can now be consigned to limbo? If only Bertrand Russell were alive today!
Discussing the nature of hypotheses in the Ratzinger Report, published in 1988, the Cardinal wrote:
"Faith has become enclosed in the glass case of an intellectual world which has built itself up and, in the same way, can fall to pieces." [Cardinal Ratzinger: Defender of the Faith (Andrew Greenwich)]
Quite so. So what then is the purpose of a theological hypothesis?