VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Limbo -- the place where the Catholic Church teaches that babies go if they die before being baptized -- may have its days numbered.

According to Italian media reports on Tuesday, an international theological commission will advise Pope Benedict to eliminate the teaching about limbo from the Catholic catechism.

The Catholic Church teaches that babies who die before they can be baptized go to limbo, whose name comes from the Latin for "border" or "edge," because they deserve neither heaven nor hell.

Last October, seven months before he died, Pope John Paul asked the commission to come up with "a more coherent and enlightened way" of describing the fate of such innocents.

It was then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected Pope in April. It is now headed by his successor at the Vatican's doctrinal department, Archbishop William Levada, an American from San Francisco.

The commission, which has been meeting behind closed doors, may make its recommendation soon.

In his Divine Comedy, Dante passes limbo on his way into hell and writes: "Great grief seized on my own heart when this I heard, because some people of much worthiness I knew, who in limbo were suspended."

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