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Prayers for the departed

13 February 2015

February 12th, 1915.

[The Church Times had reported on 29 January that Archbishop Davidson had issued directions to his diocese that prayer for the departed was permissible in services provided that it did not imply a condition of the departed which Article XXII had definitely condemned.]

COMMENTING on the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent directions in regard to prayers for the departed, the Tablet asked what, if the doctrine of Purgatory is denied, there is left to pray for. To this question the Bishop of Sebastopolis has supplied an answer, saying that, while generally prayers for the dead refer to the suffering souls in Purgatory, as being in the greatest need, "we may also pray for those who have already entered heaven, that their glory and happiness may be still further increased." "A Puzzled Enquirer" is greatly upset by the Bishop's reply, which, he says, is likely not only to unsettle Roman Catholics, who are no theologians, but also "to confuse intending converts on the subject of the doctrine of Purgatory", because it has always been a strong argument that it is useless for anyone who does not believe in Purgatory to pray for the departed. "Puzzled Enquirer" seems to think it impossible to believe in Purgatory without accepting the complete system of teaching and practice that has grown in the Roman Church round the conception of the state of the faithful departed. The idea among ourselves that they are in an intermediate state, in which our prayers that they may have increased light and refreshment are, we trust, effectual, is as reasonable as that which is presented to "intending converts". The rest of "A Puzzled Enquirer's" difficulties we must leave it to his, or her, spiritual advisers to settle.

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Tue 16 Aug @ 11:46
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