Church #8 part 6

Today the articles continue with number 22. Anyone not familiar with this; it is a lecture/talk series about the 39 articles of religion of the Episcopal church. 22 is pretty straightforward. The Anglican church does not believe in purgatory, indulgences, or prayer to saints. That is to say they are ok with asking saints to pray (St Veronica pray for me-) but not with praying to saints (St Veronica please give me-). We talked in a zig zag about related stuff and heard a bit from a visiting priest about formalities which priests must affirm as they are ordained and promoted. The visiting priest stated that he’d always heard Episcopalians (that is American versions of Anglicans) did not really believe in the 39 articles. He also said that some of the decision makers in Ireland wanted to relegate the 39 to a historical document. I can’t say I blame them. It feels a bit out of date at times, to downright ridiculous at other times. That whole mess with article 13… I’d toss that one, or at least revamp it. We also got to hear about the medieval Roman Catholic Church some more, because the article is in direct contrast to what they were teaching at the time. Kind of an interesting side note came up: Catholic teaching no longer includes limbo, which was a permanent home for the souls of unbaptized babies. It was not hell, but not heaven, and it was sort of a neutral place for babies who couldn’t possibly have sinned yet, but couldn’t have had baptism either. Currently the Catholic Church seems to hold tentatively the view that they probably go to heaven. Father Egan brings up an interesting point regarding this. He says that if these babies go to heaven, they couldn’t have had original sin. Does this negate the Catholic teaching of original sin? Without a Catholic priest handy to ask, I’m not really sure. But it really makes me realize how easy it might be to fight about this kind of thing if one is very enmeshed in it. I’m really happy that I live in a place where people don’t hurt each other over such disagreements. As for me, I don’t need to know where babies go, or whether purgatory is a real thing. Once I’m dead I’ll find out, and in the meantime it makes no sense to get worked up over it.

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