I have never understood purgatory. The main reason, as I have said before, is that Jesus died for my sins so I do not need to be purified any more. But I digress. I read this and it amused me so I wanted to share.
But what really fascinates me about the doctrine of purgatory is the evidence that theologians have advanced for it: evidence so spectacularly weak that it renders even more comical the airy confidence with which it is asserted. The entry on purgatory in the Catholic Encyclopedia has a section called ‘proofs’. The essential evidence for the existence of purgatory is this. If the dead simply went to heaven or hell on the basis of their sins while on Earth, there would be no point in praying for them. ‘For why pray for the dead, if there be no belief in the power of prayer to afford solace to those who as yet are excluded from the sight of God.’ And we do pray for the dead, don’t we? Therefore purgatory must exist, otherwise our prayers would be pointless! Q.E.D. This seriously is an example of what passes for reasoning in the theological mind. –The God Delusion