THE Supreme Court of Kansas has legally recognized and sustained the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. A will by which money was left for the purpose of paying for masses for the dead was contested.
The will was sustained. There can be no fair objection to this in itself. For surely people have the right to do with their own money any harmless thing that they may choose. And if money was willed to pay some one for whistling a certain number of times over the grave of the one making the will, the will should be sustained. So with money willed to pay for saying masses. One is as harmless as the other.
But the court did not stop here. Indeed it did not begin here. It began with the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, as quoted form a Catholic book of doctrine and from the Catholic Bible. And it sustained the will first of all because of the “wholesomeness” of this doctrine: and secondly because the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of Kansas “interferes with no mere religious practices except such as tend to subvert the foundation of public morals and order.”
How courts do love to wander off into the realms of religion, and then sustain their action in so doing by quoting the clauses of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution which forbid their doing so! A. T. J.