Anathemas Proclaimed by the Catholic Church
Are you Anathema?
Here at Guided By Truth, we are committed to shedding light on false doctrines. Because of that we share some of the false teachings of the Catholic Church and show scripturally how their teachings are in direct contradiction with the Word of God. Because we stand firm in our beliefs as we see them taught within the Bible, we are often accused of causing division and being "unloving" to those who are in the Catholic Church. What people fail to mention is that the Magesterium of the Catholic Church has already proclaimed an eternal condemnation upon anyone who disagrees with their doctrine. Though we are sharing with you the truth of their doctrines, we are allowing you to examine the scriptures to see for yourself if what they are teaching is true. The Catholic Church, however, does not allow the individual such a courtesy. If we believe any doctrine they have declared heretical, then we are eternally condemned from fellowship with the Catholic Church and therefore, according to their doctrine, can not be saved. The Catholic Church teaches that there is no salvation apart from their church for those who disagree with it's teachings.
Catechism of the Catholic Church1
"Outside the Church there is no salvation"
846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.
I have compiled a list of doctrines that the Catholic Church has condemned in their the Council of Trent. This is only a partial list, just an example of some of the doctrines that they have announced as anathema. If you believe one of these doctrines, then according to the Catholic Church, you are also eternally condemned. You cannot simply "agree to disagree" for they believe they are the final authority by which all scripture, tradition and doctrine are tested. There is no middle ground and there can be no unity with a Church that violates scripture and does not allow their doctrines to ever be questioned or tested against scripture alone. Here at Guided By Truth we love Catholics and have a heart that yearns for those who are caught up in their false teachings to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We pray that they may see the truth of Christ as laid out in His Word and that the truth will set them free!
What Does Anathema Mean?
Given up or devoted to destruction, ccursed. In Rom. 9:3, estrangement from Christ and His salvation. The word does not denote punishment intended as discipline but being given over or devoted to divine condemnation. It denotes an indissoluble vow.
We see a biblical example of this type of anathema by the apostle Paul in the first chapter of Galatians. The Galatians were teaching that it was necessary to obey the law of circumcision in order to be saved, and Paul said this was another gospel. He proclaimed that anyone who preached any other gospel should be "anathema" or as we would say today "eternally condemned."
Gal 1:7-9 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (NIV)
The Catholic Church has used this term for many years announcing eternal conemnation to those who question or disagree with their doctrine. They define anathema this same way.
In the New Testament Saint Paul used it to express exclusion from the society, or communion, of the faithful the same as minor excommunication (Galatians 1). It was used in this sense of sinners and heretics from the 5th to the 8th century, when it came to mean not only minor excommunication, but expulsion or major excommunication from the Church, promulgated solemnly by the pope.
So we see that to anathematize someone is not something we should do lightly. The Council of Trent has about 100 anathemas within it, we will look at some of them as they directly relate to what we believe. You will see clearly that the Catholic Church does not teach or believe in the tolerance.
Anathemas Declared by the Catholic Church
Do you believe that the Bible is complete without the Aprocrypha books?
Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: FOURTH SESSION, DECREE CONCERNING THE CANONICAL SCRIPTURES:
And it has thought it meet that a list of the sacred books be inserted in this decree, lest a doubt may arise in any one's mind, which are the books that are received by this Synod. They are as set down here below: of the Old Testament: the five books of Moses, to wit, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Josue, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, the first book of Esdras, and the second which is entitled Nehemias; Tobias, Judith, Esther, Job, the Davidical Psalter, consisting of a hundred and fifty psalms; the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Jeremias, with Baruch; Ezechiel, Daniel; the twelve minor prophets, to wit, Osee, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Micheas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zacharias, Malachias; two books of the Machabees, the first and the second. Of the New Testament: the four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles written by Luke the Evangelist; fourteen epistles of Paul the apostle, (one) to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, (one) to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, (one) to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews; two of Peter the apostle, three of John the apostle, one of the apostle James, one of Jude the apostle, and the Apocalypse of John the apostle. But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately condemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema.
Do you believe that salvation is by grace through faith and not of works as stated in Ephesians 2:8-10? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: SIXTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION CANON XXIV
If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.
Do you believe that only those who believe should baptized as was done in Acts 2:41; 8:12; 10:47; 18:8 and therefore disagree with the Catholic Churches doctrine of infant baptism? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON BAPTISM CANON III
If any one saith, that in the Roman church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism; let him be anathema.
Do you agree with Paul that baptism is not part of the gospel (1 Cor 1:17) and therefore not required for salvation? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON BAPTISM CANON V
If any one saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema.
Do you believe the Bible when it says that we must be able to believe and repent before we are baptized (Acts 2:38)? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON BAPTISM CANON XIII
If any one saith, that little children, for that they have not actual faith, are not, after having received baptism, to be reckoned amongst the faithful; and that, for this cause, they are to be rebaptized when they have attained to years of discretion; or, that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted, than that, while not believing by their own act, they should be bapized in the faith alone of the Church; let him be anathema.
Do you believe that confirmation is not a proper sacrament since it is not taught in the Bible? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: SEVENTH SESSION, CANONS ON CONFIRMATON CANON I
If any one saith, that the confirmation of those who have been baptized is an idle ceremony, and not rather a true and proper sacrament; or that of old it was nothing more than a kind of catechism, whereby they who were near adolescence gave an account of their faith in the face of the Church; let him be anathema.
Do you deny that Christ complete in body, blood, soul and divinity are present in the Eucharist? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: THIRTEENTH SESSION, CANONS ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST CANON I
If any one denieth, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are contained truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.
Do you deny the doctrine of Transubstantiation since it is not taught in the scripture? Then you are considered anathema!
THIRTEENTH SESSION, CANONS ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST CANON lI:
If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.
Do you believe that Christ's sacrifice on the cross is the only sacrifice that will offer forgiveness of sins (Heb 10:12-14) and thefore deny that we receive forgiveness of sins by taking the Eucharist? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: THIRTEENTH SESSION, CANONS ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST CANON V
If any one saith, either that the principal fruit of the most holy Eucharist is the remission of sins, or, that other effects do not result therefrom; let him be anathema. let him be anathema.
Do you believe that we should not worship the bread of the Eucharist as if it were Christ complete? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: THIRTEENTH SESSION, CANONS ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST CANON VI
If any one saith, that, in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with the worship, even external of latria; and is, consequently, neither to be venerated with a special festive solemnity, nor to be solemnly borne about in processions, according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of holy church; or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be adored, and that the adorers thereof are idolators; let him be anathema.
Do you believe that sacramental confession is not necessary to keep your salvation and that confessing secretly to priests is a doctrine made by man, not Christ? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: FOURTEENTH SESSION, CANONS CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF PENANCE CANON VI
If any one denieth, either that sacramental confession was instituted, or is necessary to salvation, of divine right; or saith, that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, which the Church hath ever observed from the beginning, and doth observe, is alien from the institution and command of Christ, and is a human invention; let him be anathema.
Do you believe that the Mass is NOT a real and true sacrifice offered to God because the Bible specifically says that there will be no more sacrifice for sins (Heb 10:18)? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: TWENTY-SECOND SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS CANON I
If any one saith, that in the mass a true and proper sacriflce is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given us to eat; let him be anathema.
Do you believe that the Mass is NOT a propitiatory sacrifice that should be offered for the sins of both the living and dead saints for forgiveness of sins, punishment, etc.? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: TWENTY-SECOND SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS CANON III
If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.
Do you believe in the priesthood of the believers as stated in 1 Peter 2:9 and therefore do not believe that Catholic priests have the power to retain and forgive sins? Then you are considered anathema!
TWENTY-THIRD SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRAMENT OF ORDER CANON I
If any one saith, that there is not in the New Testament a visible and external priesthood; or that there is not any power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord, and of forgiving and retaining sins; but only an office and bare ministry of preaching the Gospel, or, that those who do not preach are not priests at all; let him be anathema.
Do you deny the legitimacy of the bishops appointed by Rome? Then you are considered anathema!
COUNCIL OF TRENT: TWENTY-THIRD SESSION, CANONS ON THE SACRAMENT OF ORDER CANON VIII
If any one saith, that the bishops, who are assumed by authority of the Roman Pontiff, are not legitimate and true bishops, but are a human figment; let him be anathema.
1Catechism of the Catholic Church
2Complete Word Study Dictionary
3New Catholic Dictionary