“…let him be anathema.”

This quote came up in the combox:

A reading from the 13th session of the Council of Trent:

“CANON XI.- If any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burthened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.”

council of trent sm

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Lighter fare and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to “…let him be anathema.”

  1. Maineman1 says:

    We are the Church of the Spirit of Vatican II. Nothing exists before 1965. NuChurch.

  2. acardnal says:

    How I enjoy hearing/reading the word “anathema” again. Theology and moral code was much clearer and unambiguous in the Catechism of the Council of Trent.

    “Let him be anathema” sounds like zwag that should be available in “Father Z’s Stuff” store.

  3. MichaeltDoyle says:

    “[…]by those whose conscience is burthened with mortal sin[…]”
    Isn’t this the crux of the argument for those who wish to admit people in **irregular situations** to receive Communion? If the condition is not public scandal, but mortal sin, only God and the sinner know without doubt the state of the soul, i.e. whether there was full consent to the sin, even if the sin were public, therefore the possibility exists that the individual could receive worthily even though in public in error on a grave matter.

    Is there a similar definitive rule about public grave matter, which is an observable objective standard?

    And if public grave matter is not a standard anymore, are there ever grounds to refuse Communion to someone who approaches? I suppose a profane public attitude which goes directly to intent?

    This is coming close to open Communion, where no one but the receiver can determine if they are worthy.

  4. greenlight says:

    It’s getting harder to reach any other conclusion than that the pope knows this position is heresy and is having to work harder and harder to build some sort of plausible deniability into its promulgation.

  5. CradleRevert says:

    Ahhhhhh…..clarity is so refreshing.

  6. Fr. W says:

    Pray for your priests! It is becoming increasingly more difficult to teach clearly AND at the same time avoid scandal. I am teaching the RCIA class this evening. The topic is the 6th and 9th Commandments. Praying for guidance if certain questions are asked concerning the ideas recently in vogue in very high places.

  7. Cosmos says:

    The key term is “by those whose conscience is burthened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves.”

    It’s clear that if you are feeling guilty before God, not all the sorrow in the world will justify your claiming communion with the Church.

    However, if you aren’t burdened by the sin–perhaps because of a bold understanding of God’s mercy and grace–then there is no problem.

    So simple.

  8. pelerin says:

    And yet in the leaflet given out at Sunday Masses in a major European Cathedral it states in English the following:-
    ‘The bread distributed during mass has a high significance for Christians: it is the body of Christ, their Lord and God. If you do not share our faith in the living presence of Christ in the eucharistic bread, we ask you not to join your neighbours at communion time.’

    The original French is slightly different as follows:-
    Le pain consacre et distribue au cours de la messe a une haute significance pour les catholiques: c’est le Corps de Jesus-Christ leur Seigneur Dieu. Si vous ne partagez pas notre foi en sa presence, nous vous demandons de ne pas vous joindre a la procession de communion.’

    In other words as long as you believe you can receive? This seems to be in direct contrast with the Canon quoted above.

  9. I was given sage advice by a very wise man in the beginning of the Francis chaos. I was greatly upset at losing Benedict and then having to listen to the nonsense which has ensued.
    I lamented to a friend’s father that I didn’t know what to do … how to react…
    He said to me, “Follow Burke”.
    The best advice I have ever received.
    Bar none.

  10. TNCath says:

    This is a direct contradiction of everything Amoris Laetitia suggests.
    I think we are on the brink of a Shakespearean tragedy. King Lear, perhaps?

  11. Ann Malley says:

    Oh, tsk, tsk, Fr. Z.

    You’re using the word “anathema” in a rigid way. Stifling it, paralyzing it into some medieval construct that deprives words of life. A manner that kills in lieu of lifting us up to commune with the ether of ambiguity.

    But, and I want you to ponder this under the deep meditative reality that 1+1 can now, only today, equal 5. Can it truly be said, I ask you, that a simple statement or state of mind can really, I mean really, be anathema? Perpetual separation from God IS contrary to the Gospel, at least as it’s “interpreted” today.

    Aren’t we glad we chucked the Oath Against Modernism so we can give vent to the surprises of the Holy Ghost?

  12. TimG says:

    Stick to the Truth Fr W and others. Be the Maquis!

  13. GrumpyYoungMan says:

    Fr. W, I’m praying for you.

    I’m also a little jealous; we had a priest once – ONCE – in class when I was in RCIA. Needless to say I’m no longer at that parish

  14. Stephen Matthew says:

    While I agree that things are headed in a dangerous direction, I also must point out that the adultery case is only unique in being a publicly manifest grave sin.

    Confessors have for decades been telling people exactly the same sort of things regarding private grave sins. I tend to think that certain confessors have been too permissive in these matters, though I am sure an overly rigid confessor could be found at some point in the history of the church.

    However, it is true that in certain cases there is a lack of sufficient knowledge or sufficient consent of the will to make an objectively grave sin actually mortal. It seems to me the safe assumption should be to treat it as a mortal sin when in doubt, but others seem to think it should only be treated as mortal if there is certainty that the person had full knowledge and gave full consent.

  15. Charles E Flynn says:

    I keep looking for evidence that the participants in the 13th session of the Council of Trent were less intelligent than their counterparts today, but all I can find is that they had fewer distractions.

  16. Benedict Joseph says:

    How are definitive teachings by a Council, rendered clearly and unambiguously upended by the notions of individuals who appear unaware of their responsibility to uphold the perennial Magisterium of the Church?
    From the Dogmatic Constitution “Pastor aeternus” of Vatican I (1869-70) – “The Holy Spirit was not given to the Roman Pontiffs so that they might disclose new doctrine, but so that they might guard and set forth the Deposit of Faith handed down from the Apostles.”
    Pope Benedict affirmed this on June 2005 at St. John Lateran:
    “…the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism.
    The Pope knows that in his important decisions, he is bound to the great community of faith of all times, to the binding interpretations that have developed throughout the Church’s pilgrimage. Thus, his power is not being above, but at the service of, the Word of God. It is incumbent upon him to ensure that this Word continues to be present in its greatness and to resound in its purity, so that it is not torn to pieces by continuous changes in usage.”
    Cardinal Maradiaga illuminated the profile of the Bergoglian pontificate clearly in January 2015. “The Pope wants to take this Church renovation to the point where it becomes irreversible.”
    The Roman Catholic Church has obviously become the cash cow for a clergy class that has abandoned the Church of Jesus Christ for a cut and paste confection that caters to their own concupiscence.
    If ALL of us are not obedient to the perennial Magisterium of the Church, ALL of us need be very careful to whom we give deference and obedience. Nanny speak and wordsmithing are not appropriate or effective to the pontifical teaching office. It serves only to give comfort to adults who have not taken responsibility for their own catechesis – their right to that religious education was abandoned by pastors in the wake of the Second Vatican Council.
    An adult critique need be brought to bear upon what has erupted in the Church of Christ. Counter-intuitive rationalizations are no substitute for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Far too many good and faithful Catholics are being railroaded by the duplicitous.
    We need be “…wise as serpents and gentle as doves…” Matt. 10:16

  17. Scott W. says:

    However, if you aren’t burdened by the sin–perhaps because of a bold understanding of God’s mercy and grace–then there is no problem.

    As long as it is understood that the conscience is not moral law until itself. A Mafia hit-man that has whacked so many people that it doesn’t bother him anymore doesn’t mean his conscience is clear; it is warped, or deadened, and certainly in error.

    It’s the same with adultery. No one can persist in it with a clear conscience. Adultery doesn’t become not adultery because it ceases to concern the adulterer than a living room engulfed in flames stops burning because the smoke alarm stopped beeping.

  18. joekstl says:

    Good idea. Let’s bring back the condemnations from the Syllabus of Errors. Let’s condemn those who believe in the freedom of religion or believe the church should not wield temporal power. Or that public schools should exist beyond the ecclesial authority. My personal favorite: #77- condemned if you don’t believe the Catholic Church should be the sole state religion.

  19. iPadre says:

    It think it’s time for Trent II to drain the swamp of modernism.

  20. SenexCalvus says:

    I am, quite frankly, worn out. Why are the supposedly celibate prelates of the Church, who were sent out with “neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes” (and I use the KJV for the sake of those who Christians who still revere Scripture), rising up to repudiate this heresy? What do they have to defend? Their vestments

  21. SenexCalvus says:

    (Sorry for pushing the SEND button prematurely!) …and their pensions? The Orthodox Church considers the laity, not the hierarchy, the defenders of the faith. I recall reading not too long ago about a Russian Orthodox parish that defrocked a priest who had solemnized the “marriage” of a gay couple and razed the Church to the ground. How long will we allow these self-serving prelates to wallow in luxury at our expense while the Roman Catholic Church is protestantized?

  22. gatormom says:

    OK, so the Pope is excommunicated, now…what?

  23. Dirk1973 says:

    The 9 cardinals pledging themselves to the pope was quite a media event, unprecedented one might say. Why was this done in front of all the camera’s? I’m beginning to think the Vatican is expecting trouble. When a pope needs cardinals to pledge their allegiance to him in front of all the press it means only one thing: The beginning of his downfall…

  24. The Egyptian says:

    Aren’t we getting just a wee bit judgemental here, lets be nice, after all “who am I to judge”
    CANNOT STAND THAT LINE,

  25. Mary Jane says:

    joekstl, sounds good to me. Brick by brick, right?

  26. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Thank you.

    I think canon 18 of same decree is a critical part of this mess too. Living the “ideal” is not impossible.

    Prelates keep saying the ideal is impossible and we need to cave and sanctify sin.

    Canon 18:
    “If anyone says that the commandments of God are, even for one that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to observe, let him be anathema.

  27. Elbereth says:

    I agree with Fr. W. I have extremely bright college students who are attracted to the Church and considering becoming Catholic, but are perplexed by recent events and apparent teaching from Rome. Many of us want to show love and respect for those in authority, but if we don’t proclaim the truth that sets free, from whom will people hear truth about marriage, love, and the reality of the Blessed Sacrament? A grave injustice is being done to hungry souls.

  28. JabbaPapa says:

    pelerin :

    Le pain consacre et distribue au cours de la messe a une haute significance pour les catholiques: c’est le Corps de Jesus-Christ leur Seigneur Dieu. Si vous ne partagez pas notre foi en sa presence, nous vous demandons de ne pas vous joindre a la procession de communion.’

    In other words as long as you believe you can receive? This seems to be in direct contrast with the Canon quoted above.

    erm, no — this is a reminder of the second absolute condition to receive Holy Eucharist, belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated bread and wine.

    In certain exceptional conditions, non-Catholics can be allowed to take Communion — the absolute conditions where they (or indeed “Catholics”) may not are 1) State of mortal sin 2) Non-belief in the Real Presence.

  29. JabbaPapa says:

    Most canons of excommunication were overturned by the Church between Trent itself and the 19th Century, including this one, and the only remaining causes of excommunication are those described in the current Code of Canon Law.

    However, this does not “cancel out” the condemnation of such things as the Kasperite proposal, and this anathema still quite clearly designates such ideas as being contrary to the Catholic Faith.

    And joekstl — what’s to “bring back” about the condemnations in the Syllabus of Errors ? It continues to be a list of Errors, though one should take great care when consulting it not to assume that the diametric opposite proposals are necessarily the truth.

  30. tdhaller says:

    Not that I’m a big proponent, but doesn’t the Prophecy of the Popes end with Benedict? Followed by “in persecutione, extrema S.R.E. sedebit. Petrus Romanus, qui pascet oves in multis tribulationibus, quibus transactis civitas septicollis diruetur et iudex tremendus iudicabit populum suum. Finis.”

  31. pelerin says:

    JabbaPapa – you mention that this is the second absolute condition to receive the Holy Eucharist. I am not disputing that but why never any mention of the first?

  32. Filipino Catholic says:

    @tdhaller, Benedict’s supposed title in that prophecy of uncertain provenance is “Gloria Olivae”, the last on the list before the Petrus Romanus lines. However nowhere is it said that Petrus Romanus is his successor, and if he *is* then that’s where the prophecy fails: Francis is neither Peter nor a Roman.

  33. Scott W. says:

    Good idea. Let’s bring back the condemnations from the Syllabus of Errors.

    I can’t tell if you are attempting a reductio ad absurdum or not, but if so it doesn’t really work because the syllabus is just that, a summary that references other authoritative documents and without the context and knowledge of those references any criticism of the syllabus per se is bound to fall flat and a comparison to the Council of Trent is a non-starter.

  34. gatormom says:

    JabbaPapa:
    I read this on New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia:
    Thus the excommunications latæ sententiæ enforced today by common law in the Catholic Church proceed from three sources:
    (A) those enumerated in the Constitution “Apostolicæ Sedis”;
    (B) those pronounced by the Council of Trent; and
    (C) those introduced subsequently to the Constitution “Apostolicæ Sedis”, i.e. later than 12 October, 1869.

    Can you please offer me a source for most canons of excommunication being overturned between Trent itself and the 19th Century. Thank you in advance.

  35. WVC says:

    My Latin teacher, a priest, told us he always wanted a dog so he could name him “Anathema.” Then, he could go around saying, “Anathema, Sit!”

  36. Sonshine135 says:

    I’m doing a critical study of Sacrosanctum Concilium, and I am actually quite surprised and disheartened with the hijacking that occurred by the “Spirit of Vatican II” usual suspects. The document is actually very good, and I was very impressed with paragraph 9, that states “Before men can come to the liturgy, they must be called faith and conversion”. This is in line with Canon XI from the Council of Trent. All of this good teaching seems to have been cast to the four winds, and seems to be soundly ignored at present. Fathers, I implore you to please speak of this from the pulpit.

  37. Mike says:

    The list of errors in the Syllabus succinctly enumerates the elements of the Modernist program to which (dare one say?) all of us have assented, in some cases under compulsion but in others with willingness, to a greater or lesser degree. Correction of every one of those errors is essential to the establishment of the Social Reign of Christ the King as envisioned by Pope Pius XI in Quas Primas.

    If we are not working toward the establishment of that reign, we are not living up to the graces of our Confirmation. And to the degree to which we impede that establishment, I fear we endanger the salvation of our souls.

  38. Ann Malley says:

    @ joekstl

    Glad you agree. But even if you take issue with the citations you quoted, what is wrong with instituting an “Official Hermeneutic of Continuity Oath?” Sure would go far in eliminated the so-called confusion in interpretation of the evolving of – hmmm – words, no?

    Just think of the unity to be had if all Catholics were in possession of the same dictionary wherein terms were clearly defined so that when one spoke, everyone would know what was meant by said speech. A manufactured Babel will still make the tower go boom.

  39. BenjaminiPeregrinus says:

    Ah…, now we know why the dubia hasn’t been answered.

  40. Pingback: The Dubia | Under the Mantle

  41. JabbaPapa says:

    pelerin :

    JabbaPapa – you mention that this is the second absolute condition to receive the Holy Eucharist. I am not disputing that but why never any mention of the first?

    I can only suggest that this is a question best asked of your Curate and your Ordinary.

    It is hard to conceive that those in states of objective unrepentant mortal sin might partake of the Eucharist, when the Doctrine itself informs us that the Spiritual Communion is ineffective in such circumstance, and the Scripture itself describes such attempts as “unworthy”.

    A massive problem is in the failure of so many to understand that the Spiritual Communion, when one might for any number of reasons be unable to partake of the Corporal, is in itself the Holy Communion.

    We are called towards love — not towards some needy expression of religious-political demands.

  42. JabbaPapa says:

    gatormom :

    I read this on New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia:

    Sorry, but that source is unreliable in several ways — it’s basically pre-Vatican I let alone Vatican II

    It was published and maintained late enough to include the Vatican I teachings and canons, but in various ways, it’s just wrong at present — for example, its references to the existing Code of Canon Law at time of publication should just be discarded.

    Thus the excommunications latæ sententiæ enforced today by common law in the Catholic Church proceed from three sources:
    (A) those enumerated in the Constitution “Apostolicæ Sedis”;
    (B) those pronounced by the Council of Trent; and
    (C) those introduced subsequently to the Constitution “Apostolicæ Sedis”, i.e. later than 12 October, 1869.

    This is nevertheless a rather curious suggestion.

    I think you’re wrong, but it would be nice of you to propose links.

    Can you please offer me a source for most canons of excommunication being overturned between Trent itself and the 19th Century. Thank you in advance.

    I think you gave it, as Apostolicæ Sedis.

  43. Papabile says:

    JABBA PAPPA

    The anathemae of the Councils have not been abrogated. They are regularly referenced in canonical cases, and are part of doctrinal and dogmatically binding definitions. They are included in the most recent Denzinger’s and ar regularly cited before the Rota and Signatura.

    It is true that there are a limited number of latae sententiae excommunications in the code. However, these anathemas were never generally used in a latae sententiae imposition.

    The punishment was almost always ferendae sententiae.

    Please provide documentary proof that the vast majority of anathemae were set aside in the 19th century.

    You cannot.

  44. JabbaPapa says:

    Papabile :

    The anathemae of the Councils have not been abrogated.

    Correct.

    But multiple canons of excommunication have been.

  45. EMF says:

    I have an acquaintance who insists that when one has committed a mortal sin (and indeed actually ever) it is not necessary to receive the Sacrament of Penance because of the sentence: “For the Lord, appeased by the oblation thereof, and granting the grace and gift of penitence, forgives even heinous crimes and sins.”
    Never mind that previous sessions did proclaim that the Sacrament of Penance was indeed necessary and that faith alone and a self assessment of contriteness were inadequate preparation.
    However, his view could be used to justify reception of Holy Communion when not in a state of grace.

    “And forasmuch as, in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the mass, that same Christ is contained and immolated in an unbloody manner, who once offered Himself in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross; the holy Synod teaches, that this sacrifice is truly propritiatory and that by means thereof this is effected, that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid, if we draw nigh unto God, contrite and penitent, with a sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence. For the Lord, appeased by the oblation thereof, and granting the [Page 155] grace and gift of penitence, forgives even heinous crimes and sins. For the victim is one and the same, the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offering being different. The fruits indeed of which oblation, of that bloody one to wit, are received most plentifully through this unbloody one; so far is this (latter) from derogating in any way from that (former oblation). Wherefore, not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are living, but also for those who are departed in Christ, and who are not as yet fully purified, is it rightly offered, agreebly to a tradition of the apostles. “

  46. Giuseppe says:

    My theology teacher in college joked that he wanted to name his dog Anathema, so he could go out in public and exclaim: “Anathema, sit!”

  47. Stephen Matthew says:

    EMF,

    Perfect contrition does provide for forgiveness of sins, and would, in the absence of an opportunity to confess, allow reception of communion. However, the obligation of sacramental confession would remain.

    The difficulty is anyone knowing they have been given the grace of perfect contrition rather than merely imperfect contrition.

  48. EMF says:

    hello Steven Matthew –

    [I’m not sure that Trent requires perfect contrition in order to receive communion, but instead contrition and the resolve to seek reconciliation asap, as stated in the original quotation.]

    Well, my friend’s argument states that there is nothing in this paragraph that suggests that either perfect contrition or sacramental confession is necessary.
    The stated result and conditions are: “that we obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid, if we draw nigh unto God, contrite and penitent, with a sincere heart and upright faith, with fear and reverence.”

    This argument requires:
    – that previous sessions err in their statements, which means that (dogmatic ?) teachings of the Church are fallible and replaceable by latter teachings (which, as far as I can reason) means that anyone can eventually believe anything.
    – that “seasonable aid” means whatever aid is needed at the time as determined by the person rather than by God (” misericordiam consequamur et gratiam inveniamus in auxilio opportuno.”)
    – that the forgiveness of “heinous crimes” occurs right then and there when the sacrifice is offered and accepted. I would think that this leads to the observation that since Mass is being celebrated everywhere at everytime, it need not be the Mass that one participates in which gives the forgiveness. And this negates the necessity for the sacrament of reconciliation.

    It seems to me that what this argument and those of other newsworthy members of the Magisterium assumes- and it is the underlayment of their interpretation – that man can stand up and justify by their own thoughts, words, and deeds their goodness when facing God (“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”).

    It seems to me to be erring on the side of self-determination rather than assuming that one is inherently needy, that man knows himself better than God does.

  49. robtbrown says:

    Stephen Matthew,

    Perfect Contrition is not merely a psychological condition–it is a function of supernatural charity. Such contrition, therefore, is not possible for somone not in a state of grace, i.e., without supernatural charity.

    As a matter of fact, acc to St Thomas the distinction between contrition and attrition is that the former is found in someone in a state of grace, the latter in someone not.

  50. KateD says:

    “Let him be anathema…”

    An oldie but a goodie.

  51. KateD says:

    Tdhallar and Philipino Catholic,

    If there were any validity to the prophesy…..

    and…

    If Benedict XVI remains “co-Pope” (which is not possible, but Petrus Romanus does not refer to Pope Francis)…..then Peter the Roman’s papacy must be still to come?

  52. ChgoCatholic says:

    Fr. Z, et al —

    Crisis Magazine has yet another wonderful article out on this very topic! The author (a priest) cuts right to the point about the importance of confession, and need to make it more available. In case you’ve not read it: http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/green-light-confessional

Leave a Reply