Jump to content

The Christian Protestant Community Forums

Sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community forums. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Community Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  

Understanding Catholicism – Anathema Sit

Recommended Posts

Many dogmatic definitions (such as those at the Council of Trent) end with the words anathema sit.


When such documents are translated in to English (the originals are in Latin) this is either left as anathema sit, or translated as “let him be anathema”.


Many Protestants translate this as “let him be accursed” and claim the Catholic Church is damning them to hell. This is totally untrue. Anathema here simply means excommunication. In the early church it simply meant excommunication but later (in the middle ages) it was reserved for formal excommunications carried out by the Pope. It does not exist today.


The term was therefore used as a way of declaring that a statement was formally and infallibly defined, and could not be changed. It was a dogma to be believed by all Catholics.


It is nothing to do with damning people.


Surprisingly for a virulent ant-Catholic, Matt Slick of CARM, says this:

“We can see that the Bible uses the term to mean separated from Christ. If someone is separated from Christ, he is lost. But is this what is meant in Roman Catholic theology? Apparently not since a Catholic anathema is not a pronouncement of damnation (separation from Christ) but a declaration that an individual is excluded from the fellowship of the Roman Catholic church which includes denial of Communion and the Catholic sacraments.


So, when official Roman Catholic documents pronounce anathema it means that the person is not in right standing with their church, is not to take the sacraments, and might be under discipline. It is an excommunication and at the very least a very strong condemnation of the person's actions and/or beliefs as being against the Catholic Church.”


For a full explanation see: http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/anathema

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


"An ecclesiastical censure by which one is more or less excluded from communion with the faithful….In general, the effects of excommunication affect the person's right to receive the sacraments, or Christian burial, until the individual repents and is reconciled with the Church. In order for an excommunication to take effect, the person must have been objectively guilty of the crime charged. (Etym. Latin ex-, from + communicare, to communicate: excommunicatio, exclusion from a community.)"



We can see this in Matthew 18:15-18

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.


And 1Cor 5:1-2

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.


This exclusion would be for some serious offence by someone who is unrepentant for what he/she hs done. It should not be considered so much as a punishment but as discipline with the intention of making the person realise the gravity of their offence and to bring them to repentance and back into communion.



  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...