Catholic Curses on Evangelicals
Question: Regarding Justification by faith, what do you mean by, "On one hand the Roman Catholic church pronounces a curse on all those who say that 'justifying faith is nothing more than confidence in the divine mercy, which forgives sins because of Christ.'"; What is the "curse" they pronounce?
Answer: The Roman Catholic Church responded to the Protestant Reformation by calling a great council, the Council of Trent. In a series of sessions between 1545 and 1563 the Catholic delegates dealt with various doctrines (some of which are not Protestant, and are truly heretical). The sixth session was dedicated to the doctrine of justification. First they explained the Roman Catholic teaching on this subject in a series of chapters. Then, they included a series of canons to reject and condemn various doctrines. Their aim was principally the doctrine of justification as taught by Protestants.
Canon 12 reads as follows: "If anyone says that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in divine mercy, which remits sins for Christ's sake, or that it is this confidence alone that justifies us, let him be anathema."
Anathema means accursed; let him be anathema means let him be accursed. To be cursed is the very opposite of being blessed. A man is blessed by salvation; cursed by damnation in hell. This is very, very serious. The Roman Catholic Church threatens with a curse the person who has nothing else to rely on except the mercy of God, and no other ground for the forgiveness except for Christ's sake!
Why so? Because the Catholic church insists that a person must do something more, he himself must do something both to gain merit by his works and to make up for his sins by his penance and suffering in purgatory.
I hope and pray that there are many nominal Catholics - ignorant or even defiant of the official Roman Catholic teaching - who in the simplicity of little children, rely solely on the mercy of God and in the cross of Jesus for their salvation. But the Roman Catholic Church continues to oppose the Gospel message and curse all who believe it.
Copyright Dr Joe Mizzi. Permission to copy and distribute this article without textual changes. < BACK TO Q&A