Etymology: Late Latin anathemat-, anathema, from
Greek, thing devoted to evil, curse, from anatithenai
to set up, dedicate, from ana- + tithenai
to place, set
1 a: one
that is cursed by ecclesiastical authority b:
someone or something intensely disliked
2 a: a ban
or curse solemnly pronounced by ecclesiastical authority and
accompanied by excommunication b:
the denunciation of something as accursed c:
a vigorous denunciation
a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction.
Following are excerpts from: Google
Books – The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent:
Literally translated into English by
Theodore Alois Buckley.
CANNONS AND DECREES OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT
SESSION THE FOURTH,
Celebrated on the eighth day of the month of April, 1546.
DECREE CONCERNING THE CANONICAL SCRIPTURES.
—… But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, these same
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 despise the traditions
aforesaid; let him be anathema.
DECREE CONCERNING THE EDITION AND THE USE OF THE SACKED BOOKS.
—…henceforth, the sacred Scripture, and especially the aforesaid
old and vulgate edition, be printed in the most correct manner
possible; and that it shall not be lawful for any one to print, or
cause to be printed, any books whatever, on sacred matters, without the
name of the author; nor to sell them in future, or even to keep them by
them, unless they shall have been first examined, and approved of by
the ordinary; under pain of the anathema
and fane imposed in a canon of the last Council of Lateran.
SESSION THE FIFTH.
Celebrated on the seventeenth day of the month of June, 1546.
DECREE CONCERNING ORIGINAL SIN.
—1. If any one does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he had
transgressed the commandment of God in Paradise, immediately lost the
holiness and justice in which he had been constituted and that he
incurred, through the offence of such prevarication, the wrath and
indignation of God, and consequently death, which God had previously
threatened to him, and, together with death, captivity under the power
of him who thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the
devil and that the entire Adam, through that offence of prevarication,
was changed as respects the body and soul, for the worse; let him be anathema.
—2. If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured
himself alone, and not his posterity; and that he lost for himself
alone, and not for us also, the holiness and justice, received of God,
which he lost; or that he, defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only
transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but
not sin also, which is the death of the soul, let him be anathema
—3. If any one asserts that this sin of Adam, which in
its origin is
one, and being transfused into all by propagation, not by imitation, is
in each one as his own, is taken away either by the powers of human
nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our
Lord Jesus Christ, who hath reconciled us to God in his own blood,
made unto us righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; or, if he
denies that the same merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults
and to infants, by the sacrament of baptism rightly administered in the
form of the Church; let him be anathema
—4. If any one denies that infants, newly born from their mothers’
wombs, even though they be sprung from baptized parents, are to be
baptized; or says that they are baptized indeed for the remission of
sins, but that they draw nought of original sin from Adam, which has
need to be expiated by the laver of regeneration for the obtaining
life everlasting,—whence it follows, as a consequence, that in them the
form of baptism, for the remission of sins, is understood to be not
true, but false,—let him be anathema.
—5. If any one denies, that, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which is conferred in baptism, the guilt of original sin is remitted;
or even asserts that all that which has the true and proper nature of
sin is not taken away, but says that it is only erased, or not
imputed,—let him be anathema.
—…This concupiscence, which the apostle sometimes calls sin, the
holy synod declares that the
Catholic Church has never understood to be
called sin, as being truly and properly sin in those born
because it is of sin, and inclines to sin. And if any one is of a
contrary opinion, let him be anathema.
SESSION THE SIXTH,
Celebrated on the thirteenth day of the month of January, 1547.
DECREE CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION.
On the Keeping of the Commandments, and on the Necessity and
—But no one, how much soever justified, ought to think of himself
free from the observance of the commandments; no one ought to make use
of that rash saying, prohibited by the fathers under an anathema
On Thee Fruit of Justification, that is, on the Merit of Good Works and
on the Marnier of that same Merit.
—Canon I. If any one shall say, that man may be justified before God
by his own works, whether done through the strength of human nature, or
through the teaching of the law, without the divine grace through Jesus
Christ; let him be anathema.
—Canon II. If any one shall say, that the divine grace through Jesus
Christ is given only unto this, that man may more easily be able to
live justly, and to merit eternal life, as if, by free will without
grace, he were able [to do] both, though hardly and with difficulty;
let him be anathema.
—Canon III. If any one shall say, that without the preventing
inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and his help, man can believe, hope,
love, or be penitent, as he ought, so that the grace of justification
may be conferred upon him; let him be anathema.
—Canon IV. If any one shall say, that the free will of man moved and
excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise
co-operates to the end that it should dispose and prepare itself for
obtaining the grace of justification; and that it cannot refuse
consent, if it would, but that, like something inanimate, it does
nothing whatever, and is merely in a passive state; let him be anathema.
—Canon V. If any one shall say, that, since Adam’s sin, the free will
of man is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing with a name
only, yea, a title without a reality, a figment, in fine, brought into
the Church by Satan; let him be anathema.
—Canon VI. If any one shall say, that it is not in the power of man
to make his ways evil, but that God worketh the works that are evil as
well as those that are good, not by permission only, but properly, and
of Himself, in such wise that the treason of Judas be no less His own
proper work than the calling of Paul; let him be anathema.
—Canon VII. If any one shall say, that all works which are done
before justification, in what manner soever they be done, are truly
sins or deserve the hatred of God; or that, the more earnestly one
strive to dispose himself for grace, so much the more grievously be
sins; let him be anathema.
—Canon VIII. If any one shall say, that the fear of hell, through
which, by grieving for our sins, we flee unto the mercy of God, or
refrain from sinning, is a sin, or makes sinners worse let him be anathema.
—Canon IX. If any one shall say, that by faith alone the impious is
justified; so as to mean that nothing else is required to co-operate in
order unto the obtaining the grace of justification, and that it is not
in any respect necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the
movement of his own will; let him be anathema.
—Canon X. If any one shall say, that men are justified without the
righteousness of Christ, by which He merited for us to be justified; or
that it is by that [justice] itself that they are formally just; let
him be anathema.
—Canon XI. If any one shall say, that men are justified either by the
sole imputation of the righteousness of Christ, or by the sole
remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which
is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost and is inherent in
them; or even that the grace, by which we are justified, is only the
favour of God; let him he anathema.
—Canon XII. If any one shall say, that justifying faith is nought
else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ’s
sake; or that it is this confidence alone by which we are justified;
let him be anathema.
—Canon XIII. If any one shall say, that it is necessary unto every
one, for the obtaining the remission of sins, that he believe for
certain, and without any hesitation arising from his own infirmity and
indisposition, that his sins are remitted unto him; let him be anathema.
—Canon XIV. If any one shall say, that man is absolved from his sins
and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself to be
absolved and justified; or that no one is truly justified save he who
believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution
and justification are perfected; let him be anathema.
—Canon XV. If any one shall say, that a man, who is born again and
justified, is bound of faith to believe that he is assuredly in the
number of the predestinated; let him be anathema.
—Canon XVI. If any one shall say, that he will for certain, of an
absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance
unto the end, unless that he have learnt this by a special revelation;
let him be anathema.
—Canon XVII. If any one shall say, that the grace of justification
only befalleth those who are predestined unto life; but that all others
who are called, are called indeed, but receive not grace, as being, by
the divine power, predestined unto evil; let him be anathema.
—Canon XVIII. If any one shall say, that the commandments of God are,
even for a man that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible
to keep; let him be anathema.
—Canon XIX. If any one shall say that nothing besides faith is
commanded in the Gospel; that other things are indifferent, neither
commanded nor prohibited, but free; or, that the ten commandments in
nowise appertain to Christians; let him be anathema
—Canon XX. If any one shall say, that a man who is justified and how
perfect soever, is not bound to the observance of the commandments of
God and of the Church, but only to believe; as if, forsooth, the Gospel
were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life, without the condition
of observation of the commandments; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXI. If any one shall say, that Christ Jesus was given of God
unto men, as a redeemer, in whom they should trust, and not also as a
legislator, whom they should obey; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXII. If any one shall say, that the justified is able either
to persevere, without the special assistance of God, in the justice
received; or that, with that [assistance], he is not able; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXIII. If any one shall say, that a man once justified can sin
no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was
never truly justified; or, on the other hand, that he is able,
throughout his whole life, to avoid all sins, even those that are
venial, except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds
respecting the Blessed Virgin; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXIV. If any one shall say, that the justice received is not
preserved, and also increased in the sight of God through good works;
but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of
justification received, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let
him be anathema.
—Canon XXV. If any one shall say, that, in every good work, the just
sins venially at least, or, which is still more intolerable, mortally,
and therefore deserves eternal punishments; and that it is only for
this cause he is not damned, because God does not impute those works
unto damnation; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXVI. If any one shall say, that the just ought not, for their
good works which have been done in God, to expect and hope for an
eternal recompense from God, through His mercy and the merit of Jesus
Christ, if they persevere unto the end in well doing and in keeping the
divine commandments; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXVII. If any one shall say, that there is no deadly sin but
that of infidelity; or, that grace once received is not lost by any
other sin, however grievous and enormous, save only by that of
infidelity; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXVIII. If any one shall say, that, grace being lost through
sin, faith also is always lost with it; or that the faith which remains
is not a true faith, though it be not a lively faith; or, that he, who
has faith without charity, is not a Christian; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXIX. If any one shall say, that he, who has fallen after
baptism, is not able by the grace of God to rise again; or, that he is
able indeed to recover the justice lost, but by faith alone, without
the sacrament of penance, contrary to what the holy Roman and universal
Church, instructed by Christ and his apostles, has hitherto professed,
observed and taught; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXX. If any one shall say, that, after the grace of
justification received, unto every penitent sinner the guilt is so
remitted, and the penalty of eternal punishment so blotted out, that
there remains not any penalty of temporal punishment, to be discharged
either in this world, or in the next in purgatory, before the entrance
to the kingdom of heaven can be laid open; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXXI. If any one shall say, that the justified sins when he
doeth good works with a view to an eternal recompense; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXXII. If any one shall say, that the good works of a man that
is justified are in such wise the gifts of God, as that they are not
also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said
justified, by the good works which are performed by him through the
grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is,
does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the
attainment of that eternal life, so be, however, that he depart in
grace, and, moreover, an increase of glory; let him be anathema.
—Canon XXXIII. If any one shall say, that, by this Catholic doctrine
touching justification, set forth by this holy synod in this present
decree, aught is derogated from the glory of God, or the merits of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the
glory in fine of God and of Christ Jesus are rendered illustrious; let
him be anathema.
SESSION THE SEVENTH,
Celebrated on the third day of the month of March, 1547.
DECREE CONCERNING THE SACRAMENTS.
—Canon I. If any one shall say, that the sacraments of the New Law were
not all instituted by Jesus Christ, our Lord; or, that they are more,
or less than seven, to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist,
Penance, Extreme Unction Orders, and Matrimony; or even that any one of
these seven is not truly and properly a sacrament; let him be anathema.
—Canon II. If any one shall say, that these said sacraments of the New Law do not
differ from the sacraments of the Old Law, save
that the ceremonies are different, and the outward rites different; let
him be anathema.
—Canon III. If any one shall say, that these seven sacraments are
equal to each other in such wise, as that one is not in any way more
worthy than another; let him be anathema.
—Canon IV. If any one shall say, that the sacraments of the New Law are
not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous, and that without them,
and without the desire thereof, men, through faith alone, obtain of God
the grace of justification; though all [the sacraments] be not
necessary for every individual; let him be anathema.
—Canon V. If any one shall say, that these sacraments were instituted
for the sake of nourishing faith alone; let him be anathema.
—Canon VI. If any one shall say, that the sacraments of the New Law do not
contain the grace which they signify; or, that they do not confer that
grace on those who do not place an obstacle in the way; as though they
were merely outward signs of grace or righteousness received through
faith, and certain marks of the Christian profession, by which the
believers are distinguished amongst men from the unbelievers; let him
—Canon VII. If any one shall say, that grace, as far as concerneth
God’s part, is not given through the said sacraments, always, and to
all men, even though they rightly receive them, but [only] sometimes,
and to some persons; let him be anathema.
—Canon VIII. If any one shall say, that by the said sacraments of the
grace is not conferred through the act performed, but that faith alone
in the divine promise suffices for obtaining grace; let him be anathema.
—Canon IX. If any one shall say, that, in the three sacraments,
Baptism, to wit, Confirmation, and Orders, there is not imprinted on
the soul a character, that is, a certain spiritual and indelible sign,
on account of which they cannot be repeated; let him be anathema.
—Canon X. If any one shall say, that all Christians have power to
administer the word, and all the sacraments; let him be anathema.
—Canon XI. If any one shall say, that, in ministers, whilst they
effect, and confer the sacraments, there is not required the intention
at least of doing what the Church does; let him he anathema.
—Canon XII. If any one shall say, that a minister, being in deadly
sin, provided that he observe all the essentials which belong to the
performance or conferring of the sacrament, neither performs nor
confers the sacrament; let him be anathema.
—Canon XIII. If any one shall say, that the received and approved
rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn
administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin
omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed by any pastor of
the churches into other new ones; let him be anathema.
—Canon I. If any one shall say, that the baptism of John had the same
force with the baptism of Christ; let him be anathema.
—Canon II. If any one shall say, that true and natural water is not
of necessity for baptism, and, on that account, wrests to some sort of
metaphor those words of our Lord Jesus Christ; Except a man be born
again of water and the Holy Ghost; let him be anathema.
—Canon III. If any one shall say, that in the Romish 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.
—Canon IV. If any one shall say, that the baptism which is also
given by heretics in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost, with the intention of doing what the Church doth, is not
true baptism; let him be anathema.
—Canon V. If any one shall say, that baptism is free, that is, not
necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema.
—Canon VI. If any one shall say, that one who has been baptized
cannot, even if he wish, lose grace, let him sin ever so much, unless
he will not believe; let him be anathema.
—Canon VII. If any one shall say, that the baptized are, by baptism
itself, made debtors but to faith only, and not to the observance of
the whole law of Christ; let him be anathema.
—Canon VIII. If any one shall say, that the baptized are freed from
all the precepts of the holy Church, whether written or transmitted, so
that they are not bound to observe them, unless they, of their own
accord, have chosen to submit themselves to them; let him be anathema.
— Canon IX. If any one shall soy, that men are so to be recalled unto
the remembrance of the baptism which they have received, as that they
must understand that all vows which are made after baptism are void, by
virtue of the promise already made in that baptism; as if, by those
[vows] they both derogated from that faith which they have professed,
and from baptism itself; let him be anathema.
—Canon X. If any shall say, that, by the sole remembrance and faith
of the baptism received, all sins which are committed after baptism are
either remitted, or made venial; let him be anathema.
—Canon XI If any one shall say, that baptism, true, and rightly
conferred, is to be repeated for him who, amongst Infidels, has denied
the faith of Christ, when he is converted unto penitence; let him be anathema.
—Canon XII. If any one shall say, that no one is to be baptized save
at that age at which Christ was baptized, or at the very point of
death; let him be anathema.
—Canon XIII. If any one shall say, that infants, for that they have
not actual faith, are not, after having received baptism, to be
reckoned amongst the faithful, and that, for this reason, they are to
be rebaptized, when they have arrived at years of discretion; or, that
it is better that the baptism of such be omitted, than that. they,
while not believing by their own act, should be baptized in the faith
alone of the Church; let him be anathema.
—Canon XIV. If any one shall say, that those who have been thus
baptized when infants, are, when they have grown up, to be questioned
whether they will ratify what their sponsors promised in their name
when they were baptized; and that, in case that they answer they will
not, they are to be left to their own will; and are not meanwhile to be
compelled to a Christian life by any other penalty, save that they be
excluded from the participation of the Eucharist, and of the other
sacraments, until they repent; let him be anathema.
—Canon I. If any one shall say, that the confirmation of those who
have been baptized is an idle ceremony, and not rather a true and
proper sacrament; or that it was formerly nothing more than a kind of
catechism, whereby they who were near years of discretion, declared an
account of their faith in the face of the Church; let him be anathema.
— Canon II. If any one shall say, that they who ascribe any virtue to
the sacred chrism of confirmation, do an injury to the Holy Ghost; let
him be anathema.
— Canon III. If any one shall say, that the ordinary minister of holy
confirmation is not the bishop only, but any simple priest soever; let
him be anathema.
SESSION THE THIRTEENTH,
Being the third under tlie Sovereign Pontiff Julius III., celebrated on
the eleventh day of October, 1651.
DECREE TOUCHING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST.
On the Excellency of the most holy Eucharist above the rest of Of The
CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST.
—Canon I. If any one shall deny, that, in the sacrament of the most
holy Eucharist, are verily, really, and substantially contained the
body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus
Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but shall say that He is
only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.
—Canon II. If any one shall say, 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 shall
deny 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.
—Canon III. If any one shall deny, that, in the venerable sacrament
of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and
under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.
—Canon IV. If any one shall say, that, after the consecration is
completed, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not in the
admirable sacrament of the Eucharist, but are there only during the
use, whilst it is being taken, and not either before or after; and
that, in the hosts, or consecrated particles, which after communion are
reserved or remain, the true body of the Lord remaineth not; let him be
—Canon V. If any one shall say, either that the chief fruit of the
most holy Eucharist is the remission of sins, or, that from it other
effects do not result; let him be anathema.
—Canon VI. If any one shall say, that, in the holy sacrament of the
Eucharist, Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to be adored
with even the worship external of latria, and is, consequently, neither
to be venerated with a special festive celebration, nor to be solemnly
borne about in processions, according to the laudable and universal
rite and custom of the holy Church; or, is not to be proposed publicly
to the people to be worshipped, and that the worshippers thereof are
idolaters; let him be anathema.
—Canon VII. If any one shall say, that it is not lawful for the
sacred Eucharist to be reserved in the sacrarium, but that, immediately
after consecration, it must necessarily be distributed amongst those at
hand; or that it is not lawful that it be carried honourably to the
sick; let him be anathema.
—Canon VIII. If any one shall say, that Christ, presented in the
Eucharist, is eaten spiritually only, and not also sacramentally and
really; let him be anathema.
—Canon IX. If any one shall deny, that all and each of Christ’s
faithful of both sexes are bound, when they have attained to years of
discretion, to communicate every year, at least at Easter, in
accordance with the precept of Holy Mother Church; let him be anathema.
—Canon X. If any one shall say, that it is not lawful for the priest
celebrating to communicate himself; let him be anathema.
—Canon XI. If any one shall say, that faith alone is a sufficient
preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let
him be anathema.
SESSION THE FOURTEENTH,
Being the fourth under the Sovereign Pontiff Julius III., celebrated on
the twenty-fifth of November, 1551.
ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF PENANCE.
—Canon I. If any one shall say, that in the Catholic Church penance
is not truly and properly a sacrament, instituted by Christ our Lord
for reconciling the faithful unto God, as often as they fall into sin
after baptism; let him be anathema.
—Canon II. If any one, confounding the sacraments, shall say, that
baptism is itself the sacrament of Penance, as though these two
sacraments were not distinct, and that therefore penance is not rightly
called a second plank after shipwreck; let him be anathema.
—Canon III. If any one shall say, that those words of the Lord the
Saviour, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins ye shall remit,
are remitted unto them, and whose sins ye shall retain, they are
retained are not to be understood of the power of remitting and of
retaining sins in the sacrament of Penance, as the Catholic Church has
always from the beginning understood them; but wrests them, contrary to
the institution of this sacrament, to the power of preaching the
Gospel; let him be anathema.
—Canon IV. If any one shall deny, that, unto the entire and perfect
remission of sins, three acts in the penitent, which are as it were the
matter of the sacrament of Penance, are required, to wit, contrition,
confession, and satisfaction, which are called the three parts of
penance; or saith that there are only two parts of penance, to wit, the
terrors which smite the conscience upon being convinced of sin, and the
faith, conceived by the Gospel, or by the absolution, whereby one
believes that his sins are remitted unto him through Christ; let him be
—Canon V. If any one shall say, that the contrition which is acquired
by means of the examination, collection, and detestation of sins,
whereby one thinks over his years in the bitterness of his soul, by
pondering on the grievousness, the multitude, the foulness of his sins,
the loss of eternal blessedness, and the having incurred eternal
damnation, [joined] with the purpose of a better life, is not a true
and profitable sorrow, doth not prepare unto grace, but maketh a man a
hypocrite and a greater sinner; finally, that this is a forced and not
a free and voluntary sorrow; let him be anathema.
—Canon VI. If any one shall deny, either that sacramental confession
was instituted, or is necessary unto salvation, of divine right; or
shall say, that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone,
which the Catholic 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.
—Canon VII. If any one shall say, that, in the sacrament of Penance,
it is not, of divine right, necessary unto the remission of sins, to
confess all and individually the deadly sins, the memory of which,
after due and diligent previous meditation is held, even those which
are secret, and those which are opposed to the two last commandments of
the Decalogue, as also the circumstances which change the species of a
sin; but [saith] that such confession is only useful to instruct and
console the penitent, and that it was of old only observed in order to
impose a canonical satisfaction; or shall say, that they, who strive to
confess all their sins, wish to leave nothing to the divine mercy to
pardon; or, finally, that it is not lawful to confess venial sins; let
him be anathema.
—Canon VIII. If any one shall say, that the confession of all sins,
such as the Church observes, is impossible, and is a human tradition,
to be abolished by the pious; or that all and each of the faithful of
Christ, of either sex, are not obliged thereunto once a year, according
to the constitution of the great Council of Lateran, and that, on this
account, the faithful of Christ must not be persuaded to confess during
Lent; let him be anathema.
—Canon IX. If any one shall say, that the sacramental absolution of
the priest is not a judicial act, but a bare ministry of pronouncing
and declaring sins to be remitted unto him who confesses; provided only
he believe himself to be absolved, or [even if] the priest absolve not
in earnest, but in joke; or saith, that the confession of the penitent
is not required, in order that the priest may be able to absolve him;
let him be anathema.
—Canon X. If any ope shall say, that priests, who are in deadly sin,
have not the power of binding and of loosing; or, that not priests
alone are the ministers of absolution, but that unto all and each of
the faithful of Christ is it said: Whatsoever ye shall bind upon earth,
shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose upon
earth, shall be loosed also in heaven jc and, whose sins ye shall
remit, they shall be remitted unto them; and whose sins ye shall
retain, they are retained by virtue of which words every one is able to
absolve sins, to wit, public [sins] by rebuke only; provided the person
rebuked yield thereto, and secret [sins] by a voluntary confession; let
him be anathema.
—Canon XI. If any one shall say, that bishops have not the right of
reserving cases to themselves, except as regards external polity, and
that therefore the reservation of cases hinders not but that a priest
may truly absolve from reserved cases; let him be anathema.
—Canon XII. If any one shall say, that the whole punishment is always
remitted by God, together with the guilt, and that the satisfaction of
penitents is no other than the faith whereby they learn that Christ
hath made satisfaction for them; let him be anathema.
—Canon XIII. If any one shall say, that satisfaction for sins, as
regards their temporal punishment, is in no wise made to God, through
the merits of Christ, by the punishments inflicted by Him, and
patiently borne, or by those enjoined by the priest, nor even by those
voluntarily undertaken, as by fastings, prayers, almsgivings, or by
other works also of piety; and that, therefore, the best penance is
merely a new life; let him be anathema.
—Canon XIV. If any one shall say, that the satisfactions, by which
penitents redeem their sins through Christ Jesus, are not a worship of
God, but traditions of men, obscuring the doctrine of grace, and the
true worship of God, and the benefit itself of the death of Christ; let
him be anathema.
—Canon XV. If any one shall say, that the keys are given to the
Church, only to loose, not also to bind; and that, therefore, priests,
when they impose punishments on those who confess, act contrary to the
end designed by the keys, and contrary to the institution of Christ;
and that it is a fiction, that, after eternal punishment has, by virtue
of the keys, been removed, there for the most part remains a temporal
punishment to be discharged; let him be anathema.
ON THE SACRAMENT OF EXTREME UNCTION.
—Canon I. If any one shall say, that extreme unction is not truly and
properly a sacrament, instituted by Christ our Lord, and promulgated by
the blessed apostle James, but only a rite received from the fathers,
or a human invention; let him be anathema.
—Canon II. If any one shall say, that the sacred unction of the sick
does not confer grace, nor remit sins, nor alleviate the sick; but that
it has already ceased, as though the grace of cures were of old only;
let him be anathema.
—Canon III. If anyone shall say, that the rite and usage of extreme
unction, which the holy Roman Church observes, is repugnant to the
declaration of the blessed apostle James, and that it is therefore to
be changed, and that it may, without sin, be contemned by Christians;
let him be anathema.
—Canon IV. If any one shall say, that the presbyters of the Church,
whom the blessed James exhorts to be brought to anoint the sick, are
not the priests ordained by a bishop, but the seniors in years in each
community, and that for this reason a priest alone is not the proper
minister of extreme unction; let him be anathema.
SESSION THE TWENTY-FIRST,
Being the fifth under the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IV., celebrated on the
sixteenth day of the month of July, 1562.
ON COMMUNION UNDER BOTH SPECIES, AND ON THE COMMUNION OF
—Canon I. If any one shall say, that, by the precept of God, or, by
necessity of salvation, all and each of the faithful of Christ ought to
receive both species of the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist; let
him be anathema.
—Canon II. If any one shall say, that the holy Catholic Church was
not induced by just causes and reasons to com municate, under the
species of bread only, laymen, and also clerks when not consecrating;
let him be anathema.
—Canon III. If any one shall deny, that Christ whole and entire, the
fountain and author of all graces, is received under the one species of
bread; because that, as some falsely assert, he is not received,
according to the institution of Christ himself, under both species; let
him be anathema.
—Canon IV. If any one shall say, that the communion of the Eucharist
is necessary for little children, before they have arrived at years of
discretion; let him be anathema.
SESSION THE TWENTY-SECOND,
Being the sixth under the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IV., celebrated on the
seventeenth day of September, 1562.
DOCTRINE TOUCHING THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS.
TOUCHING THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS.
—Canon I. If any one shall say, that in the mass a true and proper
sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else
but that Christ is given unto us to eat; let him be anathema.
—Canon II. If any one shall say, that by those words, Do this in
remembrance of me, Christ did not institute the apostles priests; or,
did not ordain that they, and other priests, should offer His own body
and blood; let him be anathema.
—Canon III. If any one shall say, 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 offered on the cross, but not a
propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it avails him only who
and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for
sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.
—Canon IV. If any one shall say, that, by the sacrifice of the mass,
a blasphemy is thrown upon the most holy sacrifice of Christ offered on
the cross; or, that it is thereby derogated from; let him be anathema.
—Canon V. If any one shall say, that it is an imposture to celebrate
masses in honour of the saints, and for obtaining their intercession
with God, as the Church intends; let him be anathema.
—Canon VI. If any one shall say, that the canon of the mass contains
errors, and is therefore to be abrogated; let him be anathema.
—Canon VII. If any one shall say, that the ceremonies, vestments, and
outward signs, of which the Catholic Church makes use in the
celebration of masses, are incentives to impiety, rather than offices
of piety; let him be anathema.
—Canon VIII. If any one shall say, that masses, in which the priest
alone communicates sacramentally, are unlawful, and therefore to be
abrogated; let him be anathema.
—Canon IX. If any one shall say, that the rite of the Homan Church,
whereby a part of the canon and the words of consecration are
pronounced in a softened tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass
ought only to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue; or, that water is not
to be mixed with the wine to be offered in the chalice, in that it is
contrary to the institution of Christ; let him be anathema.
Usurpers of the Property of any Church or pious Place soever are
If any clerk, or layman, by what dignity soever, even that of emperor
or king, pre-eminent, should be so greatly possessed by covetousness,
the root of all evils, as to presume to convert unto his own use, and
to usurp, by himself or by others, by force, or fear excited, or even
by means of any supposititious persons, whether lay or clerical, or by
any artifice, or under any sought-for colourable pretext soever, the
jurisdictions, goods, incomes, and rights, even those held in fee or
under lease, the fruits, emoluments, or any revenues soever, belonging
to any church, or to any benefice, whether secular or regular,
monts-de-piete, or to any other pious places, which ought to be
employed for the necessities of the ministers and the poor; or [shall
presume] to hinder them from being received by those unto whom they by
right belong; he shall so long he under an anathema,
until he shall have entirely restored to the Church, and to the
administrator or beneficiary thereof, the jurisdictions, goods,
effects, rights, fruits, and revenues which he has seized upon, or in
what manner soever they have come to him, even by way of gift from a
supposititious person; and, until he shall, furthermore, have obtained
absolution from the Roman Pontiff.
SESSION THE TWENTY-THIRD,
Being tlue seventh under tlue Sovereign Pontiff Pius IV., celebrated on
the fifteenth day of the month of July, 1563.
ON THE SACRAMENT OF ORDERS.
—Canon I. If any one shall say, 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 remitting 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.
—Canon II. If any one shall say, that, besides the priesthood, there
are not in the Catholic Church other orders, both greater and lesser,
by which, as by certain steps, advance is made unto the priesthood; let
him be anathema.
—Canon III. If any one shall say, that orders, or sacred ordination,
is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by Christ the Lord;
or, that it is a certain human figment devised by men unskilled in
ecclesiastical matters; or, that it is only a certain kind for choosing
ministers of the word of God and of the sacraments; let him be anathema.
—Canon IV. If any one shall say, that, by sacred ordination the Holy
Ghost is not given; and that the bishops do therefore vainly say,
Receive ye the Holy Ghost; or, that a character is not thereby
imprinted; or, that he who has once been a priest, can again become a
layman; let him be anathema.
—Canon V. If any one shall say, that the sacred unction which the
Church makes use of in holy ordination, is not only not required, but
is to be despised and is pernicious, as likewise the other ceremonies
of Order; let him be anathema.
—Canon VI. If any one shall say, that, in the Catholic Church there
is not a hierarchy instituted by divine ordination, consisting of
bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema.
—Canon VII. If any one shall say, that bishops are not superior to
priests; or, that they have not the power of confirming and ordaining;
or, that that power which they possess is common to them with the
priests; or, that orders, conferred by them, without the consent or
vocation of the people, or of the secular power, are invalid; or, that
those who have neither been rightly ordained, nor sent, by
ecclesiastical and canonical power, but come from elsewhere, are lawful
ministers of the word and of the sacraments; let him be anathema.
—Canon VIII. If any one shall say, that the bishops, who are assumed
by authority of the lioman Pontiff, are not legitimate and true
bishops, but a human figment; let him be anathema.
SESSION THE TWENTY-FOURTH,
Being the eighth under the Sovereign Pontiff Pint IV., celebrated on
the eleventh day of the month of November, 1563.
DOCTRINE TOUCHING THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY.
TOUCHING THK SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY.
—Canon I. If any one shall say, that matrimony is not truly and
properly one of the seven sacraments of the evangelic law, instituted
by Christ the Lord; but that it has been invented by men in the Church,
and that it does not confer grace; let him be anathema.
—Canon II. If any one shall say, that it is lawful for Christians to
have several wives at the same time, and that this is not prohibited by
any divine law; let him be anathema.
—Canon III. If any one shall say, that those degrees only of
consanguinity and affinity, which are set down in Leviticus, can
hinder matrimony from being contracted, and dissolve it when
contracted; and that the Church cannot dispense in some of those
degrees, or ordain that others may hinder and dissolve it; let him be anathema.
—Canon IV. If any one shall say, that the Church could not constitute
impediments dissolving marriage; or that she has erred in constituting
them; let him be anathema.
—Canon V. If any one shall say, that on account of heresy, or irksome
cohabitation, or the intentional absence of one of the parties, the
bond of matrimony may be dissolved; let him be anathema.
—Canon VI. If any one shall say, that matrimony contracted, but not
consummated, is not dissolved by the solemn profession of religion by
one of the parties married; let him be anathema.
—Canon VII. If any one shall say, that the Church doth err in that
she hath taught, and doth teach, according to the evangelical and
apostolic doctrine, that the bond of matrimony cannot be dissolved on
account of the adultery of one of the married parties; and that both,
or even the innocent party, who gave not occasion to the adultery,
cannot contract another marriage during the lifetime of the other
married person; and, that he is guilty of adultery, who, having put
away the adulteress, shall marry another wife, as also she, who, having
put away the adulterer, shall wed another husband; let him be anathema.
—Canon VIII. If any one shall say, that the Church errs, in that she
decrees that, for many causes, a separation may take place between
husband and wife, in regard of bed or cohabitation, for a determinate
or for an indeterminate period; let him be anathema.
—Canon IX. If any one shall say, that clerks constituted in sacred
orders, or regulars, who have solemnly professed chastity, are able to
contract marriage, and that being contracted, it is valid, the
ecclesiastical law, or vow, notwithstanding; and that the contrary is
nothing else than to condemn marriage; and, that all who do not feel
that they have the gift of chastity, even though they have made, a vow
thereof, may contract marriage; let him be anathema:
seeing that God denieth not that gift to them that ask it rightly,
neither does He suffer us to be tempted above that we are able.
—Canon X. If any one shall say, that the marriage state is to be
preferred before a state of virginity, or of celibacy, and that it is
not better and more blessed to remain in virginity, or in celibacy,
than to be joined in matrimony; let him be anathema.
—Canon XI. If any one shall say, that the prohibition of the
solemnization of marriages at certain times of the year, is a
tyrannical superstition, proceeding from the superstition of the
heathen; or shall condemn the benedictions and other ceremonies of
which the Church makes use therein; let him be anathema.
—Canon XII. If any one shall say, that matrimonial causes do not
concern ecclesiastical judges; let him be anathema.
DECREE TOUCHING THE REFORMATION OF MARRIAGE.
Although it is not to be doubted, that clandestine marriages, made with
the free consent of the parties contracting, are valid and true
marriages, so long as the Church has not rendered them invalid; and
consequently, that those persons are justly to be condemned, as the
holy synod doth condemn them with anathema,
who deny that such marriages are true and valid; as also those who
falsely affirm that marriages contracted by the children of a family,
without the consent of their parents, are invalid, and that parents can
make such marriages either valid or invalid; nevertheless,
…Wherefore, seeing it is a
thing especially wicked to violate the liberty of matrimony, and that
wrongs proceed from those from whom right is expected, the holy synod
enjoins on all, of what degree, dignity, and condition soever they may
be, under pain of anathema
to be incurred by the very act, that they do not in any way constrain,
directly or indirectly, those subject to them, or any others soever, so
as to hinder them from freely contracting marriage.
TOUCHING THE INVOCATION, VENERATION, AND ON RELICS OF SAINTS, AND
And the bishops shall carefully teach this; that, by means of the
histories of the mysteries of our Redemption, depicted by paintings or
other representations, the people are instructed, and strengthened in
remembering, and continually reflecting on the articles of faith; as
also that great profit is derived from all sacred images, not only
because the people are thereby admonished of the benefits gifts
which have been bestowed upon them by Christ, but also because the
miracles of God through the means of the saints, and their salutarv
examples, are set before the eyes of the faithful; that so for those
things they may give God thanks; may order their own life and manners
in imitation of the saints; and may be excited to adore and
and to cultivate piety. But if any one shall teach or-think contrary to
these decrees; let him be anathema
…Moreover, no renunciation, or obligation made earlier, even though
upon oath, or in favour of any pious object soever, shall have force,
unless it bo made with the permission of the bishop, or of his vicar,
within the two months immediately preceding profession; and it shall
not otherwise bo understood to obtain its effect, unless the profession
have followed thereupon: but if made in any other manner, even though
with the express renunciation of this privilege, even upon oath, it
shall be invalid and of no effect. When the period of the noviciate is
ended, the superiors shall admit those novices, whom they have found
qualified, to profession; or they shall dismiss them from the
monastery. By these things, however, the holy synod does not intend to
make. any innovation, or to prohibit, but that the religious order of
clerks of the Society of Jesus be able to serve God and His Church,
according to their pious institute, approved by the holy Apostolic See.
And, furthermore, before the profession of a novice, whether male or
female, nothing shall be given to the monastery out of the property of
the same, either by parents, or relatives, or guardians, under any
pretext soever, except for food and clothing, for the time in which
they are under probation; lest [the said novice] be unable to leave on
this account, that the monastery is in possession of the whole, or of
the greater part of his substance; and he be not easily able to recover
it, if he should leave. Yea rather the holy synod enjoins, under the
pain of anathema
on the givers and receivers, that this be by no means done; and that,
to those who leave before their profession, all things that were theirs
be restored to them. And the bishop shall, if need be, enforce even by
ecclesiastical censures that this be performed aright.
The holy synod subjects to anathema
all and each those persons, of what quality or condition soever they
may be, whether clerks or laymen, seculars or regulars, or sustaining
what dignity soever, who shall, in any way soever, force any virgin, or
widow, or any other woman soever, except in the cases laid down in law,
to enter a monastery against her will, or to assume the habit of any
religious order, or to declare her profession; as also all those who
shall lend their counsel, aid, or favour thereunto; and those also who,
knowing that she does not voluntarily enter into the monastery, or take
the habit, or declare her profession, shall, in any way, interfere in
that act, either by their presence, or consent, or authority. It also
subjects to a like anathema
those who shall, in any way, without a just cause, hinder the holy wish
of virgins, or other women, to take the veil or declare their vows. And
all and each of those things which ought to be done before profession,
or at the profession itself, shall be observed not only in monasteries
subject to the bishop, but also in all others soever. From these;
[rules], however, are excepted those women who are called penitents, or
convertites; in regard to whom their constitutions shall be observed.
DECREE CONCERNING INDULGENCES.
Whereas the power of conferring indulgences was granted by Christ to
the Church; and she has, even in the most ancient times, used the said
power, delivered unto her of God; the sacred and holy synod teaches
and enjoins, that the use of indulgences, most salutary for the
Christian people, and approved of by the authority of sacred councils,
is to be retained in the Church; and it condemns with anathema those who either
assert that they are useless, or who deny that there is in the Church
the power of granting them. In granting them, however, it desires that,
according to the ancient and approved custom in the Church, moderation
be observed, lest, by excessive facility, ecclesiastical discipline be
ON RECEIVING AND OBSERVING THE DECREES OF THE COUNCIL.
So great has been the calamitousness of these times, and the inverate
malice of the heretics, that there has been nothing ever so clear in
the statement of our faith, or so surely settled, which they, at the
persuasion of the enemy of the human race, have not defiled by some
sort of error. For which cause the holy synod hath taken especial care
to condemn and anathematize
the principal errors of the heretics of our time, and to deliver and
teach the true and Catholic doctrine; even as it has condemned, anathematized, and defined.
And whereas so many bishops, summoned from the various provinces of the
Christian world, cannot be absent for so long a time without great
casting away of the flock committed to them, and without universal
danger; and whereas no hope remains that the heretics, after having
been so often invited, even with the public faith which they desired,
and so long expected, will come hither later; and as it is therefore
necessary to put an end at length to the sacred council: it now remains
for it to admonish in the Lord all princes, as it hereby does, so to
afford their assistance as not to permit the things which it has
decreed to be corrupted or violated by heretics; but that they be by
them and all others devoutly received and faithfully observed.
ACCLAMATIONS OF THE FATHERS AT THE CLOSE OF THE COUNCIL.
to all heretics.
Answer. Anathema, anathema.
THE BULL OF OUR HOLY LORD, THE LORD PIUS, BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE FOURTH
TOUCHING THE FORM OF THE OATH OF THE PROFESSION OF FAITH.
Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, for the perpetual memory
… I recognize the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church as the
mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise and swear true
obedience to the Roman pontiff, successor of St. Peter, prince of the
apostles, and vicar of Jesus Christ. All other things also delivered,
defined, and declared by the sacred canons and oecumenical councils,
and particularly by the holy Synod of Trent, I undoubtingly receive and
profess, and at the same time all things contrary, and any heresies
soever condemned by the Church, and rejected and anathematized, I, in like
manner, condemn, reject, and anathematize.
This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved, which
at present I readily profess and truly hold, I, N. promise, vow, and
swear, that I will most steadfastly retain and confess the same entire
and undefiled to the last breath of life (with God’s help), and that I
will take care, as far as shall be in my power, that it be held,
taught, and preached by my subjects, or those whose charge shall
devolve on me in virtue of my office. So help me God, and these holy
gospels of God.
Books – The Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent:
Literally translated into English by
Theodore Alois Buckley.