Thursday, August 17, 2006

Richard John Neuhaus on Trent's Anathemas

My editor just red-marked this out of my upcoming book, The One-Minute Apologist, but I still think it is good (I hear Protestants objecting all the time to the Tridentine anathemas, as if it damns them all to hell simply for being Protestants), so I'll share it with y'all here!:

Crucial to the condemnation are the words "If anyone shall say . . . " (Si qui dixerit). Trent did not condemn anyone by name. The council condemned anyone who taught what it understood by the formula "justification by faith alone." . . . it is historically and theologically judged that the council fathers at Trent were right in condemning what they understood by "justification by faith alone." In the intervening years, and especially in the theological dialogues of the last thirty years, Reformation Christians have made a convincing case that what they mean by sola fide is not what Trent condemned.

(Evangelical and Catholics Together: Toward a Common Mission, edited by Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus, Dallas: Word Publishing, 1995; from the chapter, "The Catholic Difference," 175-227; citation from pp. 209-210)

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