Anathemas Part II- But this guy says that they really are still around
Anathemas Part III- In which the canons of Trent are actually discussed, instead of the anathemas
Now Paul has directed me to Turretinfan, who says this:
Today I encountered the following comment: "Anathemas were done away with under the most recent Code of Canon Law." It's not the first time I've seen this claim. The problem is this: I have the most recent Code of Canon Law and it doesn't (that I can find) even mention anathemas. I suppose that some folks in Roman Catholicism think this silence means that anathemas have been done away. That seems like as weak an argument as the argument that prayer veils are no longer required because of the silence regarding them. I wonder whether there is anything more to the argument than that. Any ideas anyone?
I'm aware of Mr. Akin's argument as follows:Yet the penalty was used so seldom that it was removed from the 1983 Code of Canon Law. This means that today the penalty of anathema does not exist in Church law. The new Code provided that, "When this Code goes into effect, the following are abrogated: 1º the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917 . . . 3º any universal or particular penal laws whatsoever issued by the Apostolic See, unless they are contained in this Code" (CIC  6 §1). The penalty of anathema was not renewed in the new Code, and thus it was abrogated when the Code went into effect on January 1, 1983.The problems with that type of argument are:
1) Where was anathema mentioned in the 1917 Code? I've perused that code and couldn't find it. Perhaps I overlooked something?
2) A penalty and a penal law are not the same thing.
If that's all Mr. Akin has, his argument seems exceptionally weak.
Anathemas are mentioned in canon 2257 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law. Unfortunately, not available online in English.
Can 2257 §1. Excommunicatio est censura qua quis excluditur a communione fidelium cum effectibus qui in canonibus, qui sequuntur, enumerantur, quique separari nequeunt.
§2. Dicitur quoque anathema, praesertim si cum sollemnitatibus infligatur quae in Pontificali Romano describuntur.
At any rate, you know what? I'm not a canon lawyer. I'm a stay at home, mother of four with an incredible non-sleeping baby. This is my night job. I have no idea if anathemas are still around or not. My question is, does it matter?
First, suppose anathema is still an option. It still needs a formal ceremony and lots of paperwork. When the Catholic Church excommunicates someone, it is a big deal. Usually there are news stories involved such as this or this.
I haven't seen any big anathema stories, so I'm guessing that if it is still an option, it isn't one which is used. The first story I linked to says that excommunication is the severest form of punishment, so I still feel that Jimmy Akin is right, and anathemas are no longer around. Clearly, none of you has been formally anathematized.
Second, suppose that not only are the anathemas still around, but the ones in Trent are in force, and DO apply to any non-Catholic who happens to pick up a copy of the canons of the Council of Trent. What does that mean?
The canons define what the Catholic Church believes. If you do not believe that you are anathema, or excommunicated. It means that you are out of communion, or not a part of the church. You do not agree with our statement of faith, therefore you are not a member. I don't see how that is a problem unless you are wanting to be calling yourself a Catholic while not holding to the tenets of the faith.
Is the offense that excommunication/anathema is intended as a warning that you are in danger of hell? Excommunication is a Biblical form of church discipline practiced by other faiths.
Galatians 1:8-9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
1 Cor 16:22 (explicit in KJV) If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
Yes, we believe that the Catholic Church has the fullness of Truth. You, our separated brethren, have some aspects of the Truth, and we respect you for that. But I fail to see why you are so offended that we think you are wrong when you spend such a long time in the comments section trying to prove that . . . we are wrong and in danger of hell.
For an exhaustive look at anathemas, try over at Dave Armstrong's blog.