Today it is politically incorrect to condemn heresies: anathema sit is viewed as harsh, intolerant, and incompatible with Christian love. Many are those who oppose any condemnation of the most blatant dogmatic heresies and moral aberrations in the name of charity, claiming that charity should have precedence over truth.
This is a position that should be challenged, for Truth and Charity cannot be severed: they are two facets of the God-Man: Christ says He is the Truth, and St. John tells us that God is Love.
No one else in the history of the world, neither Buddha, nor Moses, nor Mohammed, has dared say: “I am the Truth”. True charity is essentially linked to an ardent desire to share Truth with all of our beloved brothers. Not to care whether they live in Truth or in error is a deplorable lack of Charity. He who is in the Truth cannot keep it to himself as his own private possession, for Truth is “ours” never “mine”. It is inconceivable to pretend that we love our neighbour without feeling what St. Paul calls “caritas urget nos” (love urges us on) to share the blessing we have received. Christ ordered His disciples to teach all nations (Truth) with love. It is sheer illusion to believe that we can truly love another person while leaving him in error concerning what matters most: our knowledge of God.
In the course of her history, the Church has often used the words anathema sit in condemning errors concer-ning the nature of God and His holy teaching. Every single one of these condemnations had the stamp of a “charitable anathema” – for to warn men of the fearful danger of being in error concerning Him is a charitable act par excellence.
Today, the whole emphasis is on “salvation”. Catholic doctrine has always taught that those afflicted by invincible ignorance can be saved if they follow their conscience and are faithful to the dictates of the natural law. But salvation is only one crucial issue that should make us not forget that man’s primary duty is the glorification of God, and God cannot be properly glorified if our knowledge of Him is tainted with error. To preach love without an explicit reference to Truth is to misunderstand the true nature of love which tells us that “we should all be one” in the truth.
Christ said to the Samaritan woman that “… the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth …” (John 4:23)