RE: The only time a person is held to account for a false statement is if it leads him to do something wrong.
Here again is what Vatican I says:
if anyone SAYS that it is not by the institution of Christ the Lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole Church; or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema
Did you read anything in the above that says — DO SOMETHING WRONG?
I don’t. The above statement seems to say that HOLDING to what they believe is FALSE doctrine IS doing something wrong.
And by implication, it should be EVEN MORE WRONG to lead millions of others to hold such false doctrine.
RE: A doctrine is true or false
I agree with you here. If not holding to the Primacy of the Pope is NOT a false doctrine, no amount of anathema pronounced by any council will have any spiritual effect in heaven or on earth. It would be akin to some angry individual cursing : “God Damn You.” and that’s all.
However, if it IS a true doctrine, then the anathema WILL have spiritual force.
RE: The rejection of papal authority is less a doctrine than a refusal to be bound by papal authority.
Ah, so it is NOT a doctrine then.... I shall have to take this matter up with some friends in the Catholic Church ( especially priests ). I suspect many will disagree with the above statement.
But assuming you are correct, therefore, what follows? If rejection of papal authority isn’t a doctrine, then the anathema has no spiritual power at all.
In which case, Vatican II is right to ignore it.
That has to be the conclusion if you are correct.
Let us look not at the decrees of Trent not as abstractions but as judgements having force. The force does not , however, act on the individual but on the propositions advanced. For instance, Luther did say the proposition that you quote, therefore he spoke falsely. But this is not a judgement on the man but on what he says. He is cursed, which is to say, he is expelled from the community. As to how close he is to Jesus, does that not depend on what it in his heart? Maybe what he said against the Jews weighed more heavily, or maybe what he said in anger agains his theological opponents. IAC. all the Council could say is that if he did deny the authority of the pope, then he was putting himself outside the protection of the Church. No mean thing, but in the end, he has already been judged by the time the council spoke.