Am I excommunicated?


Ok, so I was in the lounge at my (Catholic?) college doing some studying, and there were these girls nearby talking about their various hook-ups. One of them said that there was a slight chance that she could be pregnant but that it wouldn’t matter because she was about to start taking birth control/plan b (which would “terminate” the pregnancy if there was one). After a very short time of hearing this conversation, I left the room in disgust. I did not say anything to any of the girls. Am I excommunicated for not verbally speaking out and not telling them that these things are horrifically sinful?


I don’t think you are excommunicated but if I were you I would tell these people why you think it is wrong you always have to give it a defence for the faith no matter what in fact I even had to correct the professor once about something he said that was inaccurate about the Catholic Church but I did it gently and in writing and he actually calm down with his anti-catholicism a little bit after that. That said the only send that cannot be forgiven is the one you don’t ask for forgiveness from and I think you really should go to confession.


Thanks for replying. How would I go about speaking to and educating these girls? I don’t really know them. I know some of their names, but I don’t know any of them personally.


General principles.

Excommunication never applies if one is not aware that there is a penalty. Therefore, generally speaking, if one needs to as “Am I excommunicated”, one most likely is not.

Second. What do you think you would be excommunicated for? Excommunication is penalty for a crime. What crime did you commit?

Third. What is your relationship to the girl in question? Does she know you? Are you in a position that she is expected to take your counsel, such as a position of authority? Was it likely that she was going to take you seriously?


Like I said, I really don’t know the girl. I don’t think I have ever spoken to her. She just lives in the same building as me. But I know that anyone who encourages an abortion is also excommunicated. I fear that my silence would be a form of encouragement and that I therefore would be excommunicated.


Where does it say that any anyone who “encourages” an abortion is excommunicated? This is the law:Can. 1398 A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.
Have you committed this crime?

I read it on this EWTN link.


Still doesn’t answer the question. Have you actually committed that crime? (hint: no, you haven’t).

As for your moral obligations or culpability, I believe you are guilty of nothing, since I don’t believe you were in a position to admonish a stranger who would not likely listen to you. However, the best person to ask would be your confessor.


Ok, thank you so much for your help.


If you think this is an excommunicable offense (or any offense at all) you need to speak to your pastor for some spiritual counseling to help you understand what a sin really is.


Get some spiritual counsel. Your conscience formation is out of balance.


You overheard a conversation. These girls neither asked for your advice or your opinion. They are not your friends, you are not their counselor or mentor. There was no obligation to speak out unless the Holy Spirit moved you to do so, and He did not.


Thank all of you for your replies.

closed #14

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit