Automatic Excommunication

Hello Everyone,

I read through this forum often, but very rarely post. I had a question about automatic excommunication.

According to Wikipedia, the offenses that incur automatic excommunication are apostasy, heresy, schism, desecration of the Eucharist, physical force against the pope, attempted sacramental absolution of a partner in adultery, ordination of a bishop without a Papal mandate, For non-electors present in the conclave, revelation of the details of the conclave, Simoniacal provision of the Papal office, Violation of the sacramental seal of confession by a priest or bishop, and
Procurement of a completed abortion. There seems to be a little confusion on Wikipedia about whether or not this is correct. Which of these sins can be forgiven by a priest? A bishop? The Pope?

In the past, I’ve held views contrary to those of Holy Mother Church, and denied the Church’s teachings. I don’t anymore, but is that heresy? Am I excommunicated. Sorry if I sound silly. I tend to be a little scrupulous.

Thanks and God Bless,

P.S. Here is the link to Wikipedia:

I would say no for this reason.

Perhaps you disagreed with some of the teachings of the Church, but if you were honestly struggling and seeking the Truth I don’t think you would be punished. Especially because you came to accept the truth. Furthermore, any disagreements with the Church were I believe private, not publicly proclaimed as truth, hence it is an inner struggle and not the more public act of schism or heresy. Just my thoughts. I don’t think you excommunicated yourself.

First, someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but can’t anyone edit something at If so I wouldn’t trust anything much on there.

What you want to look at is the Code of Canon Law:

In paticular:

Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept:

1/ a person who has not yet completed the sixteenth year of age;

2/ a person who without negligence was ignorant that he or she violated a law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to ignorance;

The Canon concerning heresy:

Can. 1364 §1. Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 194, §1, n. 2, an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication; in addition, a cleric can be punished with the penalties mentioned in can. 1336, §1, nn. 1, 2, and 3.

Heresy is define in Canon Law here:

Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

So, I don’t think you can get excommunicated unless you know what you’re doing will get you excommunicated. Also, heresy is obstinate denial or doubt of some truth which the Catholic is required to believe.

this is matter for you to bring up in confession. Wikipedia is a forum where anyone can post anything they want, hardly and authoritative source. try the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Thanks Everyone!

I looked through the CCC, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I read Wikipedia often and usually find their information useful. Though, I will be more careful in the future.

I am only fifteen and had no intentions of excommunication.


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