Bishops and Excommunication


Can any local ordinariy have the jurisdiction to place under interdict and then excommunication members of the below groups as one did??? And if they are excommunicated, what is the best way to reach out to the members of the groups belowand aide in their return to the fullness of the Catholic Faith???

Planned Parenthood, Society of Saint Pius X, Hemlock Society, Call to Action, Call to Action Nebraska, Saint Michael the Archangel Chapel, Freemasons, Job’s Daughters, DeMolay, Eastern Star, Rainbow Girls, and Catholics for a Free Choice

Thanks and God Bless.


Yes, bishops can determine that, in their diocese, acquiring membership in such a group incurs automatic excommunication. It has been done.


I can’t cite the appropriate sections of Canon Law for you, but knowing what I know abour Bishop Bruskuwitz(sp) who has done this, you can just bet your bottom dollar he has the authority and right to act in this manner. He is what in the Army they call “By the Book.”


Canon 381 §1 In the diocese entrusted to his care, the diocesan Bishop has all the ordinary, proper and immediate power required for the exercise of his pastoral office, except in those matters which the law or a decree of the Supreme Pontiff reserves to the supreme or to some other ecclesiastical authority.

§2 Those who are at the head of the other communities of the faithful mentioned in can. 368, are equivalent in law to the diocesan Bishop unless the contrary is clear from the nature of things or from a provision of the law.

Canon 1315 §1 Whoever has legislative power can also make penal laws. A legislator can, however, by laws of his own, reinforce with a fitting penalty a divine law or an ecclesiastical law of a higher authority, observing the limits of his competence in respect of territory or persons.

§2 A law can either itself determine the penalty or leave its determination to the prudent decision of a judge.

§3 A particular law can also add other penalties to those laid down for a certain offence in a universal law; this is not to be done, however, except for the gravest necessity. If a universal law threatens an undetermined penalty or a discretionary penalty, a particular law can establish in its place a determined or an obligatory penalty.

Canon 1316 Diocesan Bishops are to take care that as far as possible any penalties which are to be imposed by law are uniform within the same city or region.

Canon 1317 Penalties are to be established only in so far as they are really necessary for the better maintenance of ecclesiastical discipline. Dismissal from the clerical state, however, cannot be laid down by particular law.

Canon 1318 A legislator is not to threaten latae sententiae penalties, except perhaps for some outstanding and malicious offences which may be either more grave by reason of scandal or such that they cannot be effectively punished by ferendae sententiae penalties. He is not, however, to constitute censures, especially excommunication, except with the greatest moderation, and only for the more grave offences.


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