Can an excommunication ever be invalid?


#1

I wonder: is it possible for an excomunication to be invalid?

For example, say that I am a die-hard Catholic who is completely obedient to the Traditions of the Catholic Church, and that I unwilling to allow into acceptance any non-Catholic ideas coming from other religions and the modern world. For some reason or another, I am excommunicated–not because I am a heretic or contradict the Catholic faith. Is it possible that this excommunication might be invalid in the eyes of God because of an error in the person(s) who declared the excommunication? Is it possible that an excommunicated person is, in the eyes of God, still in the Catholic Church, while the senior officials in the Church believe otherwise?


#2

Yes, in fact at some points during the history of the Church you had two rival Popes. At one point in history I believe during the Babylonian Captivity, two Popes excommunicated each other, refused to step down, then a third compromise candidate was elected and still the two refused to step down along with this new guy. 3 Popes. People were excommunicating all over the place. Eventually the mess got sorted out and things were back to normal. This of course was before the Conclave was as secure as now and when the powerful families such as the Borgias tried to rule through the Holy See.


#3

***Hello ***Madaglan,

Effects of Invalid or Unjust Excommunication An excommunication is said to be null when it is invalid because of some intrinsic or essential defect, e.g. when the person inflicting it has no jurisdiction, when the motive of the excommunication is manifestly incorrect and inconsistent, or when the excommunication is essentially defective in form. Excommunication is said to be unjust when, though valid, it is wrongfully applied to a person really innocent but believed to be guilty. Here, of course, it is not a question of excommunication latæ sententiæ and in foro interno, but only of one imposed or declared by judicial sentence. It is admitted by all that a null excommunication produces no effect whatever, and may be ignored without sin (cap. ii, de const., in VI). But a case of unjust excommunication brings out in a much more general way the possibility of conflict between the forum internum and the forum externum, between legal justice and the real facts. In chapter xxviii, de sent. excomm. (Lib. V, tit. xxxix), Innocent III formally admits the possibility of this conflict. Some persons, he says, may be free in the eyes of God but bound in the eyes of the Church; vice versa, some may be free in the eyes of the Church but bound in the eyes of God: for God’s judgment is based on the very truth itself, whereas that of the Church is based on arguments and presumptions which are sometimes erroneous. He concludes that the chain by which the sinner is bound in the sight of God is loosed by remission of the fault committed, whereas that which binds him in the sight of the Church is severed only by removal of the sentence. Consequently, a person unjustly excommunicated is in the same state as the justly excommunicated sinner who has repented and recovered the grace of God; he has not forfeited internal communion with the Church, and God can bestow upon him all necessary spiritual help. However, while seeking to prove his innocence, the censured person is meanwhile bound to obey legitimate authority and to behave as one under the ban of excommunication, until he is rehabilitated or absolved. Such a case seems practically impossible nowadays.

Quoted from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia
newadvent.org/cathen/05678a.htm

Peace in Christ,

Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#4

[quote=JackmanUSC]Yes, in fact at some points during the history of the Church you had two rival Popes. At one point in history I believe during the Babylonian Captivity, two Popes excommunicated each other, refused to step down, then a third compromise candidate was elected and still the two refused to step down along with this new guy. 3 Popes. People were excommunicating all over the place. Eventually the mess got sorted out and things were back to normal. This of course was before the Conclave was as secure as now and when the powerful families such as the Borgias tried to rule through the Holy See.
[/quote]

Although there was a mess at one point, there was always only ONE validly elected Pope as traced in the charts of the Popes we see today. Thanks and God Bless.


#5

Out of curiosity, why were you excommunicated?


#6

to use an americanism, um… i thought exommunication simply means that one cannot receive communion. like several american politicans have been denied communion. i think that that is excommunication.

if that is the case, then all you have to do is confess, repent, amend your life. that would cancel out excommunication.

this church of ours is so beautiful.

further thought… mortal sin excommunicates ones self from God.

but that is why there is confession.


#7

[quote=jjwilkman]to use an americanism, um… i thought exommunication simply means that one cannot receive communion. like several american politicans have been denied communion. i think that that is excommunication.

if that is the case, then all you have to do is confess, repent, amend your life. that would cancel out excommunication.

this church of ours is so beautiful.

further thought… mortal sin excommunicates ones self from God.

but that is why there is confession.
[/quote]

Right. I don’t think the one imposing the excommunication pretends to know the mind of God, it is a disciplinary tool of the Church. I don’t know if it could be invalid considering the “bind on earth, bind in Heaven” authority given to Church leaders.

Scott


#8

[quote=Scott Waddell]Right. I don’t think the one imposing the excommunication pretends to know the mind of God, it is a disciplinary tool of the Church. I don’t know if it could be invalid considering the “bind on earth, bind in Heaven” authority given to Church leaders.

Scott
[/quote]

neat!!

i asked my pastor, if it is possible to anull anullment he said simply renewal of the vows. says it all


#9

In the olden days (read mideavil times) when one was excommunicated by the book, bell, and candle ceremony (see the movie Beckett for an example), it was generally viewed by almost everyone as a judgement on the soul. In fact, I do believe the old text of the B/B/C ritual included the words “damned” and “given unto Satan”.

In the modern era, and really since about the 1560’s, excommunication has referred to the general exclusion, for whatever reason, from Holy Communion. While excommunication is usually a sign that the individual is not in a state of grace in the eyes of the Church, it can, of course, be incorrect.

As an example, if I am a woman (i’m not, but go with me here), and i procure an abortion, then I am excommunicated ipso facto (by virtue of the act). I must have that excommunication lifted before approaching the Sacraments. In the eyes of the Church, I have committed the sin of murder, and must repent.

Now, if I am a woman and everyone in the parish goes around telling the pastor that I had an abortion (which, in this instance, I did not) and the pastor of the parish denies me communion (which usually comes after a conversation - but not in every instance!), then the excommunication is based on heresay and speculation, and would be invalid. I could appeal to the bishop and have it overturned.

Again, excommunication is NOT a judgement, it is a disciplinary matter. While it may be a good indicator of an individual’s soul, it is not a judge of it.

Rob+


#10

[quote=FrRobSST]In the olden days (read mideavil times) when one was excommunicated by the book, bell, and candle ceremony (see the movie Beckett for an example), it was generally viewed by almost everyone as a judgement on the soul. In fact, I do believe the old text of the B/B/C ritual included the words “damned” and “given unto Satan”.

In the modern era, and really since about the 1560’s, excommunication has referred to the general exclusion, for whatever reason, from Holy Communion. While excommunication is usually a sign that the individual is not in a state of grace in the eyes of the Church, it can, of course, be incorrect.
Rob+
[/quote]

Hello Rob,

There are different levels of Excommunication. It is Anathema that is the form of Excommunication where Church leaders invoke the Christ given power have Him bind sins in heaven. When a person stands before Jesus on judgement day and He refuses to forgive that person of a sin and holds that person bound to a sin, due to his sworn oath to St. Peter, where else can that person go but hell. Jesus proclaiming sins bound on judgement day is the biblical sword of His mouth, the keys to the kingdom, with which He slays the wicked to eternal death.

Can you give a source and quote any Church dogma where the Church has disengaged Anathema and its spiritually deadly consequences?

Please visit Throwing Stones

Anathema In passing this sentence, the pontiff is vested in amice, stole, and a violet cope, wearing his mitre, and assisted by twelve priests clad in their surplices and holding lighted candles. He takes his seat in front of the altar or in some other suitable place, amid pronounces the formula of anathema which ends with these words: "Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of the Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive N-- himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord**, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his **angels

"He who dares to despise our decision, let him be stricken with anathema maranatha, i.e. may he be damned at the coming of the Lord, may he have his place with Judas Iscariot, he and his companions.

Quoted from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01455e.htm

**NAB MAT 16:13 **Jesus replied, "Blest are you, Simon son of John!..

I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

**NAB REV 1:16 **A sharp, two-edged sword came out of his mouth,…

I hold the keys of death and the nether world."

Peace in Christ,

Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#11

[quote=Steven Merten]Hello Rob,

There are different levels of Excommunication. It is Anathema that is the form of Excommunication where Church leaders invoke the Christ given power have Him bind sins in heaven. When a person stands before Jesus on judgement day and He refuses to forgive that person of a sin and holds that person bound to a sin, due to his sworn oath to St. Peter, where else can that person go but hell. Jesus proclaiming sins bound on judgement day is the biblical sword of His mouth, the keys to the kingdom, with which He slays the wicked to eternal death.

Can you give a source and quote any Church dogma where the Church has disengaged Anathema and its spiritually deadly consequences?

Anathema In passing this sentence, the pontiff is vested in amice, stole, and a violet cope, wearing his mitre, and assisted by twelve priests clad in their surplices and holding lighted candles. He takes his seat in front of the altar or in some other suitable place, amid pronounces the formula of anathema which ends with these words: "Wherefore in the name of God the All-powerful, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, of the Blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and of all the saints, in virtue of the power which has been given us of binding and loosing in Heaven and on earth, we deprive N-- himself and all his accomplices and all his abettors of the Communion of the Body and Blood of Our Lord**, we separate him from the society of all Christians, we exclude him from the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church in Heaven and on earth, we declare him excommunicated and anathematized and we judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his **angels

[/quote]

You left out the part about breaking the fetters of the demon and making satisfaction to the Church. All one has to do is repent. An athema was basically just an exclusion with a more formal ceremony. After the ceremony a letter was sent to the parish or diocese saying the person couldn’t receive communion. It wasn’t permanent. Repentence was always an option.

As for false excommunication, isn’t that what happened to St. Joan of Arc?


#12

**The Church does not excommunicate anyone any more…

Thank God I am not Pope!!! I would have excommunicated Teddy Kennedy decades ago.
Christopher Dodd and many many others.
I would have had a class-action excommunication with a party after. LOL**


#13

[quote=Piusx]The Church does not excommunicate anyone any more…

Thank God I am not Pope!!! I would have excommunicated Teddy Kennedy decades ago.
Christopher Dodd and many many others.
I would have had a class-action excommunication with a party after. LOL
[/quote]

Oh yes she does. Check canon law.


#14

[quote=Genesis315]You left out the part about breaking the fetters of the demon and making satisfaction to the Church. All one has to do is repent. An athema was basically just an exclusion with a more formal ceremony. After the ceremony a letter was sent to the parish or diocese saying the person couldn’t receive communion. It wasn’t permanent. Repentence was always an option.

As for false excommunication, isn’t that what happened to St. Joan of Arc?
[/indent]
[/quote]

Hello Genesis,

I think it is trivializing to refer to using the Christ given Keys to the Kingdom to cast one out of the bosom of the Church for the damnation of their soul as “basically just an exclusion with a more formal ceremony”. Please visit Throwing Stones

Jesus gave the Church the power to bind and the power to loost. Also many times, not always, the Church will put clauses in anathema so that if the person cannot get to the Church to have the anathema loost, they can repent on their own.

I was more interested in Rob’s comment that the Church had elliminated anathema in the 1500’s. I was interested to see if he had sources on his statement.

AnathemaStill the anathema maranatha is a censure from which the criminal may be absolved; although he is delivered to Satan and his angels, the Church, in virtue of the Power of the Keys, can receive him once more into the communion of the faithful. More than that, it is with this purpose in view that she takes such rigorous measures against him, in order that by the mortification of his body his soul may be saved on the last day. The Church, animated by the spirit of God, does not wish the death of the sinner, but rather that he be converted and live. This explains why the most severe and terrifying formulas of excommunication, containing all the rigours of the Maranatha have, as a rule, clauses like this: Unless he becomes repentant, or gives satisfaction, or is corrected.

Quoted from New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia newadvent.org/cathen/01455e.htm

Peace in Christ,

Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#15

[quote=Genesis315]Oh yes she does. Check canon law.
[/quote]

** What I meant was…Formal Public Official Excommunication.

If you or I abort a baby or what ever cannon law states, we are informally excommunicated I assume, but I meant a Public one.

It is rare that the Church announces this publicly.
At least I have not heard of very many over the years.
There have been renegage priest and so on, but its not like its done every day like Nixon’s enemys list. Valls does not call a press conference and states that Hillary Clinton for example has been excommunicated catholic or not.

That was what I meant.**


#16

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