Can Receiving Eucahrist in Mortal Sin result in Excommuincation?

I am worried since I have received communion in mortal sin and I don’t want to be excommunicated.

This though dawned on me today and I am really worried.
I heard desecrating the Eucharist was a reason so I was worried.

I don’t want to be excommunicated.

So is receiving the Eucharist in mortal sin something that is worthy of excommunication.
P.S I am also a minor, I heard that if you are a minor you can’t be excommunicated.


No, you are not excommunicated.

You need to talk to your pastor, and certainly if you are aware of mortal sin you also need to go to confession.

Performing an act of external desecration on the Eucharist incurs an automatic excommunication reserved to the Holy See (provided one is subject to automatic penalties, which minors are not).

Receiving in mortal sin is not an act of external sacrilege, although it is a mortal sin so you should go to confession.

Can you please explain what is external and internal sacrilege? Why is it only external that is punishable by excommunication?
P.S I am going to go to confession

External sacrilege is a sacrilege that is discernible as such from external appearances. Simply receiving in mortal sin is not sacrilegious based on external appearances, since the external act (receiving communion) is not wrong of itself but only because of the inward state.

Canon law is overseen by humans, and as such cannot punish internal sins without external manifestation.

Excommunication is a punitive measure taken by the Church to correct something.

  1. Receiving communion in mortal sin is also grave matter and a potential additional mortal sin, you should mention this to your confessor.

  2. I have never heard that a minor cannot be excommunicated. I doubt that is true. the term “Minor” would not carry much weight historically because a “minor” would be defined differently in different places and times. However age is probably a huge factor. And I cannot imagine someone could be excommunicated under the age of reason (about 7) Joan of Arc was somewhere around 19 when she was excommunicated.
    Procuring an abortion is punishable with excommunication Latae sententiae. Which means that it is automatic. Most famous excommunications are pronounced by the Church. The Bishops have given priests to lift the excommunication of one whom has procured an abortion in the confessional. I mention all of this because I believe a 16 year old girl who had an abortion would need to confess it and would be under an excommunication until she did. (that was a long way to go to make a point about a minor being excommunicated.;))

  3. Dont worry about excommunication here. But do worry about mortal sin and compounding it by receiving in a state of mortal sin. Confession fixes all here…

You are incorrect.

That is possible. It has happened before.

Which part though? The part about minors?

Yes. See Canons 1323-1324.

Thanks: Do you know how to quote and cite?
You can do so at the toolbar at the top of the page.

4/ by a minor who has completed the age of sixteen years;


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

Interesting;), but if the OP was 17 (a minor in the US) it would apply.

But thanks for the correction.

You learn something new every day!

Just to make sure, it’s good to check the Latin:

1323.1° sextum decimum aetatis annum nondum explevit;

1324.4° a minore, qui aetatem sedecim annorum explevit;

So the 16 years applies everywhere. The translator didn’t pull a fast one on us Americans this time. :wink:

Cool, thanks! Do you know if this is just in regards to excommunication or is 17 the age of choice for other things as well. And why?

Just to be clear, when they say “complete 16 years” it’s on one’s 16th birthday in the states.

When you’re one, you’ve completed one year. That’s usually the way European countries note it.

It would be interesting to see if Canon Law uses other than 16 anywhere else to determine minorship. Or anything else, for that matter.

Thanks. I would have assumed it meant 17. But it makes sense that it does not.

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