Excommunication - what does it mean?

When someone is excommunicated, what does it mean for them, physically, here, now on earth, and also after death.
Also, how is it restored?

I gather that they can no longer received Holy Communion, but does it go farther than that?
Can they not even attend Mass?
Does it mean that they no longer belong to the Catholic Faith, is their confirmation reversed?

How does it affect their souls? Are they automatically condemned to hell?

How can they be restored? Do they need simply to go to communion and show they have changed their ways, or is it RCIA and confiormation again?


This link will take you to the Catholic Encyclopedia which has everything about excommunication.

Here is a good article on excommunication in the old Catholic encyclopedia.

I will begin by saying that NOTHING can undo a Confirmation or a Baptism. Both leave indelible marks on the soul.
Excommunication is an ecclesiastical penalty that is applied to a person or persons for various public sins. It prohibits a person from taking part in the Sacraments, except for Confession. The confession that lifts the excommunication, however, may be required to be made to a bishop, or even to the pope. It is not itself a condemnation to hell, as only we may condemn ourselves, but it is usually handed down for public, grave sins, which may or may not be mortal, depending on the person’s disposition.

Thanks for the link adrift and 1ke.

I’ll attempt to work through the Nedavent article.

Honestly I really dislike their articles, it’s made to be too intellectual. They site too many instances and refer to too many other things, and their sentences are too long to effectively communicaet their ideas accross.

It reads more like a PHD thesis than an article that’s supposed to enlighten a lay person.

I’ll attempt to read it though, thanks.

Well, it was written before 1912. They used a different writing style back then. For quick overviews in a modern tone Wikipedia is usually better (and surprisingly reliable).

Wikipedia is not reliable, in my opinion. I’ve seen too many errors there.

New Advent is out dated in terms of the present law of the Church, and frankly, I’d only look at Wikipedia to keep track of the plot lines in Doctor Who or Heroes. I am less than impressed with many internet sites that attempt to present the topic.

An entire book of the code of canon law is required to treat sanctions in the Church. The notions are complex, and this can be a perplexing topic for those who have not had the opportunity to study it formally. It is a perplexing topic for those who have had the opportunity to study it.

Rather than respond here, I recommend that you view
Ed Peters does a good job of giving a solid overview.

Keep in mind that the purpose of penalty in the Church is to basically bring an offender back to his or her senses and to warn others about the gravity of certain actions so that they do not commit them. The Church’s mission is that of our Lord, who came to save.

Excommunication just means being kicked out of the Church.You should talk to a priest if you have concerns about it. I think you would have to be horrible to be excommunicated.

Excommunication just means being kicked out of the Church.

This is apparently a lingering misapprehension held among some Catholics and non Catholics that surfaces from time to time even to this day. However, it is entirely incorrect in regard to the Catholic Church.

Baptism creates the basis of a person’s incorporation into the Church, and it possesses an indelible character. Since that permanent mark cannot be erased, the person continues to be Catholic despite the condition of his or her impaired communion with the Church. However, it would indeed be a horrible condition to be in. Fortunately when an excommunicated person wants to reform his or her condition, the Church has both the means and the burning desire to remove this penalty and restore the offender to communion with the Church.

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