Does anyone know of any resources stating the different kinds of excommunications, and the conditions required to recieve one?


Here are some articles.

From Catholic Answers document library.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia

Code of Canon Law

Interview with a canon lawyer.

I hope this helps


Thanks, that’s great.



Ferendae Sententiae Excommunication:

Canon 1378: The pretended celebration of the Eucharist or of sacramental Confession
Canon 1388: Violation of the seal of Confession by an interpreter

Latae Sententiae Excommunication:

Canon 1364: Apostasy, heresy or schism
Canon 1367: Violation of the Sacred Species
Canon 1370: Laying violent hands on the Pope
Canon 1378: Absolution of an accomplice
Canon 1382: Episcopal consecration without authorization from the Holy See
Canon 1388: Violation of the seal of Confession by a confessor
Canon 1398: Procuring abortion


Thanks for the information, I can’t find the definition of this, what does it mean?

  • Latae Sententiae Excommunication* means “by the very act”. Essentially self-excommunication, action by a bishop is not required.

My guess is that Ferendae Sententiae Excommunication means that a bishop must issue the excommunication. However, I may be wrong on this. I am merely drawing this conclusion based on what Latae Sententiae means. So if I am wrong, I would like someone to tell me.


Can somebody explain what this means …

** Canon 1378: The pretended celebration of the Eucharist or of sacramental Confession**

… what is meant by “pretended”? Can somebody offer an example of each?


You are correct. Ferendae Sententiae means a penalty for a canonical crime must be applied or imposed by a judge or other ecclesiastical authority capable of doing so, rather than being applied automatically by the fact that a canonical crime is committed.


I have had a look in the code of canon law and it says this:

Can. 1378 §1. A priest who acts against the prescript of can. 977 incurs a **latae sententiae **excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.
§2. The following incur a latae sententiae penalty of interdict or, if a cleric, a latae sententiae penalty of suspension:
1/ a person who attempts the liturgical action of the Eucharistic sacrifice though not promoted to the sacerdotal order;
2/ apart from the case mentioned in §1, a person who, though unable to give sacramental absolution validly, attempts to impart it or who hears sacramental confession.
§3. In the cases mentioned in §2, other penalties, not excluding excommunication, can be added according to the gravity of the delict.

Emphasis added.

Do you have a source that says that these crimes are
Ferendae Sententiae?

Thanks for your help.


My source is the printed Catholic Encyclopedia published in 1991 and edited by Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas. I understand this is the first one published post Vatican II.


My Code of Canon Law (Collins/William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1983) has a glossary in the back. :slight_smile: Here’s what it says:

ferendae sententiae: the term to describe one of two forms of penalty, namely, that which is imposed by the judgment of a court or by the decree of a Superior, when a person has been found guilty of an offence. (cf. latae sententiae below.)

latae sententiae: the term used to describe one of two forms of penalty, namely, that which is automatically incurred on committing an offence, without the intervention of a judge or Superior. (cf. ferendae sententiae above.)

So, yes, you are correct! :thumbsup:


I presume that would mean someone who is not an ordained priest or bishop impersonating a priest or bishop in performing those actions.


I got my quotes from the Code of Canon law on the vatican site. Now I am confused :).


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