If one does something they think they can get excommunicated for, but in fact can not, would they be excommunicated? For example, say I lied to someone thinking I could be excommunicated. Since I acted against my conscience, would I be excommunicated? I assume one has to know for a fact that they can do something to be excommunicated, but my all of my assumptions have been completely opposite so far. Let’s see if I can go 0-5, eh?

No, absolutely not.

If an act is moral, but you mistakenly think it is immoral, and you freely choose to do that act, then you have sinned.

But the same principle does not apply to Canon law. Anything in the law that imposes a penalty is interpreted and applied narrowly (strictly, per Can. 18). You can’t be excommunicated for an act for which the Church has not chosen to issue a penalty of excommunication.

Ah, I see. So if I thought I would be excommunicated for committing a certain act and proceeded to do so it would be a sin, but not excommunication? Sorry, I’m just trying to wrap this around my head.

Yes, that’s correct. It would be a sin, but you are not excommunicated.

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