Gay Marriage: British Member of Parliament Tells He has "Excommunicated" Himself by Voting for Same-Sex Weddings

Conor Burns, British lawmaker, says he feels he cannot take communion after the Bishop of Portsmouth suggested politicians who voted for same-sex marriage should be denied the sacrament.

Why doesn’t he go to confession then, and sin no more.

So…is it correct, what he is doing?
Abstaining from taking communion?

But from how I understand it, his vote definitely hasn’t “excommunicated” him, as some Catholics have told him. They are wrong about this, right?


Every time we sin we excommunicate ourselves… In order to receive forgiveness, we must honestly take steps to not commit that sin again. Apparently, this Conor Burns plans on pushing the SSM agenda despite his religion. He is an excommunicated apostate unless he conforms to Gods law.

…and as an important note -politicians are held to a higher standard since they enact particular laws. Regular voters are subjected to much more of a juggling act in regards to voting in general.

This is patently untrue. Why would you spread around such assertions?

Here is an article that addresses excommunication:

Being in such a high profile position he could probably go to the Bishop himself to be counseled and forgiven, assuming he would no longer vote in support of like measures in the future. If he does not plan to change his voting on this issue, he faces a far more serious situation.


There are formal excommunications and there are automatic excommunications. All automatic excommunications are handled through the confessional while formal ones require clerical ‘lifting’.

Anyone who maliciously murders someone is automatically excommunicated. Anyone who rapes a baby is automatically excommunicated. Anyone who has an abortion is automatically excommunicated. Anyone who is a freemason is automatically excommunicated (there are more).

As for formal excommunication, look to Martin Luther.

…to get an unlawful divorce is a kind of excommunication too. Seems like a hybrid automatic/formal excommunication.

This is the kind of thing that the synod needs to clarify. The divorce itself is a morally neutral act, and can in some cases be the best thing for one or both persons in the marriage, as well as any children. The problem occurs when one re-attempts marriage without a declaration of nullity.

At least he is honest enough to follow the through and do the right thing even regarding communion. Even if his politics is wrong, his personal integrity is intact.

Question: Is he a “practicing” homosexual or living a celibate life? I ask because if he is engaged in the lifestyle, he shouldn’t be taking communion anyway regardless of how he votes.

I suppose its more difficult actually being Catholic than living what you want Catholic to be. Now he knows the difference, but at least he isn’t challenging the issue like American politicians would.

Good question. If he knows he did something wrong, confess and do not do it again.

According to link which DAML72 posted, all of those claims are false except for one: abortion.

The link says that, according to canon law, there are nine sins which incur an automatic excommunication.

Abortion (CIC 1398)
Apostasy (CIC 1364:1)
Heresy (CIC 1364:1)
Schism (CIC 1364:1)
Violating the sacred species (CIC 1367),
Physically attacking the pope (CIC 1370:1),
Sacramentally absolving an accomplice in a sexual sin (CIC 1378:1),
Consecrating a bishop without authorization (CIC 1382)
Directly violating the seal of confession (1388:1)

I think your claim is interesting, though, and is directly relvevant to the news story. Could you cite an authoritative source for your statement “Every time we sin we excommunicate ourselves” ?

That’s not true. As a previous poster noted, the divorce itself is never an excommunication. It is the remarriage that causes one to be ineligible for communion.

TEPO - you wrote that ‘every time we sin we are excommunicated.’ I called you on it. I am not arguing against the fact that there are sins that trigger automatic excommunication.
That’s not what you wrote.

There are people who come to these boards when they are investigating the faith that could take from your statement that any venial sin whatsoever triggers excommunication. That’s wrong!

Catholic politicians are by an large venal
They vote against their faith yet want to stay within the Holy Church.
Sometimes I do wonder at their motives.

If you think about it though, when we sin mortally, we may not recieve “communion”. Therefore we are automatically “excommunicated” from the body of Christ which is the Church.

Venial sins do not excommunicate us though.

The Church of Gay Worship demands no other allegiances.

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