Has My Relative Been Excommunicated?


#1

I have a family relative who had grown up in the Church, is rather educated on what the Church teaches (or at least seems so), and has received many of the sacraments of the Church throughout his or her life, including communion, first reconciliation, baptism, confirmation (I think), marriage, etc...

However, this relative of mine no longer accepts the church's teaching on papal infallibility, does not believe the pope has been given Divine authority over the whole of the Church (although my family member does not have a problem with papal authority, only that it's Divinely mandated), has practiced and promoted contraception for himself/herself and for his/her children despite knowing that the Church clearly states it is a sin, and he/she does not believe going to a priest is necessary for the forgiveness of mortal sins. I am sure the list is much longer than that, but I think you get my point.

Now, assuming ignorance is not an issue (I know we can't know this for sure), has my relative been excommunicated according to canon law and the Church councils? If so, how can he/she come back to the Church?

Thank you for your time...as always!


#2

Talking to a priest as soon as possible would be the first big step. Learning the true Catholic faith properly, repenting of past sins and a good Confession. We cannot make up for ourselves what we want the Church to be. There are already 40,000 other denominations that have done that in the last 500 or so years.
and look at the confusion that has caused. Prayers and God Bless, Memaw


#3

Only the Pope can excommunicate people so no he is not excommunicated. All he has to do is go to confession and confess his sins with a truely contrite heart. I would be more worried about the state of his soul. It sounds like Satan might be getting to him


#4

Unless he/she directly participated or aided and abaited abortion those flaws you mentioned are “only” mortal sins. There was another thread yesterday that listed the requirements that are necessary for an excomunication latae sententia.
As the other poster noted talking to a good priest and making a good confession provided he/she has re-evaluated his/her positions and is feeling sorry for taking them.


#5

Actually there are 7 sins that convey automatic excomunication. It is called “latae sententiae excommunication”.
Abortion is one of them.


#6

[quote="JerryZ, post:5, topic:327881"]
Actually there are 7 sins that convey automatic excomunication. It is called "latae sententiae excommunication".
Abortion is one of them.

[/quote]

This is very true. However, it is also important to stress that Excommunication of this manner does not need to be permanent.


#7

Hi Jerry,

According to the post yesterday, continuous disbelief in an essential Catholic teaching does qualify for latae sententiae excommunication…so what I am trying to gather is, how is it that those things I mentioned in the OP do not qualify as continuous disbelief? Can you restate what the 7 sins are that convey automatic excommunication?


#8

One of the posts from the thread started yesterday entitled, “How Does Automatic Excommunication Work?” states this:

Given that information, I don’t understand how my family member could not be considered in heresy and thus excommunicated?


#9

Even if your family member is excommunicated, he or she (after having repented of the canonical crime and sin of heresy) can approach her pastor and ask about having the excommunication lifted. It is not reserved to the Apostolic See, so it can be lifted by her bishop, and bishops generally delegate that authority at least to pastors if not to all priests. The pastor of the parish would know what to do.


#10

We can excommunicate ourselves sometimes, depending on the sin.God Bless. Memaw


#11

So are you saying the excommunication can only be lifted by a bishop or authorized agent of the bishop? Because based on what qualifies for excommunication, half the Catholic Church would need a bishop or priest to lift excommunications and I don’t ever hear about that happening…This whole thing should really be a lot more clear. I certainly am not blaming anyone here…The Church has done a terrible job here.


#12

[quote="jinc1019, post:11, topic:327881"]
So are you saying the excommunication can only be lifted by a bishop or authorized agent of the bishop? Because based on what qualifies for excommunication, half the Catholic Church would need a bishop or priest to lift excommunications and I don't ever hear about that happening....This whole thing should really be a lot more clear. I certainly am not blaming anyone here...The Church has done a terrible job here.

[/quote]

It's usually done in the context of a sacramental confession. It used to be explicitly part of the formula of absolution.


#13

Correct! :thumbsup:


#14

=jinc1019;10802652]I have a family relative who had grown up in the Church, is rather educated on what the Church teaches (or at least seems so), and has received many of the sacraments of the Church throughout his or her life, including communion, first reconciliation, baptism, confirmation (I think), marriage, etc…

However, this relative of mine no longer accepts the church’s teaching on papal infallibility, does not believe the pope has been given Divine authority over the whole of the Church (although my family member does not have a problem with papal authority, only that it’s Divinely mandated), has practiced and promoted contraception for himself/herself and for his/her children despite knowing that the Church clearly states it is a sin, and he/she does not believe going to a priest is necessary for the forgiveness of mortal sins. I am sure the list is much longer than that, but I think you get my point.

Now, assuming ignorance is not an issue (I know we can’t know this for sure), has my relative been excommunicated according to canon law and the Church councils? If so, how can he/she come back to the Church?

Thank you for your time…as always!

I’m NOT a Canon lawyer; still I think NOT.

Is there soul in danger: absolutely!

IF however they have supported or assisted in an abortion; then they would be.:o


#15

It is simple: go to confession, confession your sins, follow your pastor’s instructions.


#16

I appreciate the time and all of the answers…However, given what I posted above, I don’t see how this can be true. Can someone please explain why that is wrong?


#17

See this post: forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=313534&postcount=2


#18

Thank you for this source…I have found an additional source which not only corroborates your point but reaffirms what some others have said earlier. ewtn.com/expert/answers/heresy_schism_apostasy.htm

According to these two sources, my family member has been excommunicated, contrary to what many here have said…and it should also be pointed out that many Catholics have also been excommunicated and don’t even realize it. The Church should really do a better job of explaining how this works…It shouldn’t be anywhere near as confusing as it is.

I do appreciate everyone’s help though; you all have helped a great deal.

Justin


#19

For most people, excommunication has no practical effect. Everything for which you can be excommunicated is a mortal sin as well, so you can’t receive communion worthily whether you’re excommunicated or not. And there aren’t many heretics or apostates seeking Confirmation or a Church wedding.


#20

Actually, I disagree with you completely. I think the overwhelming majority who are “heretics” are not aware they are heretics and are receiving communion despite being excommunicated. Further, I think MANY, MANY, MANY people are trying to get married in the Church who don’t believe in many central Catholic teachings. I know a lot of people who fall into that category.

And, on top of all of this, I think you are wrong about your “mortal sin” comment. Many people who don’t believe in let’s say papal infallibility or the Church’s position on any number of things aren’t actually engaging in any sin at all but still hold “obstinate” beliefs about them, thus making them heretics. Just because someone thinks abortion is ok does not mean that person is getting abortions or helping others get abortions, for instance.


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