excommunicated? What if they have not yet become Catholic? I am getting a lot of questions from friends and family, so I am trying to get the answers so I don’t look silly. Everyone asks me things as if I am supposed to know since I am making this life changing decision. I just say I don’t know right now. HELP!!!
May I suggest you look this up in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, if you don’t have one and can’t afford to buy one at this time I’m sure your parish priest could loan you a copy. BTW, you can pick one up for about $10, the one availible for this price is refered to as the pocket sized version, and I have found them in many bookstores.
I suggest this as it seems you are being asked many complex questions and it is the best resource for answers for all lay members of the church. It is also the best resource of the true teachings of the Catholic faith.
I can answer one part of your question, if you are not a member of the Catholic Church you cannot be excommunicated, the church has no authority over non-catholics. I hope that is helpful.
I guess all excommunicable offences are mortal sins. if one isn’t conscious of that, then it’s not a mortal sin and will not be excommunicated.
From the Code of Canon Law:
Can. 1323 The following are not subject to a penalty when they have violated a law or precept: 1/ a person who has not yet completed the sixteenth year of age;
**2/ a person who without negligence was ignorant that he or she violated a law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to ignorance;** 3/ a person who acted due to physical force or a chance occurrence which the person could not foresee or, if foreseen, avoid;
4/ a person who acted coerced by grave fear, even if only relatively grave, or due to necessity or grave inconvenience unless the act is intrinsically evil or tends to the harm of souls;
5/ a person who acted with due moderation against an unjust aggressor for the sake of legitimate self defense or defense of another;
6/ a person who lacked the use of reason, without prejudice to the prescripts of cann. [**⇒**]("http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P4W.HTM#126.96.36.199.0.0.1324") 1324, §1, n. 2 and [**⇒**]("http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_P4W.HTM#188.8.131.52.0.0.1325") 1325; 7/ a person who without negligence thought that one of the circumstances mentioned in nn. 4 or 5 was present.
In other words: Ignorance of the law IS an excuse, provided it was without negligence.
[quote=juliegh23]excommunicated? What if they have not yet become Catholic? I am getting a lot of questions from friends and family, so I am trying to get the answers so I don’t look silly. Everyone asks me things as if I am supposed to know since I am making this life changing decision. I just say I don’t know right now. HELP!!!
Excommunication is a legal process of Canon Law, even automatic excommunication. One priciple of Canon Law is that you cannot be excommunicated for something that you did not know was wrong or did not understand that it carried the punishment of excommunication.
One of the best places to understand the purpose of excommunication is in the Rule of St. Benedict.
I know I am making a bad joke.
Do they have a book.
How do get excommunicated or defroked for dummies?