One of the most fundamental purposes of the law of the Church is to regulate relationships in the Church so that charity and justice and the conditions for living the gospel as faithful disciples are all promoted and protected.
There has been very recent discussion on excommunication, its definition, why and under what conditions it is declared or imposed. Some unanswered or incorrectly answered questions raised here were discussed there.
Excommunication, apart from those cases in which it is automatically incurred (latae sententiae), requires either an administrative or judicial process to impose (ferendae sententiae) it. Some latae sententiae penalties, nevertheless, must be confirmed in a sense by a decree of competent authority.* However, excommunication is only one of three medicinal penalties called censures.
This is because I have known people who are in an irregular marriage, meaning that they cannot receive communion. Does this constitute excommunication or is there another term for this? If automatic excommunication entails any state of being that excludes one from communion, then anyone in a state of mortal sin is technically excommunicated. But somehow I think that excommunication means more than this.
Canon 915 is understood as the basis why those in irregular marriages are not to receive excommunication. Irregular marriages are not a basis for excommunication. The state of mortal sin is different from, and does not impose excommunication.
As to this question
Not if the offender is under 18, or if they meet one of the other exceptions to the rule regarding the imposition of excommunication.
Kielbasi, you are splitting hairs here. Let me first clarify that the canon law you quote in your subsequent post says ‘16’, not 18, and simply because there is a circumstantial exception to a norm, does not change the norm - which is that procuring an abortion incurrs automatic excommunication.
There is a lot of hair splitting by canon lawyers and Church authorities because penalties restrict rights persons otherwise enjoy. Penal laws and laws that restrict rights are strictly interpreted, that is to say, very narrowly read (c 18).
Canon 97 §1 defines 18 completed years as the age of majority. Below this age, a person is a minor.
In canon 1323, one who has not completed 16 years, is not subject to the penalty. That person is exempt. Canon 1324 §3 provides that “In the circumstances mentioned in §1, the accused is not bound by a latae sententiae penalty.” One of those is an age below 16 completed years. Hence, if one has completed 16 years of age but not completed 18 years of age, the person is not bound by the penalty. (This implies nuanced conceptual distinctions between penalty and effect of penalty that are not best discussed in an online forum, but a graduate class.)
Those temperations of penalty in canon 1324 also include §1, 9º, " by a person who without negligence did not know that a penalty was attached to a law or precept." This may be the case even apart from age as a canonical issue, since a young person *may * be ignorant without negligence that the penalty is attached to this particular action.
The other exemptions (c 1323) and mitigations (c 1324) are to help temper justice with mercy, and as it were, the penalty to fit not only the objective nature of the delict, but also the conditions under which it occured, and with a view toward the violator. The supreme law of the Church as canon law expresses it, is the salvation of souls (c 1752). Since excommunication is a medicinal penalty, intended to provoke the reform of the offender, it has to temper justice with mercy.
Internal and self-inflicted sentence of excommunication by the very fact of the act itself and not by proclamation - such as in the case of one procuring, or helping to procure, an abortion. Many examples are found in Canon Law.
See the linked discussion and the asterisk above.
An exclesiastical crime or offense is called a delict. A delict is the external violation of a law or precept to which a penalty is attached for its violation and which is gravely imputable either by reason of malice or culpable (blameworthy) negligence. Grave imputability requires a free human act in which one choses to violate the law or precept, and is capable of doing so. Unless these conditions are met, a penalty cannot ensue.
In part, canon 1321 §1. No one is punished unless the external violation of a law or a precept committed by the person, is gravely imputable by reason of malice (ex dolo) or regligence (ex culpa).