Let's talk about excommunication. Is excommunication permanent?


#1

Once a person (lay or religious) has been excommunicated is it possible to reverse the excommunication?

**Is an excommunication a formal process? **

Is there a big black book somewhere with all names of excommunicated Catholics?

Who can excommunicate who?


#2

[quote=GloriaPatri4]Once a person (lay or religious) has been excommunicated is it possible to reverse the excommunication?

Is an excommunication a formal process?

Is there a big black book somewhere with all names of excommunicated Catholics?

Who can excommunicate who?
[/quote]

Of course its possible to reverse an excommunication, depending on the cause of the excomm, it might be only reversible by the pope, but it can definitely be reversed depending on the circumstances.

There are two forms of excommunication, formal and automatic, not everyone who is automatically excomm’ed is known so there couldn’t be any such book.


#3

The whole point to excommunication is that it can be reversed.

Excommuncation is a ‘wake up call’ to a sinner, urging them to reform their lives.

Some\most excommuncations are reversed during the Sacrament of Reconcilliation, some require a public declaration of contrition, some are handled by the local Ordinary, and still others are reserved to the Pope.

But all are reservsable, and the Church hopes and prays that every excommunicaiton will eventually be reversed and the sinner return to Christ’s flock.


#4

Personally, I do not know anyone who had been excommunicates. However, as I have stated on other threads, I think there are some who should be excommunicated.

PF


#5

excommunication can be automatic depending on the act and if the person knows better. For example, procuring an abortion incurs automatic excommunication.
One can have this excommunication lifted by going to confession.


#6

For example, procuring an abortion incurs automatic excommunication.

That’s sort of true.

Not if the offender is under 18, or if they meet one of the other exceptions to the rule regarding the imposition of excommunication.


#7

[quote=Kielbasi]That’s sort of true.

Not if the offender is under 18, or if they meet one of the other exceptions to the rule regarding the imposition of excommunication.
[/quote]

Are you sure about that? I don’t see the Church drawing the same lines of culpibility as we do in society. If they do, for what purpose is it?


#8

[quote=Lazerlike42]Are you sure about that? I don’t see the Church drawing the same lines of culpibility as we do in society. If they do, for what purpose is it?
[/quote]

Quite sure.

From the Code of Canon Law

Can. 1323 No one is liable to a penalty who, when violating a law or precept:

1ƒ has not completed the sixteenth year of age;

2ƒ was, without fault, ignorant of violating the law or precept; inadvertence and error are equivalent to ignorance

3ƒ acted under physical force, or under the impetus of a chance occurrence which the person could not foresee or if foreseen could not avoid;

4ƒ acted under the compulsion of grave fear, even if only relative, or by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience, unless, however, the act is intrinsically evil or tends to be harmful to souls;

5ƒ acted, within the limits of due moderation, in lawful self-defense or defense of another against an unjust aggressor;

6ƒ lacked the use of reason, without prejudice to the provisions of canon. 1324, ß1, n. 2 and 1325;

7ƒ thought, through no personal fault, that some one of the circumstances existed which are mentioned in nn. 4 or 5.

Can. 1324 ß1 The perpetrator of a violation is not exempted from penalty, but the penalty prescribed in the law or precept must be diminished, or a penance substituted in its place, if the offence was committed by:

1ƒ one who had only an imperfect use of reason;

2ƒ one who was lacking the use of reason because of culpable drunkenness or other mental disturbance of a similar kind;

3ƒ one who acted in the heat of passion which, while serious, nevertheless did not precede or hinder all mental deliberation and consent of the will, provided that the passion itself had not been deliberately stimulated or nourished

4ƒ a minor who has completed the sixteenth year of age;


#9

[quote=Kielbasi]That’s sort of true.

Not if the offender is under 18, or if they meet one of the other exceptions to the rule regarding the imposition of excommunication.
[/quote]

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.
Of course it is **implicit **that all circumstances that are nessecary for excommunication to occur must be present, but you cannot reasonably expect a person to list them out each time talking about automatic excommunication either.


#10

“Other - please explain”

latae sententae excommunication…

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.

And, absolutely, excommunication can be ‘reversed’ - dependent on a variety of circumstances, it can be reversed by many who have sufficient power (even at the level of the Sacrament of Penance and not by judicial or proclamation only).

Ben


#11

I answered “other.” 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.


#12

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.
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=66972
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=67163

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).


#13

[quote=GloriaPatri4]Once a person (lay or religious) has been excommunicated is it possible to reverse the excommunication?
[/quote]

Yes - and even if unreversed, it ends at death, acc. to JP2

**

Is an excommunication a formal process?

**## Sometimes - it can also be automatic, which is unhelpful ##

**

Is there a big black book somewhere with all names of excommunicated Catholics?

**## I doubt it - I can’t quite imagine a “My Big Book of Catholics that aren’t any longer” :slight_smile: ##

Who can excommunicate who?

The higher up one is in the Church, the more people there are for one to excommunicate. Laity can’t, deacons can’t, priests can’t - bishops can. But even bishops can’t excommunicate the Pope. He, OTOH, can excommunicate everyone.


#14

quote=cameron_lansing John M. Cameron JCL
Diocese of Lansing
[/quote]

I was hoping that there would be a JCL or JDL who could jump in here!

Another question on the way later today - relative to this discussion.


#15

So any Catholic that has procured an abortion for themselves or someone else is automatically excommunicated?

I have seen statistics that claim that anywhere between 25-40% of the abortions performed were performed on Catholics. I don’t know how reliable these are, but it would seem that there would be a large number of men and women that have not yet sought reconciliation on this.

Peace


#16

[quote=EA_Man]So any Catholic that has procured an abortion for themselves or someone else is automatically excommunicated?

[/quote]

there are some circumstances which would be an exception, but normativly speaking, yes.
If you read up in this thread, the exceptions are listed.

I have seen statistics that claim that anywhere between 25-40% of the abortions performed were performed on Catholics. I don’t know how reliable these are, but it would seem that there would be a large number of men and women that have not yet sought reconciliation on this.

I doubt that figure is accurate, but then I rarely trust any statistic. In my experience, 9 out 10 statistics are false :smiley:


#17

[quote=EA_Man]So any Catholic that has procured an abortion for themselves or someone else is automatically excommunicated?
[/quote]

For the most part, yes. Some conditions apply. But there are few ‘easy outs’.

[quote=EA_Man]I have seen statistics that claim that anywhere between 25-40% of the abortions performed were performed on Catholics. I don’t know how reliable these are, but it would seem that there would be a large number of men and women that have not yet sought reconciliation on this.
[/quote]

The latter percentage seems rather high - from prochoice.org/about_abortion/facts/women_who.html (and it doesn’t take a genius to deduce which side of the ‘issue’ they would support):

“Women who obtain abortions represent every religious affiliation. 13% of abortion patients describe themselves as born-again or Evangelical Christians; while 22% of U.S. women are Catholic, 27% of abortion patients say they are Catholics.”

So I’m assuming that the 27% is worldwide - the source is given as “Alan Guttmacher Institute. Facts in Brief - Induced Abortion. 2003”, while the 22% is cited as being based upon “Personal communication, Archdiocese of Washington (based on statistics in the 2003 edition of The Kennedy Directory: The Official Catholic Directory).” I don’t have a 2003 Kennedy at home so can’t verify the statistics, however.

The same website states, at the top of the page, “If current rates continue, it is estimated that 35% of all women of reproductive age in America today will have had an abortion by the time they reach the age of 45.”

So… I guess you could look at these studies and deuce that Catholic women are less likely to have an abortion than is the norm and that “born-again or Evangelical Christian” women are even less likely (or less likely to reveal religious affiliation - I know nothing of the manner in which this data was collected and would be suspect of all the data cited without knowing the methodology)/

What can’t be empirically stated, though, is that “there would be a large number of men and women that have not yet sought reconciliation on this.” I know a number of Catholic women who have reconciled with God (and, thus, the Church) after varied lengths of time after having had an abortion. So as I know of a number of women that have ‘excommunicated’ themselves by the act and have been received back into the Church through the Sacrament of Penance, I do not know if there are many who have chosen not to return to the Church. I’ve read a few of those “I’m a Catholic woman who has had an abortion, have no regrets about it, and have left the Church because of the Church’s position on the ‘issue’” but I have to believe that they are a vocal minority.

I feel that we must vigorously oppose abortion, give aid to those women who struggle over an ‘unwanted’ pregnancy, and show our love for all women (and men) who participate in the process.

Ben


#18

Is excommunication permanent?

It’s up to the person who is excommunicated!


#19

The lefebvreists are the most noteable group that is Excommnicated.In 1988 Pope john Paul II Excommunicated them and all that support them.Thats why Catholics should have nothingto do with them or attend their illict masses.


closed #20

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