Why Doesn't the Church ExCommunicate People Anymore?


When is the last time you heard of anyone being excommunicated?

Having an abortion or helping promote abortion is supposed to be an excommunicate-able offense, yet no one is ever ex-communicated…


There are…Archbishop Burke has. Probably more of them have, I can just recall him doing it.


Here is one threatening one



There were three women excommunicated not too long ago for being ordained as priests, if I remember correctly.


I thought one was excommunicated by the very act of commiting an abortion, a bishop etc does not need ot proclaim it.

that is what latae sententiae excommunication means.



They’re already excommunicated latae sententiae


Here’s one I remember from a few years back:

PITTSBURGH – According to an official Notification published in the May 7, 2004 Pittsburgh Catholic, Father C. William Hausen “has incurred an automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church.” Father Hausen incurred excommunication “for celebrating liturgical and sacramental rites at his newly-formed Christ Hope Ecumenical Catholic Church, Sewickley, Pennsylvania, having refused all offers of reconciliation extended by the Diocesan Bishop.”

More here:



The real power of excommunication is not with those who administer the sanction, but with those who receive it. After all, it is what one does with their excommunication that matters.

There was a time when excommunication really meant something, you were an outcast of society, your ability to even meet your basic needs was in jeopardy. Today it is just a censure. A person can shrug their shoulders, say “up yours” and get on with their life.

It still happens, it just doesn’t have the societal ramifications of the past.



Thank you so much for all the helpful informaiton.

I also knew that the excommunication was automatic… but wondered why people nowadays are not, as Martin Luther was, served with an official… i think it is called Bull of Excommunication…

I think that if more bishops did this, it would send a powerful message to those inside AND outside the Church… one message would be, of course, that the Church does not change on doctrine/dogma no matter how “modern” we get… (etc.) and i think maybe it would get people to wondering whether the Church really is speaking for God…

I mean, how can the Church NOT be speaking for God when She is against divorce-remarriage, homosexuality, unjust wars and the most heinous war of all, the war on the unborn??

People who do not see God working in the Church have deliberately blinded themselves… probably because they want to do whatever they want and tell themselves that God approves…


Ain’t that the truth!


Last week.

Abortion incurs automatic excommunication. So, I’m unsure where you get the idea that “no one” is “ever” excommunicated for this offense. A person is automatically excommunicated for this act provided they meet the criteria set forth in canon law.


Because an automatic excommunication is automatic.

The type of excommunication Luther experienced was a sentence pronounced after a Church investigation and trial.

The Church does officially document and publish excommunications received after going through the Church’s judicial process. I’m not sure where you got the idea that they do not.


That Martin Luther? He wasn’t so bad, says Pope

According to Vatican insiders the Pope will argue that Luther, who was excommunicated and condemned for heresy, was not a heretic.



The Times in the UK is not a reliable source of information regarding Church doctrine. This article is **grossly **inaccurate and misleading.

This has already been discussed here at CAF.


Excommunication comes in two flavors: latae sententiae and ferendae sententiae. The former is automatic; the latter is declared and imposed.


To answer the question; excommunication has not proved to be very effective.


It is the truth (that the societal ramifications of an official excommunication are not recognized) because the Church is not PC…

Worldly people generally think the Church is just a bunch of sexually-repressed old giezers making laws that interfere with a person’s enjoyment of life.

… which it is, but that’s beside the point…

Just Kidding!!! :smiley:


We’ve certainly come a long way from being burned at the stake for heresy, haven’t we? :slight_smile:


Today, May 30th 2008



Here’s another one:


Let’s all hope these souls repent of their schism, because a member cut off from the Body, withers and dies.


Well, the Church could always go back to the good old days. After all, burning heretics is not against the will of the Holy Spirit.

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