Why is homocide not an excommunicatable offense?

There are some things that we can do as Catholics that are so egregious they render us cut off from the life of the Church–excommunicated. These are the so-called “latae sentenciae” excommunications. There is a great link on it here:


Murder is not of them, but assaulting the pope is. So is abortion (good), but why NOT murder as well?

Murder is usually a Crime of Passion.
So, not much fore-thought is given.

But even if it is, all Sins can be forgiven.
Murder someone, go to Confession, that Sin is gone.
The same for Rape, maiming, and other human-to-human crimes.

If the Church has the Option to excommunicate a practicing Catholic, that is NOT a Requirement.
So, a woman could have 7 Abortions, and still NOT be excommunicated.
And, she can confess her Sin, and receive Absolution (at least from some Priests).

The same goes for Priests who disobey the Pope’s rules.
A few of them are Kicked-out, but the rest remain in their Post.
Mercy is a wonderful attribute to have.

And, beyond that, it takes a lot of time to prepare the Record for an excommunication, so that is one reason fewer people (than deserve it) get Kicked-out.

This is not correct. Anyone responsible for procuring an abortion is automatically excommunicated. Formal excommunication is different. But automatic excommunication applies immediately for abortion, as well as for other spiritual dangerous and scandalous actions (attempted ordination of women as priests, for example).

The Church is a hospital of sinners, not a museum of saints. If we kick out the people who need God the most, then the world will become a worse place.

Excommunication isn’t “kicking people out of the Church”… it’s meant to be a remedy, not a punishment. Excommunication is meant to be a formal way of letting a person know that, through their actions, they have caused themselves to be outside of the communion of the Church, and therefore, is a call to that person to repent and reform and return to the Church.

I think you’re thinking of ferendae sentatiae excommunication, which is explicitly defined as one that requires the Church to formally declare it in writing to the person. Abortion, however, falls into the class of latae sentatiae excommunications, which take place automatically upon the the completion of the action.

Because sometimes homicide is legal and not a sin. For example, a masked man breaks into your home with a knife and you kill him. That is homicide. A soldier in war kills others in battle. That is homicide.

I’m not sure what the answer is. In my book abortion is equivalent to murder. But there must surely be a reason. Comparing the two actions, there are some unique circumstances to abortion worth considering:

  • The unborn baby is the most vulnerable person, completely unable to defend itself.
  • It is the duty of the parent to protect and nurture the unborn child, abortion is the antithesis of this.
  • The unborn child has not, and is incapable of, personal sin.

Whether or not any of these things has any bearing on the issue or not, I don’t know, but they’re worth considering, I think.

I think this is a good point. The line between homicide and murder differs from country to country and even sometimes between parts of a country. Church law on things like excommunication have to keep the whole world in mind.

The other point, which is in the document that created the excommunication penalty for abortion is that there are parts of the world, even for Catholics, where abortion is not recognized as a purely evil act. The declaration was, in part, to put people on notice of the graveness of the act. You don’t find the same disregard when it comes to murder; everyone understands it’s wrong and why.

like corki said, i think it is because people need to know how grave something like abortion is, others are kinda just to be true, for example abortion has been shown as a good solution, therefore it must be shown it is not, desobedience of the Pope and apostasy are like a “then, what are you doing here?” but murder is something you can get years in prison,and everyone knows how grave it is, unless you are insane.

The Church could make every serious offense or crime an excommunicable offense. But it doesn’t. Why? Because these offenses are the ones that the Church deems it necessary to point out the evilness/wrongness of the action.

Are there any politicians running on a pro-homocide platform? Are there any legislators moving to decriminalize homicide? Are there any groups out there attempting to explain the moral good of homicide? Are there any Presbyterians for Homicide groups popping up? Are our public schools teaching tha homicide is just another choice, a personal freedom that should be limited or legislated?


There is no moral confusion related to homicide. Therefore, there is no need for the Church to codify the seriousness and repulsiveness of this action in her code of law to impress upon the faithful that what they do is wrong.

There are politicians running and legislators legislating a pro-abortion position. There are churches complicit with abortion, joining groups like the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Schools teach our kids that abortion is just one among many perfectly acceptable choices a girl can make in her life for serious reasons or NO reason.

There is a LOT of moral confusion as a result. The Church chooses what it puts forward in the law as exccommunicagle-- at the time the 1983 code was written we were 10 years past Roe v Wade and in many countries abortion was still illegal but RvW broke the dam and the dominoes started to fall elsewhere. Pope JPII saw this as serious enough to put it in the code.

Maybe one day, when life is a right for all humans again, we will no longer need to convict women’s concsciences any way we can, including formal sanctions within the Church.

You are right on point :thumbsup:

Killing a human being who has the ability to defend themselves or be saved is not excommunicatable.

However, participating in the holocaust of innocent human beings who cannot defend themselves and are at the mercy of murderous mothers is. This grievous, sinful, and monstrous crime is called abortion.

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