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catholic question---excommunication

I have wondered this for a whole now....How do people know when someone else has been excommunicated from the Catholic church? Is it something talked about in the church or does the person who was excommunicated just tell people, or what?

Thanks for answering :)

Answer Question

Asked by soccerchik8287 at 7:06 PM on Mar. 9, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 17 (4,029 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • You would notice that they were not taking the sacraments.

    Answer by ColleenF30 at 7:27 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • Not all who don't take the Sacraments are excommunicated. The only way someone would know is if the person who was, told everyone.


    Answer by oldermomof5 at 7:57 PM on Mar. 9, 2009

  • Sometimes the only person who knows they're excommunicated is the person who commits the act.  If someone confesses this sin during Confession the priest cannot reveal it to anyone (or the priest would be automatically excommunicated). The priest would have to direct the person to the bishop or other church authority that could lift the excommunication.  So the only way this would be known is if the sinner told other people.

    If the offense was public, then the excommunication may be publically announced. Like if a bishop publically goes against a church teaching like ordaining a woman as a priest then he would be publically excommunicated. The article "Strong Medicine: Canon Law and Excommunication" discusses it more if you're interested.


    Answer by eringobrough at 12:23 AM on Mar. 10, 2009

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