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See: banishment, expulsion, ostracism, rejection

EXCOMMUNICATION, eccl. law. An ecclesiastical sentence, pronounced by a spiritual judge against a Christian man, by which he is excluded from the body of the church, and disabled to bring any action, or sue any person in the common law courts. Bac. Ab. h.t.; Co. Litt. 133-4. In early times it was the most frequent and most severe method of executing ecclesiastical censure, although proper to be used, said Justinian, (Nov. 123,) only upon grave occasions. The effect of it was to remove the excommunicated "person not only from the sacred rites but from the society of men. In a certain sense it interdicted the use of fire and water, like the punishment spoken of by Caesar, (lib, 6 de Bell. Gall.). as inflicted by the Druids. Innocent IV. called it the nerve of ecclesiastical discipline. On repentance, the excommunicated person was absolved and received again to communion. These are said to be the powers of binding and loosing the keys of the kingdom of heaven. This kind of punishment seems to have been adopted from the Roman usage of interdicting the use of fire and water. Fr. Duaren, De Sacris Eccles. Ministeriis, lib. 1, cap. 3. See Ridley's View of the Civil. and Ecclesiastical Law, 245, 246, 249.

References in periodicals archive ?
1364, [ss]1 - An apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication, without prejudice to the provision of Can.
In that case it is latae sententiae, that is, automatic, following the fact.
The Vatican labels the ordination of women in the Catholic church as a grave offense and participants are excommunicated latae sententiae, or automatically.
Fr Balasuriya has deviated from the integrity of the truth of the Catholic faith and, therefore, cannot be considered a Catholic theologian; moreover, he has incurred excommunication latae sententiae (can.
Administrators of medical facilities," he wrote, "are not necessary in the way 'accomplices' must be in order to incur a latae sententiae penalty.
Canon law sets up provisions for a latae sententiae (or automatic) excommunication.
Burke warned of excommunication latae sententiae for Elsie Hainz McGrath and Rose Marie Dunn Hudson, the two scheduled to be ordained, along with their supporters, meaning that even without a formal decree, their actions put them outside the church.
Today, Canon 1398 of the 1983 revision of the Code of Canon Law reads: "A person who actually procures an abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication.