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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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Murphy questioned the lack of minority representation in church leadership, the church's political campaigns against women's and homosexual rights and "the policy of excommunicating scholars who honestly confront problems with church history add doctrines."
Despite demands by individuals and organizations across the country, and the withdrawal of funding and meeting space by both private and civic entities, the BSA reinforced its discriminatory policy by excommunicating seven Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops in Oak Park, Illinois--a municipality traditionally at the forefront of supporting gay rights.
A Kirk insider said: "He explained that she could face a full church trial, which may end up excommunicating her.
Excommunicating the Mafiosi didn't just put their souls in peril, it put their bodies in that state as well.
But no, the institutional church seems to be much more concerned about excommunicating members who love their church and are working against tremendous odds to heal it.