We are underfunded by over 50% this month. $18,534 short—a serious deficit. Your support needed NOW!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

EXCOMMUNICATION

An ecclesiastical censure by which one is more or less excluded from communion with the faithful. It is also called anathema, especially if it is inflicted with formal solemnities on persons notoriously obstinate to reconciliation. Some excommunicated persons are vitandi (to be avoided), others tolerati (tolerate). No one is vitandus unless that person has been publicly excommunicated by name by the Holy See, and it is expressly stated that the person is "to be avoided," Anyone who lays violent hands on the Pope is automatically vitandus.

In general, the effects of excommunication affect the person's right to receive the sacraments, or Christian burial, until the individual repents and is reconciled with the Church. In order for an excommunication to take effect, the person must have been objectively guilty of the crime charged. (Etym. Latin ex-, from + communicare, to communicate: excommunicatio, exclusion from a community.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Church Fathers: St. Polycarp and St. Papias January 24
On News Both Good and Fun January 23
Guess who thinks Pope Francis shouldn't give so many interviews? January 23
A rare “win” in the Venerable League: Laity 4, Priests and Religious 3 January 23
The Didache Bible Is Here January 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis names 20 new cardinals CWN - January 5
In ‘state of the world’ address, Pope decries ‘throwaway culture’ CWN - January 12