Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,705 to go. Please donate!
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.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Synod: It's a Wrap! 14 hours ago
A chaotic synod? Not in its results 15 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 21 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics October 20
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6