Choose a topic from Part 3 Suppl:

21. Excommunication

1. Excommunication means: (a) separation from the familyof the faithful; (b) loss of the right to share in the prayers andgeneral good works of the Church; (c) loss of the right to receivethe sacraments.

2. The Church imposes this stern penalty ofexcommunication only when the reasons demanding it are most grave.And the Church always hopes that her stern action will humble thepride of the person excommunicated, and so bring him to repentanceand amendment, and thus win him back to his place among herchildren. The Church hopes also, by imposing the censure ofexcommunication, to prevent or lessen the bad effect exercised onothers by the excommunicated person's evil example.

3. The reason for excommunication is always a grave sin,in which the sinner is obstinate. Sometimes even temporal thingscan enter into grave and stubbornly persistent sin; bodilyintegrity, for instance, or liberty, or valuable property. And soit is possible that a person may incur excommunication forinflicting even temporal harm.

4. Excommunication is effective; that is, it produces thesad effects mentioned in the first paragraph above. However, it isnot actually effective if it should be imposed by mistake orerror.

"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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