Take 2

with Jerry & Debbie

Can You Be Kicked Out of the Church?

1 Comment

Excommunication is a very misunderstood part of the Church. It actually takes a lot to be “excommunicated.” Many people think that if you commit this or that sin, you are automatically excommunicated. And, to be sure, there are certain sins that incur what’s called a “latae sententiae” excommunication, meaning, by the very act of committing that sin a person is excommunicated. A well known example is one who procures or participates in an abortion. But a lot of people think that “lesser” sins bring the penalty of excommunication. We’ll talk about this and, hopefully, put a lot of minds at peace. Our guest will be Dr. Carol Houghton, Chancellor for the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and a prominent canon lawyer. Join us at Noon ET (with a reply at Midnight ET).

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One thought on “Can You Be Kicked Out of the Church?

  1. I was baptised as an infant then confirmed as a young teen. Back in year 2000 I attended a Catholic service in Great Falls, MT. I had attended mass in this town on prior occasions. At this particular mass I was handcuffed in the building and removed by uniformed city police officers. An off duty sheriff deputy was also present at mass and he assisted the on duty officers in removing me from the service. I heard him state to the duty officers that he was unaware of me causing any sort of commotion. I wasn’t causing any disturbance whatsoever nor had I any intent to disrupt the mass. I was clean and sober and was as presentable and respectful as I could be. My then girlfriend attempted to stick up for me but the officers took me on up to the jail. I was not booked into the jail and no charges were filed. I was questioned at the jail repeatedly if I had been drinking. I do not drink alcohol and would certainly avoid services if I had been. I was detained approximately 3 hours in the booking area of the jail after interrogation. Later on in this incident an officer offered my coffe rolls and juice while they awaited witnesses to make statements. No church people made any statements as to why I should be arrested and charged. I was worried some might make false statements but none did. After a time the police investigators felt that there was some kind of mistake made and I was eventually loaded into a police car and taken home. The general consensus was that me being part Native American I should seek out Native spirit groups. I replied that I had been a Catholic all my life baptised and confirmed. The officer told me that a lot of church goers could feel threatened or uneasy having a native person in their congregation. They felt this was the reason they were called in the first place. I was eventually loaded into a police car and taken to my residence. During the drive an officer said I would be more than welcome to attend his church which was a nondeminational church. I have never returned to any church as I do not wish to repeat this kind of scene. I was not told to stay away from churches but I’m smart enough to avoid going through that again and no I have not been excommunicated from the church since they (rightfully) feel I won’t be back. There are times I wish I could return but the events of Spring of 2000 tend to overshadow me from actually going to church.

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