Automatic Excommunication

Automatic Excommunication
A person who commits one of the following sins incurs a
latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication
Those marked “Reserved,” are reserved to the Apostolic See.


The confessor of a repentant excommunicated person, whose sin is “Reserved,”
must obtain permission from the Vatican to absolve and restore one’s
membership in the Church. A person’s identity is not generally required.
The Code of Canon Law — 1983 A.D.

  1. Apostasy – renunciation of one’s faith.
    Heresy – rejection of a formal Church teaching.
    Schism – separation from the true body of Christ (the Catholic Church). – Can. 1367
  2. Throws away the consecrated species, or for sacrilegious use takes them away or keeps them. – Can. 1367 Reserved
  3. Physical force against the Roman Pontiff. – Can. 1370 §1 Reserved
  4. Priest who absolves a partner in a sin against the sixth commandment. (Except in danger of death the absolution is invalid.) – Can. 1378 §1 Reserved
  5. Both parties to an episcopal consecration without a pontifical mandate.
    – Can. 1382 Reserved
  6. Confessor who directly violates the sacramental seal. – Can. 1388 §1 Reserved
  7. Abuse of ecclesiastical power or office – to be punished according to the gravity of the act or the omission. – Can. 1389 §1   Unspecified penalty
  8. Through culpable negligence, unlawfully and with harm to another, performs or omits an act of ecclesiastical power or ministry or office. – Can. 1389 §2   Unspecified penalty
  9. One who actually procures an abortion – Can. 1398; and all accomplices – Can. 1329 §2  (See:

      1. habitual lack of use of reason, – Can. 1322
      2. not completed the sixteenth year of age, and more exceptions,
        Cann. 1323 – 1325
      3. incomplete offense, – Can. 132
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