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Faith/Spirituality Forum: Excomunication

by Catherine Frakas 24 Jun 2001

Excomunication QUESTION from Archina MacIntyre May 28, 2001 Hi
I was excomunicated 15 years ago because i followed some boys (cousins and so called friends) into a church, because we were stranded on an island- the next day it was a big scandal. I was the only female there and i was the only one who was excomunicated- a couple of years later i went to ask our local preist for forgivness (to satisfy my mother)and he refused.
Could you please tell me why was it just me, and why did he refuse me forgivness?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on July 8, 2001 Dear Miss MacIntyre:
I have to admit I am having trouble believing your story. Your story makes no sense. What does being stranded (whatever that means) have to do with following boys into a church? How is following boys into a church a sin to be excommunicated for?
There is either more to the story or you are pulling my chain.
You cannot be excommunicated unless you sinned in some way that warrants excommunication. What sin did you commit? Following boys into a Church is not a sin.
Did you have sex with the boys?, did you vandalize the Church?, did you practice a Satanic Black Mass?, did you desecrate the Eucharist? -- What did you do?
Having sex with the boys is not an excommunication offense. If you desecrated the Eucharist then you would receive an automatic excommunication. There is no other sin you could have committed in that church that would give an automatic excommunication.
If you committed some other sin eligible for excommunication, but not automatic excommunication, a bishop would have to investigate and issue a decree of excommunication and that would happen only with severe scandal and sin and only IF you refused to repent.
Did you refuse to repent of whatever sin you committed?
Just being in a church with some boys is not scandal in and of itself unless there was some hint of sexual impropriety or the like (whether actually or suspected). Actaully having sex with them in the Church would indeed be scandal but that in itself does not rise to the level of excommunication.
Thus, assuming your story is true, you must have taken the Eucharist in the Church and did something nasty to it, desecrated it. That would excommunicate you automatically without the bishop saying a word.
As to confession, a priest must give you absolution IF you are genuinely contrite and repentive of your sin. You can't just go flip flopping into a confessional and say Hey, pop, I did this deed a few years ago and my mother is forcing me to come here. If you did something like that then you are showing that you are not sorry for you sin and don't care. In such a case the priest has a duty to NOT absolve you.
You need to be genuinely and honestly sorry for your sin, be contrite, be repentive, and promise to make amends asking God's forgiveness for hurting Him so. Then, you can be absolved.
But based on the tone of your question, Are you sorry for your sin?
If you are, go to a priest and offer confession. The priest can absolve you from your sin, and restore you to communion with the Church.
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