Faith/Spirituality Forum: Excommunication
Excommunication QUESTION from Bill Stetson on May 8, 2002 Can an individual request an official excommunication for himself/herself? (Rather than achieve it in an ugly way, such as causing an offensive ruckus through some other means.)
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on May 20, 2002 Dear Mr. Stetson:
I have no idea why a person would want to do such a thing -- to deliberately place one's own soul in danger of hell.
The Church is not going to excommunicate a person because they ask. Declarations of excommunication are given only for canoncial reasons according to canonical procedure. There are some sins, however, that are automatic excommunication. In automatic excommunication the Church does not have to make a formal declaration -- the excommunication is automatic.
Automatic excommunication is realized for:
1) heresy (obstinate doubt or denial of a dogma of the faith required for believe from all Catholics
2) schism (refusal to submit to the authority of the Pope and Magisterium)
3) apostasy (a falling away from the Christian faith all together)
4) Desecration of the Eucharist
5) harming or killing the Pope
6) procuring a completed abortion
7) and there is one or two more, but I forget what they are.
If a person wishes to leave the Church, he may just do so. No formality is needed.
Formal defection from the faith may be secured by public statement of such and joining another church and such.
But if one wishes to formally defect from the Faith giving the Church formal notice, then I suppose one could write a letter and send it to the bishop of one's diocese if one feels the need to do that.
If one wishes to do that, then include in the letter what parish one belongs to, what parish your baptismal/confirmation records are located, one's confirmation name, and a statement that one wishes to formally defect from the Church.
I will pray that anyone thinking of this will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit and change his mind.
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