Excommunication is widely misunderstood. Probably the most common misunderstanding is thinking that it means you can’t go to Communion. That is part of excommunication, but only a part.
Another common misunderstanding is that excommunication means being kicked out of the Church. It used to mean that, but it doesn’t anymore.
Today, excommunication is a penalty with very specific and clearly stated effects—that almost nobody knows.
So what is it, and why is it so often misunderstood? Let’s talk about that.
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