American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The act of excommunicating.
- n. The state of being excommunicated.
- n. A formal ecclesiastical censure that deprives a person of the right to belong to a church.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A cutting off or casting out from communication; deprivation of communion or the privileges of intercourse; specifically, the formal exclusion of a person from religious communion and privileges. Excommunication, often with very severe consequences, was practised in various ways among the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Jews, and is still in use among the Mohammedans. In the early Christian church it consisted simply in the exclusion of an offending member from fellowship by some formal action, and this is the practice in most modern Protestant churches. As the power of the church increased, excommunication became more complicated in method and severe in effect. As now practised in the Roman Catholic and related churches, it may be either partial or total, temporary or perpetual. By the partial, called the minor or lesser excommunication, the offender is suspended from the use of the sacraments, and perhaps from the privileges of church worship; by the total, or the major or greater excommunication, he is also cut off from the society and fellowship of the church, and it may be from all intercourse with its members. Further distinctions as to the sentence and its effects are made in the Roman Catholic Church. See anathema, discipline.
- n. The act of excommunicating or ejecting; especially an ecclesiastical censure whereby the person against whom it is pronounced is, for the time, cast out of the communication of the church; exclusion from fellowship in things spiritual.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The act of communicating or ejecting; esp., an ecclesiastical censure whereby the person against whom it is pronounced is, for the time, cast out of the communication of the church; exclusion from fellowship in things spiritual.
- n. the state of being excommunicated
- n. the act of banishing a member of a church from the communion of believers and the privileges of the church; cutting a person off from a religious society
“But, the Holy Father made clear today that the lifting of the excommunication is about one thing only: Church unity.”
“Under today's rules, however, excommunication is the new order of the day.”
“The handling of the Regensburg address and of the recent lifting of the excommunication from the SSPX bishops was unsatisfactory.”
“Benedict XVI explains that the revocation of the excommunication is personal, concerns the four bishops, and does not imply the canonical recognition of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X which can take place only after a doctrinal realignment of the Fraternity, including the acceptance of Vatican II and the Magisterium of the post-conciliar Popes.”
“Inability to march goosestep (er, lockstep) will be punished by excommunication from the party. snark-NOT!”
“Teresa Nielsen Hayden's formal excommunication from the Latter Day Saints is a fascinating read.”
“The brethren" are the missionaries on their journey. forbiddeth them that would -- receive them. casteth them -- those that would receive the brethren, by excommunication from the Church, which his influence, as a leading man (3Jo 9) in it, enabled him to do.”
“Their excommunication is still more clearly expressed by the Greeks, who beheld the accomplishment of the papal triumphs; and as they are more strongly attached to their religion than to their country, they praise, instead of blaming, the zeal and orthodoxy of these apostolical men.”
“The releasing of the excommunication was a measure in the field of ecclesial discipline: the persons were freed of the burden of conscience of the heaviest ecclesial censure.”
“As I explained in my Letter to Catholic bishops of 10 March this year, the remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline, to free individuals from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties.”
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