Posts Tagged ‘excommunication’

Excommunication, for Orthodoxy, is not expulsion from membership in the Church, merely barring from receiving Communion, usually temporarily, on account of some sin or other offense taken particularly seriously by Holy Tradition or the Canons.  This article is very informative.  In fact, when Latins discuss this kind of excommunication, they state that you’re still required to do all the things Latins are required to do, such as attend Mass under penalty of mortal sin, etc. – just not receive Communion – which comes as a surprise to most folks who believe excommunication is expulsion from the Church.  We Orthodox don’t express it that way, but I would think one temporarily suspended from receiving Communion would be encouraged to avail him/herself of all the other opportunities for Grace in the Orthodox Church nevertheless.  Historically, some excommunications called for in the Canons didn’t apply on one’s deathbed, ie, if you were dying while under such a temporary ban, you could receive anyway.

(NB: At least traditionally, it seems, the Communion of Rome had a number of other kinds of excommunication, which probably color the general view of the subject among Westerners.  As one who spent some time with the Mennonites, I was shocked to learn that the Amish [related to them] didn’t invent shunning, but that it had been part of the Latin tradition!)