Olli Dürr

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Excommunication – the church’s means of fear and pressure



Excommunication in the Roman Catholic Church was once a very effective means of fear and pressure to ensure compliance. A very harsh measure, because excommunication often meant death.

Current example of automatic excommunication

A farce is currently taking place in the Catholic Church in Mexico that is bringing the consequences of excommunication back to the fore. On November 25, 2023, in the border region of Coahuila, a break-in was carried out and a “shrine” was stolen at the “Sacred Heart Chapel” on the outskirts of the city of Saltillo, according to Catholic News Agency (CNA).

The Bishop of Saltillo, Hilario González García, has now reacted to this and has already introduced the first consequences. In his statement, the bishop writes that the entrance door and the tabernacle were opened by force. The ciborium containing the “Blessed Sacrament” was “illegally stolen.” As if there was also a “legal theft”, but only incidentally.

A sacrilege – penitential ritual necessary

Church implements declared sacred

The bishop declared this act “a violation of the holy place and a sacrilege against the holy Eucharistic figures.” If the perpetrator is a Catholic, regardless of who he may be, “therefore he has committed a crime against the sacraments.”
González called on all believers to “make reparations and promote love for Jesus Christ in the Eucharist” in common prayer. As long as the crime has not been remedied, a trade fair is currently ruled out.
In addition to the “sanctuaries,” a loudspeaker and two folding chairs were also stolen.

Citing the Code of Canon Law, Canon 1211, a mass may only be held again once the desecration of a “sanctuary” has been compensated for through a penitential rite in accordance with the norm of the liturgical books. Because it is a serious offense. The perpetrator, if he is a Catholic, may consider himself excommunicated.

Automatic excommunication of the perpetrator

In this case, excommunication probably comes into force based on an act (poena latae sententiae). This does not have to be spoken at first, but happens automatically. These include crimes such as abortion, divorce and “crimes against shrines”. The alternative would be verbal excommunication by the bishop (poena ferendae sententiae) and this only after proceedings have been initiated.

Exclusion from the community

Exclusion from communion

The consequences of excommunication are far-reaching in the fictional world of Catholicism. According to canon law, the excommunicated person is not removed from Catholicism, that is not possible, but excluded from the community. If a Catholic leaves the church in Germany, for example due to church tax, he is automatically excommunicated. However, if the bishop issues an excommunication, the Catholic is by no means exempt from church tax.

Staying away from sacraments

According to Catholic norms, exclusion from the community due to excommunication results in the refusal of the sacraments. For example, the excluded person is no longer allowed to receive communion (Eucharist). What is complete nonsense in the world of reality, but for the Catholic it means the direct path to “eternal burning hell” (Info).

presumption of the church

The Roman Catholic Church, which sees itself as a sacrament, deprives the delinquent of the possibility of salvation according to its own definition.
Although it does not change the obvious arrogance of this church (Info), the faithful Catholic will see himself as hopelessly lost. Ultimately, according to Catholic doctrine, the church has to decide who will be saved, and Jesus Christ is left out as the “master of good deeds.”

Excommunication used to be fatal

Today this living out of a self-made religious world may seem quite funny, but in the (dark) Middle Ages the excommunicated person came very, very close to death. At that time, it was not just exclusion from the community of episcopal care, but it usually resulted in the so-called imperial ban.

The sovereigns, kings and emperors, who were subject to the pope, were ultimately the executive arm of the papacy. An imperial ban with scope within the “Holy Roman Empire” not only entailed the exclusion of all civil rights, but also the withdrawal of all rights. You were “outlawed”. Anyone could imprison, torture and even kill the excommunicated and therefore outlawed person without fear of any consequences.

The end of the imperial ban after excommunication

Revolutionary Army
Napoleon put an end to the papal activities

One of the last victims of an imperial ban was Georg Forster in 1793. After a decree from Emperor Franz II Forster was accused of collaborating with the revolutionary government of France. Only around 5 years later, Pope Pius X was deposed by Napoleon’s general Berthier. This was ultimately followed by the dissolution of the “Holy Roman Empire”. The papal ban on the empire was also abolished.

A prominent excommunicate

One of the most prominent people excommunicated by a pope was King Henry IV. He did not accept the self-empowerment made by Pope Gregory VII, in which the pope rose above all secular heads. From now on the king was to be subordinate to the pope. King Henry had a problem with that. In advance obedience, Bishop William of Utrecht pronounced Henry’s excommunication.

This ban in turn caused many of the king’s followers to give in and withdraw. Henry suddenly found himself alone and faced with the princes’ ultimatum that he had to free himself from the excommunication through remorse and penance by February 1077 at the latest. Otherwise they wanted to depose Henry and elect a new king. This led Heinrich to the famous walk to Canossa. The current seat of the Pope. Heinrich begged for absolution and thereby confirmed the position of the pontiff.

Which can also be caused by misconception

Confessional – presumption of the church

This shows very clearly how a belief, no matter how absurd, can write world history. Today, such self-portrayals by the pontiff are out of the question. The Reformation brought an abrupt end to the suppression of the truth. The Pope would immediately turn himself into a puppet. Today, even concocted doctrines and threatened consequences for non-compliance only enrage die-hard Catholics.

Today it is no longer threats and persecution that lead to the sheep’s desired obedience, but rather tempting seduction (Info). Only after most people find themselves in a community in their fear does the persecution of the remaining “unruly” begin again.

The Bible is the only standard

Only a comparative look at the Gospel helps against any kind of false teaching, whether through seduction or coercion. The Bible is and remains the only standard against which every teaching statement must be measured. The doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church has, at best, only marginally anything to do with Christianity. Numerous striking differences between the statements of the Bible and the Catholic catechism can be easily illustrated (Info).

Man is himself

Open Bible
The Bible remains the only standard – no matter who speaks

Everyone can tell a lot if the day is long enough. Each individual is responsible for taking the Bible into their own hands to examine it. He will then very quickly realize that neither the priest nor the bishop nor the church of Rome as a whole has the slightest influence on the salvation of a person. They can neither forgive one’s guilt nor prevent Jesus Christ from His justice. The only thing this church is capable of and intends to do is to lead people away from the truth and thus send them directly to destruction.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2 Corinthians 4:3

Bible verses from King James Version

Excommunication – the church’s means of fear and pressure
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