Excommunication
Overview
Excommunication is a religious censure
Censure
A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. Among the forms that it can take are a stern rebuke by a legislature, a spiritual penalty imposed by a church, and a negative judgment pronounced on a theological proposition.-Politics:...

 used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion
Communion (Christian)
The term communion is derived from Latin communio . The corresponding term in Greek is κοινωνία, which is often translated as "fellowship". In Christianity, the basic meaning of the term communion is an especially close relationship of Christians, as individuals or as a Church, with God and with...

. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation
Damnation
Damnation is the concept of everlasting divine punishment and/or disgrace, especially the punishment for sin as threatened by God . A damned being "in damnation" is said to be either in Hell, or living in a state wherein they are divorced from Heaven and/or in a state of disgrace from God's favor...

 of the member or group. Excommunication may involve banishment
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

, shunning
Shunning
Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or mental rejection. Social rejection is when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all...

, and shaming, depending on the religion, the offense that caused excommunication, or the rules or norms of the religious community.
The Biblical basis of excommunication is .
Timeline

1054    Three Roman legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal Bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the event as the start of the East-West Schism.

1077    Walk to Canossa: The excommunication of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor is lifted.

1227    Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, is excommunicated by Pope Gregory IX for his failure to participate in the Crusades.

1497    Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola.

1520    Pope Leo X threatens to excommunicate Martin Luther in papal bull ''Exsurge Domine''.

1965    Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras simultaneously lift mutual excommunications that had been in place since 1054.

1979    Sonia Johnson is formally excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for her outspoken criticism of the church concerning the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Encyclopedia
Excommunication is a religious censure
Censure
A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. Among the forms that it can take are a stern rebuke by a legislature, a spiritual penalty imposed by a church, and a negative judgment pronounced on a theological proposition.-Politics:...

 used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion
Communion (Christian)
The term communion is derived from Latin communio . The corresponding term in Greek is κοινωνία, which is often translated as "fellowship". In Christianity, the basic meaning of the term communion is an especially close relationship of Christians, as individuals or as a Church, with God and with...

. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation
Damnation
Damnation is the concept of everlasting divine punishment and/or disgrace, especially the punishment for sin as threatened by God . A damned being "in damnation" is said to be either in Hell, or living in a state wherein they are divorced from Heaven and/or in a state of disgrace from God's favor...

 of the member or group. Excommunication may involve banishment
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

, shunning
Shunning
Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or mental rejection. Social rejection is when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all...

, and shaming, depending on the religion, the offense that caused excommunication, or the rules or norms of the religious community.

Christianity

The Biblical basis of excommunication is . In that passage an offended church member is commanded of Christ to personally confront an alleged offender with his or her supposed sin, and failing repentance, to bring the charge a second time before witnesses. If the case has not been resolved, at that point the offended member is to take the case before the church of jurisdiction (where the accused is a member). The church of jurisdiction is then to judge the case and the offending party (either the accuser or the accused) is obliged to repent and reconcile. Refusing to "hear" the church, that is, the church's sentence, is the final step before the offender is to be treated as "an heathen man and a publican". In a man is excommunicated by the church at Corinth for sexual immorality (incest). Fornication, however, is not the only grounds for excommunication, according to the apostle: in Paul says: "I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler - not even to eat with such a one." In the man, having repented and suffered the punishment "inflicted of many", is restored to the church.

In , Paul writes to "mark those who cause divisions contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them". Also, in , the writer advises believers that "whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house [οἰκίαν, residence or abode, or "inmates of the house" (family)], neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds".

The Catholic Church

In Roman Catholic canon law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...

, excommunication is a censure and thus a "medicinal penalty" intended to invite the person to change behaviour or attitude, to repent and return to full communion. It is not an "expiatory penalty", designed to make satisfaction for the wrong done, still less a merely "vindictive penalty", designed solely to punish.

Excommunication can be either latae sententiae
Latae sententiae
Latæ sententiæ is a Latin term used in the canon law of the Catholic Church meaning literally "given sentence".Officially, a latae sententiae penalty follows automatically, by force of the law itself, when the law is contravened....

(automatic, incurred at the moment of committing the offence for which canon law imposes that penalty); or it can ferendae sententiae (incurred only when imposed by a legitimate superior or declared as the sentence of an ecclesiastical court).

Excommunicated Catholics are still Catholics and remain bound by obligations such as attending Mass, even though they are barred from receiving the Eucharist and from taking an active part in the liturgy (reading, bringing the offerings, etc.). However, their communion with the Church is considered gravely impaired. In spite of that, they are urged to retain a relationship with the Church, as the goal is to encourage them to repent and return to active participation in its life.

Excommunicated persons are barred from participating in the liturgy
Liturgy
Liturgy is either the customary public worship done by a specific religious group, according to its particular traditions or a more precise term that distinguishes between those religious groups who believe their ritual requires the "people" to do the "work" of responding to the priest, and those...

 in a ministerial capacity (for instance, as a reader if a lay person, or as a deacon or priest if a clergyman) and from receiving the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 or the other Sacrament
Sacrament
A sacrament is a sacred rite recognized as of particular importance and significance. There are various views on the existence and meaning of such rites.-General definitions and terms:...

s, but are not barred from attending these (for instance, an excommunicated person may not receive the Eucharist, but is not barred from attending Mass). They are also forbidden to exercise any ecclesiastical office
Catholic Church hierarchy
The term Hierarchy in the Catholic Church has a variety of related usages. Literally, "holy government", the term is employed in different instances. There is a Hierarchy of Truths, which refers to the levels of solemnity of the official teaching of the faith...

 or the like. If the excommunication has been imposed or declared, stricter effects follow, such as the obligation on others to prevent the excommunicated person from acting in a ministerial capacity in the liturgy or, if this proves impossible, to suspend the liturgical service, and the invalidity of acts of ecclesiastical governance by the excommunicated person.

In the Catholic Church, excommunication is normally resolved by a declaration of repentance
Repentance
Repentance is a change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God, and resolving to live according to religious law...

, profession of the Creed (if the offence involved heresy), or a renewal of obedience (if that was a relevant part of the offending act) by the excommunicated person, and the lifting of the censure (absolution) by a priest or bishop empowered to do this. "The absolution can be in the internal (private) forum only, or also in the external (public) forum, depending on whether scandal would be given if a person were privately absolved and yet publicly considered unrepentant." Since excommunication excludes from reception of the sacraments, absolution from excommunication is required before absolution can be given from the sin that led to the censure. In many cases, the whole process takes place on a single occasion in the privacy of the confessional. For some more serious wrong-doings, absolution from excommunication is reserved to a bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 or other ordinary
Ordinary
In those hierarchically organised churches of Western Christianity which have an ecclesiastical law system, an ordinary is an officer of the church who by reason of office has ordinary power to execute the church's laws...

 or even to the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

. These can delegate a priest to act on their behalf.

Before the 1983 Code of Canon Law
1983 Code of Canon Law
The 1983 Code of Canon Law is the codification of canonical legislation for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church...

, there were two degrees of excommunication: the excommunicate was either a vitandus
Vitandus
A vitandus excommunicate was someone affected by a rare and grave form of excommunication, in which the Church ordered, as a remedial measure, that the faithful were not to associate with him "except in the case of husband and wife, parents, children, servants, subjects", and in general unless...

(shunned, literally "to be avoided", by other Catholics), or a toleratus (tolerated, allowing Catholics to continue to have business and social relationships with the excommunicated person). This distinction no longer applies.

In the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, formal acts of public excommunication were sometimes accompanied by a ceremony wherein a bell was tolled (as for the dead), the Book of the Gospels was closed, and a candle snuffed out — hence the idiom "to condemn with bell, book and candle
Bell, Book and Candle
Bell, Book and Candle is a romantic comedy directed by Richard Quine based on the hit Broadway play by John Van Druten. It starred James Stewart and Kim Novak in their second on-screen pairing . The film, adapted by Daniel Taradash, was Stewart's last film as a romantic lead...

". Such ceremonies are not held today, but the effect is the same.

Interdict
Interdict
The term Interdict may refer to:* Court order enforcing or prohibiting a certain action* Injunction, such as a restraining order...

 is a censure similar to excommunication. It too excludes from ministerial functions in public worship and from reception of the sacraments, but not from the exercise of governance.

Eastern Orthodox churches

In the Eastern Orthodox churches, excommunication is the exclusion of a member from the Eucharist
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

. It is not expulsion from the churches. This can happen for such reasons as not having confessed within that year; excommunication can also be imposed as part of a penitential period. It is generally done with the goal of restoring the member to full communion. The Orthodox churches do have a means of expulsion, by pronouncing anathema
Anathema
Anathema originally meant something lifted up as an offering to the gods; it later evolved to mean:...

, but this is reserved only for acts of serious and unrepentant heresy. The Moscow Patriarchate declared Sergius Bulgakov a heretic in this fashion because of his pronouncements on Sancta Sofia being something like a fourth dimension to the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

.

Lutheranism

Although Lutheranism technically has an excommunication process, some denominations and congregations do not use it. The Lutheran definition, in its earliest and most technical form, would be found in Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

's Small Catechism
Luther's Small Catechism
Luther's Small Catechism was written by Martin Luther and published in 1529 for the training of children. Luther's Small Catechism reviews The Ten Commandments, The Apostles' Creed, The Lord's Prayer, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism, The Office of the Keys & Confession, and The Sacrament of the...

, defined beginning at Questions No. 277-283, in "The Office of Keys." Luther endeavored to follow the process that Jesus laid out in the 18th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

. According to Luther, excommunication requires:
1. The confrontation between the subject and the individual against whom he has sinned.
2. If this fails, the confrontation between the subject, the harmed individual, and two or three witnesses to such acts of sin.
3. The informing of the pastor of the subject's congregation.
4. A confrontation between the pastor and the subject.


Beyond this, there is little agreement. Many Lutheran denominations operate under the premise that the entire congregation (as opposed to the pastor alone) must take appropriate steps for excommunication, and there are not always precise rules, to the point where individual congregations often set out rules for excommunicating laymen (as opposed to clergy). For example, churches may sometimes require that a vote must be taken at Sunday services; some congregations require that this vote be unanimous.

The Lutheran process, though rarely used, has created unusual situations in recent years due to its somewhat democratic excommunication process. One example was an effort to get serial killer
Serial killer
A serial killer, as typically defined, is an individual who has murdered three or more people over a period of more than a month, with down time between the murders, and whose motivation for killing is usually based on psychological gratification...

 Dennis Rader
Dennis Rader
Dennis Lynn Rader is an American serial killer who murdered ten people in Sedgwick County , between 1974 and 1991....

 excommunicated from his denomination (the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a mainline Protestant denomination headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The ELCA officially came into existence on January 1, 1988, by the merging of three churches. As of December 31, 2009, it had 4,543,037 baptized members, with 2,527,941 of them...

) by individuals who tried to "lobby" Rader's fellow church members into voting for his excommunication.

Church of England

The Church of England does not have any specific canons regarding how or why a member can be excommunicated, although there are canons regarding how those who have been excommunicated are to be treated by the church. Excommunication is seen as an extreme measure and very rarely used. For example, a clergyman was excommunicated in 1909 for having murdered four parishioners.

Episcopal Church of the United States of America

The ECUSA is in the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, and shares many canons with the Church of England which would determine its policy on excommunication. No central records are kept regarding excommunications, since they happen so rarely. In May 2000 a man who had been publishing highly critical remarks about the church and some of its members in a small local paper, many of them about the pro-gay stance the church had taken, was excommunicated for "continued efforts to attack this parish and its members".

Reformed view

In the Reformed churches, excommunication has generally been seen as the culmination of church discipline
Church discipline
Church discipline comes in two types: formative and corrective. Formative discipline, or discipleship, seeks to help form the character and life of the believer. In this sense, every church disciplines it members. Jonathan Leeman has noted that "every church disciplines its members formally...

, which is one of the three marks of the Church
Marks of the Church
In Protestant theology, the Marks of the Church are those things by which the true church may be recognized. Three marks are usually enumerated: the preaching of the Word the administration of the sacraments and church discipline...

. The Westminster Confession of Faith
Westminster Confession of Faith
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith, in the Calvinist theological tradition. Although drawn up by the 1646 Westminster Assembly, largely of the Church of England, it became and remains the 'subordinate standard' of doctrine in the Church of Scotland, and has been...

 sees it as the third step after "admonition" and "suspension from the sacrament of the Lord's Supper for a season." Yet, John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 argues in his Institutes of the Christian Religion
Institutes of the Christian Religion
The Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin's seminal work on Protestant systematic theology...

that church censures do not "consign those who are excommunicated to perpetual ruin and damnation," but are designed to induce repentance, reconciliation and restoration to communion. Calvin notes, "though ecclesiastical discipline does not allow us to be on familiar and intimate terms with excommunicated persons, still we ought to strive by all possible means to bring them to a better mind, and recover them to the fellowship and unity of the Church."

At least one modern Reformed theologian argues that excommunication is not the final step in the disciplinary process. Jay E. Adams
Jay E. Adams
Jay E. Adams is an American Reformed Christian author who is mostly known for his book, Competent to Counsel, in which he states that any Christian is more competent to counsel than any secular psychologist...

 argues that in excommunication, the offender is still seen as a brother, but in the final step they become "as the heathen and tax collector" (Matthew
Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. It tells of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth...

 18:17). Adams writes, "Nowhere in the Bible is excommunication (removal from the fellowship of the Lord's Table, according to Adams) equated with what happens in step 5; rather, step 5 is called "removing from the midst, handing over to Satan," and the like."

Former Yale president and theologian, Jonathan Edwards, addresses the notion of excommunication as "removal from the fellowship of the Lord's Table" in his treatise entitled "The Nature and End of Excommunication". Edwards argues that "Particularly, we are forbidden such a degree of associating ourselves with (excommunicants), as there is in making them our guests at our tables, or in being their guests at their tables; as is manifest in the text, where we are commanded to have no company with them, no not to eat". Edwards insists, "That this respects not eating with them at the Lord’s supper, but a common eating, is evident by the words, that the eating here forbidden, is one of the lowest degrees of keeping company, which are forbidden. Keep no company with such a one, saith the apostle, no not to eat — as much as to say, no not in so low a degree as to eat with him. But eating with him at the Lord’s supper, is the very highest degree of visible Christian communion. Who can suppose that the apostle meant this: Take heed and have no company with a man, no not so much as in the highest degree of communion that you can have? Besides, the apostle mentions this eating as a way of keeping company which, however, they might hold with the heathen. He tells them, not to keep company with fornicators. Then he informs them, he means not with fornicators of this world, that is, the heathens; but, saith he, “if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, etc. with such a one keep no company, no not to eat.” This makes it most apparent, that the apostle doth not mean eating at the Lord’s table; for so, they might not keep company with the heathens, any more than with an excommunicated person."

Anabaptist tradition

When believers were baptized and taken into membership of the church by Anabaptist
Anabaptist
Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

s, it was not only done as symbol of cleansing of sin but was also done as a public commitment to identify with Jesus Christ and to conform one's life to the teaching and example of Jesus as understood by the church. Practically, that meant membership in the church entailed a commitment to try to live according to norms of Christian behavior widely held by the Anabaptist tradition.

In the ideal, discipline in the Anabaptist tradition requires the church to confront a notoriously erring and unrepentant church member, first directly in a very small circle and, if no resolution is forthcoming, expanding the circle in steps eventually to include the entire church congregation. If the errant member persists without repentance and rejects even the admonition of the congregation, that person is excommunicated or excluded from church membership. Exclusion from the church is recognition by the congregation that this person has separated himself or herself from the church by way of his or her visible and unrepentant sin. This is done ostensibly as a final resort to protect the integrity of the church. When this occurs, the church is expected to continue to pray for the excluded member and to seek to restore him or her to its fellowship. There was originally no inherent expectation to shun
Shunning
Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or mental rejection. Social rejection is when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all...

 (completely sever all ties with) an excluded member, however differences regarding this very issue led to early schisms between different Anabaptist leaders and those who followed them.

Amish

Jakob Ammann, founder of the Amish
Amish
The Amish , sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches...

 sect, believed that the shunning of those under the ban should be systematically practiced among the Swiss Anabaptists as it was in the north and as was outlined in the Dordrecht Confession. Ammann's uncompromising zeal regarding this practice was one of the main disputes that led to the schism between the Anabaptist groups that became the Amish and those that eventually would be called Mennonite. Recently more moderate Amish groups have become less strict in their application of excommunication as a discipline. This has led to splits in several communities, an example of which is the Swartzetruber Amish who split from the main body of Old Order Amish because of the latter's practice of lifting the ban from members who later join other churches. In general, the Amish will excommunicate baptized members for failure to abide by their Ordnung
Ordnung
The Ordnung is a set of rules for Amish and Old Order Mennonite living. Ordnung is the German word for order, arrangement, organization, or system. Because the Amish have no central church government, each assembly is autonomous and is its own governing authority...

 (church rules) as it is interpreted by the local Bishop if certain repeat violations of the Ordnung occur.

Excommunication among the Old Order Amish results in shunning or the Meidung, the severity of which depends on many factors, such as the family, the local community as well as the type of Amish. Some Amish communities cease shunning after one year if the person joins another church later on, especially if it is another Mennonite church. At the most severe, other members of the congregation are prohibited almost all contact with an excommunicated member including social and business ties between the excommunicant and the congregation, sometimes even marital contact between the excommunicant and spouse remaining in the congregation or family contact between adult children and parents.

Mennonites

In the Mennonite Church excommunication is rare and is carried out only after many attempts at reconciliation and on someone who is flagrantly and repeatedly violating standards of behavior that the church expects. Occasionally excommunication is also carried against those who repeatedly question the church's behavior and/or who genuinely differ with the church's theology as well, although in almost all cases the dissenter will leave the church before any discipline need be invoked. In either case, the church will attempt reconciliation with the member in private, first one on one and then with a few church leaders. Only if the church's reconciliation attempts are unsuccessful, the congregation formally revokes church membership. Members of the church generally pray for the excluded member.

Some regional conferences (the Mennonite counterpart to dioceses of other denominations) of the Mennonite Church have acted to expel member congregations that have openly welcomed non-celibate homosexuals as members. This internal conflict regarding homosexuality has also been an issue for other moderate denominations, such as the American Baptists
American Baptist Churches USA
The American Baptist Churches USA is a Baptist Christian denomination within the United States. The denomination maintains headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The organization is usually considered mainline, although varying theological and mission emphases may be found among its...

 and Methodists
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

.

The practice among Old Order Mennonite
Old Order Mennonite
Old Order Mennonites is a branch of the Mennonite church. Although the term strictly refers to one particular group, it is often used to refer to those groups of Mennonites who practice a lifestyle without some elements of modern technology.-Overview:...

 congregations is more along the lines of Amish, but perhaps less severe typically. An Old Order member who disobeys the Ordnung
Ordnung
The Ordnung is a set of rules for Amish and Old Order Mennonite living. Ordnung is the German word for order, arrangement, organization, or system. Because the Amish have no central church government, each assembly is autonomous and is its own governing authority...

(church regulations) must meet with the leaders of the church. If a church regulation is broken a second time there is a confession in the church. Those who refuse to confess are excommunicated. However upon later confession, the church member will be reinstated. An excommunicated member is placed under the ban
Shunning
Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or mental rejection. Social rejection is when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all...

. This person is not banned from eating with their own family. Excommunicated persons can still have business dealings with church members and can maintain marital relations with a marriage partner, who remains a church member.

Hutterites

The separatist, communal, and self-contained Hutterites also use excommunication and shunning as form of church discipline. Since Hutterites have communal ownership of goods, the effects of excommunication could impose a hardship upon the excluded member and family leaving them without employment income and material assets such as a home. However, often arrangements are made to provide material benefits to the family leaving the colony such as an automobile and some transition funds for rent, etc. One Hutterite colony in Manitoba (Canada) had a protracted dispute when leaders attempted to force the departure of a group that had been excommunicated but would not leave. About a dozen lawsuits in both Canada and the United States were filed between the various Hutterite factions and colonies concerning excommunication, shunning, the legitimacy of leadership, communal property rights, and fair division of communal property when factions have separated.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("LDS Church"; see also Mormon
Mormon
The term Mormon most commonly denotes an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism, which is the largest branch of the Latter Day Saint movement in restorationist Christianity...

) practices excommunication (as well as the lesser sanctions of private counsel and caution, informal probation, formal probation, and disfellowshipment) as penalties for those who commit serious sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

s, those that significantly impair the name or moral influence of the church and those who are a threat to other members.

According to the Church Handbook of Instructions
Church Handbook of Instructions
The Handbook is a two-volume book of instructions and policies for leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . The books are prepared by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the church...

, the purposes of church discipline are (1) to save the souls of transgressors, (2) to protect the innocent, and (3) to safeguard the purity, integrity, and good name of the church. Excommunication is generally reserved for what are seen as the most serious sin
Sin
In religion, sin is the violation or deviation of an eternal divine law or standard. The term sin may also refer to the state of having committed such a violation. Christians believe the moral code of conduct is decreed by God In religion, sin (also called peccancy) is the violation or deviation...

s, including committing serious crime
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

s like murder or child abuse and incest; committing adultery
Adultery
Adultery is sexual infidelity to one's spouse, and is a form of extramarital sex. It originally referred only to sex between a woman who was married and a person other than her spouse. Even in cases of separation from one's spouse, an extramarital affair is still considered adultery.Adultery is...

, polygamy
Polygamy
Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners...

, or homosexual
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 conduct; apostasy
Apostasy
Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

, abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

, teaching false doctrines, or openly criticizing LDS leaders. A 2006 revision to the Church Handbook of Instructions states that joining another church is also an excommunicable offense, however merely attending another church does not constitute apostasy
Apostasy
Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

.

As a lesser penalty, Latter-day Saints may be disfellowshipped, which does not include a loss of church membership. Once disfellowshipped, persons may not take the sacrament or enter LDS temples, nor may they give prayers or sermons in church meetings, though disfellowshipped persons may attend most LDS functions and are permitted to wear temple garments, pay tithes and offerings, and participate in church classes if their conduct is orderly. For lesser sins, or in cases where the sinner appears truly repentant, individuals may be put on probation for a time, during which further sin will result in disfellowshipment or excommunication.

The decision to excommunicate a Melchizedek Priesthood
Melchizedek priesthood
The Melchizedek priesthood is the greater of the two orders of priesthood recognized in Mormonism. The others are the Aaronic priesthood and the rarely recognized Patriarchal priesthood...

 holder is generally the province of the leadership of a stake
Stake (Mormonism)
A stake is an administrative unit composed of multiple congregations in denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement. A stake is approximately comparable to a diocese in the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations...

, which consists of several local wards. Excommunications occur only after a formal "church disciplinary council." Formerly called a "church court," the councils were renamed to avoid talking about guilt and instead to focus on repentance. In the disciplinary council, the stake presidency and Stake
Stake (Mormonism)
A stake is an administrative unit composed of multiple congregations in denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement. A stake is approximately comparable to a diocese in the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations...

 High Council
High council (Mormonism)
In Mormonism, a high council is one of several different governing bodies that have existed in the church hierarchy on many Latter-day Saint denominations...

 preside. Up to six of the twelve members of the high council are assigned to split in half between representing the member in question and the Church as a whole to "prevent insult or injustice." The member is invited to attend, but the council can go forward without him. Again, the members of the high council consult with the stake president, but the decision about which discipline is necessary is the stake president's alone. It is possible to appeal this decision to the Church's world leaders.

For females, and for male members not initiated into the Melchizedek Priesthood (typically adolescents), the bishop (leader of the ward) determines whether excommunication or a lesser sanction is warranted. He does this in consultation with his two counselors, the bishop makes the determination in a spirit of prayer and his counselors ratify the decision. The bishop's decision can be appealed to stake leadership.

The following list of variables serves as a general set of guidelines for when excommunication or lesser action may be warranted, beginning with those more likely to result in severe sanction.
1. Violation of Covenants: Covenants are made in conjunction with specific ordinances in the LDS Church. Covenants that might be broken, are usually those surrounding marriage covenants, temple covenants, priesthood covenants, etc.
2. Position of Trust or Authority: Area of responsibility factor into discipline. Leaders in the church have important responsibilities, and the same action committed by a member of the congregation may not result in as severe a discipline as a leader might receive.
3. Repetition: Repetition of a sin is more severe than a single instance.
4. Magnitude: How often, how many individuals were impacted, and who knows all play a part.
5. Age, Maturity, and Experience: Those who are young in age, or immature in their understanding are afforded leniency.
6. Interests of the Innocent: How the discipline will impact family members may be considered.
7. Time between Transgression and Confession: If the sin was committed in distant past, and there has not been repetition, leniency may considered.
8. Voluntary Confession: Did the person voluntarily come forward, or were they caught in the act?
9. Evidence of Repentance: Sorrow for sin, and demonstrated commitment to repentance, as well as faith in Christ all play a role in determining the severity of discipline.


Those who are excommunicated lose their church membership and the right to partake of the sacrament
Sacrament (Mormonism)
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, most often simply referred to as the sacrament, is the sacrament in which participants partake of bread and drink water in remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ...

. Notices of excommunication may be made public—especially in cases of apostasy, where members could be misled—but the specific reasons for individual excommunications are typically kept confidential and are seldom made public.

Persons who have been excommunicated are usually allowed to attend church meetings but participation is limited. They cannot offer prayers for the congregation, give talks, etc., cannot enter LDS temples
Temple (LDS Church)
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , a temple is a building dedicated to be a House of the Lord, and they are considered by Church members to be the most sacred structures on earth. Upon completion, temples are usually open to the public for a short period of time...

, or wear temple garment
Temple garment
A Temple garment is a type of underwear worn by members of some denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement, after they have taken part in the Endowment ceremony. Garments are worn both day and night and are required for any previously endowed adult to enter a church temple...

s, or pay tithe
Tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

s. Excommunicated members may be re-baptized after a waiting period and sincere repentance
Repentance
Repentance is a change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God, and resolving to live according to religious law...

, as judged by a series of interviews with church leaders.

Some critics have charged that LDS leaders have used the threat of excommunication to silence or punish LDS members and researchers who disagree with established policy and doctrine, or who study or discuss controversial subjects, or who may be involved in disputes with local, stake leaders or general authorities. A notable case regarding researchers is the so-called September Six
September Six
The September Six were six members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were excommunicated or disfellowshipped by the LDS Church in September 1993 for speaking against Church doctrine and leadership. The term "September Six" was coined by The Salt Lake Tribune and the term was...

.

However, LDS policy dictates that local leaders are responsible for excommunication, without influence from General Church leadership, arguing this policy is evidence against systematic persecution of scholars.

Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

 practice something similar to excommunication, using the term "disfellowshipping", in cases where, it is believed, a member has unrepentantly committed one or more of several documented "serious sins".

When a member confesses to or is accused of a serious sin, a judicial committee of at least three elders is formed. This committee investigates the case and determines the magnitude of the sin committed. If the person is deemed guilty of a disfellowshipping offence, the committee then decides, on the basis of the person's attitude and "works befitting repentance" , whether the person is to be considered repentant. The "works" may include trying to correct the wrong, making apologies to any offended individuals, and compliance with earlier counsel. If deemed guilty but repentant, the person is not disfellowshipped but is formally reproved and has restrictions imposed, which preclude the individual from various activities such as presenting talks, offering public prayers or making comments at meetings.

If the person is deemed guilty and unrepentant, he or she will be disfellowshipped. Unless an appeal is made within seven days, the disfellowshipping is made formal by an announcement at the congregation's next Service Meeting
Jehovah's Witnesses practices
The practices of Jehovah's Witnesses are based on the Bible teachings of Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Bible Student movement, and successive presidents of the Watch Tower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford and Nathan Homer Knorr. Since 1976 they have also been based on decisions made at...

. Appeals are granted to determine if procedural errors are felt to have occurred that may have affected the outcome.

Disfellowshipping is a severing of friendly relationships between all Jehovah's Witnesses and the one disfellowshipped. Interaction with extended family is typically restricted to a minimum, such as presence at the reading of wills and providing essential care for the elderly. Within a household, family contact and marital intimacies may continue, but without spiritual fellowship such as family Bible study and religious discussions. Parents of disfellowshipped minors living in the family may continue to attempt to convince the child of the value of the religion's ways. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that this form of discipline encourages the disfellowshipped individual to conform to biblical standards and prevents the person from influencing other members of the congregation.

Disassociation is a form of disfellowshipping where a member expresses verbally or in writing that they do not wish to be associated with Jehovah's Witnesses, or that they are considered to have done so by their actions. An example of this would be joining another religion or military organization. Individuals who are deemed by the elders to have disassociated are given no right of appeal. Disassociated members are viewed the same as disfellowshipped individuals.

Each year, congregation elders are instructed to consider meeting with disfellowshipped individuals to determine changed circumstances and encourage them to pursue reinstatement.

Reinstatement is not automatic after a certain time period, nor is there a minimum duration; disfellowshipped persons may talk to elders at any time but must apply in writing to be considered for reinstatement into the congregation. Elders consider each case individually, and are instructed to ensure "that sufficient time has passed for the disfellowshipped person to prove that his profession of repentance is genuine." A judicial committee meets with the individual to determine their repentance, and if this is established, the person is reinstated into the congregation and may participate with the congregation in their formal ministry (such as house to house preaching), but is prohibited from commenting at meetings or holding any privileges for a period set by the judicial committee. If possible, the same judicial committee members who disfellowshipped the individual are selected for the reinstatement hearing. If the applicant is in a different area, the person will meet with a local judicial committee that will communicate with either the original judicial committee if available or a new one in the original congregation.

A Witness who has been formally reproved or reinstated cannot be appointed to any special privilege of service for at least one year. Serious sins involving child sex abuse permanently disqualify the sinner from appointment to any congregational privilege of service, regardless of whether the sinner was convicted of any secular crime.

Christadelphians

Similarly to many groups having their origins in the 1830s Restoration Movement
Restoration Movement
The Restoration Movement is a Christian movement that began on the American frontier during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century...

, Christadelphians
Christadelphians
Christadelphians is a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century...

 call their form of excommunication "disfellowshipping", though they do not practice "shunning". Disfellowshipping can occur for moral reasons, changing beliefs, or (in some ecclesias) for not attending communion
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 (referred to as "the emblems" or "the breaking of bread").

In such cases, the person involved is usually required to discuss the issues. If they do not conform, the church ('meeting' or 'ecclesia') is recommended by the management committee ("Arranging Brethren") to vote on disfellowshipping the person. These procedures were formulated 1863 onwards by early Christadelphians, and then in 1883 codified by Robert Roberts
Robert Roberts (Christadelphian)
Robert Roberts is the man generally considered to have continued the work of organising and establishing the Christadelphian movement founded by Dr. John Thomas...

 in A Guide to the Formation and Conduct of Christadelphian Ecclesias (colloquially "The Ecclesial Guide"). However Christadelphians justify and apply their practice not only from this document but also from passages such as the exclusion in 1Co.5 and recovery in 2Co.2.

Christadelphians typically avoid the term "excommunication" which many associate with the Catholic Church; and may feel the word carries implications they do not agree with, such as undue condemnation and punishment, as well as failing to recognise the remedial intention of the measure.
  • Behavioural cases. Many cases regarding moral issues tend to involve relational matters such as marriage outside the faith, divorce and remarriage (which is considered adultery in some circumstances by some ecclesias), or homosexuality. Reinstatement for moral issues is determined by the ecclesia's assessment of whether the individual has "turned away" from (ceased) the course of action considered immoral by the church. This can be complex when dealing with cases of divorce and subsequent remarriage, with different positions adopted by different ecclesias, but generally within the main "Central" grouping, such cases can be accommodated. Some minority "fellowships" do not accommodate this under any circumstances.

  • Doctrinal cases. Changes of belief on what Christadelphians call "first principle" doctrines are difficult to accommodate unless the individual agrees to not teach or spread them, since the body has a documented Statement of Faith which informally serves as a basis of ecclesial membership and interecclesial fellowship. Those who are disfellowshipped for reasons of differing belief rarely return, because they are expected to conform to an understanding with which they do not agree. Holding differing beliefs on fundamental matters is considered as error and apostasy
    Apostasy
    Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

    , which can limit a person's salvation. However in practice disfellowship for doctrinal reasons is now unusual


In the case of adultery and divorce, the passage of time usually means a member can be restored if he or she wants to be. In the case of ongoing behaviour, cohabitation, homosexual activity, then the terms of the suspension have not been met. In the case of doctrinal issues, refellowship is typically not sought because showing the necessary conformity of thought that would be required is not conscientiously possible. In some cases if the person will agree to refrain from expressing any thoughts on these issues they can remain and some liberal meetings will show tolerance. However in some cases of tolerance, block (or whole ecclesia) disfellowshipping has happened.

The mechanics of "refellowship" follow the reverse of the original process; the individual makes an application to the "ecclesia", and the "Arranging Brethren" give a recommendation to the members who vote. If the "Arranging Brethren" judge that a vote may divide the ecclesia, or personally upset some members, they may seek to find a third party ecclesia which is willing to "refellowship" the member instead. According to the Ecclesial Guide a third party ecclesia may also take the initiative to "refellowship" another meeting's member. However this cannot be done unilaterally, as this would constitute heteronomy
Heteronomy
Heteronomy refers to action that is influenced by a force outside the individual. Immanuel Kant, drawing on Jean-Jacques Rousseau, considered such an action nonmoral.It is the counter-opposite of autonomy....

 over the autonomy
Autonomy
Autonomy is a concept found in moral, political and bioethical philosophy. Within these contexts, it is the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision...

 of the original ecclesia's members.

Buddhism

There is no direct equivalent to excommunication in Buddhism. However, in the Theravadan monastic community monks can be expelled from monasteries for heresy and/or other acts. In addition, the monks have four vows, called the four defeats, which are abstaining from sexual intercourse, stealing, murder, and refraining from lying about spiritual gains (e.g., having special power or ability to perform miracles). If even one is broken, the monk is automatically a layman again and can never become a monk in his or her current life.

Most Japanese Buddhist sects hold ecclesiastical authority over its followers and have their own rules for excommunicating members of the sangha, lay or bishopric. The lay Japanese Buddhist organization Sōka Gakkai was excommunicated from the Nichiren Shoshu
Nichiren Shoshu
Nichiren Shōshū is a branch of Nichiren Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th-century Japanese monk Nichiren . Nichiren Shōshū claims Nichiren as its founder through his disciple Nikkō , the founder of the school's Head Temple Taiseki-ji...

 sect in 1991.

Hinduism

Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 has been too diverse to be seen as a monolithic religion, and with a conspicuous absence of any listed dogma or ecclesia (organised church), has no concept of excommunication and hence no Hindu may be ousted from the Hindu religion, although a person may easily lose caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

 status for a very wide variety of infringements of caste prohibitions. This may or may not be recoverable. However, some of the modern organized sects within Hinduism may practice something equivalent to excommunication today, by ousting a person from their own sect.

In medieval and early-modern times (and sometimes even now) in South Asia, excommunication from one's caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

(jati or varna) used to be practiced (by the caste-councils) and was often with serious consequences, such as abasement of the person's caste status and even throwing him into the sphere of the untouchables or bhangi
Bhangi
Bhangi is an Indian caste or jāti traditionally treated as untouchable, and was historically restricted to three occupations: cleaning latrines, sweeping, and scavenging . They prefer to be known as Balmiki...

. In the 19th century, a Hindu faced excommunication for going abroad, since it was presumed he would be forced to break caste restrictions and, as a result, become polluted.

After excommunication, it would depend upon the caste-council whether they would accept any form of repentance (ritual or otherwise) or not. Such current examples of excommunication in Hinduism are often more political or social rather than religious, for example the excommunication of lower castes for refusing to work as scavengers in Tamil Nadu.

An earlier example of excommunication in Hinduism is that of Shastri Yagnapurushdas, who voluntarily left and was later expelled from the Vadtal Gadi of the Swaminarayan Sampraday
Swaminarayan Sampraday
Swaminarayan Sampraday , known previously as the Uddhav Sampraday, is a Hindu sect established by Swaminarayan...

 by the then Vadtal acharya in 1906. He went on to form his own institution, Bochasanwasi Swaminarayan Sanstha or BSS (now BAPS
BAPS
Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha , often abbreviated as BAPS , is a major organization within the Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism...

) claiming Gunatitanand Swami
Gunatitanand Swami
Gunatitanand Swami was a saint of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. Gunatitanand Swami was a prominent paramhansa who gave valuable contribution for spreading of the Swaminarayan Sampraday....

 was the rightful spiritual successor to Swaminarayan.

Islam

Excommunication as it exists in Christian faiths does not exist in Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. The nearest approximation is takfir, a declaration that an individual or group is kafir
Kafir
Kafir is an Arabic term used in a Islamic doctrinal sense, usually translated as "unbeliever" or "disbeliever"...

(or kuffar in plural), a non-believer. This does not prevent an individual from taking part in any Islamic rite or ritual, and since the matter of whether a person is kafir is a rather subjective matter, a declaration of takfir is generally considered null and void if the target refutes it or if the Islamic community in which he or she lives refuses to accept it.

Takfir has usually been practiced through the courts. More recently, cases have taken place where individuals have been considered kuffar. These decisions followed lawsuits against individuals, mainly in response to their writings that some have viewed as anti-Islamic. The most famous cases are of Salman Rushdie, Nasr Abu Zayd
Nasr Abu Zayd
Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd was an Egyptian Qur'anic thinker and one of the leading liberal theologians in Islam. He is famous for his project of a humanistic Qur'anic hermeneutics.- Biography :...

, and Nawal El-Saadawi. The repercussions of such cases have included divorce, since under traditional interpretations of Islamic law, Muslim women are not permitted to marry
Islamic marital jurisprudence
In Islamic law , marriage is a legal bond and social contract between a man and a woman. Islam commends marriage, with the age of marriage being whenever the individuals feel ready, financially and emotionally...

 non-Muslim men.

However, takfir remains a highly contentious issue in Islam, primarily because there is no universally accepted authority in Islamic law. Indeed, according to classical commentators, the reverse seems to hold true, in that Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 reportedly equated the act of declaring someone a kafir itself to blasphemy if the accused individual maintained that he was a Muslim.

Judaism

Cherem
Cherem
Cherem , is the highest ecclesiastical censure in the Jewish community. It is the total exclusion of a person from the Jewish community. It is a form of shunning, and is similar to excommunication in the Catholic Church...

is the highest ecclesiastical censure in Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

. It is the total exclusion of a person from the Jewish community. Except for cases in the Charedi community, cherem stopped existing after The Enlightenment, when local Jewish communities lost their political autonomy, and Jews were integrated into the gentile nations in which they lived. A siruv
Siruv
A shtar siruv is a form of contempt of court order issued by a beth din in an effort to compel action by an individual....

order, equivalent to a contempt of court
Contempt of court
Contempt of court is a court order which, in the context of a court trial or hearing, declares a person or organization to have disobeyed or been disrespectful of the court's authority...

, issued by a Rabbinical court may also limit religious participation.

See also

  • Banishment in the Bible
    Banishment in the Bible
    Banishment or exile can be a form of punishment. It means to be away from one's home while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened by prison or death upon return. As it is a common theme within the Bible with one of its earliest references, Adam & Eve,...

  • Disconnection
    Disconnection
    Disconnection, when used in Scientology, is a term used to describe the severance of all ties between a Scientologist and a friend, colleague, or family member deemed to be antagonistic towards Scientology. The practice of disconnection is a form of shunning. Among Scientologists, disconnection is...

  • Interdict (Roman Catholic Church)
    Interdict (Roman Catholic Church)
    In Roman Catholic canon law, an interdict is an ecclesiastical censure that excludes from certain rites of the Church individuals or groups, who nonetheless do not cease to be members of the Church.-Distinctions in canon law:...


External links

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