What is EXCOMMUNICATION?

A sentence of censure pronounced by one of the spiritualcourts for offenses falling under ecclesiastical coguizance. It is described in the booksas twofold: (1) The lesser excommunication, which is an ecclesiastical censure,excluding the party from the sacraments; (2) the greater, which excludes him from thecompany of all Christians. Formerly, too, an excommunicated man was under variouscivil disabilities. He could not serve upon juries, or be a witness in any court; neithercould he bring an action to recover lands or money due to him. These penalties areabolished by St. 53 Geo. III. c. 127. 3 Steph. Comm. 721.

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