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Are people who die while excommunicated damned?

Full Question

What happens to those who die while excommunicated? Do they go to hell?

Answer

Excommunication of laypeople principally means that they are cut off from receiving the sacraments. It does not mean that the Church is condemning a person to hell. In fact, excommunication is intended to be a medicine to inspire people to repent and be reconciled to the Church. Once reconciled to the Church, that person may again receive the sacraments. If an excommunicated person dies without being formally reconciled to the Church, he can be saved if he truly and sincerely repents all of his mortal sins before death. Certainly we may pray that a person in these circumstances be interiorly reconciled to God and the Church through full repentance before death.














1 comment

  1. Noel David Reply

    ALL those people who oppress and exploit people without relenting in every sphere… All those who spread hatred and resort to violence/bloodshed and live only for themselves and keep filling their coffers to the brim with no heart for the plight of others – ­ even when they see them suffering from extreme thirst, hunger, sickness, poverty and oppression… are the ones who will find it very, very difficult to escape from being damned….

    There are many in the Church (both Clergy and Laity) ­ who are disobedient to God and do a lot of wrong/immoral/unjust/heartless/inhumane
    deeds towards their very own community members and towards others…. Just excommunicating those whom the Church leaders (or community) cannot stomach and allowing many to remain in spite of being aware of their unChristian/inhumane/unjust acts – does not speak well of the Church’s stand…. The Lord himself did not expel or kick out those (disciples) whom he already knew beforehand who were going to betray, deny and desert him…. So, I believe that this excommunication business need not be practiced by the Church…. They (Church leaders of any church for that matter) should let the Weed (sinners ­ rebels ­ dissenters) to grow with the Wheat (the so-called “good” and “loyal” members) till Harvest Time….. This weeding out the weeds in anger and in haste (could indeed be wheat that were considered as weeds) that were pulled out (kicked out) were in reality wheat (which in their anger or intollerance they may not see clearly)…. There are many a black sheep (from both the Clergy and the Faithful in large numbers) in the Flock/Church and it is totally impossible to weed them out ­ since it is difficult for ordinary mortals to differentiate between the weed and the wheat…. Most of us people easily get fooled by the wolves in the garb of sheep in every sphere…..

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