Sacramentum Mundi Online

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Ecclesiastical Penalties
(2,970 words)

Everybody is aware, however vaguely, that the Church sometimes inflicts penalties on its members; they may, for example, be excommunicated or deprived of Christian burial or, if clerics, they may be suspended from the exercise of their functions.

1. Principles. It may be objected that such repressive measures contradict the principle of the “holy liberty of the children of God”. Nobody, however, will dispute the need for discipline within the Church. The Church’s mission is to guide the faithful along the way that leads to salvation.…

Cite this page
Louis de Naurois, “Ecclesiastical Penalties”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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