Other Free Encyclopedias » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia » 21st Century Webster's Family Encyclopedia - Erasistratus to Federalism



Excommunication, expulsion of a person from a religious group. This practice exists in most Christian churches, most notably Catholicism. In the Roman Catholic Church an excommunicate may not attend mass or receive the sacraments and is denied a Christian burial. Excommunication was important in the Middle Ages as a punishment meted out by ecclesiastical courts. It was sometimes used to force temporal rulers to submit to papal authority.

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