A formal ecclesiastical censure that deprives a person of the right to belong to a church.
The act of excommunicating or ejecting; especially an ecclesiastical censure whereby the person against whom it is pronounced is, for the time, cast out of the communication of the church; exclusion from fellowship in things spiritual.
9-10 Diotrephes appears to have secured an excommunication by the action of a party in the church.
It is clear from these illustrations that within the New Testament there is development from spontaneous towards strictly regulated methods; also that the use of excommunication is chiefly for disciplinary and protective rather than punitive purposes.
- The writings of the church Fathers give sufficient evidence that two degrees of excommunication, the a.diopiaµos and the a4 opu rµ r 7ravreVis, as they were generally called, were in use during, or at least soon after, the apostolic age.
For some sins, such as adultery, the sentence of excommunication was in the 2nd century regarded as iravr€X)s in the sense of being irrevocable.
But the excommunication was on all hands regarded as being "medicinal" in its character.