I was a Catholic. I did my sacraments according to the Catholic lifestyle. When I was born, I was baptized. Around age of 8 years, I got my First Holy Communion, and around 14 years of age, I went to confirmation classes and got confirmed.

I got pregnant at age 17 and married outside the church, since my parents didn't approve of my condition or choice of the baby's father. Sex was preached as a mortal sin, and without confession, I would go to straight to Hell if I died.

My parents disowned me and so did the Catholic Church, the priest told me I would be excommunicated. I don't know that any form was filed, and my parents apologized for doing me wrong many years later, instead of having the baby and having him adopted.

Am I excommunicated or is all I need to do to go to confession to return to good standing in the Church?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Peter Turner Jun 11 '19 at 17:19
  • 1
    I hope I edited the question in accord with what you're trying to get at. I think it's a good question about whether or not you can be excommunicated by a priest. We don't offer spiritual advice or counseling or anything on the site, but there are a number of people here who are pretty good at finding things to help you get the information you may want. – Peter Turner Jun 11 '19 at 17:21
  • 1
    The latter, and you should probably visit a priest anyway ... how long has it been since the priest told you that? – KorvinStarmast Jun 11 '19 at 22:02

Am I excommunicated or is all I need to do to go to confession to return to good standing in the Church?

No way. The excommunication is automatic only for some very special kind of sins, and only a Bishop can perform an "expicit" excommunication.

Anyway, your sin may be forgiven as any other sin, in the usual ways and under the same conditions.


Talk to a Priest. As far as I know marrying outside the Church is invalid but does not incurr automatic excommunication. You would not be able to receive Holy Communion, and I suspect that you may be confusing the two

Even if you are excommunicated your excommunication can be lifted. Again a chat with a Priest, or an appointment for Confession would be the place to start.

It does not seem like your marriages were valid, a Catholic has to marry in the Church or receive a dispensation. This is good news because you can get a decree of nullity for your previous marriages and convalidate your current one. That, and a good Confession should allow you to receive Holy Communion, assuming that you are not excommunicated or that if you are it has been lifted. Again a chat with a Priest should point you in the right direction to get the process started.

  • 1
    To clarify: "convalidating" your marriage is the process of making your invalid marriage into a valid one (assuming it matches the criteria, particularly that it be a permanent, monogamous relationship between a man and a woman). So your marriage is not necessarily doomed to remain invalid because of how it started. – Thunderforge Jun 13 '19 at 16:30

My son is alive now at age 49. I chose to give birth and love him unconditionally.


Can a Catholic priest excommunicate someone ...

There are two types of excommunication:

One type is done automatically if you have committed certain kinds of sin. One example would be if you are involved in an abortion.

If you commit such kind of sin, you are excommunicated even if nobody but you knows about the sin and even if you don't know that you are excommunicated.

The other type is a decision of a bishop. The bishop can decide to excommunicate you if you have done certain kinds of sin.

As far as I know, having a family without being married is neither a sin that automatically leads to an excommunication, nor a sin that allows your bishop to excommunicate you.

An ordinary priest is not allowed to excommunicate you.

However, if he knows that you committed some kind of sin that automatically leads to an excommunication and therefore you are already excommunicated, he might inform you about that fact.

Not knowing exactly what you did and what you didn't do, nobody here can tell you if you are really excommunicated or not.

One very important point that I cannot understand in your question is if your baby was aborted or if it was born and is alive today. And if it was aborted, if you agreed or if you were forced to have that done against your will...

  • I thought knowing that excommunication is the penalty is one of the conditions for it to apply. – Belinda Jun 13 '19 at 11:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.