Chad Pecknold , associate professor, theology and religious studies, was quoted in a June 23 Vox article about comments Pope Francis made about Italian gangsters.

From: Vox Date: June 23, 2014 Author: Brandon Ambrosino

... But Francis' critique of the mafia should not be seen as an official excommunication, according to Chad Pecknold, an assistant professor of theology at Catholic University of America. In Roman Catholicism, an official excommunication is a strict censure that deprives the excommunicated of fellowship with the rest of the Church body. When a Church member is excommunicated, she is not allowed to take communion. Excommunication, though severe, is not irreversible. According to Canon Law, the censure is "medicinal," meaning it's given to a Catholic in the hopes of urging him to repentance.

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