Excommunication is the ultimate threat that The Holy Roman Church holds over every star systems head. Quite simply it is the cutting off of access to a Heaven’s Gate. When The Church decides that a system is beyond redemption, or its heresy has gone to far, it loads the Cathedral Station on to a Church Carrier, and leaves the system. With no Church Carriers or Gatekeepers available to navigate Gate Space, the system is effectively cut off from the rest of humanity. Some systems may possess enough raw materials to survive this experience, but the vast majority do not, and as a result it is a death sentence for the entire system.