Noun. A public rebuke by the Pope or a bishop of a disobedient churchman or group, sometimes, but not always involving an excommunication. The act is primarily medicinal, in that it seeks to bring about the return of the errant party to orthodoxy, rather than simply to shun them.
The pope's public rebuke of the illicit and schismatic consecrations constituted an ecclesiastical spanking.
The bishop issued an ecclesiastical spanking by condemning the heterodox ideology espoused by the members of the parish.