From a reader:
While I am praying my Act of Contrition in the Confessional, I hear
the priest praying in Latin. Sometime I hear him say the Latin word
for excommunication and this always makes me afraid that he has judged
that one of my sins was extra bad… something that needed an
un-excommunication. Is it normal for a priest to use that word?
No, do not make that assumption and don’t worry about this at all.
The older form of absolution, which more traditionally-minded priests of the Latin Church can use, includes a line about lifting whatever censure might have been incurred to the extent that he has the faculty to lift them and there is need.
The usual form was and is, with my emphases:
May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve you. And I by His authority release you from every bond of excommunication (suspension) and interdict, in so far as I am empowered and you have need. And now I absolve you from your sins; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. R.: Amen.
You can see the logic of the formula. First, the censure is lifted so that the person is able to receive the absolution of sins, and then the sins are absolved.
Also, it is not uncommon that priests start reciting the formula quietly once they hear you getting on with your Act of Contrition. That is pretty standard.