It starts off in Chapter 23:
1If a brother is found to be stubborn or disobedient or proud, if he grumbles or in any way despises the holy rule and defies the order of his seniors, 2he should be warned twice privately by the seniors in accord with our Lord's injunction (Matt 18:15-16). 3If he does not amend, he must be rebuked publicly in the presence of everyone. 4But if even then he does not reform, let him be excommunicated...Obviously, excommunication is harsh. But what is interesting about Benedict's instructions regarding excommunication are the variety of humanizing aspects he includes. For example, as we note here at the beginning, there are two private warnings and a third public warning. In the next chapter Benedict goes on to talk about degrees of excommunication, from mild to more severe depending upon the issue being addressed.
But here's the most interesting part. After describing how to treat the excommunicated, Benedict goes on to describe in Chapter 27 "The Abbot's Concern For the Excommunicated":
1The abbot must exercise the utmost care and concern for wayward brothers, because "it is not the healthy who need a physician, but the sick" (Matt 9:12). 2Therefore, he ought to use every skill of a wise physician and send in senpectae, that is, mature and wise brothers 3who, under the cloak of secrecy, may support the wavering brother, urge him to be humble as a way of making satisfaction, and "console him lest he be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow" (2 Cor 2:7). 4Rather, as the Apostle also says: "Let love for him be reaffirmed" (2 Cor 2:8), and let all pray for him.What is striking and important here is how the excommunicated are not left alone. In fact, the excommunicated receive special care, supported socially and emotionally by skilled and wise people. During excommunication love is affirmed and reaffirmed. More, in verse 6 we read that the abbot's primary area of care is for these excommunicated. The abbot's primary job isn't ruling over the healthy, but caring for the sick.
5It is the abbot's responsibility to have great concern and to act with all speed, discernment and diligence in order not to lose any of the sheep entrusted to him. 6He should realize that he has undertaken care of the sick, not tyranny over the healthy.
I'm struck by this as it's very similar to the argument I made in this meditation on Jesus's instructions to treat erring brothers and sisters "as a tax collector and pagan." The basic idea I argue is that, while on one level there is a social rupture in excommunication, there is engaged, on another level, social connection and embrace.