1 Corinthians 5:3
3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
Paul was absent in body from the Corinthians, but because he was present in the spirit, which could mean he was in tune with the spirit, he knew precisely what needed to be done with this erring one. He knew what was right and wrong. No amount of rationalizing would change the fact that there was grave sin with a man in the church.
The word judged is a tough one. It may mean “concluded” or “determined.” The word Already seems to give the idea that his mind was made up. He does not need to be there in person to tell them what they should do concerning him that hath so done this deed. Is Paul able to make this determination because he is an apostle?