List of people excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church
This is a list of some of the more notable people excommunicated by the Catholic Church. It includes only excommunications acknowledged or imposed by a decree of the Pope or a bishop in communion with him. Latae sententiae excommunications, those that automatically affect classes of people (members of certain associations or those who perform actions such as directly violating the seal of confession or carrying out an abortion), are not listed unless confirmed by a bishop or ecclesiastical tribunal with respect to certain individuals.
In Roman Catholic canon law, excommunication is a censure and thus a "medicinal penalty" intended to invite the person to change behavior or attitude that incurred the penalty, repent, and return to full communion. Excommunication does not expel a Catholic from membership in the church; excommunicated Catholics are still considered to be members of the church, and thus considered bound by their obligations of membership such as attending Mass or fasting seasonally. Excommunicated Catholics, however, are barred from receiving the Eucharist or from taking an active part in the liturgy (reading, bringing the offerings, etc.) while under censure.
- Simon Magus, for whom simony was named
- An unnamed Corinthian who had married a woman who had been his father's wife
- Hymenaeus and Alexander, excommunicated by Paul as recounted in 1 Timothy
- Valentinus, proponent of Gnosticism
- Marcion of Sinope, originator of Marcionism
- Montanus, originator of Montanism
- Theodotus of Byzantium, proponent of Adoptionism, excommunicated by Pope Victor I
- Sabellius, originator of Sabellianism
- Novatian, an early antipope who taught Novatianism
- Paul of Samosata, excommunicated by a synod at Antioch in 269
- Marcellus of Ancyra
- Arius, founder of Arianism
- Roman Emperor Theodosius I was excommunicated by the bishop of Milan, Saint Ambrose, for the Massacre of Thessaloniki. After repentance, penance and restitution, the Emperor was restored to communion with the Church.
- Nestorius, proponent of Nestorianism
- Eutyches, proponent of Monophysitism
- Dioscorus I of Alexandria, who presided over the robber council of Ephesus
In 998, Robert II of France, who had been insisting on his right to appoint bishops, was ultimately forced to back down, and ultimately also to put aside his wife Bertha of Burgundy who had also been excommunicated. The stated reason was the degree of consanguinity between the two. By Pope Gregory V. They had the marriage annulled by Pope Sylvester II in 1000 and were reinstated.
- The legal validity of this excommunication has been questioned as it was issued by legates of Pope Leo IX after the Pope's death. It was declared lifted on December 7, 1965.
- Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Gregory VII over the Investiture Controversy
- Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor by Jordan, Archbishop of Milan in 1116 and ratified by Pope Paschal II over the Investiture Controversy. Received back into communion in 1122.
- Harold II, King of England, for perhaps politically motivated reasons by Pope Alexander II in order to justify the invasion and takeover of the kingdom by William the Conqueror in 1066.
- Bolesław II the Generous, Duke of Poland, was excommunicated in 1080 after murdering the bishop Saint Stanislaus of Kraków.
- Philip I of France, king of France, for repudiating his marriage and remarrying, by Hugh, Archbishop of Lyon and later reaffirmed by Pope Urban II.
- Frederick I Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, by Alexander III
- Anselm V (Archbishop of Milan) by Pope Honorius II
- William I of Sicily, by Pope Adrian IV, while the king was waging war against the papal states and raiding pilgrims on their way to the tombs of the apostles.
- Ralph I, Count of Vermandois was said to have been excommunicated in 1142 by Bishop Saint Ivo of Chartres for repudiating his lawful wife and marrying another
- Roger II of Sicily, was excommunicated under the decrees of the Second Lateran Council in 1139
- Anacletus II, antipope
- Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, excommunicated a second time by Pope Paschal II for refusing to abjure his claim to imperial investitures, posthumously lifted in 1111
- In 1170 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket excommunicated Roger de Pont L'Évêque, the archbishop of York, along with Gilbert Foliot, the bishop of London, and Josceline de Bohon, the bishop of Salisbury, for crowning the heir-apparent Henry at York, thereby usurping Canterbury's privileges. In response to these excommunications, the heirs father, Henry II of England famously exclaimed words that led to Becket's assassination.
- King John of England, excommunicated in 1208 by Pope Innocent III after refusing to accept Cardinal Stephen Langdon as the pope's choice for Archbishop of Canterbury. John relented in 1213 and was restored to communion.
- King Afonso II of Portugal, excommunicated in 1212 by Pope Honorius III for weakening the clergy and investing part of the large sums destined to the Catholic Church in the unification of the country. Afonso II promised to reconcile with the Church, however, he died in 1223 without making any serious attempt to do so.
- King Andrew II of Hungary, was excommunicated in 1231 after not following the points of Golden Bull of 1222, a seminal bill of rights, which contained new dispositions related to the tithe and hostile practices against the Jews and Muslims of the realm.
- Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, was excommunicated thrice. The first time by Pope Gregory IX in 1227 for delaying his promise to begin the 5th Crusade; the excommunication was lifted in 1229. The same pope excommunicated him again in 1239 for making war against the Papal States, a censure rescinded by the new pope, Celestine IV, who died soon after. Frederick was again excommunicated by Pope Innocent IV at the First Council of Lyons in 1245. Frederick repented just before his death and was absolved of the censure in 1250.
- Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester was excommunicated in 1264 by Pope Clement IV for rebelling against King Henry III of England during the Second Barons' War. This was lifted in 1268.
- King Ladislaus IV of Hungary in 1279, by the pope's envoy Philip, for acting against the Catholic Church and living in a pagan way with the Cumans.
- James II of Aragon, in 1286 by Pope Boniface VIII for being crowned King of Sicily and thereby usurping a papal fief. His younger brother Frederick III of Sicily was excommunicated for the same reason in 1296.
- Jacopo Colonna and Pietro Colonna, both cardinals, were excommunicated by Pope Boniface VIII in the bull 'excelso throno' (1297) for refusing to surrender their relative Stefano Colonna (who had seized and robbed the pope's nephew) and refusing to give the pope Palestrina along with two fortresses, which threatened the pope. This excommunication was extended in the same year to Jacopo's nephews and their heirs, after the two Colonna cardinals denounced the pope's election as invalid and appealed to a general council.
- Eric VI of Denmark in 1298, by Pope Boniface VIII, for imprisoning Archbishop of Lund, Jens Grand.
- Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos of Constantinople, by Pope Martin IV.
- Peter III of Aragon, by Pope Martin IV
- Antipopes at Avignon Clement VII and Benedict XIII and their followers by proxy
- Barnabò Visconti, tyrant of Milan, by Blessed Urban V in 1363. This was later rescinded after Barnabo restored castles he had seized and peace was concluded between him and the papal states.
- Mercenary bands known as the 'free companies' that had overrun Italy and France were excommunicated by Blessed Urban V in 1366. Included in this excommunication were the German Count of Landau[clarification needed] and the Englishman Sir John Hawkwood
- Pedro the Cruel of Navarre was excommunicated by Blessed Urban V for his persecutions of clergy and cruelty.
- King Philip the Fair of France in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII, for failing to respond adequately to a papal letter regarding Philip's effective rejection of the pope's temporal authority.
- Ladislaus Kán, Hungarian noble regent of the region of Transylvania that was excommunicated in 1309 by the pope's envoy Gentilis for not handing over the Holy Crown of Hungary, that was being kept illegally by him.
- Matthew III Csák, Hungarian noble that was excommunicated in 1311 by the pope's envoy Gentilis, for not accepting the new King Charles I of Hungary.
- Robert the Bruce, King of Scots 1306-1329, was excommunicated following his killing of the Red Comyn before the altar of the Greyfriars Church at Dumfries in 1306.
- William de Lamberton, Bishop of St Andrews.
- David de Moravia, Bishop of Moray.
- Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow.
- Joanna I of Naples in 1378 by Pope Urban VI for her support of Antipope Clement VII, support deemed heretical by Urban.
- Saint Joan of Arc was excommunicated by Bishop Pierre Cauchon (even though he allowed her Holy Communion immediately before her immolation) on 30 May 1431. She was later fully reconciled to the Catholic Church at her posthumous Trial of Nullification on 7 July 1456.
- Jan Hus
- Girolamo Savonarola, was an Italian Dominican friar, excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI in 1497.
- Pietro Colonna in 1501 by Pope Alexander VI
- James IV of Scotland in 1513 for breaking the Treaty of Perpetual Peace with England.
- Martin Luther in 1520 by Pope Leo X.
- Henry VIII of England in 1533, officially promulgated on 17 December 1538 by Pope Paul III.
- Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and first head of the Church of England.
- Elizabeth I of England in 1570 by the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis.
- Thomas Erastus founder of Erastianism
- Henry IV of France and Navarre, who famously retaliated by "excommunicating" the Pope. He later converted to Catholicism and his excommunication was lifted on 17 September 1595.
- Giovanni Bentivoglio, leader of Bologna, in 1506 by Julius II, while the pope was at war with him and leading an army to take Bologna.
- Alfonso I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, by Julius II in 1510.
- Discalced Carmelites in Spain who participated in an illicit meeting to elect a provincial without approval, by the Pope's legate in Spain Filippo Sega in 1578 This was ignored by those excommunicated. It was formally revoked in 1579.
- Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of the Encarnacion in Avila who refused to renounce St Teresa's leadership of the convent, by the orders provincial, after the church authorities ordered a replacement in 1577. This excommunication was revoked later that year.
- Mikołaj Sapieha in approximately 1625 by Pope Urban VIII; punishment for stealing a painting. The excommunication was lifted in 1634 to allow Sapieha to publicly oppose the suggested marriage of Władysław IV Vasa and Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia.
- Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma in 1641 by Pope Urban VIII during the Wars of Castro.
- Most important supporters of Jansenism, in the 1718 bull Pastoralis officii
- Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Bishop of Autun, by Pope Pius VI
- Napoleon was excommunicated June 10, 1809 for ordering the annexation of Rome and a long period of anti-Papal orders.
- Stephen Kaminski, PNCC bishop, in 1898
- Francis Hodur member of PNCC
- Gregorio Aglipay Cruz y Labayan was a Roman Catholic priest who became the first Filipino Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church, a new Protestant church. Excommunicated in May 1899 by Archbishop of Manila Bernardino Norzaleda y Villa.
- Saint Mary MacKillop by Bishop Laurence Sheil in 1871. Five months later, from his deathbed, Shiel rescinded the excommunication. An Episcopal Commission[clarification needed] later gave her a complete exoneration and it has since been made clear that the excommunication was never valid under Canon Law.
- Fr. Edward McGlynn was excommunicated in 1887 for opposing the establishment of parochial schools believing that they were unnecessary. The excommunication was lifted in 1892.
- Fr. José María Morelos, Fr. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, Mariano Abasolo and all of the Mexican Revolutionary Army for "disturbances of the public order, corrupting the public, sacrilege [and] perjury" in 1810.
- Colombian writer and atheist José María Vargas Vila was excommunicated upon the publication his novel Ibis (1900).
- Fr. Hyacinthe Loyson a Carmelite priest was excommunicated in 1869 for writing a manifesto against church 'abuses'.
- Fidel Castro is reported to have been excommunicated by John XXIII in 1962 for affiliating with the Communist Party of Cuba, preaching communism and supporting a communist government; the basis of the excommunication is supposed to have been the 1949 Decree against Communism of Pope Pius XII. Other sources deny that there was any such personal excommunication of the Cuban leader.
- Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Bishops Antonio de Castro Meyer, Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta for the Ecône Consecrations (Society of St. Pius X) without papal mandate. Formally declared to have incurred latae sententiae excommunication by Cardinal Bernardin Gantin on July 1, 1988. The excommunications of the latter four (the bishops consecrated in that 1988 ceremony) were lifted in 2009; the first two (the consecrator and the co-consecrator) had died in the meantime.
- Father Romolo Murri, a leader of the Italian Catholic Democrats, for giving speeches against Papal policy
- Juan Perón, in 1955, after he signed a decree ordering the expulsion of Argentine bishops Manuel Tato and Ramón Novoa
- All Catholics who participated in the creation of an independent church in the Philippines, in 1902
- Alfred Loisy, a French cleric associated with modernism.
- Leonard Feeney, a U.S. Jesuit priest who defended the strict interpretation of the Roman Catholic doctrine "outside the Church there is no salvation", arguing that baptism of blood and baptism of desire are unavailing. Feeney was later fully reconciled to the Church before his death.
- Marshal Josip Broz Tito and all Catholics who participated in the trial of Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac of Zagreb and the trial of Archbishop Jozsef Mindszenty of Hungary, which included most of the jury members.
- Feliksa Kozłowska and the Mariavite movement in December 1906 by St Pius X
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, in 1968, by reason of her marriage to Aristotle Onassis. Richard Cardinal Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston, attempted to dispute it, but he was rebuked by the Vatican, which pointed out that Mrs. Kennedy had not followed the laws of the church and was barred from receiving the sacraments.
- Plaquemines Parish President Leander Perez, Jackson G. Ricau (secretary of the Citizens Council of South Louisiana) and Mrs. B.J. Gaillot, Jr., president of Save Our Nation, Inc., on April 16, 1962 by Archbishop Joseph Rummel of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. They were excommunicated for aggressively opposing the racial integration of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese starting in the 1963-64 school year. Perez and Ricau were later reinstated into the Church following public retractions.
- John Duryea, priest at Stanford University and in Palo Alto, California, in 1976
- Tissa Balasuriya, Sri Lankan Catholic priest, excommunicated in 1997 for his doctrinal views but had this excommunication lifted a year later after admitting "perceptions of error", and agreeing to submit all future writings to his bishops for their imprimatur.
- Members of multiple organizations in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska were excommunicated by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz in March 1996 for promoting positions he deemed "totally incompatible with the Catholic faith". The organizations include Call to Action, Catholics for a Free Choice, Planned Parenthood, the Hemlock Society, the Freemasons, and the Society of St. Pius X. The Vatican later confirmed the excommunication of Call to Action members in November 2006.
- Emmanual Milingo, former archbishop of Lusaka, for consecrating four bishops without the papal mandate. Also excommunicated were those receiving consecration.
- The Community of the Lady of All Nations for heretical teachings and beliefs after a six-year investigation. The declaration was announced by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on September 12, 2007.
- Fr. Dale Fushek (also laicized by Pope Benedict XVI 02/2010) and Fr. Mark Dippre. Former Priests were issued a Decree of Excommunication by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted for operating "an opposing ecclesial community" in direct disobedience to orders to refrain from public ministry.
- Fr. Marek Bozek (since laicized by Pope Benedict XVI), and the lay parish board members of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in St. Louis, Missouri in December 2005 were declared guilty of the ecclesiastical crime of schism by then-Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke. Their excommunication was ratified by the Vatican in May 2008. Four of the parish board members have since reconciled with the Church.
- Both the doctors and the mother of the nine-year-old victim in the 2009 Brazilian girl abortion case were said by Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife to have incurred an automatic excommunication. The victim had an abortion after being raped and impregnated by her stepfather. The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil contradicted Sobrinho's statement: it declared that, in accordance with canon law, the girl's mother was not in fact excommunicated and that there were no grounds for stating that any of the doctors involved were in fact excommunicated. Disagreement with the Archbishop's view of the supposed excommunication was expressed also by other bishops.
- Sr. Margaret McBride, a nun, for allowing an abortion. McBride later reconciled with the Church and is no longer living in a state of excommunication.
- In October 2012, the newspapers El Observador and El País reported that all the Catholics who promoted the abortion law in Uruguay were excommunicated. The newspaper Urgente24, in spite of a headline stating that what it called the "abortionist lawmakers" were excommunicated, explained in the body of the article that automatic excommunication applied only to someone who directly carried out an abortion. The bishops website also explained that excommunication would automatically apply, under Canon Law 1398, only to anyone carrying out an abortion, and not to lawmakers.
- Fr. Roy Bourgeois (also laicized and dismissed from the Maryknoll Fathers) for participating in the ordination of a woman.
- Fr. Robert Marrone, by Bishop Richard Gerard Lennon of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio for violating the terms of his leave of absence. Marrone set up a worshipping community (the Community of St. Peter's) in a vacant warehouse and outside of a Catholic building or church after St. Peter's Parish in Cleveland was closed (it has since been reopened), in defiance of the bishop .
- Fr. Simon Lokodo, The Minister for Ethics and Integrity in Uganda, was excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI when he entered politics in violation of Canon Law 285.3
- Fr. Roberto Francisco Daniel, known by local community as "Father Beto", by Bishop Caetano Ferrari, from Bauru, Brazil. Daniel was excommunicated because he refused a direct order from his bishop to apologize for or retract his statement that love was possible between people of the same sex. The priest also said a married person who chose to have an affair, heterosexual or otherwise, would not be unfaithful as long as that person's spouse allowed it.
- Fr Greg Reynolds of Melbourne, Australia was excommunicated in 2013 for continuing to celebrate Mass when not permitted, advocating the ordination of women, and promoting same-sex marriage.
- Code of Canon Law, canon 1388
- Code of Canon Law, canon 1398
- "Code of Canon Law, canon 1312". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
- "Even those who have joined another religion, have become atheists or agnostics, or have been excommunicated remain Catholics. Excommunicates lose rights, such as the right to the sacraments, but they are still bound to the obligations of the law; their rights are restored when they are reconciled through the remission of the penalty." New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, ed. by John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Paulist Press, 2000, p. 63 (commentary on canon 11).
- 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
- 1 Corinthians 5: Church Discipline
- 1 Timothy 1:20
- Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4.
- Eleanor Shipley Duckett, Death and Life in the Tenth Century, (University of Michigan Press, 1988), 130.
- "Catholic-Orthodox Declaration". Vatican.va. 1965-12-07. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- Johnny H (2010-09-24). "1066: The Pope in 1066: William or Harold?". Santlache.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- catholic encyclopedia. Entry: Honorius II
- catholic encyclopedia, entry Innocent II
- "Sir Gilbert De Clare (1243 - 1295) - Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- catholic encyclopedia, entry Boniface VIII
- catholic encyclopedia, entry Urban VI
- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Richard P. Hardy. The Life of St John of the Cross. London, 1982. p79
- Journey to Carith: The Sources and Story of the Discalced Carmelites - Peter-Thomas Rohrbach - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- Richard P. Hardy. The Life of St John of the Cross. London, 1982. p61
- "Outline of the Life of St Teresa of Avila". Ourgardenofcarmel.org. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- E. Hales, "Napoleon and the Pope", (London:1962) pg 114
- "A BISHOP EXCOMMUNICATED.; Decree Against the Rev. S. Kaminski, Independent Polish Church, Buffalo" (PDF). The New York Times. October 18, 1898.
- [dead link]
- "Nun becomes first Australian saint". Al Jazeera. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Press, Margaret M. (1986). From Our Broken Toil — South Australian Catholics 1836 - 1906. The Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide. pp. 181–193. ISBN 0 949807 35 4.
- "De Vargas Vila, ni paz en su tumba". El Colombiano. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- Augé, Claude, ed. (1898). "Loyson, Charles". Nouveau Larousse illustré (in French) 5. Paris: Éditions Larousse. p. 777. Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "La excomunión de Fidel Castro cumple cincuenta años". ABC.es. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- Andrea Tornielli, "The mystery of Fidel Castro’s excommunication" in Vatican Insider, 2 March 2012
- The American Catholic, "01/03/1962: Pope John XXIII excommunicated Fidel Castro"
- Office of Congregation for Bishops - Excommunication
- "Apostolic Letter "Ecclesia Dei"". Vatican.va. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- "PRIEST EXCOMMUNICATED.; Father Murri, Leader of Italian Catholic Democrats, Cut Off by Church". The New York Times. March 23, 1909. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- Juan Peron - MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01.
- Juan Domingo Perón – Encyclopedia.com
- POPE ORDERS SHARP ACTION.; Archbishop of Manila Instructed to Excommunicate Philippine National Church Promoters. New York Times. New York, N.Y.: Dec 29, 1902. pg. 7, 1 pgs.
- Reid, George. "Higher Biblical Criticism," The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908).
- Mitja Velikonja. Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Texas A&M University Press, 2003. (p. 198)
- "The Role of Archbishop Joseph F". Loyno.edu. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- "Vatican confirms excommunication for US dissident group" Catholic World News (07 December 2006).
- "CNN.com - Renegade archbishop excommunicated - Sep 26, 2006". CNN. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- Army of Mary excommunicated by the Vatican
- "Archdiocese of St. Louis - Marek Bozek Dismissed from the Clerical State". Retrieved 2009-03-14.
- Duffy, Gary (March 5, 2009). "Rape row sparks excommunications". BBC News.
- "Vatican backs abortion row bishop". BBC News. March 7, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
- Nunes Leal, Luciana (13 March 2009). "CNBB desautoriza iniciativa de bispo". O Estadão de S.Paulo.
- L'Osservatore Romano: "Dalla parte della bambina brasiliana"
- Mgr di FALCO, évêque de Gap, sur l'excommunication au Brésil
- Clancy, Michael (May 19, 2010). "Nun at St. Joseph's Hospital rebuked over abortion to save woman". Arizona Republic.
- "Iglesia dice que legisladores que votaron despenalización quedan excomulgados". El Observador. 2012-10-18.
- "Iglesia Católica excomulgó a quienes incentivaron la despenalización del aborto". El País. 2012-10-18.
- "1er medida de la Iglesia tras la despenalización del aborto" (in Spanish). Urgente24. 2012-10-18.
- "Uruguay bishops clarify statement on excommunication of lawmakers favoring abortion :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)". Catholic News Agency. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- Goodstein, Laurie (20 November 2012). "Religion: Priest Excommunicated for Ordaining a Woman". The New York Times.
- Bishop Richard Lennon excommunicates the Rev. Robert Marrone
- "Clerical Whispers: Pope fires Fr. Lokodo from priesthood". Clericalwhispers.blogspot.se. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- Canon 285.3
- "Catholic Church leadership on trial". Independent.co.ug. 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
- "Priest who stands for homosexuals says he's honored for being excommunicated" in Portuguese
- English translation of the reference named "Folha"
- Fidelidade, Bissexualidade e a Igreja