List of former Roman Catholics
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This page lists individuals in history who were at least nominally raised in the Roman Catholic faith and later rejected it or converted to other faiths including the related schismatic Catholic faiths. One study estimates that 10.1% of people in the United States describe themselves as former Catholics in some sense, in total the study reports that 44% of Americans profess a different religious affiliation than the one they were raised in. A majority converted to another religion while a substantial minority are counted as currently unaffiliated.
Note: The list includes those who leave the Catholic Church including any Eastern Catholic Church which is in communion with it. People such as Eddie Doherty, who were allowed to transfer from the Latin Catholic Church to an Eastern Catholic church, or vice versa are not considered as "former Roman Catholics", while Eastern Catholics who convert to a non-Catholic church or another religion are considered as such, even though Eastern Catholics do not typically refer to themselves as "Roman".
- 1 Individuals who converted to other churches, denominations and faiths
- 1.1 Eastern Orthodoxy
- 1.2 Anglicanism and churches in communion
- 1.3 Independent Catholic churches
- 1.4 Christian Science
- 1.5 Mormonism
- 1.6 Protestantism
- 1.7 Buddhism
- 1.8 Islam
- 1.9 Judaism
- 1.10 Kabbalism
- 1.11 Raëlism
- 1.12 Scientology
- 1.13 Debatable
- 2 Atheism, agnosticism, or non-religious
- 3 See also
- 4 Footnotes
Individuals who converted to other churches, denominations and faiths
- Rod Dreher, writer who converted to Catholicism and then to Eastern Orthodoxy
- H. Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., philosopher and bioethicist
- Tom Hanks, actor who converted to the Greek Orthodox Church after marrying his wife
- Karl Matzek, artist who joined the Eastern Orthodox Church
- John Anthony McGuckin, scholar, poet, and priest of the Romanian Orthodox Church
- Alexis Toth, Ruthenian Catholic Church priest who converted to Orthodoxy and became a saint in the Orthodox Church in America
- Nathaniel (Popp), archbishop of the Orthodox Church in America's Romanian Episcopate and former interim Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church in America who converted from the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church on 15 February 1968
- Helen of Anjou, queen consort of the Serbian Kingdom
- Ita Rina, Yugoslav film actress and beauty queen
Anglicanism and churches in communion
- King Henry VIII, king of England who broke the ties between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
- Gregorio Aglipay, Filipino priest who joined the Philippine Independent Church
- Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State
- The Very Revd Miriam Byrne, Irish Catholic nun who became a cathedral provost in the Scottish Episcopal Church
- Alberto Cutié, priest who was received in the Episcopal Church after a leave of absence granted by his former bishop and decided to continue priestly ministry as a married man
- Matthew Fox, scholar and priest who became an Episcopalian
- Jim McGreevey, former Governor of New Jersey , who became Episcopalian
- The Rt Revd Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, raised Muslim but baptised in the Roman Catholic Church at school and received into Anglicanism at age 20
- Autumn Phillips, received into the Church of England before marrying Peter Phillips
- Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia
- The Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori, first woman primate in the Anglican Communion
- Josette Sheeran, director of the United Nations World Food Programme and former editor with the Washington Times, left the Catholic Church to join the Unification Church and later joined the Episcopal Church
- Joris Vercammen, Archbishop of Utrecht, spiritual leader of the Utrecht Union of Old Catholic Churches
- Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and Protestant Reformer who helped guide the Anglican Church during the early Reformation.
Independent Catholic churches
- Manuel Alonso Corral, Palmarian Catholic Church (anti)pope
- Clemente Domínguez y Gómez, Palmarian Catholic Church (anti)pope
- Sinéad O'Connor, joined Palmarian Catholic Church
- Godfrey Silvester Shiundu, Kenyan priest who joined Reformed Catholic Church
- Joseph Liu Xinhong, excommunicated for accepting ordination by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association 
- Joseph Ma Yinglin, excommunicated for accepting ordination by the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association 
- Joan Crawford, American actress
- Doris Day, American actress
- Philip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian, British Ambassador
- Claudio R. M. Costa
- Isabelle Collin Dufresne, later known as Ultra Violet, one of the Warhol Superstars
- Glenn Beck
- Mia Love
- John Calvin, French religious reformer
- Charles Chiniquy, American anti-Catholic writer
- Clive Derby-Lewis, South African Far-Right politician and convicted murderer 
- Dorothy Lucey, news reporter on Good Day LA, converted to the Presbyterian Church (USA) 
- Georges Sada, raised in the Chaldean Catholic Church, which is in communion with Rome. He is the President of the National Presbyterian Church and chairs the Assembly of Iraqi Evangelical Presbyterian Churches. (Also a Senior Warden at an Anglican church)
- Tom Tancredo, former U.S. Representative for Colorado's 6th congressional district, U.S. Presidential candidate in 2008, Constitution Party candidate for Governor of Colorado in 2010, now Evangelical Presbyterian
- Diana DeGette, U.S. Representative for Colorado's 1st congressional district, now a member of Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Mark Driscoll, founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle
- Marie Cavallier (now Princess Marie of Denmark), converted upon marriage to Prince Joachim of Denmark
- Friedrich Heiler, religious scholar in High Church Lutheranism. (Dispute about whether he truly left Catholicism)
- Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark, converted upon marriage to Heiress Presumptive Margrethe (now Queen Margrethe II of Denmark)
- Karel Lavrič, Slovenian liberal nationalist politician and orator
- Katharina Luther, former nun who married Martin Luther
- Martin Luther, Protestant reformer and theologian, excommunicated by papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem
- Phillip Melanchthon, Lutheran theologian and Protestant reformer
- Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, German politician of the SPD
- Primož Trubar, Slovenian Protestant preacher and writer
- Marcelo Crivella, senator in the federal government of Brazil
- J. Regina Hyland, pioneer in the field of animals and religion
- Edir Macedo, founded the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God
- Efraín Ríos Montt, former de facto President of Guatemala
- Mark Finley, pastor and speaker emeritus of It Is Written (Adventist TV program)
- Marianne Thieme, Dutch politician
- Walter Veith, scientist, author and speaker known for his work in nutrition, creationism and other Christian topics
- Stephen Baldwin, actor converted to non-denominational Christian
- Huldrych Zwingli, Swiss Protestant Leader
- Jan Hus, theologian who founded the Hussites, influenced the Protestant Reformation
- Jerome of Prague, friend of Jan Hus and Short-Lived leader of the Hussites
- Girolamo Savonarola, Italian monk who left the Catholic Church after being excommunicated, had an influence on later Protestant teachings
- Domineco da Pascia and Silvestro Maruffi, former Italian monks and friends of Girolamo Savonarola
- Bob Enyart, Christian talk-show host, pastor of a non-denominational Christian church
- Mathieu Kérékou, former President of Benin serving for 45 years from 1971 to 2006
- Johannes Gossner, priest, became Protestant, probably Lutheran
- John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, converted after parents' death to non-denominational Protestant
- Bill McCartney, Colorado-based American evangelical/conservative activist
- Vinko Ošlak, Slovenian author, converted to non-denominational Protestantism
- Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska, converted with family as a child to non-denominational Protestant
- Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota 2003–2011, converted and attending Protestant church with spouse Mary Pawlenty
Self-described former Christians
American writer Anne Rice converted from Roman Catholicism and made this official through several messages on her website on 29 July 2010. She no longer wishes to be referred to as a ‘Christian’, though retains her belief in Christ, disagreeing with various positions of the Roman Catholic Church.
- Patrick Duffy, actor
- Alanis Morissette, singer-songwriter
- Hwang Woo-Suk, South Korean scientist
- Sabina Guzzanti, Italian satirist, actress, writer and producer
- Roberto Baggio, Italian footballer
- Keith Ellison, first Muslim to serve in the United States Congress
- Everlast, Irish-American rapper and guitar player
- René Guénon, French philosopher
- Diana Haddad, singer raised in the Maronite Church
- Murad Wilfred Hofmann, diplomat
- Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America. (She abandoned Catholicism years before her conversion to Islam)
- Matthew Saad Muhammad, boxer
- Peter Murphy, lead singer of Bauhaus
- Vinnie Paz, also known as Ikon the Verbal Hologram; American rapper for the underground hip hop group Jedi Mind Tricks
- Franck Ribéry, French footballer
- Abel Xavier, Portuguese footballer
- Abraham ben Abraham, Polish Talmudic scholar (conflicting stories though)
- B'nai Moshe, Peruvian community of Inca descent which embraced Judaism
- Bishop Bodo, deacon
- Campbell Brown, American television news reporter, currently an anchor and political pundit for CNN and a former co-anchor of NBC's Weekend Today
- Yisrael Campbell, comedian
- Kenneth Cox, priest
- Stephen Dubner, American author
- Aaron Freeman, American journalist and comedian
- Thomas Jones
- Cameron Kerry, American politician and brother of U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry
- John King, American journalist and the host of CNN's State of the Union
- Anne Meara (1929–2015), American comedian and actress, partner and wife of Jerry Stiller
- Mary Doria Russell, American author
- Jews of San Nicandro, Roman Catholic proselyte community to Judaism in Italy
- Joseph Abraham Steblicki, teacher and treasurer
- Karen Tintori, American author of fiction and nonfiction
- Géza Vermes, priest, Biblical scholar, and an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls
- Mare Winningham, American actress
- Brigitte Boisselier, mostly known for her association with Clonaid and the Raëlian Church, raised as a Catholic in Champagne, France, holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Dijon in France and another one in analytical chemistry from the University of Houston
- Tom Cruise, American actor, originally desired to become a priest.
- Jenna Elfman, American actress
- David Miscavige, leading figure in Scientology
- John Travolta, American actor, in 1975
- Nancy Cartwright, American actress
- Catherine Bell, American actress
This section lists some who, while adopting ideas that some others would consider incompatible with the Catholic faith, may have defected from the Church neither by a formal act nor even informally by an act of heresy, schism or apostasy. Mere attendance at services of another religion or adoption of certain meditation techniques need not signify abandonment of one's own religion. According to a 2009 survey of the Pew Research Center Forum on Religion and Public Life, one in five American Catholics report that they at times attend places of worship other than the local Catholic parish (which does not have to mean non-Catholic places). The same survey noted that some Catholics incorporate "yoga as a spiritual practice", emphasize psychics, and draw on and involve themselves in other religious movements.
- Fidel Castro, excommunicated
- Jack Clayton, British director who identified himself as an "ex-Catholic"
- Robert Crumb, X-rated American cartoonist
- Irene Dailey, American actress who became a Unitarian
- Christopher Durang, American playwright
- Rodrigo Duterte, 16th and current President of the Philippines
- Rosario Francesco Esposito, joined Freemasonry
- Edward Gibbon, converted to Catholicism at Oxford University, a year later under threat of being disinherited, returned to Anglicanism
- Heather Graham, American actress (Transcendental Meditation)
- Harry Hay, British-born American gay activist, founded the Radical Faeries
- Michael Harrington, American political activist, grew up Catholic, lapsed whilst adopting more radical politics.
- Ammon Hennacy, American pacifist, Christian anarchist, vegetarian and social activist
- Anne Jackson, American actress of Irish and Croatian extraction; married to Eli Wallach
- Adolf Hitler, Austrian-born German politician
- Bill Keller, New York Times editor who said he was a "collapsed Catholic"
- Richard Lugner, excommunicated, he is a successful Austrian entrepreneur in the construction industry, and a Viennese society figure
- Ashton Kutcher, American actor
- Emmanuel Milingo, excommunicated, former Zambian Roman Catholic archbishop
- Conor Oberst, singer-songwriter
- Rosie O'Donnell, American comedian and actress; Lesbian
- Paul Provenza, Italian-American comic .
- Jean Jacques Rousseau, converted to Catholicism upon moving to France, rejected it for Calvinism upon moving back to Geneva
- Orson Welles, legendary American filmmaker and actor
- Jim Carrey, Canadian American actor and comedian; describes himself as spiritual.
- Chris Martin, lead vocalist of the band Coldplay
- Victor Hugo, French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist
Atheism, agnosticism, or non-religious
This section contains people who rejected Catholicism in favor of a non-religious philosophy.
- Steve Allen, actor, TV show host, writer, pundit (Humanism)
- Javier Bardem, Spanish actor
- Paul Bettany, British actor
- Mike Birbiglia, American comedian, writer, actor, and director
- Frankie Boyle, Scottish comedian and writer, quoted saying "Religion is just what we thought before we understood what mental illness was."
- Christopher Buckley, political satirist
- Ed Byrne, Irish stand-up comedian
- George Carlin, American stand-up comedian
- Antonio Carluccio, Italian chef, restaurateur and food expert
- Jimmy Carr, British comedian
- Jim Carroll, American poet, diarist and musician
- George Clooney, American actor (Agnosticism)
- Pat Condell, comedian
- Billy Connolly, Scottish stand-up comedian
- Marie Curie, Nobel laureate in chemistry and physics
- Guillermo del Toro, Mexican film director
- Amanda Donohoe, British actress
- Theodore Dreiser, American writer (Socialism and possibly Christian Science)
- Roger Ebert, American journalist, film critic and screenwriter
- Brian Eno, British musician and record producer
- Siobhan Fahey, British musician, member of Bananarama, now interested in spiritualism
- Nick Frost, English actor, comedian and screenwriter
- Janeane Garofalo, American comedian (Freethought advocate).
- Éamon Gilmore, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) of Ireland (2011–)
- Kathy Griffin, American comedian and actress
- James Gunn, American film director and screenwriter for Guardians of the Galaxy who abandoned his Catholicism at the age of 11.
- Amber Heard, American actress
- Joe Higgins, Socialist Party Member of the European Parliament for Dublin, Ireland
- François Hollande, 24th President of France
- Anthony Jeselnik, American stand-up comedian and television writer
- Denis Leary, American actor
- John Lydon, British musician, singer for The Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd.
- Seth MacFarlane, writer, creator, producer for Family Guy, American Dad, etc. (grew up as a Catholic but as an adult began to embrace atheism).
- James McAvoy, Scottish actor
- Barry McGowan, American author and Atheist leader.
- Timothy McVeigh, American terrorist
- Bill Maher, American comedian and television personality
- Zoran Milanović, Croatian politician and a leader of Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP)
- Roh Moo-hyun, 16th President of South Korea
- Giorgio Napolitano, 11th President of Italy
- Dara Ó Briain, Irish stand-up comedian and television presenter
- Joyce Carol Oates, author, critic (atheist)
- Conor Oberst, American singer-songwriter
- Bob Odenkirk, American actor and comedian; stated on his Twitter
- Park Chan-wook, South Korean film director
- Joe Rogan, American sports commentator and stand-up comedian (agnostic)
- Chris Rush, American comedian who considers himself spiritual rather than religious.
- Dan Savage, author
- Andy Serkis, British actor
- Omar Sharif, actor and bridge player; an Egyptian Melkite Catholic who converted to Islam, later became an atheist
- Aziz Shavershian, Australian bodybuilder and internet celebrity.
- Julia Sweeney, atheist comedian on the advisory board of the Secular Coalition for America
- Janez Stanovnik, Slovenian resistance fighter and politician
- Laurie Taylor (sociologist)
- Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav political leader
- Jerome Tuccille, author of Heretic: Confessions of an Ex-Catholic Rebel
- Dana White, first and current president of UFC
- Robert Anton Wilson, American author, philosopher, novelist, essayist and polymath (agnostic)
- Terry Wogan, Irish and British radio personality
- Greg Gutfeld, American television personality
- List of people excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church
- List of people who converted to Catholicism
- List of former atheists and agnostics
- List of former Christians
- List of former Latter Day Saints
- List of former Muslims
- List of former Protestants
- "Religion in America: U.S. Religious Data, Demographics and Statistics - Pew Research Center" (PDF). Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 11 May 2015.
- "Danish Prince Weds French Bride". cbsnews.com. 24 May 2008.
- 403 Forbidden
- "Breaking News, Sports, Weather & More - BND.com & Belleville News-Democrat". belleville.com.
- "Onetime Catholic Priest Abraham Carmel Celebrates His 25th Year as An Orthodox Jew". people.com.
- "<< stephen j. dubner >>". stephenjdubner.com.
- O'Toole, Lesley (December 22, 2006). "Ben Stiller : 'Doing comedy is scary'". The Independent. Archived from the original on January 8, 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2006.
- BookBrowse. "Mary Doria Russell author interview". BookBrowse.com.
- "bet-debora.net". bet-debora.de.
- "Providential Accidents : An Autobiography (Paperback)". Rakuten.com.
- Mapstone, Lucy (October 20, 2014). "'My brother was told God didn't love him': Ariana Grande reveals she turned to Kabbalah after her homosexual brother was shunned by the Catholic Church". Daily Mail. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
Ariana Grande has revealed that she turned to the Kabbalah faith after her homosexual brother was rejected by the Catholic Church.
- Clonaid chief backpedals on baby proof, Associated Press. 9 January 2003. Retrieved 22 April 2007.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-05-13. Retrieved 2006-05-10. "RD: You were Catholic originally. Cruise: Well, we went from Episcopalian, to atheist, to Catholic..."
-  "In 1990 Cruise renounced his devout Catholic beliefs and embraced The Church Of Scientology claiming that Scientology teachings had cured him of the dyslexia that had plagued him all of his life."
- "David Miscavige: A Biography of, and resources on, David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center". rtc.org.
- "Scientology Effective Solutions". scientologyreligion.org.
- Editors, "Believers mix their creeds, survey finds", The Tablet, 19/26 December 2009, 53.
- If any of them merely ceased to practice the Catholic religion without renouncing it, in the belief, for instance, that their ideas were consistent with the Catholic faith, they could be considered lapsed Catholics, rather than former Catholics.
- Quoted from episode 1 of Tramadol Nights at Contrarian: Frankie Boyle.
- Solomon, Deborah, The Right Stuff, 23 October 2008, The New York Times
- Reid, Robert William (1974). Marie Curie. London: Collins. p. 19. ISBN 0-00-211539-5. "Unusually at such an early age, she became what T. H. Huxley had just invented a word for: agnostic."
- "The Indoor Kids #58 — Everything with James Gunn (NSFW)", The Indoor Kids, The Nerdist Podcast, event occurs at 49:42 to 52:56, August 13, 2012, archived from the original on March 4, 2016, retrieved October 23, 2016
- Seth MacFarlane – Celebrity Atheist List
- Comedian Chris Rush -- Media Funhouse (part one of three). YouTube. 13 October 2009.
- Interview: Omar Sharif (English translation) – El Mundo on 2002.
- Shavershian, Aziz. "What religion are you?". Formspring.me. Retrieved December 18, 2011.
- "Heretic: Confessions of an Ex-Catholic Rebel: Jerome Tuccille: 9780595384297: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com.