List of people excommunicated by the 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 severs one from communion with the Church; excommunicated Catholics are forbidden from receiving any sacrament and refused a Catholic burial, but are still bound by canonical obligations 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.). They are still Catholics per se, but are separated from the Church.
- 1 1st century
- 2 2nd century
- 3 3rd century
- 4 4th century
- 5 5th century
- 6 6th century
- 7 8th Century
- 8 9th Century
- 9 10th century
- 10 11th century
- 11 12th century
- 12 13th century
- 13 14th century
- 14 15th century
- 15 16th century
- 16 17th century
- 17 18th century
- 18 19th century
- 19 20th century
- 20 21st century
- 21 See also
- 22 References
- 23 External links
- 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
- Celestius, Early Arian Leader
- 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
- John of Antioch and his party by the Council of Ephesus
- St Columba was excommunicated in 562 by the synod of Teltown for allegedly praying for the winning side in an Irish War. The excommunication was later held to be an abuse of justice and the bishops in question removed their charge.
- the sons of Conall mac Domnaill by St Columba some time in the late 6th century, due to their persecution of churches 
- Theodore of Mopsuestia by the Second Council of Constantinople
- The heretic preachers Adalbert and Clement by a council headed by St Boniface in 745. Adelbert's excommunication was not upheld by Rome, however, although Clement's was.
- the second council of Nicaea excommunicated a number of people by name who had lived in previous times, some of whom had been already condemned previously, including: Arius and all who follow him, Macedonius I of Constantinople, Nestorius and those who followed him, Eutyches, Dioscorus, Severus of Antioch and Peter the Fuller along with those with them, Origen, Didymus the blind, Evagrius Ponticus, as well as Sergius I of Constantinople, Pyrrhus of Constantinople, Pope Honorius I, Cyrus of Alexandria, Macarius I of Antioch along with their followers
- The fourth Council of Constantinople excommunicated by name and upheld a number of previous excommunications of previous councils of a number of people who had died in previous centuries. Those names in this list were: Arius (all those who followed his teachings were excommunicated with him), Macedonius I of Constantinople, Nestorius, Eutyches, Dioscorus, Severus of Antioch, Peter the Fuller, Zoharas the Syrian, Origen, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Didymus the Blind, Evagrius Ponticus, Theodere of Pharan, Sergius I of Constantinople, Pyrrhus of Constantinople, Peter of Constantinople, Paul II of Constantinople, Pope Honorius I, Cyrus of Alexandria, Macarius I of Antioch and his disciple Stephen, Anastasius of Constantinople, Constantine II of Constantinople, Nicetas I of Constantinople, Theodosius III of Ephesus, Sisinnius Pastilas, Basil Tricacabus, Theodoret, Anthony and John (priests of Constantinople), Theodore Krithinos and Photios I of Constantinople
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. Excommunicated 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.
- 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.
- Bishops in France, under orders of Benedict VIII, excommunicated feudal barons who had seized property belonging to the monastery of Cluny in 1016 
- The bishop of Autun excommunicated Cluniac monks in his diocese who took over the monastery of Vezelay without his permission; the excommunication was removed after they left the diocese 
- In 1031 the council of Limoges in France excommunicated feudal barons in the diocese of Limoges who were conducting private warfare between themselves in the midst of widespread famine and pestilence that was killing off a large portion of the peasantry. The famine and pestilence were thought to be punishments from God for grave sins being committed close to the millennium anniversary of Christ's death and resurrection. The members of the council dashed their candles to the ground in unison after calling out 'As these lights are extinguished before your eyes, so let their joy be extinguished before the angels.' 
- 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.
- 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.
- The Third Lateran Council excommunicated the Cathars and mercenary groups that were plaguing Europe at the time
- 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 three times. 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.
- all of the cardinals who voted for Antipope Clement VII were excommunicated by Urban VI
- John Wycliffe was poshtumously excommunicated by the Council of Constance
- 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, founder of the Hussites
- Cardinal Oddone Colonna (later Pope Martin V) in 1411 by Pope Gregory XII, for supporting the Pisan antipopes Alexander V and John XXIII
- Girolamo Savonarola, was an Italian Dominican friar, excommunicated by Pope Alexander VI in 1497.
- Jerome of Prague
- Antipope Felix V and his followers by the Council of Florence
- 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, founder of Protestantism, in 1521 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 Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury of the Church of England.
- Cardinal Odet de Coligny, on 31 March 1563, for professing the Calvinist faith.
- 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.
- Priests Francisco de Jaca and Epiphane de Moirans in 1681 for opposing slavery in Cuba.
- Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor was threatened with excommunication by Pope Clement XI on 16 June 1708
- 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 by Pope Pius VII for ordering the annexation of Rome and a long period of anti-Papal orders.
- Stephen Kaminski, bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church, in 1898
- Francis Hodur, Roman Catholic priest (Scranton, Pennsylvania) and Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church
- 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.
- King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy was excommunicated by Pope Pius IX when the king successfully waged war against the Papal States, resulting in limiting the pope to Vatican City.
- Charles Loyson (name as a Carmelite: Hyacinthe) was excommunicated in 1869 for leaving his religious order after refusing to retract his protest against the manner of convocation of the First Vatican Council.
- Colombian writer and atheist José María Vargas Vila was excommunicated upon the publication his novel Ibis (1900).
- Scientist Dr. Gregorio Chil y Naranjo was excommunicated in 1878 for his work on evolution in the Canary Islands entitled "Estudios historicos, climatologicos y patológicos de las Islas Canarias." The Bishop of Barcelona, José María de Urquinaona y Vidot, declared the work "falsa, impia, scandalosa y heretica" and excommunicated the doctor.
- All Catholics who participated in the creation of an Philippine Independent Church in the Philippines, in 1902
- Feliksa Kozłowska, Maria Michał Kowalski and the Mariavite movement in December 1906 by St Pius X
- Alfred Loisy, a French cleric associated with modernism (1908?).
- Father Romolo Murri, a leader of the Italian Catholic Democrats, for giving speeches against Papal policy (1909)
- Marshal Josip Broz Tito (1946) 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.
- Fr Michael Colin of France for declaring himself the Pope (1950's).[clarification needed]
- Leonard Feeney (1953), 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.
- Juan Perón, in 1955, after he signed a decree ordering the expulsion of Argentine bishops Manuel Tato and Ramón Novoa
- 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.
- 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.
- John Duryea, priest at Stanford University and in Palo Alto, California, in 1976
- 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. Williamson fell under a second excommunication after illicitly ordaining a bishop.
- 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.
- 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.
- Paul Lei Shiyin for illicitly ordaining priests in China.
- 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.
- Fr. Jose Mercau in 2014 as part of the Catholic Church sexual abuse cases scandal.
- In March 2016, the Archdiocese of Goiânia, Brazil, claimed that Marco Rossi Medeiros was self-excommunicated latæ sentiæ for claiming that the dean of the Pontifical Catholic University of Goiás (PUC-GO), Wolmir Amado, should be fired on the basis that he, as a member of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT)—a Communist entity—, was in disagreement with the Church's teaching. Medeiros started the controversy after claiming during a meeting between leaders of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) and of PT held at PUC-GO that the panelists were excommunicated (based on Pius XII's Decretum contra communismum). There are doubts if Medeiros is in fact excommunicated by his remarks.
- In June 2016 Pope Francis excommunicated a schismatic Italian Catholic sect in Italy calling itself the Universal Christian Church of the New Jerusalem.
- Code of Canon Law, canon 1388
- Code of Canon Law, canon 1398
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- "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).
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Media related to People excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church at Wikimedia Commons