List of people excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church

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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[1] or carrying out an abortion),[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]

1st century[edit]

2nd century[edit]

3rd century[edit]

4th century[edit]

5th century[edit]

6th century[edit]

  • 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.[10]
  • the sons of Conall mac Domnaill by St Columba some time in the late 6th century, due to their persecution of churches [11]

8th Century[edit]

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.

10th century[edit]

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.[12] They had the marriage annulled by Pope Sylvester II in 1000 and were reinstated.

11th century[edit]

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.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • 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 [15]
  • 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 [15]
  • 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.' [15]

12th century[edit]

13th century[edit]

14th century[edit]

15th century[edit]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

  • 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.

21st century[edit]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ Code of Canon Law, canon 1398
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  5. ^ 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
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  11. ^ Adomnan of Iona, Life of St Columba. Ed. by Richard Sharpe. Penguin Books, Toronto, 1995.
  12. ^ Eleanor Shipley Duckett, Death and Life in the Tenth Century, (University of Michigan Press, 1988), 130.
  13. ^ "Catholic-Orthodox Declaration". 1965-12-07. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
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  22. ^ "Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani". Enciclopedia Italiana. 
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  24. ^ Richard P. Hardy. The Life of St John of the Cross. London, 1982. p79
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  26. ^ Richard P. Hardy. The Life of St John of the Cross. London, 1982. p61
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  29. ^ Joaquín Lorenzo Villanueva, Misapprehension of Patrick Curties and James Doyle concerning the oath which the bishops of Ireland take to the Roman Pontiff, (1825) page 64
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  33. ^ [1] Archived October 26, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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  38. ^ "De Vargas Vila, ni paz en su tumba". El Colombiano. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  39. ^ "La excomunión de Fidel Castro cumple cincuenta años". 2 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
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  43. ^ "Apostolic Letter "Ecclesia Dei"". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  44. ^ "PRIEST EXCOMMUNICATED.; Father Murri, Leader of Italian Catholic Democrats, Cut Off by Church". The New York Times. March 23, 1909. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  45. ^ Juan Peron - MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. 
  46. ^ Juan Domingo Perón –
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ Reid, George. "Higher Biblical Criticism," The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908).
  49. ^ Mitja Velikonja. Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Texas A&M University Press, 2003. (p. 198)
  50. ^ Peterkiewicz, Jerzy (1975). The third Adam. London: Oxford University Press. p. 37. ISBN 9780192121981. 
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  54. ^ "The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix". 
  55. ^ "Archdiocese of St. Louis - Marek Bozek Dismissed from the Clerical State". Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
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  58. ^ Nunes Leal, Luciana (13 March 2009). "CNBB desautoriza iniciativa de bispo". O Estadão de S.Paulo. 
  59. ^ L'Osservatore Romano: "Dalla parte della bambina brasiliana"
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  62. ^ "Iglesia dice que legisladores que votaron despenalización quedan excomulgados". El Observador. 2012-10-18. 
  63. ^ "Iglesia Católica excomulgó a quienes incentivaron la despenalización del aborto". El País. 2012-10-18. 
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  66. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (20 November 2012). "Religion: Priest Excommunicated for Ordaining a Woman". The New York Times. 
  67. ^ "Bishop Richard Lennon excommunicates the Rev. Robert Marrone". 
  68. ^ "Clerical Whispers: Pope fires Fr. Lokodo from priesthood". 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  69. ^ Canon 285.3
  70. ^ "Catholic Church leadership on trial". 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  71. ^ "Padre que defende homossexuais diz estar "honrado" após excomunhão". 
  72. ^ "English translation of the reference named "Folha"". 
  73. ^ Fidelidade, Bissexualidade e a Igreja. YouTube. 17 January 2013. 
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  75. ^ "Pope Francis Defrocks Pedophile Argentine Priest". The Huffington Post. 
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External link[edit]

Media related to People excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church at Wikimedia Commons