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]

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.[11] 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.[12]
  • 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.[13]
  • 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 [14]
  • 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 [14]
  • 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.' [14]

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
  3. ^ "Code of Canon Law, canon 1312". Retrieved 2012-04-03. 
  4. ^ "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).
  5. ^ 1 Corinthians 5:1-8
  6. ^ "1 Corinthians 5 – Devotional & Commentary: Church Discipline". 
  7. ^ "oremus Bible Browser : 1 timothy 1:20-1:20". 
  8. ^ Attwater, Donald and Catherine Rachel John. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd edition. New York: Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN 0-14-051312-4.
  9. ^ "Page Not Found". 
  10. ^ Adomnan of Iona, Life of St Columba. Ed. by Richard Sharpe. Penguin Books, Toronto, 1995.
  11. ^ Eleanor Shipley Duckett, Death and Life in the Tenth Century, (University of Michigan Press, 1988), 130.
  12. ^ "Catholic-Orthodox Declaration". 1965-12-07. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  13. ^ Johnny H (2010-09-24). "1066: The Pope in 1066: William or Harold?". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  14. ^ a b c Lucy Margaret Smith. The Early History of the Monastery of Cluny. Oxford University Press, 1920.
  15. ^ catholic encyclopedia. Entry: Honorius II
  16. ^ catholic encyclopedia, entry Innocent II
  17. ^ "Sir Gilbert De Clare (1243 - 1295) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  18. ^ a b catholic encyclopedia, entry Boniface VIII
  19. ^ a b catholic encyclopedia, entry Urban VI
  20. ^ "Biographies of Great Men & Women of England, Wales and Scotland". 
  21. ^ "Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani". Enciclopedia Italiana. 
  22. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Girolamo Savonarola". 
  23. ^ Richard P. Hardy. The Life of St John of the Cross. London, 1982. p79
  24. ^ Journey to Carith: The Sources and Story of the Discalced Carmelites - Peter-Thomas Rohrbach - Google Books. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  25. ^ Richard P. Hardy. The Life of St John of the Cross. London, 1982. p61
  26. ^ "Outline of the Life of St Teresa of Avila". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  27. ^ "Carmelite ChroniclesTrouble in Avila". Order of Carmelites. 
  28. ^ 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
  29. ^ E. Hales, "Napoleon and the Pope", (London:1962) pg 114
  30. ^ Apostolic Letters, in the form of a Brief, by which Bonaparte, and all the authors, perpetrators, and abettors of the usurpation of the Kingdom of Rome, and of the other dominions belonging to the Holy See, are declared to be excommunicated. PIUS VII. POPE. Ad perpetuam rei Memoriam
  31. ^ "A BISHOP EXCOMMUNICATED.; Decree Against the Rev. S. Kaminski, Independent Polish Church, Buffalo" (PDF). The New York Times. October 18, 1898. 
  32. ^ [1][dead link]
  33. ^ "Nun becomes first Australian saint". Al Jazeera. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  34. ^ 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. 
  35. ^ Villari, Luigi (1911). "Victor Emmanuel II". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 
  36. ^ Augé, Claude, ed. (1898). "Loyson, Charles". Nouveau Larousse illustré (in French) 5. Paris: Éditions Larousse. p. 777. 
  37. ^ "De Vargas Vila, ni paz en su tumba". El Colombiano. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  38. ^ "La excomunión de Fidel Castro cumple cincuenta años". 2 April 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  39. ^ Andrea Tornielli, "The mystery of Fidel Castro’s excommunication" in Vatican Insider, 2 March 2012
  40. ^ "01/03/1962: Pope John XXIII excommunicated Fidel Castro". 
  41. ^ "Office of Congregation for Bishops - Excommunication". 
  42. ^ "Apostolic Letter "Ecclesia Dei"". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  43. ^ "PRIEST EXCOMMUNICATED.; Father Murri, Leader of Italian Catholic Democrats, Cut Off by Church". The New York Times. March 23, 1909. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  44. ^ Juan Peron - MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. 
  45. ^ Juan Domingo Perón –
  46. ^ 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.
  47. ^ Reid, George. "Higher Biblical Criticism," The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 4 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908).
  48. ^ Mitja Velikonja. Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Texas A&M University Press, 2003. (p. 198)
  49. ^ "The Role of Archbishop Joseph F". Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  50. ^ a b "Vatican confirms excommunication for US dissident group" Catholic World News (07 December 2006).
  51. ^ "Army of Mary excommunicated by the Vatican". Catholic News Agency. 
  52. ^ "The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix". 
  53. ^ "Archdiocese of St. Louis - Marek Bozek Dismissed from the Clerical State". Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  54. ^ Duffy, Gary (March 5, 2009). "Rape row sparks excommunications". BBC News. 
  55. ^ "Vatican backs abortion row bishop". BBC News. March 7, 2009. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  56. ^ Nunes Leal, Luciana (13 March 2009). "CNBB desautoriza iniciativa de bispo". O Estadão de S.Paulo. 
  57. ^ L'Osservatore Romano: "Dalla parte della bambina brasiliana"
  58. ^ "Mgr di FALCO, évêque de Gap, sur l’excommunication au Brésil". ZENIT - Le monde vu de Rome. 
  59. ^ Clancy, Michael (May 19, 2010). "Nun at St. Joseph's Hospital rebuked over abortion to save woman". Arizona Republic. 
  60. ^ "Iglesia dice que legisladores que votaron despenalización quedan excomulgados". El Observador. 2012-10-18. 
  61. ^ "Iglesia Católica excomulgó a quienes incentivaron la despenalización del aborto". El País. 2012-10-18. 
  62. ^ "1er medida de la Iglesia tras la despenalización del aborto" (in Spanish). Urgente24. 2012-10-18. 
  63. ^ "Uruguay bishops clarify statement on excommunication of lawmakers favoring abortion :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)". Catholic News Agency. 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  64. ^ Goodstein, Laurie (20 November 2012). "Religion: Priest Excommunicated for Ordaining a Woman". The New York Times. 
  65. ^ "Bishop Richard Lennon excommunicates the Rev. Robert Marrone". 
  66. ^ "Clerical Whispers: Pope fires Fr. Lokodo from priesthood". 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  67. ^ Canon 285.3
  68. ^ "Catholic Church leadership on trial". 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  69. ^ "Padre que defende homossexuais diz estar "honrado" após excomunhão". 
  70. ^ "English translation of the reference named "Folha"". 
  71. ^ Fidelidade, Bissexualidade e a Igreja. YouTube. 17 January 2013. 
  72. ^ "Pope Francis excommunicates pro-gay marriage priest. He's not the liberal the media wants". News - Telegraph Blogs. 
  73. ^ "Pope Francis Defrocks Pedophile Argentine Priest". The Huffington Post. 
  74. ^ "Pope defrocks Argentine priest on sexual abuse charges". 

External link[edit]

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