Talk:List of people excommunicated by the Catholic Church

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Error about Sinead[edit]

It states here that Sinead was excommunicated for joining the Palmarian Catholics. Palmarians do not attempt to ordain women. Also, on Sinead's own site, it states that she attempted to be ordained by the Independent Catholicsfjsdbhvyhd. So this should be changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:01, 28 April 2008 (UTC)


I think that this should be category stub, just like category former roman catholics

Communism Party & Communism[edit]

In 1 july 1949, there was a declaration of "ipso facto" excommunication of everybody connected with communist party (Decretum, 1 July 1949, in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1949, p. 334.)


"Everybody in South America who took up arms against the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies under Leo XIII"

This statement has a problem. That being Pope Leo XIII]'s reign began in 1878, this is decades after the Spanish and Portuguese colonies gained independence. Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín, and Bernardo O'Higgins were all dead by 1850. The only monarchy in South America in 1878 was the Dutch and the English who were not Catholic. I'm guessing an earlier Leo is meant so I'll alter.--T. Anthony 14:39, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
Guessing? How about citing or removing? I'm not saying this didn't happen, but I can't find a cite on the internet:
  • Every Christian in South America who took up arms against the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies under Leo XII(Later rescinded)
Good luck -- SECisek 06:05, 24 July 2007 (UTC)[edit]

ton msn ya henry dima henry toujour

I thought I heard something about North America being excommunicated in the last couple of years because we are "too gay" or something like that. Although I think I might of heard that on the Daily Show, which is not always right (even though it is almost always funny) Highlandlord 05:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Brendan Behan[edit]

Anecdote has it that the priest who was consulted to preside over Brendan Behan's marriage ceremony expressed reservations. Behan, as a (former?) member of the IRA (Irish Republican Army)--a secret oath-bound association--had automatically excommunicated himself (see also Fenians, in the 19th century list). When told that there would be difficulties, because he was excommunicted, Behan's reply was, "Then, so is Eamon deValera!" The marriage took place.--PeadarMaguidhir 17:40, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

Stem cell researchers[edit]

Would anyone please provide a reference for that all stem cell researchers are in fact officially excommunicated by the RCC? I believe that the Cardinal doesn't have the canonical authority to excommunicate all stem cell researchers. I recommend deleting this entry. 06:13, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

The weblink provided as a source for the claim that stem cell researchers are excommunicated by the RCC just states that it is a cardinal's proposal. Since no source was provided corroborating that they are actually excommunicated, I removed it for the time being. Gugganij 23:01, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

St. Stanislaus Kostka[edit]

The parish council and pastor of a St. Louis area church were excommunicated for refusing to acknowledge Archbishop Burke's authority.

If he is notable enough and/or has an article, add him in then. Wikipedia can be edited, by the way! -- the GREAT Gavini 17:30, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


Ebrard is not excommunicated even though the bishops consider him to have 'excluded himself from communion', this is not the same as excommunication, a state of excommunication latae sententiae has not been suitably verified, therefore deleting the entry --Isolani 10:09, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


I'd like to know when and for what Hitler was excommunicated for. There is no mention in the main Hitler article or the article about his religious beliefs that he was excommunicated. (talk) 23:56, 11 June 2008 (UTC) Claymore

Adolf Hitler was never excommunicated. Some people have suggested that he should have been. Did the RC leadership ever consider excommunicating him? Nietzsche 2 (talk) 00:44, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Hitler was never excommunicated by name, but as leader of the Nazi party, he was obviously included within the February 1931 edict of the Conference of German Bishops excommunicating all leaders and active members of the Nazi party.: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:17, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I have never been able to find this document,. Reference, please? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:05, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

They neglected to post it online.
Try Scholder, Klaus, The Churches and the Third Reich. 2 vols. Fortress Press, 1988 pp. 150-162. Student7 (talk) 16:12, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to remove uncited items[edit]

The current list has too many questionable entries. I would like to propose that we remove all elements of the list that do not have an accompanying citation. Entries can be re-added as citations are found. I believe that it would be better to have an incomplete list than an inaccurate one. However, before doing this, I will message Wikipedia:WikiProject Catholicism asking that citations be added for as many as possible in the current list-- after a week or so, any still remaining without citations will be removed? Does anyone disagree with this approach? JRP (talk) 00:26, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

No one should be on any list ("notables", for example), without having a citation as to why they belong in that particular list (may have bio article, but no indication of belonging to some other article such as this one). This is doubly true for living persons. Thanks for pointing that out! Student7 (talk) 11:18, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Uncited material shouldn't be on any lists. What might work here is to make a separate list of the uncited names, and then, a bit later, remove all those that aren't cited, thus allowing individuals to try to find citations over maybe a longer period of time. Maybe the list of uncited names could be placed here for temporary storage. Would that be acceptable to the rest of you? John Carter (talk) 14:08, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I'll move them all to the Talk page. I'm also going to try and verify as many of the references as convenient (web sources, mostly) as a double-check. Still, I want to wait a few days before pulling the trigger on this. JRP (talk) 14:31, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
My thought would be simply to delete, or if you are feeling generous, comment out, all redlinked items without footnotes. Couldn't you just <fact> the rest? Delete them next month or something? Just a thought. Student7 (talk) 22:50, 12 June 2008 (UTC)


If someone has a red link should they be included in the list? Should there be a notability hurdle? JASpencer (talk) 08:50, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Wikipedia is about notables. This is a high level article (I make exceptions for real low level ones). People from the past must have an article. Otherwise why are they there and how can we verify? Recent people might not have an article for a short time. Maybe we could make exceptions with good references for awhile? (as discussed earlier, should have a footnote anyway to verify that they were excommunicated). Student7 (talk) 13:09, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I hope that this isn't as much of a problem as it sounds. (But I could be mistaken.) It seems to me that for any individual important enough for the church to formally do a writ of excommunication (or whatever the appropriate term is), they must be in some way notable either as an individual or as a group. (So, individual members of the "Danube Seven"-- one early group of female priests-- might not be notable, but their leader probably is and they may be notable as a group as well.) Maybe this doesn't hold and the church excommunicates people every week, but I suspect that we will find that many of them will be notable enough to have an article eventually. JRP (talk) 23:25, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Papal Decree[edit]

On reviewing the elements of this list and some of the comments above, I would like to propose that we limit the list to excommunications by papal decree only. A number of the excommunications from modern history on this list were done "automatically", even if a bishop subsequently declared the excommunication official. I feel that limiting it to Papal Decree (papal bull?) will have two benefits:

  1. Everyone on the list will be notable and red links can be made into articles. Any person that has garnered enough attention from the Holy See that they get excommunicated in this way is notable.
  2. The list will be finite. It is impossible for this list to ever be complete if we include automatic excommunications of any type, even if it is subsequently confirmed in the media or by a bishop, etc.

Unfortunately, I'm not an expert on this topic and so I'll ask for opinions from the Wikiproject (directing them to the discussion here). It could be that there simply are not that many that are this formal, but on the whole I think a more restricted list would be more valuable. I am very interested in alternate viewpoints however. JRP (talk) 02:22, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Makes a lot of sense. Historians and long-term Wikipedians should appreciate it. Scandal/tabloid people won't like it of course. This probably chops out most if not all the people in the 20th century.Student7 (talk) 11:51, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Papal Decree - followup[edit]

After a suitably long gap, I've followed-through and removed uncited items and followed up on all present citations to verify them. This makes for a considerably shorter list, but it means that it's a verifiable shorter list and I'm positive that, with a little work, we can get it back up to its prior length with references intact. I had hoped to have time to get this worked through with more of my own research, but I haven't had the time. Here is the old version, if anyone wants to troll through this for more items to readd: [1] JRP (talk) 03:45, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

BTW: Even this is imperfect. It's hard to tell, short of a link to, is news reports really understand the types of excommunication and whether we can read from them enough to consider whether their stories are excommunications for this list. I've made my best effort, but someone with more time may want to dig further. JRP (talk) 04:00, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
As far as I know it is the ordinary that declares a person excommunicate, the person excommunicated may then appeal to Rome - which suspends the declaration until ratified by Rome - that being said. Limiting the excommunications to those declared by papal bull would be unduly limiting. Some, excommunicated by their ordinaries have not appealed to Rome, canonically, theyr are excommunicate but yet would not be added to this list. I would suggest all be included that are canonically excommunicated. You'll find their number to be relatively small - which will meet your concerns over spurious additions to the list.--Scarpe (talk) 12:37, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable, but I'm afraid that I don't know the definition. Can you help me to know what that means from a research standpoint and adjust the summary at the top of the list accordingly? I was hoping to limit the number to verifiable excommunications and the Vatican has always been good about keeping a paper trail for such things, even to antiquity. But if this still gets rid of the "automatic" excommunications which are difficult to prove and not verifiable. (In cases where a class of individuals are excommunicated, if we include them, we should denote the class and not try and fill in individuals which may apply.) JRP (talk) 15:56, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Check Ed Peters' excellent weblog and excommunication blotter. ( )

You are right in being somewhat wary of 'automatic' excommunications. And I would agree in desisting from adding anyone to the list merely because someone claims that A committed act X, and act X is punishable by automatic excommunication. Generally I would not 'count' an automatic (latae sententiae) excommunication until the existence of this excommunication is declared by that person's ordinary. This is the criterion used by Ed Peters, and he is as bona fide a canon lawyer as they come. I would *not* include a latae sententiae excommunication if it comes from anyone else. An auxiliary bishop does not have jurisdiction, if an auxiliary therefore says A is excommunicated it does not have canonical effect. Neither do pronouncements by random cardinals, unless they happen to be speaking in official capacity as members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or one of the Church courts. A hard and fats rule: include it if it is on Dr. Peter's 'blotter'. Only adding those excommunicated under the provision of some papal documemt is much, much too narrow. --Scarpe (talk) 14:50, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Joe Biden[edit]

This is not a list of people who have "indicated effective excommunication" but who have been officially excommunicated. Biden's support of abortion has certainly got himself into serious trouble but he has not been excommunicated officially an in person. JASpencer (talk) 16:53, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Why have so many people dissapeared from this list???[edit]

I was shocked to see that many are missing what happened with them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sumaterana (talkcontribs) 22:32, 26 September 2008 (UTC) See the conversations above. Unsourced items and "automatic excommunications" have been removed from this list. JRP (talk) 23:35, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Citation needed tags[edit]

I've removed the citation needed tags by many of the people in this list. For one, all of the people here are well-known excommunicatees (real word?) and their excommunications are common textbook knowledge. If a citation is truly needed, I'm sure one of the citations on their own pages (of which they are of course linked to) discuss it, and if necessary the reader can look into one of those. CaptainP (talk) 02:26, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Recent St. Louis excommunications[edit]

I was wondering whether the relatively recent excommunications of Womenpriests Rose Hudson and Elsie McGrath ( would fall under the section of "automatic" excommunications and be excluded from this list or not. Pokeronskis (talk) 01:01, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Jacqueline Kennedy, of all people[edit]

While doing some research on an unrelated matter I found a number of articles relating to her having been excommunicated in November of 1968. This one [2] discusses Cardinal Cushing responding to a Vatican announcement that she was a "public sinner" (for having married a divorced Orthodox Christian) and had been excommunicated. The details may be in one of these articles [3] [4] [5] [6] (especially the last, because the words "formal excommunication" are in a ten-word extract) might contain clues, but I can't afford $3.95 an article to say whether they do or not. I can say that many newspapers and television reports of the time stated categorically that she had been excommunicated. Does anyone have any actual proof that one could refer to without paying $3.95 per article, one way or the other? --NellieBly (talk) 18:01, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

"Public sinner" would be insufficient IMO to excommunicate someone unless they had some position of authority or were publicly arguing with the church (okay, the Brazil abortion case wasn't in either category, but nevertheless...). People excommunicate themselves in any event. In rare cases, it is announced by the Vatican and shows up here. Most often it is simply unofficial. People who married a divorced person should not receive the sacraments. Kennedy knew this. Did she even attend church? Big deal when Jack was President and they were trying to impress the electorate with religious observance. Probably moot after she was widowed.Student7 (talk) 21:35, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
I was actually looking for actual evidence that she'd been excommunicated. Do you have any? --NellieBly (talk) 06:13, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

St. Stanislaus church council et al. (St. Louis)[edit]

I don't have handy cites or refs, but I seem to recall a few years ago that then-Archbishop Raymond Burke declared that the above church council (parish council? I forget the exact term) had excommunicated themselves. Definitely a group to be added, will look later, or others might check the archives of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (try []). umrguy42 17:06, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Comprehensive list[edit]

Does this article intend to be (or purport to be) an all-inclusive list? I'd think excommunications via Papal Bull would be easily verifiable; if the list is indeed holistic, I'd recommend noting it in the lead section (if not, that should be noted too). //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 02:33, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Folks in Brazil[edit]

Should the people mentioned in this article be included? Vatican defends Brazil excommunication --MicahBrwn (talk) 07:50, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

9-year old girl excommunicated?[edit]

I wasn't able to read the source given, because it was not in English and I didn't feel like reading it through a clumsy translation, but all of the sources I've seen say she was not excommunicated. They say the church spared her because of her age and instead excommunicated everyone involved in the abortion. Can anyone clarify? Here's my source:

Had the girl received First Communion / Confirmation? If not could she be excommunicated? Chris Fynn (talk) 18:42, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
Nobody under 16, whatever sacraments they have received, is ever excommunicated (see canon 1323 of the Code of Canon Law).
Nobody said the girl was excommunicated. Archbishop Sobrinho said her mother was automatically excommunicated. The bishops conference said the mother was certainly not excommunicated. Esoglou (talk) 19:26, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Who is eligible[edit]

An editor professed to be surprised that the rapist was not excommunicated. Assuming good faith, as we always must, the church announces the fact that (in the church's opinion) people have excommunicated themselves from God (turned from God). A rapist might have repented. It was clear that the mother had not. The perp was guilty of repeated rape, the mother guilty of assisting (abetting) a murder (in the church's view), a bit more serious. Also, there was the publicity involved. Since the abortion was public knowledge, so was the excommunication.

The rapist might have excommunicated himself. The church took no stand because it wasn't public knowledge what his stand was.

There are plenty of rapists of nine-year olds in the US, maybe 20 a year (I'm guessing here). Most are handled "by the authorities" without publicity, the victims and families being essentially "unchurched." Probably a couple of these, migrants, illegals, come to term as well. No publicity. tv never gets out that far. Brazil is a tempest in a teapot considering our own backyard. So much for "News at 11." Student7 (talk) 11:37, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Reverse chronology[edit]

Why is the article structured in reverse chronology which differs from all other articles. This seems WP:POV or WP:SOAP-ish by overemphasizing current events over previous ones. tv-ish. Student7 (talk) 13:22, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Schism vs. Excommunication[edit]

It would be a good idea to try to better distinguish schism and excommunication, a distinction that came after the Second Vatican Council. For instance, in Unitatis Redintegratio, the Council says that some schisms are incomplete, while other schisms are complete. The Arian schism was a complete schism, while the Eastern schism is still an imcomplete schism since the excommunication has been lifted. ADM (talk) 00:07, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

"a distinction that came after the Second Vatican Council" - nonsense. This distinction is nothing new and nothing hard to grasp. Excommunication is a punishment (no matter whether latae setentiae or imposed) for certain acts, among which are apostasy, heresy, schism etc. Str1977 (talk) 12:09, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, I was thinking of the concept of ecclesiology of communion, a conciliar notion that has had a significant impact on Catholic-Orthodox relations and Catholic-Protestant relations, since it defines the Church in terms of interpersonal communication of the bishops and the faithful. It would be intesting if we had an entry on that, it could help with our series of articles on ecumenism. ADM (talk) 12:43, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
In what sense was there ever a complete schism between West & East? Until the 1720s there were often people simultaneously in communion with both sides. Peter jackson (talk) 16:20, 18 June 2009 (UTC)


He was excommunicated by papal legate(s) after the Pope had died & before the next was elected. Legal validity questionable. Peter jackson (talk) 10:34, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I addressed that but want to clarify that the "before the next was elected" doesn't really make any difference. The legates were legates of Leo IX and the bull was written by Leo IX and hence the bull became void with Leo's death. The election of a new Pope did not change that. In order to be valid the new Pope would have to issue a new bull. Str1977 (talk) 12:25, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Quite so. I mentioned that simply to answer a hypothetical objection that the hypothetical new Pope might have done so. Peter jackson (talk) 16:17, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Western church[edit]

A qualifier was removed by a respected editor. The qualifier read "Prior to the sixteenth century, there was a single church in Western Europe which called itself 'Christian' not 'Roman Catholic.'" The editor commented that this was not true, that the Orthodox had split off earlier. This is true, but they were the Eastern Church, not Western. The Western church has essentially been one monolith from the 1st century through the 15th. All church history in the West derives from this single, earlier history. It was not "The Roman Catholic Church" up to that point. It was "the" church. Student7 (talk) 11:29, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Still, the note that was removed was false. There never was a body calling itself the "Christian church" anywhere. The body in existence before and after the Protestant reformation called and calls itself Catholic Church. The pre-protestant body did not split into two new groups but Protestant groups split off from the Catholic church. Str1977 (talk) 12:07, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Agree that they may have called themselves "Catholic Church" to distinguish themselves from the Orthodox. The church did split in two though. The Vatican has a strong political hold on Rome. Nobody was going to walk off with that! Luther had the protection of his ruler(s), an essential element in a split. He doubtless considered his church Catholic, as did Henry VIII right up until the latter's death. So it was a split from the splitters pov. Each considered themselves the one true (catholic) church. From Rome's pov, of course, heresy.
Before that, a single church in the West. Student7 (talk) 21:58, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
There's rather a difference, though, isn't there? "The Pope ... seceded with all his followers from the Church of England" is a joke. The term "the Christian Church" is common enough. It seems to be mainly used as a sort of weasel term, meaning "our lot". Peter jackson (talk) 16:23, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. The Western church did this in it's entirety up until 1450 or so. Not half the church. Or one-third. The flip side is "credible deniability." "We seceded so we will decide which history we want!" What you did that we (today) like, "us Christians" did. What you did that we don't like (as of today), "Roman Catholics did." This doesn't seem factually accurate to me.
Does the government of Alabama today teach that the government of the United States issued the "Emancipation Proclamation?" Maybe more appropriately, does the United States, having seceded from England, still have "common law" up until the time it seceded? Stare decisis (sp) up until that time. Laws issued by English courts until that time are (were) part of American law history. Student7 (talk) 21:26, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Uta Ranke-Heinemann[edit]

I think there is a case to be made that Ranke-Heinemann was really excommunicated. One of the reasons that leads me to think this is that the article about her names two specific canons that were used at the time, namely canon 1364 and canon 751, with one anonymous user adding them to the entry at one point. [7] It is unclear who exactly excommunicated her, as the name of the bishop is not provded, but it would be a good idea to retrace the identity of this ordinary. Also, the virgin birth is a fairly important dogma in Christianity and denying it could well be a cause for such an excommunication, since it is very similar to denying the divinity of Christ. Finally, Ranke-Heinemann did also lose her right to teach, or missio canonica, but this is not the same as an excommunication and it is likely that both sanctions were applied in a relatively short period. ADM (talk) 12:55, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

No, no, no, no! There is no case for her inclusion here and since nonsensical "sources" keep on being added I remove her now entirely.
Thus far the only source is claims by that woman herself. It is true that her behaviour has merited automatic excommunication many times BUT this list specifically says that those are only included IF confirmed by a bishop. With such information (and I don't believe there can be because no bishop ever confirmed this) she stays out.
Str1977 (talk) 08:00, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Nazis excommunicated[edit]

See discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Catholicism#Excommunication_.22too_good_to_be_true.22. This document surfaced on and is a primary document. We need someone to analyze it. We can quote the analysis of it, if useful. However, editors have already done that and it does not appear to be of much use. Interesting. That is about it. 1931 was way too early for anyone to "excommunicate" anyone. Everybody except Jews, including most Americans and maybe English were still enthusiastic about "Mr. Hitler" at that time. Eight years later, not quite so enthusiastic anymore! But it took time. Student7 (talk) 20:06, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Why did you delete the discussion I started? And this discussion you reference is simply a bunch of editors saying that they don't understand German. Tellingly, one does say he sees a reference to the Nazis being separated/forbidden from the sacraments. What precisely do you believe excommunication is? I understand the document. It separates active members and leaders of the Nazi party from the sacraments. As for individuals who voted or supported the Nazis, their future participation in the sacraments should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, largely dependent on their motivations in supporting the Nazis. I have restored the link because what I have recited above is an accurate description of the document.

No. There were German readers and Italian readers since it is in both languages. No, Nazis are not excommunicated. This would be really big news if it were true. No one wanted to do anything bad to Nazis (except the Jews of course) in 1931. They were considered the "saviors" of Germany. The fact that the church had scruples (which are reflected in the document) is kind of significant, I suppose.
The document is a primary document. Even if what you said is true, Wikipedia cannot use it because of WP:PRIMARY. Student7 (talk) 21:20, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
As someone who understands German, I wonder on what authority you say that the document does not say what I can plainly see that it says. Moreover, as I read the primary source requirements, this is plainly a document which can be cited, because it is verifiable as originating from the Vatican archives.:: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
You may be right, but we are still trying to use a "primary" document which we shouldm't be doing. We need to ask what this hasn't been processed by any unbiased reliable source. So far, that hasn't happened. Remember CBS "finding" documents purporting to show Bush missing Guard duty? These looked authentic but were, in retrospect, probably bogus. Student7 (talk) 00:41, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
I gather we have accepted that the document is authentic; satisfies the primary source requirements; clearly provides for the separation of the Nazi leaders from the Catholic sacraments (i.e., excommunication); and that this commentary and link stays. Thank you for the discussion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:51, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree this has been resolved and should stay; apparently there is one editor who seeks to impose his view despite this resolution —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:25, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
The following is a copy of a summary of one contributor from Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Catholicism#Excommunication_.22too_good_to_be_true.22 where it was academically discussed last year.

(My Italian is far from good; but I know some French, a little Spanish and (very) little Latin, and this helps me some in reading Italian. My German is better. The following short summary is based on that understanding.)

The Italian text is a summary of the enclosed German one, a pastoral letter. The text is authorised by "the archbishops and bishops of Bavaria". There is no indication of either an approval or a disapproval from the Vatican authorities of their decisions. The text considers the National Socialism party ideology as consisting of two parts, a political on the one hand, and a cultural and religious on the other. The bishops declare that they in no way want to infringe on the right of the Nazis to have their political opinion; but that as regards religion the views and the "cultural struggle" (Kulturkampf) is unacceptible, and not compatible with Christ's Christianity (i.e., with Christianity in a true sence). Therefore, the full party programme is condemned [in the same manner and with similar consequenses] as was the old liberalism and is socialism. The clergy are completely forbidden to participate in the party activities, as they have enough understanding to know that the religeous standpoints are unacceptable. As for common people, if they support the Nazism just because of its political side, but remain true to the church, it is OK; if they also understand and support the party programme points about religion, it is unacceptible. Party members who have been barred from pertaking in sacraments and die in an unshrifted condition, still may get a Christian burial, if they during their lives in their acts otherwise stayed loyal to and peaceful towards the Church. If in the future the party should turn to methods such as the Communists use, which is hoped not to be the case, then the barring of remaining followers from the church and its sacraments will be absolute.

I think this could be considered as a condemnation of the NSDAP as a whole; however, not for the reasons we with hindsight might wish. The political views are considered as permissible, and no (unacceptable) bad concrete practices (like violent anti-Jewish campaigns) are recognised to exist. More important: The document in no way clarifies whether or not the church as a whole (i.e., the Holy See) participated in or at least upheld the local decision in Bavaria. However, if the decision was endorsed by the Vatican, it certainly involved excommunication of, or at least an interdict against, those Nazis who actively upheld the whole party programme. JoergenB (talk) 00:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

The point being that this was a warning letter. It is a primary document which should never be used anyway since the original could be a forgery. Academics need to look this over and analyze it. That is what Wikipedia is all about. We quote secondary sources, not primary ones. No academic has reviewed it. QED, there is nothing to review. Nothing happened as a result of this letter. Student7 (talk) 13:53, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
You are just being obstinate. The consensus which has been reached is contrary to your thoughts, and yet you insist on continuing to delete something everyone else has agreed should stay. Quite to the contrary, your continued deletions are vandalism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:44, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Student7. It is not appropriate to use this document to say that any Nazis were excommunicated from the Roman is a reCatholic Church.
The German text, at least, does not say that any Nazis have been excommunicated. It indicates that some of them may be ineligible to receive the sacraments—something that happens whenever a person is in a state of mortal sin—but it does not say that any of them have been excommunicated. As such, it appears to equate being a Nazi with, say, theft or adultery, rather than, say, apostasy or breaking the seal of confession. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:24, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
What it says is that the leaders of the Nazi parties are separated from the sacraments -- and that means excommunicated. I don't think you understand what excommunicated means. A person who is in a state of mortal sin is to refrain from participation from the sacraments until he or she has confessed. However, there are some mortal sins which are considered grounds for excommunication, including apostasy, and the German text states clearly that assuming a leadership role in the Nazi party constitutes a rejection of the Church and its teachings. Your analysis of this document is not correct. There is simply no doubt that this document reflects the decision of the German bishops (papal approval is not necessary, since local bishops possess the authority to excommunicate those within their diocese) that leadership in the Nazi party was contrary to the teachings of the Church and that the leaders of the Nazi party were excommunicated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 23:25, 12 March 2011
Perhaps you would like to provide me with a direct quotation (in the original language, please) from the document that you believe supports your claim. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:37, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the point of that exercise would be, other than to have me waste my time transcribing what the document already says. There is a link; click on it. If you understood German, you could simply read the document for yourself. But my inputting the same language here is going to make you suddenly understand German. Suffice to say that you have already agreed that, by virtue of this document, leadership of the Nazi party was separated from the sacraments. You liken that punishment to the punishment incurred by someone who has committed a mortal sin. But the person in mortal sin can confess and be freed to take the sacraments again. However, the only way a Nazi leader could have been freed to take the sacraments again would have been to confess, denounce his position with the Nazi party, and seek to be restored to full communion. By persisting in a state of mortal sin (i.e., by remaining within the leadership of the Nazi party), the individual could never be restored to full communion, and thus would remain permanently separated from the sacraments -- meaning he is excommunicated. You have already acknowledged the facts essential to the conclusion that this document excommunicated the Nazi leaders; and the distinction you seek to draw is without validity from a theological perspective. Even using your language, by persisting in a position of leadership within the Nazi party, the individual was permanently separating himself from the sacraments. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:57, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I thought this was already resolved. The document is pretty clear concerning the excommunication of the Nazi leaders. It never ceases to amaze me that, when something involves the Catholic Church, any fact which places it in a positive light, no matter how beyond dispute, can be disputed nonetheless. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
We don't know whether this is authentic or not. Could be a bunch of memoranda that was intended to become an official document but never did. That is the trouble with primary sources. It may also explain the reason why it is in several languages instead of only being in German, which would address the target audience. It is not specific and "denies the sacraments" rather than using the clearer "excommunication."
It's like excommunicating unrepentant murderers. It seems generic.
This is a "smoking gun." But what we are missing is a victim. No one screamed when this supposedly happened. IF it happened. The Germans and Nazis could have cared less. They did care when a smuggled pastoral note criticized the Nazis later. Priests were hauled off to concentration camps. That is how we know the note got there!
Not really sure this was ever released. We need to wait for academic research to reveal the history of this. If indeed, there is any history to reveal. Anything else is clearly WP:OR. Student7 (talk) 22:41, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

I have a few comments. In brief, first of all, we should all of us try to be careful with our choices of words. Second, I disagree with Student7 on a few points, but agree with the essential conclusion.

  • We should all of us avoid confusing "vandalism" with proper editing which is bad for other reasons. E.g., there is something we wikipedian editors often call POV-pushing; to pursue one's own personal opinion of view, without too much regard for relevant input from others. Usually, this is based on a strong conviction of knowing the truth. This type of editing is condemned by the wiki community; but it is not "vandalism", and should not be called "vandalism" - especially not in messages to newcomers who may not be aware of the differences.
  • I do not think that there is any serious reason to fear that the documents we discuss are forged. If they were, the forgery would be technically very ingenious, but at the same time incredibly stupid. The dossier with the print in German and the letter in Italian has a diary number. If it is a forgery (but not a forgery by top echelons in the Vatican), then it would be revealed immeately by any archivalist at the Vatican having access to the dossiers from that year. Student7, if you really fear a falsification, then try to find someone in a position to ask for this simple control. Pending this, we should treat the dossier as an autentic primary source.
  • Finally, I do not completely agree with you as regards primary sources. (These policies and recommendations are not completely unequivocal, and somewhat open to different interpretations.) In my opinion, if facts are obviously both clear from a primary source and relevant for an article, it is permissible to include them. We are not to do the interpretation of facts which often is necessary; nor a selection, compilation, and structuring of primary source facts, in order to reach "higher order conclusions" which are not explicit from the primary sources. There are still quite a number of relevant facts which we can and do fetch directly from primary sources.

With all this said, I still do not think that this dossier in itself merits the inclusion into a list of excommunications. The first reason is that to my limited understanding, this text is not about excommunication in the technical sense. As far as I understand, the RCC makes a distinction between several forms of punishment, and they rerserve "excommunication" for a more severe and absolute one (which includes the denial of the last rites and a Catholic burial). An excommunication either is automatic, or communicated privately to the 'excommunicee', or is declared openly (obliging all Catholics to abstain from most forms of contact with him/her). This is an encyclopedia, and as I wrote before, we should be careful with our choices of words. The German text does not suit the latter two cases; it might possibly be interpreted partly as a warning about automatic excommunication. (It does explicitly state that ordinary people should not be condemned for having contact with the Nazis or sympathising with them - as long as they do not share those parts of the party view which are not truly Christian. Thus, they may share the antisemitic and nationalistic ideas without any problem; these are not criticised. If the officials were officially excommunicated, on the other hand, good Catholics should not have more than rather limited contact with them. The Nazis only are criticised for the same reasons that earlier Liberals and Socialists were criticised, having to do with their standpoints as regards religious matters.

(Perhaps, actually, our article about "excommunication" is a bit misleading; it might need better clarification about differences between milder and more severe forms of separation of a Christian from the RCC. However, I'd prefer to leave this to people with greater insights than I have.)

Secondly, the decision is taken rater locally, and information is sent to the Curia; but the dossier does not contain anything about the response. Thus, we do not know whether or not the pastoral letter was approved or disapproved, or just passed over (which I think would count as more of an approval than the converse). We do not know if it was put into force - if e.g. actually ant party officials as a consequence were hindered from any participation in Church activities. What seems most clear is that the clergy is forbidden to partake in Nazi activities; and since the letter was made to the clergy, not to the Nazi officials, there is a much higher probability that this lead to some practical effects. For knowing more about the effects, we indeed need secondary sources.

In other words: If this source had shown that some Nazi officials were excommunicated, in an explicit and indisputable manner, I think that we could have used this as a source, although it is primary. However, IMHO, this is not the case. JoergenB (talk) 23:03, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I have a couple of points in response. First, excommunications are separations from the sacraments. The terms are synonymous. Second, excommunications can be done by the local bishops and their determination is binding on those within their dioceses. The Vatican's approval is not required. The Vatican can review, but to say that there was no indication that the Vatican approved or signed off on this determination is really of no consequence. In fact it is a rare case when the Vatican will interfere with the authority of the local bishop, or undermine the local bishop. Third, excommunications generally do not involve declarations that the ex-communicant is barred from last rites, a Catholic funeral, or burial in a consecrated place. Such determinations are reserved in the hopes that the ex-communicant repents and confesses prior to his or her death. If the ex-communicant remains excommunicated at the time of his or her death, he or she will likely be barred from these sacraments and rites. But the sincere hope of the Church, even when the ex-communicant is on the death bed, is that he or she will repent, ask to confess, ask for last rites, and seek re-communion with the Church. To declare in advance that the sacrament of last rites or the rite of a Catholic funeral/burial must be denied would preclude this hope of re-communion. For this reason, I don't think you can attach any significance to the fact that this document does not express an exclusion from last rites or a Catholic funeral/burial. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
The amount of editing which has occurred to this comment and link in the past 24 hours is unconscionable. I have restored it to its original language. I propose we vote, up or down, on whether to leave it AS IS. I think it should stay because it is primary source which is clear on its face; plainly originates from the Vatican archives; and expresses that the leaders of the NSDAP were separated from the sacraments. Separation from the sacraments IS excommunication; the objection that the document does not use the word "excommunicate" is at best a translation issue, nothing more. Likewise, the objection that there is no record of Vatican ratification fails to appreciate that local bishops have the power to excommunicate and their discretion in this regard is rarely reviewed by the Vatican. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Hi, again, user with the IP!
First, have you looked at your IP discussion page, i.e., at User talk: If not, please do! There are a number of suggestions of pages to look at for wikipedia beginners, and also a few immediate suggestions.
One immediate suggestion: Pleae, from now on, sign your contributions on talk pages!
Another tip: In general, we do not use voting as a means of resolving pure editorial questions. In the first place, we try to reach a "consensus" by discussion. When this doesn't work, we may continue by other means; but they do not involve the simple voting procedure you suggested. Wikipedia is not a democracy.
OK, back to the issue. I'm going to reverse the text you reinstated now. I think we should continue discussing, but independently of the outcome, that text is unacceptable. I am not sure I'm right about my understanding of what constitutes "excommunication" in the RCC, but I am sure of one thing. The documents we discuss do not concern Germany as a whole.
Please, reread the documents! Both the German and the Italian version refer to Bavarian archbishops and bishops. In the German texts, there is an explicit reference to the document being directed to the clergy in the eight dioceses in Bavaria (i. e., Bayern). The RCC of Germany to-day is organised in 27 dioceses; in 1931, the number should have been similar. No-where in the documents is Germany mentioned. No-where is "the Conference of German Bishops" mentioned. Bavaria is just a part of Germany; an important part, and the part which was the first stronghold of the Nazis; it was in its capital city, Munich (München) that Hitler made his first try at a violent take-over; still, just a part. Therefore, a text referring to "the Conference of German Bishops" simply is wrong - with no further interpretation necessary.
Secondly, reread section 4 carefully! This may be open for interpretation; but my understanding is that not all active members are barred from sacraments. The text (which, I remind you, is directed to the clergy in the first place) states that the admittance of a nazi must be decided on a case-to-case basis. The decisive factor should be, whether or not the nazi embraces the cultural part of the party programme, since this is the part not acceptible for the Church. As means for deciding this, the priest may consider the nazi's activities on behalf of the party; e.g., has (s)he clearly defended and propagated the whole party line (including the offending parts)?
The text as a whole contains two absolute prohibitions: The RCC clergy is forbidden participation in the NSDAP, and the nazis are forbidden to participate as uniformed groups in Church ceremonies.
The rest is much more unclear. I think there is some support for saying that the top leaders are forbidden the sacraments; but not all active party members. Again: The priests are left to decide, on a case to case basis, whether or not the nazi supports the cultural aspects of the party programme. The pastoral letter makes it fairly clear that top leaders or general spokesmen for the party hardly could avoid having agreed with these points; but does not extend this to all active members in general, and especially not to all who have just voted for the nazis. (The document does not explain how the priests are supposed to know how ther parish members voted; but since this primarily is a letter about pastoral care, I suppose that much of it is intended for them in their rôles as confessors.)
Best, JoergenB (talk) 17:21, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
It's going to take me a while to digest everything you have said, but I have reviewed the German text in section 4 and agree that the exclusion from the sacraments is not as to all "members" of the Nazi party, but rather as to the leaders only, with the case of members to be determined on a case-by-case basis. To the extent that the comment indicates that this punishment was directed to all members, you are correct, that is not accurate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:38, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
You forgot to sign, e.g., by adding ~~~~ ;-) Best, JoergenB (talk) 17:45, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I think it's fair to note that the linked document was a pastoral letter from the bishops of Bavaria to the clergy under their jurisdiction. However, this document is representative of the pastoral letter sent by the bishops of all regions after the Conference of German Bishops in 1931. This process started with a declaration by the bishop of Mainz excommunicating all members of the Nazi party in his diocese in October 1930. Thereafter, the other German bishops decided to address this action at their conference at Fulda and Freising in February 1931. At that time, they renounced the philosophy of the Nazi party as incompatible with Catholicism and voted to support the excommunication of the Nazi leadership. However, they declared that the application of this determination to someone who was simply member of the Nazi party, or simply voted for the Nazi party, should be determined by clergy on a case-by-case basis. Letters like the one sent by the Bavarian bishops were then sent by bishops for all the regions of Germany. There is really little historical doubt that the leadership of the Nazi party was excommunicated and, unless you object, I will restore language to that effect in the list, limiting it to the leadership. I believe the inclusion of this item is vital because it is often stated that the Catholic Church never excommunicated Hitler or any other single Nazi leader, and that claim is false. If you do object, I will respect your objection. As an aside, after the Concordat of 1933, the Church removed these restrictions as to mere members or supporters of the Nazi party, but never reversed the excommunication of the Nazi leaders -- although by that time, the excommunication was certainly at best symbolic, because there were no leaders of the Nazi party who were active Catholics, such participation in the Catholic Church having become a "career killer" for anyone intent of being involved in the Nazi leadership. Please see this link for additional information under the "Catholic Reaction":
To the anon:
I must not have been sufficiently clear. I do understand enough German to get (slowly) through those three pages, I have clicked the link and read the document, and I do not find any statement in it that says that Nazis are excommunicated. Furthermore, I showed it to a native speaker of German, and he also failed to find any statement in it that says that any Nazis were excommunicated. Being ineligible to receive "the Sacrament of the Altar" is not the same thing as "excommunicated". Exkommunikation does not appear in the document. Sünde (sin) does. Again, being in a state of mortal sin makes a person ineligible to receive the sacrament of the altar, but being in a state of mortal sin is not the same thing as excommunication.
Now—if I've overlooked something, feel free to provide a direct quotation. But I don't think I have. I think you're reading far too much into this document. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:05, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
This is my understanding, too; but I really don't know much about the finer nuances. If I understand the IP correctly, (s)he maintains that "prohibited from taking part in sacraments" is essentially synonymous with "excommunicated". Actually, I think that our article Excommunication describes the matter more or less in this manner. However, the Catholic Encyclopedia seems to make a distinction, and to consider excommunication as a more severe censure than just prohibiting sacraments; e.g., quoted from the article Interdict:
"Interdict differs from excommunication, in that it does not cut one off from the communion of the faithful or from Christian society, though the acts of religion forbidden in both cases are almost identical."
(All this - both that encyclopaedia and the 1931 documents we discuss - are older than 1983, whence the old canon law should apply, I guess.) So, I'd like to ask the IP whether or not there is a distinction between being deprived the rights to participates in sacraments by a personal interdict, and being deprived the same sacraments by an excommunication; and, if so, what (s)he thinks the difference is.
If in fact most readers (like me?) would tend to confuse two technically different censures, "interdict" and "excommunication", then we should clarify this better in our articles, and/ or change some names. ("List of persons excommunicated or interdicted by the Roman Catholic Church"??) JoergenB (talk) 19:56, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
1) It doesn't seem to make any difference to the debaters, but this does not name anybody. Excommunicating a group by presumed association is rather unusual.
2) We don't know whether the document was actually promulgated or not. Apparently in somebody's file someplace. Maybe it was signed and everything and something happened to whoever was supposed to send it out and it never got sent.
2 a) There is no independent confirmation as to what happened here. No research by anyone. What is happening here is clearly WP:OR. Someone is trying to put a spin on a piece of paper that has surfaced and no one can trace it's origins.
3) It is a primary document which we are not supposed to use. WP:PRIMARY. Student7 (talk) 20:45, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Here is my interpretation of the extent to which primary sources might be used: Secondary or tertiary sources are needed to establish the topic's notability and to avoid novel interpretations of primary sources, though primary sources are permitted if used carefully. All interpretive claims, analyses, or synthetic claims about primary sources must be referenced to a secondary source, rather than original analysis of the primary-source material by Wikipedia editors. Do you agree?
In this particular case, however, I think that interpretation is necessary. JoergenB (talk) 21:44, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
An interdiction is a censure generally given to one who has committed, but does not persist, in mortal sin. It is imposed to encourage penance and reconciliation. Since being a Nazi leader involves a persistence in mortal sin, it would be difficult to consider the censure discussed here an interdiction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:56, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
No, that's not true. Personal interdicts have been given as punishment, even after the person has reconciled. "Local" interdicts have been used as political tools to gain leverage while the authorities are persisting in undesirable conduct. You might benefit from reading the article Interdict. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:06, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm note 100% sure what part your referencing, but I'm speaking of a "personal" interdiction exclusively. Here is a link to the Catholic Encyclopedia. I don't see anything which suggests that an interdiction of a named person or group can be given a punishment even after penance and reconciliation:
An example where a person has been subject to a personal interdiction is a legislator who has supported abortion rights. That person does not persist in the mortal sin, but he/she has voted to support abortion, not acknowledged his/her error, and there is at least one case where an interdiction was imposed.
Perhaps you will read your source more closely. See the bit that runs, "Whereas excommunication is exclusively a censure, intended to lead a guilty person back to repentance, an interdict, like suspension, may be imposed either as a censure or as a vindictive punishment....if, however, it is imposed for a definite time, and no reparation is demanded of the individuals at fault, it is inflicted as a punishment."
Personal interdicts affect only individuals, for their own individual actions. An interdict affecting people because they are part of a political organization would be what is alternately termed a "real" or "local" interdict, because it applies to people "inasmuch as they form part of a body", to quote your source, rather than individuals. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:38, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
While it says that an interdiction may issue for a period of time (and thus may separate one from the sacraments even after repentance if one repents and reconciles before the end of that period), I don't see anything which indicates that the interdiction itself would actually issue, i.e., begin, after one has repented and reconciled. And I disagree with your characterization of this "interdiction" --if it is an interdiction -- as a "local" interdiction in that it did not affect territories or sacred buildings, or forbid services within specified territories or specified sacred buildings. It would be a "general personal interdiction" because it affected certain persons who formed a group -- Nazis. Again, though, I'm having a hard time reconciling the language with the document which accuses the Nazis of promulgating a moral and theological philosophy which makes the cause of race and state paramount over the rights (and religious rights) of the individual, and is thereby inconsistent with Catholicism. That is accusing the Nazis of an apostasy, declaring that their philosophical outlook places them outside the Church and thereby not in communion with the Church. An essential component of an interdiction is that one under censure remains in communion with the Church. That is not the case here. Indeed, at the Bishops Conference the following year (1932), the German bishops indicated that they were re-affirming their existing determination that membership in the Nazi party was inconsistent with Church membership, ie., removes you from the Communion of the Church. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:49, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Would you please, please, please sign your talk contributions, by means of the signature button, or by just writing ~~~~ at the end of statement?
You seem to have found more sources of relevance to the article. Are any-one of them available on the net?
Note, that the document we have discussed hitherto, was not supposed to become common knowledge. It was addressed to the clergy. In the Italian text, at the end, there is a note about a nazi journal in Munich, the Völkischer Beobachter, having got access to a copy of it "in spite of it being addressed only to the clergy". Was the 1932 statement intended for a broader audience? JoergenB (talk) 16:58, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
You won't find a lot of this research on the web. I see one user thinks we should restore the language. I'm working on getting a few research items from the library and will cite to them once I have reviewed them. Those with an axe to grind with the Catholic Church have been swift to realize how efficiently the web can be used to spread false information. The research which supports the Church is more of the old tried and true academic, peer-reviewed research -- copyrighted stuff not given away for free on the web. For the time being, we should just sit tight. I'm confident that the research supports the notion that the Nazis were excommunicated.


I should add I think you asked a lot of excellent questions earlier, and I said it was going to take a while for me to respond. I'm still trying to collect a number of sources. For the time being, it's interesting to note that, when the NY Times ran an opinion piece which faulted Pius XII for his alleged silence during the Holocaust, a Catholic group ran an add in the Times countering that charge with repeated war-time citations to the NY Times itself -- effusively praising Pius XII for his condemnations of the Nazis. The Times editors required proof that all the quotes attributed to the Times actually appeared in the paper before running the add. Who are you going to believe: the New York Times or the New York Times? A link to a National Catholic Register article on the event:


No, you have to type the four tildes. Typing them and then telling the software to ignore them (by wrapping them in nowiki commands) is not good enough. This is not difficult: you find the little tilde button on your keyboard, and you press it four times at the end of your last sentence. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:34, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm glad that you're looking for better sources. Note that we're looking for something reliable—a top-quality source, that anybody would agree is a good source—that directly makes an absolutely unambiguous statement. For example, if Süddeutsche Zeitung says "In 193x, the Catholic Church excommunicated all members of the Nazi party", that would be good enough. Better yet, if a noted church historian or Nazi scholar says the same thing in a book, that would be great. Statements like the one we've been looking at are open to interpretation (it could be excommunication, it could be interdiction, it could be nothing: it doesn't say exactly how to classify it). WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:40, 21 March 2011 (UTC)

21st Century[edit]

Most of the excommunications mentioned here were/are automatic and all those Bishops did was announce that those persons had indeed incurred those automatic excommunications. Just because the newspapers got it wrong, doesn't mean we should perpetuate their mistake. (talk) 05:58, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes. Thanks. The media often gets facts wrong. It is important that they wind up here in an accurate form. Student7 (talk) 14:39, 23 February 2011


Dispute over health of patient with abortion[edit]

A line keeps getting changed: "excommunicated for allowing an abortion that was deemed medically necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman suffering from pulmonary hypertension" in one manifestation.

n the past, when abortion was illegal, every time there was a hole or apparent hole in the law, everyone was presumed to suffer from it. So if there was an exception for "Mental health", everyone who wanted an abortion was certified to have a "mental health problem." For rape, everyone who wanted an abortion had been "raped," never mind they never reported it to the authorities. These are weasel expressions and are not presumed to be factual. So saying she was hypertense and an abortion was vital is not really factual. We can say that the hospital personnel claimed that, but it's not something that the readers should be led to believe. Student7 (talk) 13:39, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Plenty of news outlets state it outright, so if it would make you more comfortable, we could replace the NPR source with one of those. (Here are some that mention the excommunication specifically, though other coverage of the case before the excommunication also says this.) Your personal opinion that she and the doctors were lying is not relevant here. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 16:07, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Medicine is an art. It is not a science. It was "somebody's" opinion. As with any statement in Wikipedia, "somebody" could be wrong. They can be quoted as saying that. Fact is difficult, if not impossible to determine. Student7 (talk) 21:46, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I've solved your problem by replacing the NPR source with one of the sources I linked. It's not like we have any reason to disbelieve this, but if it'll make you more comfortable, we can use this source instead. I don't really know why you're repeating that medicine isn't a science. It's a science. Figures of speech should not be treated as empirical fact. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:42, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Technically, medicine is based on science; it is not science itself, and it involves far more than merely science.
On the specific question, I might weasel very slightly by saying that the abortion "was deemed medically necessary" rather than "was medically necessary". I might also note that it was a "first-trimester abortion". WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:44, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
It's a bit hard for guys to appreciate this, but pregnancy is a normal condition. It is not really an "illness" that requires anything to "relieve" it. Further, the female body is uniquely qualified to carry babies. They come equipped with hormonal controls to easily permit this "terrible" condition, which is probably not fun during the last trimester, but barely noticeable by most women during the first two.
Furthermore, predicting that "relieving" a normal (and secondary) condition to remedy a real primary one has to be pretty much guesswork on the part of a physician. There are heart conditions that would preclude pregnancy and probably others. Blood pressure? Again, hormonal action by their bodies actually helps that condition. Which is yet another reason why women live longer than men.
And of course, the media trumpets all of that as a fact. Abortion is well-known to be a part of the media agenda. It is also popular, as if they needed another reason. But like most media reports, that doesn't mean that it is accurate. Or even that the media cares about accuracy. 18:07, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
If you're not going to bother justifying yourself based on policy, please take your personal opinions elsewhere. Wikipedia is not a forum. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:46, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
BTW, Medicine is described by the Wikipedia article as an science and an art.
A close friend was diagnosed with a heart condition and brought to a distant hospital for emergency treatment. When they tried to place a stent in her heart, they found she didn't require one. After a few months, she finally received the diagnosis of "COPD." The bill for all this BTW, was huge and all for a incorrect diagnosis. Medicine is far from an exact science. Student7 (talk) 19:47, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
There is just one exact science, which is why am a mathematician:-). Seriously, IMHO "was deemed medically necessary" is an excellent formulation. JoergenB (talk) 17:58, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
Since you have agreed, and an anon was (IMO) POV pushing with "allegedly", I have changed it to that wording. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:25, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Don't people have to be named in here? While the media was delighted to pretend the nun was named, the bishop, it seemed to me, went out of his way to avoid naming the nun and made the excommunication "automatic for anyone who participated", a rather generic excommunication IMO. No Catholic doctors involved? I guess they had a "good enough" headline that day. Student7 (talk) 22:59, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
We include on this list groups of people, so if it can be substantiated from reliable sources that everyone involved was excommunicated, we could change it. However, reliable sources appear to discuss the excommunication of McBride specifically; we don't even know if the doctors were Catholic. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 23:08, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Questions On Additional Names/Groups[edit]

There was a group of us that were excommed’ in Sacramento after some of us engaged in certain questionable activities (the rest of us just knew about it and let it happen). As far as I know there is no official records of this event; ¿Is inclusion appropriate? (I would think not, so I’m keeping an eye on the page…)A REDDSON

You are correct that without reliable sources that say so, it cannot be included. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 01:41, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
That's what I figgured. Unless tehre's an objection this section could be deleted now. A REDDSON

Halley's Comet[edit]

Let's not forget that Halley's Comet was excommunicated by Pope Callixtus III in 1456. Can we have a sub-section on "Things excommunicated.."? (talk) 20:10, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

It's an amusing story, but apparently not true. If it were true, however, I would probably just list it with everything else rather than creating a subsection. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 03:32, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
While the comet doubtless alarmed everybody (including Church officials), they were not so ignorant to think you could excommunicate an "apparition". The papal bull, a copy of which exists, does not mention the comet, but does ask for prayers against the attacks of the Mongols against Western Europe. They may well have figured the two were somehow connnected, having no scientific knowledge of comets at the time. See Catholic Encyclopedia which has a credible explanation, or the Wikipedia articles, or anything else that is credible. After the Reformation, everything got exaggerated. Student7 (talk) 19:56, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Our Halley's Comet article points out that the bit about excommunicating the comet was made up by a French guy in the eighteenth century. Roscelese (talkcontribs) 20:01, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Failed verification on Freemasonry[edit]

The citation given for the 18th-century excommunication of members of Freemasonry is not about the 18th-century world. It is a BusinessWorld article about a 21st-century statement by the bishops of the Philippines. Therefore it does not apply to the stated fact. I also reverted an assertion that the excommunication did not apply in certain countries, because that was also not supported by the source given. We need a better source. I don't doubt that one is available. Elizium23 (talk) 05:55, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

citation is available elswhere on Wikipedia -- lifting (2009) of 1988 excommunication of 4 bishops[edit]

If I go to the Wikipedia article of Bernard Fellay, one of those excommunicated bishops, I find the following ALONG WITH A CITATION:

"By a decree of 21 January 2009 (Protocol Number 126/2009), which was issued in response to a renewed request that Bishop Fellay made on behalf of all four bishops whom Lefebvre had consecrated on 30 June 1988, the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, by the power expressly granted to him by Pope Benedict XVI, remitted the automatic excommunication that they had thereby incurred, and expressed the wish that this would be followed speedily by full communion of the whole of the Society of Saint Pius X with the Church, thus bearing witness, by the proof of visible unity, to true loyalty and true recognition of the Pope's Magisterium and authority."

I don't know how to edit in citations, but you have that one available for THIS article on Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Daniel excommunication[edit]

This source quotes the Diocese of Bauru as saying that they excommunicated Rev. Daniel for disobedience and "behavior contrary to the rules of priesthood" and denies that the penalty was imposed for defending homosexuals, because there is no legal penalty for that. Elizium23 (talk) 05:39, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Let's add that material without removing the context for the statement. (It doesn't help a reader to know that he disobeyed...what?) –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 06:25, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Pretend, for just a moment, that the Church is like a Corporation. An employee is "supposed" to do what his boss says. In most places, one can get fired (eventually) for not doing what the boss says.
On one hand the Church goes a bit further in one direction by requiring wannabe priests to take a solemn vow (like a contract?) to (not in any real order) a) obey whoever is bishop, b) obey the pope, and other vows, as well. Daniel violated both and was "fired." Unlike the corporation, however, if he changes his mind, the Church will accept him back (if they haven't laicized him). Corporations will seldom go that far in the other direction.
I suppose we can list what he "preached," but theology and practice are dictated by the pope. Catholicism is not a "do it yourself" theology incubator. Editors may be thinking of another church, or no church. The only reason for listing it, is to show that he did, indeed, violate Church rules. Student7 (talk) 18:20, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
? What changes to the article are you suggesting with this comment? Or are you just preaching? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:34, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
For both of us, note the citation reads that the process is going to be presented to Rome. This seems unusual for a mere excommunication. It implies that laicization is being recommended. Note "signed by ten priests" comment. More to this than that one article is saying IMO. Or does excommunicating a priest have to go to Rome? Student7 (talk) 18:57, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
Here is the statement from the Diocese of Bauru. Important to note: the excommunication was latae sententiae or automatic: Daniel incurred the penalty by his own action, and it was not imposed by the bishop or by a tribunal. The statement refers to Canon 1364, which reads, Can. 1364 §1 An apostate from the faith, a heretic or a schismatic incurs a latae sententiae excommunication, without prejudice to the provision of Can. 194 §1, n. 2; a cleric, moreover, may be punished with the penalties mentioned in Can. 1336 §1, nn. 1, 2 and 3. I will note that as a secular priest, Daniel made promises, not vows; and there is no distinction in Canon Law any more between solemn and simple vows, which are taken by members of religious institutes. Elizium23 (talk) 20:02, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

Notable? or not?[edit]

The article starts off well with famous notable people who were excommunicated. Then gets side-tracked in the 20th & 21st centuries with non-notable people created by the media, apparently to "make a point" about the Catholic Church. These people, individual priests mostly, should probably be rm, to retain the quality of entries in the first 19 centuries or so.

Or maybe change the lead to read "most famous people in the first 19 centuries, followed by just about anybody in the 20th and 21st, as the media dictates." Student7 (talk) 22:30, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

It's true that the way Wikipedia editors go about doing their thing, we have a lot more articles on borderline notable 21st- and 20th-century figures than we do on truly important ones from longer ago (or even important but less media-loved ones from these days, such as literature scholars). Can you elaborate on what guideline you propose we use for inclusion? "Existence of an article" is pretty objective and easy to maintain - are you suggesting we be more restrictive than that, or would that work? (It would remove only a few entries from the present list.) –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 22:43, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

Inclusion of persons who were not in fact excommunicated[edit]

Juan Peron, the argentitian president in 1955, was NEVER excommunicated:

Carlos Eijo, representing the Vatican, talked with Peron and he gave him an exculpatory document and certified that Peron was not excommunicated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

You are right, but another editor has insisted that even persons mistakenly said to have been excommunicated must be listed.
So what is this article about? People who were in fact excommunicated? Or people who were said to be excommunicated? In the latter case, we can include not only Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón and the anonymous Brazilian mother (why in any case list someone anonymous?), but others too who are not at present included. In the latter case, perhaps we should also change the title of the article. Esoglou (talk) 11:37, 22 July 2013 (UTC)
The media makes mistakes all the time. They rarely publicize retractions as widely as they did the mistakes. Probably up to Wikipedia (or any tertiary source) to publish what is accurate. We can track inaccuracies on the talk page or in comments in the article, if necessary. Student7 (talk) 17:15, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't know enough about Peron to judge that, but the Brazilian case was very widely publicized; even if we state that other bishops disagreed with the archbishop who declared the excommunication, we shouldn't remove it. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 18:14, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Just as I said. Esoglou (talk) 07:29, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
We've become a bit sidetracked from the topic.
But while we are not on the subject, it would be nice to obtain a more WP:RS for Peron's excommunication, which I believe happened. Also, the precise reason, which I suspect is perceived persecution of the clergy. The article Juan Person has a "more interesting" initial reason which might be true, I suppose. Student7 (talk) 21:54, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
On the contrary, we are now unquestionably on the subject that started this section: whether Perón was in fact excommunicated. The cited article from La Nación explains the reasons for saying he was not in fact excommunicated. The article Juan Perón (which I will now correct) was absolutely wrong in saying that Pius XII (personally) excommunicated Perón. What happened was that, when, as the article states, he expelled two ecclesiastics from the country, one of them being Auxiliary Bishop Tato, Vicar General of Buenos Aires, it was claimed that he was thereby automatically excommunicated for violence against a bishop. The literal sense of the phrase used in the canon law of the time - "violentas manus in personam ... iniecerit" (canon 2343 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law) - is "cast violent hands on the person of ..." On 16 June 1955, the Sacred Consistorial Congregation (which today is called the Congregation for Bishops) issued on its own authority, not that of Pius XII, a declaration that those who actually expelled the bishop and those responsible for the expulsion, had in fact incurred automatic excommunication (Acta Apostolicae Sedis 1955, pp. 412-413). The declaration did not mention Perón by name. As the article from La Nación (a conservative anti-Peronist newspaper some decades ago, though less so than La Prensa, but perhaps now neutral) mentions, the Code of Canon Law of the time said that only the Pope could inflict or declare excommunication affecting a head of state (canon 2227 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law), such as Perón was at the time. On that basis, it is argued that Perón was not in fact excommunicated.
Well, in fact, the editor who started this section put as title "Inclusion of persons who were not in fact excommunicated", thus raising the question whether it is right to include in the article "persons who were not in fact excommunicated", such as the anonymous Brazilian woman and, perhaps somewhat less clearly, Juan Domingo Perón. So we have never in fact been off the topic the editor raised. Esoglou (talk) 11:02, 29 July 2013 (UTC)


Haven't we been through this sort of thing with the Brazil case? Canon Law 1398 applies automatically to anyone carrying out an abortion. It doesn't require announcement. The bishops may have become carried away, misquoted, or misunderstood. Lawmakers, it appears were never actually excommunicated, nor were those who "promoted" the law. Student7 (talk) 00:16, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

Is there a rephrasing that you think would be useful? "Bishops said that..."? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 02:53, 30 November 2013 (UTC)


This is a difficult one for me to argue, because there is a preponderance of WP:RS reporting that the Pope excommunicated the Mafiosi. But that is simply not what happened. The Pope said "they are excommunicated!" in a homily. Context is everything. If I am sitting next to a federal judge at a dinner party, and he says "I find you guilty of stealing my drink!" am I going to prison? No, because he did not don his robes, sit at the bench, rap his gavel, and ensure that the verdict was entered in the court records. The same goes for the Pope, who as a bishop must issue legislation and decrees in a particular manner in order for them to have legal force. Once it comes out in Acta Apostolicae Sedis then we can know it is for sure, but until then I will oppose its addition to this article. Elizium23 (talk) 20:22, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

My assertion is proven by the Vatican Press Office. See this link: Elizium23 (talk) 22:36, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Per WP:YESPOV, you should feel free to add the point of view reflected by your source that the excommunication may not be valid under Canon Law, rather than to remove a POV you (perfectly reasonably!) disagree with. See WP:TRUTH. -- Kendrick7talk 23:58, 22 June 2014 (UTC)
Per WP:RS, we have the Vatican Press Office asserting that no canonical excommunication took place, and they are more reliable for statements about the Church than the mainstream media. There is no POV here. Elizium23 (talk) 00:12, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Per your own source:
Vatican spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini said the pope's stern words did not constitute a formal over-arching decree of canon (Church) law, regarding excommunication, which is a formal legal process.
Rather, he said it was more of a direct message to members of organised crime that they had effectively excommunicated themselves, reminding them that they could not participate in Church sacraments or other activities because they had distanced themselves from God through their criminal actions.
My bold. The Church in the abstract is a spiritual concept; no one is technically excommunicated except by their own wills. But if you can't participate in Church sacraments, you are in effect, spin not withholding, excommunicated. -- Kendrick7talk 00:55, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
The operative word is "effectively". EFFECTIVELY excommunicating oneself is different from suffering a canonical censure known in law as excommunication. Effectively excommunicating oneself is to be ineligible for the sacraments due to sin. It is not the same thing. If a man says he is effectively imprisoned in his house due to a serious illness, shall we report that he is under house arrest? No, it is not the same thing. If you wish, we can turn this article into a list of people effectively excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church and cast a much, much wider net. I promise you that the list will expand exponentially if we include sinners throughout history. Keep in mind that everyone who commits a mortal sin has effectively excommunicated himself until he again celebrates the Sacrament of Penance and returns to a state of grace. Elizium23 (talk) 01:21, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
Another WP:RS that says Francis didn't excommunicate them: Would the Mafia ever order a hit on Pope Francis? "The pope informally excommunicated sanctimonious mobsters" "Now, Pope Francis wasn't formally excommunicating all mafiosi" Elizium23 (talk) 01:51, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

There is no decree or confirmation with respect to certain individuals[edit]

There is no decree by the Pope, there is only an off-the-cuff comment by him. The preponderance of reliable secondary sources indicate only that he said this thing, and none indicate that he issued any notice or took any action for it. Elizium23 (talk) 04:04, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

"Excommunications ... that automatically affect classes of people (members of certain association or ...) are not listed unless confirmed by a bishop or ecclesiastical tribunal with respect to certain individuals." Even if we take Pope Francis's statement to be the equivalent of a decree (which is by no means clear, although "off-the-cuff comment" may be too dismissive), no bishop or ecclesiastical tribunal has confirmed that Giovanni Rossi (the Italian equivalent to English "John Smith" or American "John Doe") was thereby excommunicated. So those involved belong in this article no more than do the members of a whole list of associations excommunicated by an American bishop, the members of numerous other societies excommunicated by popes, the many excommunicated down the centuries as classes (not as named individuals) for heresy or schism, the many classes of persons of whom church councils, both ecumenical and non-ecumenical, decreed "anathema sit" ... Esoglou (talk) 06:20, 24 July 2014 (UTC)


In spite of clear consensus against broadening the scope of this article, it has been broadened, and therefore I have modified the lede paragraph to reflect this new scope. Elizium23 (talk) 05:59, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

There is no consensus for broadening. So both the broadening and the alteration of the lead must be undone. We cannot stuff the article with excommunications of classes of people rather than of individuals. Doing so would mean listing, with dates, the excommunications of publishers of heretical and schismatic books, those marrying before a non-Catholic minister, those marrying with an even implicit agreement that some or all of the children will be brought up outside the Catholic Church, those who knowingly have their children baptized by a non-Catholic minister, parents or guardians who knowingly have children educated in a non-Catholic religion, fabricators, vendors, distributors and presenters of false relics, those making money from indulgences, those who make laws or decrees against the freedom and rights of the Church, freemasons and members of similar associations conspiring against legitimate civil authorities, those who order ecclesiastical burial to be given to apostates, heretics, schismatics and the like, those who carry out an abortion ... to cite only a few of those mentioned in the 1917 Code of Canon Law alone. Esoglou (talk) 11:27, 16 August 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to limit the scope of this article[edit]

Clearly no consensus. However, although this discussion is closed, many more are needed to improve this article. even a glance of this list by an informed reader does reveal points needing clarification -- which is why I did not close the final subthread.

For the curious, these are the points I believe would benefit from discussion -- or at least awareness that they could become a problem. One is that any Church official -- priest, bishop, Pope -- can excommunicate someone; thus one can assume there are notable & not notable excommunications. Another is that groups within Christianity have excommunicated each other, the most important being the Schism between the Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox Churches: should people involved in some, all, or none of these divisions be included. A third is that excommunication possibly did not exist in the Early Church, so maybe individuals like Simon Magnus was not excommunicated -- although later Church officials did consider him excommunicated. A last point is whether it would be useful to indicate the nature of the excommunication. Let me explain with an example (which should not be taken as a dictate or a serious proposal): some excommunications can be considered formal (the process/official documents exist), some informal (the documents do not exist, but a reliable primary source affirms it happened), some inferred (the contemporary primary sources do not say it happened, but later writers concluded it happened). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Llywrch (talkcontribs) 16:20, August 13, 2014 UTC

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I propose to limit the scope of this article to only those people who have been actually and formally excommunicated by the Catholic Church, that is to say, have been subject to the ecclesiastical penalty of excommunication as defined in Canon Law, rather than anyone who is effectively excommunicated, for example by mention in an off-the-cuff remark by a Pope. Elizium23 (talk) 01:29, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Oppose I believe we should use the same WP:RS and WP:V standards as we use for any other article. We're writing an encyclopedia; we're not Canon lawyers. -- Kendrick7talk 05:10, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Similar to what Kendrick said. Our goal here is to document notable events, not to have an open-source log of the state of everyone's immortal soul. I think if there's a way we can be clearer in individual entries through better use of language, we should do so, but I think public declarations of l.s. excommunication definitely belong on this list. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 05:37, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
But Francis' declaration was not latae sententiae nor ferendae sententiae, it was effective excommunication, i.e. de facto and not de jure. Latae sententiae censures are still de jure censures. So you both would also be happy with de facto, effective excommunications listed? By the way, the WP:RS and WP:V standards are pretty clear that the best sources we have, i.e. the Reuters stories which include the clarification by the Vatican Press Office, clearly indicate that no real excommuncation took place, so we cannot report it in this article, which is supposedly about real excommuncations. If we do indeed broaden the scope of this article as proposed, then I suggest we begin including stories about individuals denied Holy Communion by priests, because those are also de facto excommunications. But I agree with Roscelese in that latae sententiae cases belong on this list, but that is not the subject of the RFC. Latae sententiae censures are actual and formal censures. Let's talk about de facto cases instead. Elizium23 (talk) 00:33, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
As I understand it, a priest cannot actually deprive someone of Holy Communion, since all it takes to be un-excommunicated is to make a true repentance to any priest, any where (or at worst thru a bishop). This whole matter escalated quickly to an RFC, and I'm fully willing to discuss compromise language. -- Kendrick7talk 04:30, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
Read Canon 915. Ministers of Holy Communion are bound by law to withhold communion from those who obstinately persist in sin. This is a canon observed most often in the breach, but I can offer you fistfuls of news articles about random Catholics who have been denied Communion by random priests in de facto excommunications, and by your reasoning we would be bound to add these instances to the article. Elizium23 (talk) 04:33, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
The article is about "people excommunicated by the Catholic Church", i.e., people whom the Catholic Church (not the media or anybody else) considers to be excommunicated (not merely excluded from receiving the Eucharist, as is anyone who is not a Catholic and as is anyone who is aware of being in a state of mortal sin and as is anyone in good health who has not been fasting for at least an hour; and not even merely those who, without being excommunicated, are according to canon 915 to be refused the sacrament because of "obstinately persisting in manifest grave sin"). The proposal needs to be reformulated. "Effectively excommunicated" does not correspond to the Catholic Church's idea of excommunication, on which see canon 1331.
Elizium23 would need to reformulate his proposal also to clarify whether it is to be understood as Roscelese understands it. She writes of excommunication in the sense in which the Catholic Church defines it, the canon-law sense, and so in the proper sense for this article. She holds that the article should be about any statement by a Church leader that a person is excommunicated (again in the proper sense, the canon-law sense), even if the statement is later shown to be mistaken and the person was never in fact excommunicated. I have raised the category of this discussion section, since it is broader than a mere subsection of the mafia question. Esoglou (talk) 06:45, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
I have removed "and formal" from the proposal because perhaps it was causing confusion. My proposal indeed includes "public declarations of l.s. excommunications" so I am altogether confused about why Roscelese opposes it. Elizium23 (talk) 16:56, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
Take the 2009 Brazilian girl abortion case. An archbishop (alone) said some people had been automatically excommunicated. The Brazilian bishops as a whole, and others too, said he was mistaken, since some of the people had certainly not been excommunicated and there wasn't enough evidence that the others were. The archbishop made no attempt to rebut their judgment. Roscelese says such a case should be included. Although I think her view is questionable, I don't oppose her desire to include also those who, according to the best sources, were only falsely said to be excommunicated. Do you? Note that this case is quite different from what you had in mind: the Brazilian archbishop was certainly talking about excommunication in the canon-law sense; there is no evidence that Pope Francis was using the word in the canon-law sense. Esoglou (talk) 18:53, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
My view is, to rephrase what I stated above, that this article is really about notable events or declarations of excommunication. The 'Ndrangheta thing may prove to be newsy and fade away quickly, or it may remain significant even if spokespeople state that Francis was not excommunicating them. I'd be open to a change of title if you think that would be helpful. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 21:21, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Per Kendrick7 - We're not here to argue the subtleties of cannon law. NickCT (talk) 18:39, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Of course. That is the way it has always been. There were no tabloids in the 8th century. Or television. Did the Pope ever suggest that someone or some group ought to be excommunicated? Or should consider themselves excommunicants? Probably, but (mercifully) no record! There are millions of people that have been "suggested" as having excommunicated themselves. All going to wind up here?
See Student7 (talk) 23:52, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. We should explain what definition we are using and apply it consistently throughout the article. We should not conflate differing senses of the word. Bigger than Allah (talk) 06:32, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
    • The problem with the proposal, as I see it, is that it needs reformulation to make sense. The article, even as it now stands, without introducing any formal rule, does not admit off-the-cuff remarks, such as the one that recently made news and that few people will be aware of in twelve months' time. The present proposal takes it that the class of people referred to in such a remark are "effectively excommunicated". Are they? Acceptance of that idea would require backing up by a reliable source. On the other hand, surely nobody can deny that a person excommunicated by a formal decree naming that person is actually, really, in fact, indeed effectively excommunicated. So what is the meaning of "effectively excommunicated"? "Effectively excommunicated" raises yet another problem. If, without himself issuing any decree of excommunication, a bishop remarks that someone has been excommunicated, but if other authorities say the bishop was mistaken and that the person was not in fact excommunicated, and if the bishop does not then maintain his original opinion, is that someone "effectively excommunicated"? Is that someone excommunicated in any sense? The article at present includes one such case. Should it be there? Another problem would arise with regard to formal decrees of excommunication that were later declared invalid. Wikipedia mentions cases indirectly connected with the Society of St Pius X (Basil Kovpak and Honolulu), but none is mentioned (happily) in this list of people excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church. Any proposal for a formal limiting of this article would have to be expressed in much clearer language than the present one. Esoglou (talk) 08:00, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
      • Currently, the lede section of this article limits the scope thusly: 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. Automatic excommunications, those not confirmed by a bishop, are not listed although still valid. This is the very same limitation which I propose in the section above. There is no difference between my proposal and the apparent status quo, and therefore the level of opposition to the status quo led me to query below, just what IS the scope of this article now? An 'effective' excommunication is not a 'de jure' excommunication - the two are mutually exclusive. Now you are trying to bring in things such as the 2009 Brazilian girl abortion case, where as near as I can tell, a de jure excommunication was pronounced and then reversed because the archbishop issuing it lost the support of his peers. I agree that is a tough case to nail down, and even if the scope of this article is well-defined, it remains borderline because the case essentially lives in two realms. I will amend my proposal to include the limitations already specified in the lede section of the article as it stands today, will that be clear enough for everyone? Elizium23 (talk) 13:42, 14 July 2014 (UTC)
        • Clearly, you understand "effective" differently from how I understand it. In my understanding a decree of excommunication is by no means ineffective. I also do not understand your dissatisfaction with the limitation of scope expressed in what you call the status quo. An off-the-cuff remark is not "a decree of the Pope or a bishop in communion with him". A decree is a document.
        • As for the the Brazilian girl case, a bishop said (perhaps even mistakenly) that certain people had been automatically (without decree) excommunicated. That was no "pronounced and then reversed" excommunication: there were simply different opinions on whether there was or was not an excommunication. That case was quite different from many of the historical excommunications (perhaps even most of them, but I haven't counted) listed in the article, in which an excommunication was pronounced and then, after repentance, was lifted. Take the case of the four Lefebvrian bishops whose excommunication was lifted by Pope Benedict. For a parallel with the Brazilian girl case you should look instead to the excommunication pronounced by the papal legate against the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1054: since the Pope had died, it is argued that the delegated powers of the legate had ceased and so his declaration of excommunication was invalid. Was the Patriarch excommunicated, or was he not? That's a matter of opinion. So too for those who carried out the abortion on the Brazilian girl. Esoglou (talk) 16:31, 14 July 2014 (UTC)

Proposal: broaden scope of article[edit]

This proposal is essentially the corollary to the one above. I am proposing it against my desire to see it enacted, in order to perfectly clarify what we intend to do with the scope of this article. I hereby propose to broaden the scope of this article to include notable incidents of effective or de facto excommunication. This is stated to include times when Catholics were denied Holy Communion or another sacrament on the basis of their state of sin, or their disbelief in the tenets of the Catholic Church. Examples include Lesbian denied Communion Missouri priest under fire and Sebelius prohibited from Communion. Elizium23 (talk) 01:35, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose this proposal as it promotes WP:OR and makes the number of cases unmanageably large. Elizium23 (talk) 01:35, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't think this would be a problem as long as we adhere to list rules that are not atypical, that is, requiring bluelinks and/or sourcing to demonstrate notability. (I don't know how you feel about some of the non-bluelinks here. Are they things that theoretically could support an article if anyone went and made one?) –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 02:49, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's obvious that this isn't the place to propose a change of the meaning that Wikipedia attaches to "excommunication" in relation to the Catholic Church. Esoglou (talk) 08:13, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose I do think that would be too broad to serve an encyclopedic purpose. You are essentially making a Loki's Wager-style argument: just because I want a little more of Loki's head doesn't mean I want any part of his neck! I know the Pope wasn't speaking ex cathedra but I'm not sure his Holiness's words carry so little force compared to the very courts and cannon laws which are de facto under his authority. I don't think the Vicar of Christ has to fret about filling out the proper forms. We can load it up with the WP:RS'd caveats you've pointed out, but per WP:PRESERVE I believe borderline cases should fall towards inclusion. (Lucky for Loki, semantic perfection is an unobtainable goal.) -- Kendrick7talk 08:40, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose It seems it can just be clear that it doesn't mean necessarily formally excommunicated. If the designation in the article is that it is FORMALLY excommunicated, then I would support. If its not, then theres no problem with including both parties. It is necessary to make this clear or else the article is inaccurate, as excomunnication has a very technical term within the Catholic Church and a broad version. Regardless of Wikipedia's interpretation of excommunication, there is no reason to impose an interpretation when its easy enough to make it very clear and factualPrasangika37 (talk) 13:29, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

So what IS the scope of this article?[edit]

We have consensus forming to oppose both the limitation and the broadening of this article's scope. It is a particularly peculiar situation that the scope is already limited per the first proposal, according to the comments in the lede section. So to those of you who oppose limiting the scope, I pose the following question: Do you oppose the current scope of the article as it stands now? And if so, please propose criteria for the scope you envision this article to encompass, because if so many people also oppose broadening it, then what in the world should it be? Elizium23 (talk) 07:28, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

It is doubtful if anyone opposes the current scope. Let well enough alone. Esoglou (talk) 13:48, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
It seems pretty decent right now with its scope. It seems like you're pretty passionate about this Elizium. I wonder whats the deal? Is there anything in particular that makes this article need help? Do you think that something about this article is misleading or has important consequences for not having a broader or more narrow scope?Prasangika37 (talk) 11:14, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Three people above in the RFC have weighed in as opposing the current scope. Elizium23 (talk) 14:23, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Current scope is easily understood, making article easy to maintain. Student7 (talk) 15:52, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Current scope is fine. Broadening it may "cast to wide net", opening for inclusion due to misunderstandings or subjective appearances. Mannanan51 (talk) 20:21, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Victor Emmanuel II of Italy[edit]

His 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica article says that he was excommunicated in 1860 when he accepted the annexation of Romagna. Alekksandr (talk) 22:46, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Then add what this reliable source says. Esoglou (talk) 09:27, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
Now done. Alekksandr (talk) 23:06, 31 October 2014 (UTC)
The citation appeared to be a poor scan of several encyclopedia pages (WP:TERTIARY. I couldn't read them. Most articles say that he was excommunicated after defeated the pope militarily and confining him to Vatican City. Student7 (talk) 23:46, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Threat of excommunication[edit]

Should this list include people who were only threatened with excommunication, not actually excommunicated? Two such people has very recently been added. The fact that the list includes at least one case in which a bishop stated that people had been automatically excommunicated who turned out not to have in fact been excommunicated does not allow me to answer with a simple No. Esoglou (talk) 20:10, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Agree. Just rm one before reading your remark. This must have been an oft-threatened event back in the good old days. It wouldn't even have to be the pope or bishop who made the threat. Worse, it wouldn't even have to be anything the bishop or pope was contemplating! A threat someone invented on the spot! "Dozens" wouldn't cover the quantity, probably hundreds, at least. It hasn't always been easy justifying the actual excommunication. Finding WP:RS for threatened ones would be difficult, to say the least. I suggest sticking to the announced WP:TOPIC and it's explanation in the lead. Student7 (talk) 19:44, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

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Toggled {{sourcecheck}} – (talk) 20:27, 15 January 2016 (UTC)


@BoBoMisiu: that's not how this works, though - you can't identify into being an excommunicated Catholic, so the fact that Madonna states she's been excommunicated three times is immaterial. I don't think you even can be excommunicated three times. There needs to be a source. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 04:44, 15 May 2016 (UTC)

@Roscelese: it is common knowledge that she was and she attests to it. Please add the kind of additional reference improvement that you think it needs. What I added is a published quote by the subject. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:15, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
Again, a quote from the subject is not the kind of source we're looking for, because the actions of other people or institutions aren't something you can identify into. Do you have a source which attests her excommunication? (Or - wild guess - are you mixing up excommunicated with something like lapsed?) –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 14:47, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
@Roscelese: it is common knowledge, search for what you think is needed and add it. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:13, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
You're the one who wants to add it; please find a reliable source. I searched but could not verify the claim. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 17:48, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
@Roscelese: you are the best person to know what you feel is needed please add it. What Madonna said is published in multiple sources.[8][9] What makes you think she is not a good source for information about herself? I think she is truthful. Do you want to reword it to begin with "Madonna has said in 2015 that she ..."? –BoBoMisiu (talk) 18:46, 15 May 2016 (UTC)
What about my previous comments is unclear to you? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 01:04, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
What isn't clear about what I wrote? –BoBoMisiu (talk) 02:36, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Nothing is unclear about what you wrote, you're just incorrect about the kind of sourcing we need. I've repeatedly explained why "But Madonna says she's excommunicated!" isn't adequate. (I could also say I'm the President of the United States, would that justify my inclusion on a list of Presidents?) What about my previous explanations is not clear to you, since you continue to ask me why this can't be included? –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 12:07, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
@Roscelese: my BS radar tells be otherwise. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 04:57, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Is this meant to answer my question? I'm trying to help you understand, but you're not explaining what you're confused about. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 12:06, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Personally I don't think the current source proves that she was excommunicated. The line within the source says "she joked". If there is a place where she confirms this in a "normal" interview, then it can be added, but otherwise it should be out. Technically she could be excommunicated three times, but not by formal excommunication. Unless she means three different people notified her of it or something like that. I haven't researched whether this page includes people that weren't formally excommunicated but excommunicated via their actions (i.e. perform an abortion, impersonate a priest, etc.) In cases like that they can be excommunicated multiple times, and just go to confession with the proper authority, either a Bishop or priest depending on their cause and then commit the offense again. But that isn't formal excommunication decreed by a Bishop. I just read the first line of the article, my discussion about excommunication by actions does not apply here, unless we get her saying she was formally excommunicated by a Bishop, this shouldn't be here.Marauder40 (talk) 12:21, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

@Roscelese: yes, "my BS radar tells be otherwise" is my reply. Your premises are little more than WP:GREENCHEESE. You have not familiarized yourself with the current, since 1983, Catholic practice. A decree is issued in writing and m"must be made known"(cc. 51–54) and "is considered to have been made known if the one for whom it is destined has been properly summoned to receive or hear the decree but, without a just cause, did not appear or refused to sign" (c. 56). A decree is the formal act (cc. 48–58). She is stating she was excommunicated. Writing: "Technically she could be excommunicated three times, but not by formal excommunication" is an argument from incredulity, just like you point out: "Personally I don't think the current source proves that she was excommunicated". I have included Madonna's quote in two other sources above. Have you read those? –BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:08, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, and as I have stated repeatedly, that doesn't matter because Madonna does not have the authority to excommunicate people. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 21:37, 2 June 2016 (UTC)


Continued from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Catholicism

Is this source sufficient for the claim that Madonna was excommunicated? BoBoMisiu (talk · contribs) believes that a WP:SELFSOURCE is adequate and points out that the source supports Madonna saying she was excommunicated three times, while I believe that you cannot identify into excommunication, a quasi-legal action taken by someone else, the way you might be able to identify with a religious faith or lack thereof. –Roscelese (talkcontribs) 12:08, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

It's a reliable enough source for the fact that she said it, but we should expect independent confirmation that these excommunications actually happened, especially given that the source says she "joked" that she was excommunicated three times. - Cal Engime (talk) 12:34, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Mere mockery is usually not enough for an excommunication. This source says that excommunication has been called for by a cardinal, but the website has no article state that anyone followed through on this suggestion. This might be one of the three "excommunications" that Madonna is joking about. Given the generally high criteria for a an excommunication, I would be wary of listing her at all without a solid source explicitly citing a church official stating that an excommunication exists or existed in the past. --Zfish118talk 13:21, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
@Roscelese: point to the Talk:List of people excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church § Madonna discussion where other sources are included. @Zfish118: she is a reliable source for events about herself, see discussion in article talk. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:26, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
But an offhand comment is not a reliable source as to the actions of a third party. A "joke" is not evidence of a formal act of excommunication issued by a bishop or other church authority. --Zfish118talk 13:28, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
@Marauder40 and Zfish118: separately, for decades there have been several calls for her excommunication but she is the republished WP:SELFSOURCE saying that she was.[10][11]
"Answering a question about the relationship the singer has with religion [...] Madonna said: 'They are a bit to do with my relationship with God and/or sexuality or playing with the idea of God and religion or sexuality; these are all themes that are present in my songs – as you know. It's also the reason I have been excommunicated by the Catholic Church not once, not twice but three times… I don't know…do you think the Pope would invite me?'"[12]
"'I have a long relationship with the pope, with the Vatican, with the Catholic Church, with my excommunication,' Madonna said. 'Anyway, you know, I was raised a Catholic, and no matter what spiritual path I might go down, I always feel some kind of inexplicable connection with Catholicism. It kind of shows up in all of my work, as you may have noticed.'"[13]
These are not jokes or "offhand comment". –BoBoMisiu (talk) 13:50, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
The new source that you list MAY be enough, but the People article just talking about her joking about it, isn't enough. I think this may be a case of saying that she "CLAIMS" to have been excommunicated, although I really hate using claim due to the WP:CLAIM policies. Marauder40 (talk) 14:01, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
@Marauder40: "I have been excommunicated" is not WP:CLAIM language. The two other sources have been in the discussion since mid-May. –BoBoMisiu (talk) 14:19, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Absent explicit documentation, the article should only say, to the effect, "Madonna has said that she has been excommunicated three times, though she provided no further details"<sources with excerpts />. This seems to be a doubtful statement, because she would have to have successfully petitioned church authorities to lift the excommunication twice, in order to have been excommunicated a second or third time. There has been clear public talk from church authorities about the possibility of excommunicating her; however, no public statement can be found to support following through on this, nor of lifting the excommunications to allow repeat penalties. --Zfish118talk 16:28, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Another "Catholic" source that implies that she has not been formally excommunicated, though advocates for doing so: ""; the bottom line is that Excommunication is an action performed by a church official. It is very possible that Madonna may meet the criteria for an "automatic excommunication", however it would be difficult to be excommunicated Lata sententia more than once without the original being lifted, though this is admittedly possible, had she gone to confession and sought redress. Absent details, we can only report this as at most a self-reported series of excommunications. --Zfish118talk 16:42, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

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excommunication of Dr. Gregorio Chil y Naranjo[edit]

It says he was excommunicated but the source cited is "A history of warfare between science and theology" which is well known to be mostly propoganda and not true history since it exaggerates and misinterprets many things.Ilikerabbits! (talk) 14:55, 19 June 2017 (UTC)