Browse the List of People Excommunicated by the Catholic Church below. View Videos or join the discussion on this topic. Add List of People Excommunicated by the Catholic Church to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
List of People Excommunicated by the Catholic Church
This is a list of some of the more notable people excommunicated by the Catholic Church. It includes only excommunications acknowledged or imposed by a decree of the Pope or a bishop in communion with him. Latae sententiae excommunications, those that automatically affect classes of people (members of certain associations or those who perform actions such as directly violating the seal of confession or carrying out an abortion), are not listed unless confirmed by a bishop or ecclesiastical tribunal with respect to certain individuals.
In Roman Catholic canon law, excommunication is a censure and thus a "medicinal penalty" intended to invite the person to change behavior or attitude that incurred the penalty, repent, and return to full communion. Excommunication severs one from communion with the Church; excommunicated Catholics are forbidden from receiving any sacrament and refused a Catholic burial, but are still bound by canonical obligations such as attending Mass or fasting seasonally. Excommunicated Catholics, however, are barred from receiving the Eucharist or from taking an active part in the liturgy (reading, bringing the offerings, etc.). They are still Catholics per se, but are separated from the Church.
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, with 5 separate excommunications from 3 different Popes, carries the distinction of being the most-excommunicated individual.
Felicissimus, deacon of Carthage, was excommunicated by St Cyprian, bishop of Carthage. Cyprian was in hiding at the time from persecution and he sent people to distribute alms to those hurt by the persecutions. Felicissimus tried to frustrate the efforts of those distributing alms as he saw it as an encroachment on his office.
Papal legates that were sent by Pope Felix III to Constantinople were excommunicated by Pope Felix III. They were sent to call Acacius to explain his conduct and urge the Byzantine Emperor to depose Peter Mongus from his see. After being imprisoned and threatened after arriving at Constantinople, they caved in and held communion with heretics, which led to the Pope excommunicating them.
Monks in Constantinople were excommunicated by Nestorius, Archbishop of Constantinople, on account of their opposition to Nestorius's teachings. This took place before Nestorius himself was excommunicated by the Council of Ephesus. The monks appealed to the Emperor Theodosius II to help them against Nestorius, who later summoned the Council of Ephesus.
Classicianus a Roman official was excommunicated along with his entire household by a bishop named Auxilius after he had entered a church to seize several perjurers. Classicianus wrote afterwards to Augustine of Hippo to intercede for him with Auxilius. Augustine then wrote to Auxilius on Classicianus's behalf.
St Columba was excommunicated in 562 by the synod of Teltown for allegedly praying for the winning side in an Irish War. The excommunication was later held to be an abuse of justice and the bishops in question removed their charge.
The sons of Conall mac Domnaill by St Columba some time in the late 6th century, due to their persecution of churches 
Pyrrhus of Constantinople was excommunicated 648 by Pope Theodore I and a synod of bishops after he had gone back on his recantation of monothelitism. The Pope and the bishops also declared him deposed from being Patriarch of Constantinople. Theodore reportedly signed the excommunication upon St Peter's tomb using ink that was mingled with drops of the Blessed Sacrament.
John VII, Archbishop of Ravenna was excommunicated by Pope Nicholas I for various crimes, including the forging of documents to support claims against the Roman See, making unjust demands on suffragan bishops for money, illegally imprisoning priests and maltreating papal legates. He later submitted to the Pope at the roman synod in 861. But he was then subsequently excommunicated a second time after he entered into a pact with the excommunicated Archbishops of Trier and Cologne. He then submitted again to the Pope after this second excommunication.
Rodoald of Porto and Zachary of Anagni, were excommunicated by Pope Nicholas I in 863 at a synod in the Lateran. The two men had served as Papal legates to Constantinople with direction to hear the two sides in the dispute between Photius and Ignatius, who both claimed to be rightful Patriarchs of Constantinople. They received bribes and passed a ruling in the Pope's name in favour of Photius.
Michael Cerularius, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, along with Leo of Ohrid and their adherents, were excommunicated in 1054 after he had erased the Pope's name from church diptychs and made accusations against the western church of being in heresy. The excommunication was carried out by legates of Pope Leo IX after the Pope's death. This excommunication was only directed at these individuals named and not at the wider eastern church; the legates specifically made note that they considered the wider eastern church to remain pious and orthodox. However, in the ensuing years, most of the eastern bishops followed Cerularius and also ceased recognition of the Pope by striking his name from their diptychs. This led to the East-West Schism. The legal validity of this excommunication has been questioned as it was issued by legates of Pope Leo IX after the Pope's death. It was declared lifted on December 7, 1965.
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor was excommunicated 4 times in the 11th century (and would later be excommunicated a fifth time in the 12th century). He was excommunicated by Pope Gregory VII three separate times, and once more by Pope Urban II. The first was on 22 February 1076 over the Investiture Controversy. This excommunication was lifted on 28 January 1077 after Henry's public show of penitence known as the Road to Canossa. His second excommunication by Gregory was on 7 March 1080, and the third was in 1084 or 1085. Urban II excommunicated Henry in 1088.
Bishops in France, under orders of Benedict VIII, excommunicated feudal barons who had seized property belonging to the monastery of Cluny in 1016 
The bishop of Autun excommunicated Cluniac monks in his diocese who took over the monastery of Vezelay without his permission; the excommunication was removed after they left the diocese 
In 1031 the council of Limoges in France excommunicated feudal barons in the diocese of Limoges who were conducting private warfare between themselves in the midst of widespread famine and pestilence that was killing off a large portion of the peasantry. The famine and pestilence were thought to be punishments from God for grave sins being committed close to the millennium anniversary of Christ's death and resurrection. The members of the council dashed their candles to the ground in unison after calling out 'As these lights are extinguished before your eyes, so let their joy be extinguished before the angels.' 
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, excommunicated by Pope Paschal II in 1106 for refusing to abjure his claim to imperial investitures, posthumously lifted in 1111. (Henry IV had already been excommunicated four times in the 11th century.)
In 1170 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket excommunicated Roger de Pont L'Évêque, the archbishop of York, along with Gilbert Foliot, the bishop of London, and Josceline de Bohon, the bishop of Salisbury, for crowning the heir-apparent Henry at York, thereby usurping Canterbury's privileges. In response to these excommunications, the heirs father, Henry II of England famously exclaimed words that led to Becket's assassination.
The Third Lateran Council excommunicated the Cathars and mercenary groups that were plaguing Europe at the time
King John of England, excommunicated in 1208 by Pope Innocent III after refusing to accept Cardinal Stephen Langdon as the pope's choice for Archbishop of Canterbury. John relented in 1213 and was restored to communion.
King Afonso II of Portugal, excommunicated in 1212 by Pope Honorius III for weakening the clergy and investing part of the large sums destined to the Catholic Church in the unification of the country. Afonso II promised to reconcile with the Church, however, he died in 1223 without making any serious attempt to do so.
King Andrew II of Hungary, was excommunicated in 1231 after not following the points of Golden Bull of 1222, a seminal bill of rights, which contained new dispositions related to the tithe and hostile practices against the Jews and Muslims of the realm.
a number of clerics and prominent lay people in the German church were excommunicated by Papal legate Albert von Behaim after they had proved negligent in carrying out the needed measures to make the sentence of 1239 excommunication against Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor effective 
Jacopo Colonna and Pietro Colonna, both cardinals, were excommunicated by Pope Boniface VIII in the bull 'excelso throno' (1297) for refusing to surrender their relative Stefano Colonna (who had seized and robbed the pope's nephew) and refusing to give the pope Palestrina along with two fortresses, which threatened the pope. This excommunication was extended in the same year to Jacopo's nephews and their heirs, after the two Colonna cardinals denounced the pope's election as invalid and appealed to a general council.
Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse was excommunicated by Pierre de Castelnau, legate of Pope Innocent III in 1207 for refusing to persecute Albigensians in his lands and even showing them signs of favour, such as allowing them to preach in front of him. He later did penance and joined in the crusade against the Albigensians, but was excommunicated again in 1209 when he went to Toulouse and tried to elude his obligations.
Barnabò Visconti, tyrant of Milan, by Blessed Urban V in 1363. This was later rescinded after Barnabo restored castles he had seized and peace was concluded between him and the papal states. He was again excommunicated by Pope Gregory XI after he took over Reggio and other places that were feudatory to the Holy See in 1371. Barnabo reportedly forced the papal legates who brought him the bull of excommunication to eat the parchment on which it was written.
the inhabitants of Florence were collectively excommunicated by Pope Gregory XI after they conspired with the excommunicated Barnabò Visconti, tyrant of Milan, in 1375 to stir up the inhabitants of the Papal states against the French legates that Pope Gregory had sent to rule them in his place, since Gregory lived in Avignon. Florence sent Catherine of Siena to intercede for them with the Pope and she successfully convinced the Pope to leave Avignon and return to Rome.
Mercenary bands known as the 'free companies' that had overrun Italy and France were excommunicated by Blessed Urban V in 1366. Included in this excommunication were the German Count of Landau[clarification needed] and the Englishman Sir John Hawkwood.
Discalced Carmelites in Spain who participated in an illicit meeting to elect a provincial without approval, by the Pope's legate in Spain Filippo Sega in 1578 This was ignored by those excommunicated. It was formally revoked in 1579.
Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of the Encarnacion in Avila who refused to renounce St Teresa's leadership of the convent, by the orders provincial, after the church authorities ordered a replacement in 1577. This excommunication was revoked later that year.
Priests Francisco de Jaca and Epiphane de Moirans in 1681 for opposing slavery in Cuba by their local bishop, however in 1686 the Holy Office under Pope Innocent XI formally agreed with a document they co-authored, which decried the slave trade.
Most important supporters of Jansenism, in the 1718 bull Pastoralis officii
Napoleon was excommunicated in the 1809 bull Quum memoranda by Pope Pius VII for ordering the annexation of Rome and a long period of anti-Papal orders. Before Napoleon's death, his excommunication was lifted and he received the last rites.
Saint Mary MacKillop by Bishop Laurence Sheil in 1871. Five months later, from his deathbed, Shiel rescinded the excommunication. An Episcopal Commission[clarification needed] later gave her a complete exoneration and it has since been made clear that the excommunication was never valid under Canon Law.
Fr. Edward McGlynn was excommunicated in 1887 for opposing the establishment of parochial schools believing that they were unnecessary. The excommunication was lifted in 1892.
King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy was excommunicated by Pope Pius IX when the king successfully waged war against the Papal States, resulting in limiting the pope to Vatican City. Before Victor Emmanuel II's death his excommunication was lifted and he was permitted to take the last rites.
Scientist Dr. Gregorio Chil y Naranjo was excommunicated in 1878 for his work on evolution in the Canary Islands entitled "Estudios historicos, climatologicos y patológicos de las Islas Canarias." The Bishop of Barcelona, José María de Urquinaona y Vidot, declared the work "false, impious, scandalous, and heretical" and excommunicated the doctor.
Juan Perón, in 1955, after he signed a decree ordering the expulsion of Argentine bishops Manuel Tato and Ramón Novoa In 1963 Perón was reconciled with the Church and his excommunication lifted.
Plaquemines Parish President Leander Perez, Jackson G. Ricau (secretary of the Citizens Council of South Louisiana) and Mrs. B.J. Gaillot, Jr., president of Save Our Nation, Inc., on April 16, 1962 by Archbishop Joseph Rummel of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. They were excommunicated for aggressively opposing the racial integration of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese starting in the 1963-64 school year. Perez and Ricau were later reinstated into the Church following public retractions.
The Community of the Lady of All Nations for heretical teachings and beliefs after a six-year investigation. The declaration was announced by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on September 12, 2007.
Fr. Dale Fushek (also laicized by Pope Benedict XVI in February 2010) and Fr. Mark Dippre. Former Priests were issued a Decree of Excommunication by Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted for operating "an opposing ecclesial community" in direct disobedience to orders to refrain from public ministry.
Both the doctors and the mother of the nine-year-old victim in the 2009 Brazilian girl abortion case were said by Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife to have incurred an automatic excommunication. The victim had an abortion after being raped and impregnated by her stepfather. The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil contradicted Sobrinho's statement: it declared that, in accordance with canon law, the girl's mother was not in fact excommunicated and that there were no grounds for stating that any of the doctors involved were in fact excommunicated. Disagreement with the Archbishop's view of the supposed excommunication was expressed also by other bishops.
In October 2012, the newspapers El Observador and El País reported that all the Catholics who promoted the abortion law in Uruguay were excommunicated. The newspaper Urgente24, in spite of a headline stating that what it called the "abortionist lawmakers" were excommunicated, explained in the body of the article that automatic excommunication applied only to someone who directly carried out an abortion. The bishops website also explained that excommunication would automatically apply, under Canon Law 1398, only to anyone carrying out an abortion, and not to lawmakers.
Fr. Roy Bourgeois (also laicized and dismissed from the Maryknoll Fathers) for participating in the attempted ordination of a woman.
Fr. Robert Marrone on March 6, 2013 by BishopRichard Gerard Lennon of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio for violating the terms of his leave of absence. Marrone set up a worshipping community (the Community of St. Peter's) in a vacant warehouse that is not a Catholic church building and is outside of the authority of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland after St. Peter's Parish in Cleveland was closed (it has since been reopened), in defiance of the bishop.
Fr. Roberto Francisco Daniel, known by local community as "Father Beto", by Bishop Caetano Ferrari, from Bauru, Brazil. Daniel was excommunicated because he refused a direct order from his bishop to apologize for or retract his statement that love was possible between people of the same sex. The priest also said a married person who chose to have an affair, heterosexual or otherwise, would not be unfaithful as long as that person's spouse allowed it.
In February 2018 Fr Ezinwanne Igbo, a Nigerian priest working on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, incurred an automatic excommunication for breaking the seal of the confessional.
On Christmas Eve, 2019, three hermits named Father Stephen de Kerdrel, Sister Colette Roberts and Brother Damon Kelly living in Scotland were excommunicated after accusing Pope Francis of heresy in an online statement.
In July 2020, Tomislav Vla?i?, a former director of the alleged seers of Our Lady in Medjugorje was excommunicated for holding himself out as a priest and simulating sacraments, after continuing to preach after being laicized for teaching false doctrine, manipulating consciences, disobeying ecclesiastical authority, and of committing acts of sexual misconduct.
In August 2020, Fr. Jeremy Leatherby, a priest of the Diocese of Sacramento, incurred an automatic excommunication for schism after refusing to recognize the legitimacy of Pope Francis, most notably substituting his name with that of his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI and omitting the name of Bishop Jaime Soto during the Eucharistic Prayer while offering Mass. Bishop Soto announced the excommunication on August 7.
^E. Hales, "Napoleon and the Pope", (London:1962) pg 114
^Apostolic Letters, in the form of a Brief, by which Bonaparte, and all the authors, perpetrators, and abettors of the usurpation of the Kingdom of Rome, and of the other dominions belonging to the
Holy See, are declared to be excommunicated. PIUS VII. POPE. Ad perpetuam rei Memoriam