This is a list of some of the more notable people excommunicated by the Catholic Church. It includes only excommunications acknowledged or imposed by a decree of the Pope or a bishop in communion with him. Latae sententiae excommunications, those that automatically affect classes of people (members of certain associations or those who perform actions such as directly violating the seal of confession[1] or carrying out an abortion),[2] are not listed unless confirmed by a bishop or ecclesiastical tribunal with respect to certain individuals.

In Roman Catholic canon law, excommunication is a censure and thus a "medicinal penalty" intended to invite the person to change behavior or attitude that incurred the penalty, repent, and return to full communion.[3] Excommunication 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.).[4]

Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, with 5 separate excommunications from 3 different Popes, carries the distinction of publicly being the most excommunicated individual. In this list below there are two popes (Honorius and Leo I) and five saints (Leo I, Athanasius, Columba, Joan of Arc, Mary Mackillop) who were issued an excommunication by a church authority.

1st century

2nd century

3rd century

4th century

Saint Ambrose barring Theodosius from Milan Cathedral[9] painted in 1619 by Anthony van Dyck. National Gallery, London.

5th century

6th century

7th century

8th century

9th century

10th century

Painting of the excommunication of Robert the Pious

11th century

12th century

Painting of Catholic knights of the Albigensian Crusade fighting against the Cathars

13th century

Painting of Gregory IX excommunicating Frederick II
"King John Excommunicated" (from The Story of the Greatest Nations, 1913)

14th century

15th century

Public burning of Girolamo Savonarola and two other friars in Florence by church authorities

16th century

Painting of Martin Luther burning the Papal bull Exsurge Domine, which condemned his teachings as heresy

17th century

18th century

19th century

Napoleon Bonaparte was excommunicated by Pope Pius VII in 1809; Bonaparte Crossing the Alps by Paul Delaroche, 1848

20th century

This article is missing information about the disputed claim that Fidel Castro was excommunicated. Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page. (September 2022)

21st century

See also

References

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