This page lists individuals in history who were at least nominally raised in the Roman Catholic faith and later rejected it or converted to other faiths. One study estimates that 10.1% of people in the United States describe themselves as former Catholics in some sense. Although a small majority converted to another religion a substantial minority of them are counted as currently unaffiliated.[1] According to Catholic canon law, only a formal act of defection renders a person an "ex-Catholic". Many individuals on this list, and in that study, are therefore still Catholics in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

Note: The title is a shorthand, the list actually refers to those who leave the Roman Catholic Church or any Eastern Catholic Church in communion with it. Individuals like Eddie Doherty who were allowed to transfer from the Latin Catholic Church to an Eastern Catholic Church are therefore not counted as "ex-Roman Catholics" for the purpose of this list, while Eastern Catholics who convert to a religion not in communion with Rome do.

Individuals who converted to other denominations and faiths

Eastern Orthodoxy

Anglicanism and churches in full communion

Independent Catholic Churches





Seventh-day Adventism

Other Protestant/Christian

Atheism, agnosticism, or non-religious

This section contains people who rejected Catholicism in favor of a non-religious philosophy. In accordance with canon law, the Roman Catholic Church considers them "lapsed Catholics" rather than "ex-Catholics."


Christian Science








This section lists ex-Catholics who do not fit any of the above categories. In accordance with canon law, the Roman Catholic Church considers certain of these people (those who have not converted to another religion) to be "lapsed Catholics" rather than "ex-Catholics." Many of these people either have converted to new religious movements.

See also


  1. Changes in American religious affiliation - Pew
  2. Danish Prince Weds French Catholic
  3. 403 Forbidden
  5. Reid, Robert William (1974). Marie Curie. London: Collins. p. 19. ISBN 0-00-211539-5.  "Unusually at such an early age, she became what T. H. Huxley had just invented a word for: agnostic."
  6. Seth MacFarlane - Celebrity Atheist List
  8. "If Osama bin Laden were in charge, he would slit my throat; my God, I'm an atheist, a hedonist, and a faggot." Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America, Dan Savage, Plume, 2002, p. 258.
  9. Savage declared in his syndicated sex-advice column: "I'm Catholic — in a cultural sense, not an eat-the-wafer, say-the-rosary, burn-down-the-women's-health-center sense. I attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary North, a Catholic high school in Chicago for boys thinking of becoming priests. I got to meet the Pope in 1979 ...." Savage Love (column), The Village Voice, April 12, 2005.
  10. Interview: Omar Sharif (English translation) - El Mundo on 2002.
  12. Belleville News
  13. Hamodia Magazine, Shavout issue, June 1, 2006, "From the Monastery to Meah Shearim: The Story of an Unlikely Chassid", by Michael Freund
  14. From the Monastery to Meah Shearim: the story of an unlikely Chassid
  17. O'Toole, Lesley (2006-12-22). "Ben Stiller : 'Doing comedy is scary'". The Independent. Retrieved 2006-12-22. 
  18. Barnes & - Books: Spiritual Homecoming, by Armando Quiros, Paperback
  19. Interview
  21. Judaism - Reflections on Giur
  22. [1], [2] , [3], [4] , [5]
  23. - Providential Accidents: An Autobiography : Geza Vermes : ISBN 9780847693405
  24. Clonaid chief backpedals on baby proof, Associated Press. 9 January 2003. Retrieved 22 April 2007.
  25. [6] "RD: You were Catholic originally. Cruise: Well, we went from Episcopalian, to atheist, to Catholic..."
  26. [7] "In 1990 Cruise renounced his devout Catholic beliefs and embraced The Church Of Scientology claiming that Scientology teachings had cured him of the dyslexia that had plagued him all of his life."
  27. David Miscavige: A Biography of, and resources on, David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center
  28. Scientology Effective Solutions