List of former Catholics

Former Catholics or ex-Catholics are people who used to be Catholic for some time, but no longer identify as such. This includes both individuals who were at least nominally raised in the Roman Catholic faith, and individuals who converted to it in later life, both of whom later rejected and left it, or converted to other faiths (including the related non-Roman Catholic faiths). This page lists well-known individuals in history who are former Catholics.

One 2008 Pew Research Center study estimates that 10.1% of people in the United States describe themselves as former Catholics in some sense, in total the study reports that 44% of Americans profess a different religious affiliation than the one they were raised in. A majority converted to another religion while a substantial minority are counted as currently unaffiliated.[1]

Note: The list includes those who leave the Catholic Church including any Eastern Catholic Church which is in communion with it. People such as Eddie Doherty, who were allowed to transfer from the Latin Catholic Church to an Eastern Catholic church, or vice versa are not considered as "former Roman Catholics", while Eastern Catholics who convert to a non-Catholic church or another religion are considered as such, even though Eastern Catholics do not typically refer to themselves as "Roman".

Individuals who converted to other churches, denominations and faithsEdit

Eastern OrthodoxyEdit

Anglicanism and churches in communionEdit

Independent Catholic churchesEdit

Christian ScienceEdit






Seventh-day AdventismEdit

Other ProtestantEdit


The gottgläubig movement was an officially sanctioned unorganised religion in Nazi Germany. Several prominent Nazi leaders started leaving their Catholic or Protestant churches over the course of 1936 as an act of political protest after a gradual worsening of relations with the churches, whom they accused of meddling in Germany's internal affairs. The Gottgläubigen stressed they still believed in a creator-God who guided the German nation, and rejected atheism and irreligion. The movement disappeared shortly after World War II.

Other former CatholicsEdit

Magdi Allam, left Islam for Catholicism, then left Catholicism.
  • Anne Rice, American writer, converted from Roman Catholicism and made this official through several messages on her website on 29 July 2010. She no longer wishes to be referred to as a ‘Christian’, though retains her belief in Christ, disagreeing with various positions of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • Magdi Allam, Egyptian–Italian journalist who publicly converted from Sunni Islam to Catholicism in 2008, baptised by Pope Benedict XVI himself. He left the Catholic Church dissatisfied after the election of Pope Francis in 2013, primarily because he thought the Church failed to take a tough stance against Islam; he remained a Christian, however.[13]







Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in May 2009



This section lists some who, while adopting ideas that some others would consider incompatible with the Catholic faith, may have defected from the Church neither by a formal act nor even informally by an act of heresy, schism or apostasy. Mere attendance at services of another religion or adoption of certain meditation techniques need not signify abandonment of one's own religion. According to a 2009 survey of the Pew Research Center Forum on Religion and Public Life, one in five American Catholics report that they at times attend places of worship other than the local Catholic parish (which does not have to mean non-Catholic places). The same survey noted that some Catholics incorporate "yoga as a spiritual practice", emphasize psychics, and draw on and involve themselves in other religious movements.[41]

The religious views of Adolf Hitler are heavily disputed.

Atheism, agnosticism, or non-religiousEdit

Marie Curie, double Nobel Prize winner

This section contains people who rejected Catholicism in favor of a non-religious philosophy, including atheism, agnosticism and secular humanism.[46]

See alsoEdit


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