Was St. Joan of Arc excommunicated?

If so, why? Why is she a saint if she was excommunicated?:confused:

God Bless!

She was excommunicated and burned. The charge was heresy, though she wasn’t a heretic. She was burnt for political reasons by the English.

No, Joan of Arc was not excommunicated. She was convicted of heresy by a kangaroo court of English enemies of France. Twenty-four years later, she was vindicated and her cause for sainthood was opened in the 1800s.

St. Joan of Arc WAS excommunicated, but is was later declared null.


There was Joan of Arc, excommunicated and later that sentence nullified.

Source: voxbikol.com/bikolnews/5088/excommunicated

Why is there no mention of her ever being excommunicated in the Catholic encyclopedia, on EWTN, or on the Vatican’s official website? I just checked these sources, and I couldn’t find any mention of her ever getting excommunicated.

If it was declared null doesn’t that mean it never happened in the first place - just like an annulment for a marriage?

Good point. :thumbsup:

Precisely. And the excommunication was done because she led the French Army against the English invaders. It was done for political reasons. Charges made included: cutting her hair short, wearing pants (men’s clothing) and having false visions. But the whole reason for her excommunication and execution was to demoralize the French Army and show that the English could defeat her. She was later found to be falsely accused, the excommunication was declared null and void, and the case for her Sainthood was opened. She is the primary Patron Saint of France. A peasant girl who led an Army, mostly uneducated, but led by visions to help her country and lead it to freedom and back to fully honoring God.

Where are you getting this information? Because I couldn’t find even a mention of it in the Catholic encyclopedia or on EWTN. Are you saying that there was an excommunication that wasn’t issued from Rome but was from the English bishop and that this was later declared null by Rome? But from this article on EWTN, it sounds like the English bishop was the one who became excommunicated by his actions against St. Joan of Arc:

Nevertheless, people who violated Catholic law on such matters could be, quite literally sued, as indeed happened from time to time. Perhaps the most famous case of an ecclesiastical court going off the rails was that of St. Joan of Arc, where the bishop had effectively excommunicated himself by his illegal prosecution, and St. Joan was posthumously exonerated by the Holy See. (Source)

I don’t remember all of the small details, no longer have either the book or the film I got from EWTN. As I recall, the English Bishop tried to get her to “recant”, in other words, to deny that she had received instructions from an Angel to go and lead the French Army against the English in defense of the French Dauphin (Prince or Crown Prince, I believe). She refused to for quite a while. Then she did recant, because she was threatened with being burned at the stake and was terrified of being burned alive. She later revoked the recantation, was condemned by the English Bishop of heresy (which is basically equal to excommunication). He had promised she could receive Holy Communion if she recanted, but he did not keep the promise – basically he lied to her. She then revoked the recantation, was refused again to receive Holy Communion, but I think they did allow her to receive a Last Confession and blessing from a Priest , then condemned her to be burned at the stake as a heretic.

Several years later, the officials in Rome did excommunicate that Bishop for putting her on trial, tormenting her during her imprisonment, and reversed her sentence, stating that she had been innocent, was apparently following the instructions sent from God by a messenger (angel) and was cleared of all charges. You can probably find a good book (approved by the Church) from EWTN or in a good library which will tell you the entire story. There are a lot of complications in the entire episode, since a Bishop was improperly persecuting this young woman for strictly political, rather than actual religious reasons, and executed her for the same political reasons, which equated to murder, not justice.

RIght, because if someone on a blog says it, it must be true.

Please provide an actual source. This is not a source.

Well, no, the historical fact of the trial and sentence of heresy remain. However, it was a false trial, false sentence, the whole thing a sham. Therefore, the Church rightly declared it so and cleared her name.

1ke: Is a sentence of death for heresy or any sentence by a Bishop of “heresy” equal to a sentence of excommunication? Or are they separate, —different sentences and different penalties?

I do not know what the law of the Church was in the early 1400s.

One could say a heretic separates themselves from the Church. But of course, she was not a heretic.

One could say that a sentence of heresy and the death penalty is a sentence of excommunication. However, she was not deprive of final confession, she received the sacrament, which seems to indicate she was not excommunicated.

But the entire thing was a farce. The bishop a puppet of the politicians, the bishop in fact punished when everything came out later.

It seems to me that if there had been any kind of excommunication of St. Joan of Arc by the English bishop on top of the charge of heresy and the death sentence, even if nullified later by Rome, this would at least be mentioned and explained in the Catholic encyclopedia. But there’s not even a passing mention of it in the Catholic encyclopedia’s biography of her. EWTN doesn’t mention it either. Besides that, the purpose of excommunication is penance. It bars one from the sacrament of Holy Communion but with the hope that they repent and are brought back in. But the English kangaroo court that tried St. Joan of Arc had no intention of even letting her live. So, there would be no reason to excommunicate her when they were going to kill her anyway.

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