The Excommunication of Napoleon




Pope Pius VII


(June 10,  1809)

"With the authority of almighty God and of the apostles Peter and Paul …… fallen into excommunication ... "


... issued after the French attacked and occupied the Vatican.


The decree intentionally refers to that person who ordered the violation of Rome and doesn't name Napoleon directly.  (As French lawyers and prelates were later to point out).  The Decree was signed on the day the French army hauled down the papal flag and replaced the French tri-color in its place.


Although written under occupation (and not from prison), the Pope was immediately arrested and imprisonedby Napoleon and was not released until Napoleon's fall from power.




WITH the authority of the omnipotent God, of saints Apostles Peter and

Paul and ours, we declare you, and all your collaborators in the

[violent] act that you perpetrated, fallen into excommunication, in

which (as in our Apostolic bulls, which are posted at the same time in

the usual places of this city. we (also)  declare subject (to the above  excommunication) all of those who,

from the last violent invasion of this same city that happened on

February 2 of last year, have committed so much [violence] in it, as in

the ecclesiastic State all the [violent] acts against which we

complained not only in the many protests forwarded by our subsequent

secretaries of State, but also in the two concistorial allocutions of

March 14, and July 11 1808, and all their instigators, protectors and

counselors, and whoever else has supported the execution, or executed

himself the same [violent] acts.

Given in Rome at Saint Mary Major, on the eleventh day of June 1809,

the tenth year of our Pontificate.