Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Siracusa
|Archdiocese of Siracusa
|Area||1,341 km2 (518 sq mi)|
|(as of 2010)
|Cathedral||Cattedrale della Natività di Maria Santissima|
|Emeritus Bishops||Giuseppe Costanzo|
The current Archbishop is Salvatore Pappalardo. He was given the pallium by Pope Benedict in June 2009, during a Mass on the feast of the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Saints Peter and Paul. He is not to be confused with Salvatore Pappalardo, now-deceased Cardinal and Archbishop of Palermo.
Syracuse claimed to be the second Church founded by St. Peter, after that of Antioch. It also claims that St. Paul preached there. As its first bishop it venerates St. Marcianus, whose dates are uncertain. Little authenticity can be assigned to the list of the seventeen bishops who were predecessors of Chrestus, to whom the Emperor Constantine wrote a letter.
In the times of St. Cyprian (mid-3rd century), Christianity certainly flourished at Syracuse, and the catacombs located there attest to Christian worship there in the 2nd century. Besides its martyred bishops, Syracuse claims other Christian martyrs, such as St. Benignus and St. Eugarius (204), St. Bassianus (270); and the martyrdom of the deacon Euplus and the virgin St. Lucy under Diocletian are thought to be historical.
The names of the known bishops of the following century are few in number: Germanus (346); Eulalius (465); Agatho (553), during whose rule Pope Vigilius died at Syracuse; Maximianus and Joannes (586), who received letters from Pope Gregory I; while another bishop was denounced by Pope Honorius for the protection which he accorded to prostitutes; St. Zozimus (640), who founded the monastery of Santa Lucia fuori-le-mura; St. Elias (d. 660).
Of Marcianos II it is said that he was consecrated not at Rome, but at Syracuse, since the Emperor Leo the Isaurian (726) had removed Southern Italy from the jurisdiction of Rome, and had then elevated Syracuse to the dignity of a metropolitan see, over the thirteen other dioceses of Sicily. Stephen II (768) carried to Constantinople the relics of St. Lucy for safety against the Saracen incursions.
Archbishop Gregorios Asbestas (about 845) was deposed by St. Ignatius, Patriarch of Constantinople, and then became the principal accomplice of the schismatic Patriarch St. Photius. After Syracuse fell to the Arabs in 878, St. Sophronius, together with the monk Theodosius, was thrown into prison at Palermo where he died in a dungeon. Until the Norman Conquest the names of further bishops are not known.
The series reopens in 1093 with Bishop Rober, who received the pallium from Pope Urban II; in 1169 the Englishman Richard Palmer was also invested by papal authority. In 1188 the see became suffragan of the archdiocese of Monreale. Among the bishops of this period are:
- Rinaldo de Lusio, killed in 1154;
- Pietro de Moncada (1313) and Ruggero Bellomo (1419), who restored the cathedral;
- Jacopo Venerio (1460), afterwards cardinal;
- Pietro de Urries (1516), ambassador of Emperor Charles V to the Fifth Lateran Council;
- Gerolamo Bononi (1541), a reformer at the Council of Trent;
- Jacopo Orozco (1562), who introduced the Roman ritual in place of the Gallican, and who founded the seminary.
- Annibale Termini (1695).
- Catholic Hierarchy page
- Byzantium: the Imperial centuries, pg 171 AD 610-1071 By Romilly James Heald Jenkins Publisher: University of Toronto Press ISBN 978-0-8020-6667-1
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Syracuse