Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne

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This article is about the modern archdiocese. For the former electoral state, see Electorate of Cologne.
Archdiocese of Cologne
Archidioecesis Coloniensis
Erzbistum Köln
Wappen Erzbistum Köln.png
Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Cologne
Location
Country Germany
Ecclesiastical province Cologne
Metropolitan Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia
Statistics
Area 6,181 km2 (2,386 sq mi)
Population
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2006)
5,360,000
2,191,905 (40.9%)
Parishes 680
Information
Denomination Roman Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 2nd Century
Cathedral Cologne Cathedral
Patron saint St. Joseph
Immaculate Conception
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Archbishop Sede Vacante
Auxiliary Bishops Manfred Melzer
Dominik Schwaderlapp
Ansgar Puff[1]
Apostolic Administrator Dr. Stefan Heße
Vicar General Dr. Stefan Heße
Emeritus Bishops Joachim Meisner Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus (1989-2014)
Map
Karte Erzbistum Köln.png
Website
erzbistum-koeln.de (German)
The archdioceses of Central Europe, 1500. The archdiocese of Cologne was larger than the Electorate of the same name and included suffragant dioceses. In Germany, the territory of the dioceses and archdioceses (spiritual) was usually much larger than the prince-bishoprics and archbishoprics/electorates (temporal), ruled by the same individual.

The Archdiocese of Cologne (Latin: Archidioecesis Coloniensis; German: Erzbistum Köln) is an archdiocese of the Catholic Church in western North Rhine-Westphalia and northern Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany.

History[edit]

The Electorate of Cologne - not to be confused with the larger Archdiocese of Cologne (see map on the left) - was one of the major ecclesiastical principalities of the Holy Roman Empire. The city of Cologne as such became a free city in 1288 and the archbishop eventually moved his residence from Cologne Cathedral to Bonn to avoid conflicts with the Free City, which escaped his jurisdiction.

After 1795, the archbishopric's territories on the left bank of the Rhine were occupied by France, and were formally annexed in 1801. The Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of 1803 secularized the rest of the archbishopric, giving the Duchy of Westphalia to the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt. As an ecclesial government, however, the archdiocese remained (more or less) intact: while she lost the left bank including the episcopal city itself, Cologne, to the new Diocese of Aachen established under Napoleon's auspices, there still remained a substantial amount of territory on the right bank of the Rhine. After the death of the last Elector-Archbishop in 1801, the see was vacant for 23 years, being governed by vicar capitular Johann Herrmann Joseph v. Caspars zu Weiss and, after his death, by Johann Wilhelm Schmitz. In 1821, the archdiocese regained Cologne and the right bank of the Rhine (though with a new circumscription reflecting the Prussian subdivisions) and, in 1824, an archbishop was established there again. It remains an archdiocese to the present day, considered the most important one of Germany.

Finances[edit]

Cologne, the largest (in terms of inhabitants non-Catholics included) and reportedly richest diocese in Europe, announced in October 2013 that "in connection with the current discussion about Church finances" that its archbishop had reserves amounting to 166.2 million Euro in 2012. It said the 9.6 million Euro earnings from its investments were, as in previous years, added to the diocesan budget of 939 million Euro in 2012, three-quarters of which was financed by the "church tax" levied on churchgoers.[2]

List of archbishops of Cologne since 1824[edit]

The following is a list of the archbishops since the Archdiocese of Cologne was re-filled in 1824.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°56′29″N 6°57′30″E / 50.9413°N 6.9582°E / 50.9413; 6.9582