Diocese of Rome

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Diocese of Rome
Dioecesis Urbis seu Romana
Diocesi di Roma
Coat of arms Holy See.svg
Country Italy, Vatican
Territory Rome
Ecclesiastical province Rome
Metropolitan Rome
Coordinates 41°53′9.26″N 12°30′22.16″E / 41.8859056°N 12.5061556°E / 41.8859056; 12.5061556Coordinates: 41°53′9.26″N 12°30′22.16″E / 41.8859056°N 12.5061556°E / 41.8859056; 12.5061556
Area 881 km2 (340 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2011)
2,348,905 (82%)
Parishes 336
Churches 711
Denomination Roman Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 1st century
Cathedral Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
Patron saint Saint Peter
Saint Paul
Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Philip Neri
Saint Lawrence of Rome
Secular priests 1,589
Current leadership
Bishop Francis
Auxiliary Bishops [1]
Vicar General Agostino Vallini
Emeritus Bishops Benedict XVI
Source: Annuario Pontificio 2012

The Diocese of Rome (Latin: Dioecesis Urbis seu Romana,[2] Italian: Diocesi di Roma) is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy and it is known also as the Holy See.[3] Its bishop is known as the Pope, and is the Supreme Pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church. Established in the 1st century, the current Bishop of Rome is Francis from 13 March 2013.


Further information: Pope and Pope (word)

The bishop of the Diocese of Rome has, in the first place, the title of Bishop of Rome, the basis for all his other titles. Those officially listed for him in the Annuario Pontificio are:

The best-known title, that of "Pope", does not appear in the official list, but is commonly used in the titles of documents, and appears, in abbreviated form, in their signatures.


Further information: History of the papacy

The best evidence available for the origins of the Church in Rome is Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans. This indicates that the church was established probably by the early 40s. Saint Peter became associated with this church sometime between the year 58 and the early 60s.[4]

Says one source:

The final years of the first century and the early years of the second constitute the "postapostolic" period, as reflected in the extrabiblical writings of Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch. By now the church at Rome was exercising a pastoral care that extended beyond its own community, having replaced Jerusalem as the practical center of the growing universal Church. Appeals were made to Peter and Paul, with whom the Roman church was most closely identified.[4]


The Papal Cathedra, the throne of the Pope in the Archibasilica Lateranensis.
Further information: Holy See

The territory of the diocese includes Vatican City State and the city of Rome, capital of the Italian Republic, with distinct vicars general for the two parts:

Unless the bishop of a diocese reserves some acts to himself, vicars general have within a diocese the power to place all administrative acts that belong to the bishop except those that in law require a special mandate of the bishop.[6]

The diocese covers a territory of 881 square kilometers[7] The website of the Vicariate of Rome lists 335 active and 5 suppressed parishes in its territory[8] In addition there are two parishes in Vatican City.[9][10] The diocese of Rome has 1,219 diocesan priests of its own, while 2,331 priests of other dioceses, 5,072 religious priests and 140 Opus Dei priests reside in its territory, as do 2,266 women religious.[11] In 2004, they pastored an estimated 2,454,000 faithful, who made up 88% of the population of the territory.

The city of Rome has grown beyond the boundaries of the diocese. Notable parts of the city belong to the dioceses of Ostia and Porto-Santa Rufina. Ostia is administered together with the Vicariate of the City and thus included in the statistics given above, while Porto is instead administered by its own residential bishop.

Suburbicarian sees[edit]

Six of the dioceses of the Roman Province are described as suburbicarian.[12] Each suburbicarian diocese has a Cardinal Bishop at its head.

Diocese of Ostia[edit]

There remains the titular Suburicarian See of Ostia, held, in addition to his previous suburbicarian see, by the Cardinal Bishop elected to be the Dean of the College of Cardinals. The Diocese of Ostia was merged with the Diocese of Rome in 1962, and is now administered by a Vicar General, in tight cooperation with the Vicar General for Rome. It was also diminished to contain only the cathedral parish of Ostia (Sant'Aurea in Ostia Antica), which, however, in 2012 was divided into two parishes, who together form the present diocese of Ostia.

Suffragan sees[edit]

Other dioceses that have Rome as their metropolitan see:


For a chronological list of popes, see List of Popes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://attualita.vatican.va/sala-stampa/bollettino/2013/06/14/news/31175.html
  2. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012, p. 1
  3. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia article: Rome
  4. ^ a b McBrien, The Church (New York: HarperOne, 2008) cf pp 6, 45
  5. ^ Diocesi di Roma. "Vicariato della Città del Vaticano" (in Italian). Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Canon 479 §1". Code of Canon Law. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  7. ^ Entry at catholic-hierarchy.org
  8. ^ Vicariate of Rome: Parishes
  9. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012, p. 1386
  10. ^ Vicariate of Rome: Vicariate of Vatican City
  11. ^ Vicariate of Rome: Personnel. Retrieved 2012-03-31
  12. ^ For the etymology of this word, see Etymology of the English word suburbicarian

External links[edit]