Roman Catholic Diocese of Verona

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Diocese of Verona
Dioecesis Veronensis
Verona Duomo1 tango7174.jpg
Verona Cathedral
Location
Country Italy
Ecclesiastical province Venice
Statistics
Area 3,050 km2 (1,180 sq mi)
Population
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
923,830
843,229 (91.3%)
Parishes 381
Information
Denomination Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 3rd Century
Cathedral Cattedrale di S. Maria Assunta
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Giuseppe Zenti
Emeritus Bishops Flavio Roberto Carraro, O.F.M. Cap.
Andrea Veggio (Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus)
Map
Roman Catholic Diocese of Verona in Italy.svg
Website
www.diocesiverona.it

The Diocese of Verona (Latin: Dioecesis Veronensis) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory in northern Italy. It has its seat in Verona, Veneto.

History[edit]

The Carmen Pipinianum (Pippin's Song) (9th century), which includes a description of Verona and its churches, gives a list of the first eight bishops: St. Euprepius, Dimidrianus (Demetrianus), Simplicius, Proculus, Saturninus, Lucilius (Lucillus, Lucius), Gricinus, and Saint Zeno.[1]

Less important is the famous so-called Velo di Classe, now believed to be the altar cover from San Firmo e Rustico in Verona, pianeta (chasuble) of Classe in Ravenna, on which are represented not only the bishops of Verona, but also other saints and bishops of other dioceses venerated at Verona in the ninth century.

St. Zeno having been the eighth bishop, the period of St. Euprepius, and therefore of the erection of the see, must be placed not before the temporary peace given to the Church under Emperor Gallienus (260), but rather under the first period of the reign of Diocletian, when the Church enjoyed peace. In the same "Carmen" mention is made of St. Firmus and St. Rusticus, martyred at Verona, probably under Maximian.

A series of portraits by Domenico Riccio of the bishops of Verona, from Euprepius to Cardinal Agostino Valerio. Palazzo del Vescovado di Verona.

Zeno is called a martyr in the "Carmen" and is placed in the time of Gallienus. At any rate the existence of a distinguished St. Zeno, Bishop of Verona, a contemporary of St. Ambrose of Milan, and author of a series of religious discourses, is historically attested, so as the ancient documents know but one bishop of that name, it must be concluded that, as early as the ninth century, the legend had corrupted chronology.

For the rest, we know from the sermons of St. Zeno how deeply paganism was still rooted in Verona in his time, particularly in the country districts.

His successor was Syagrius. Other bishops were: St. Petronius (c. 410); Gaudentius (465); St. Valens (522–531); Solatius and Junior, who joined the schism of the Three Chapters; Hanno (about 758); Ratoldus, who imposed community life on the canons (806) and reorganised the education of the clergy. Among the masters of his school the deacon Pacificus was eminent for his knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, although the Italian historian Cristina La Rocca disputes this acclaim as twelfth century fabrication. Nottingus (840) was the first to denounce the heretic Godescalcus. Adelardus (876) was excommunicated for invading the monastery of Nonnantula. Ratherius (930), a Benedictine and a distinguished author, was thrice driven from his see by usurpers, among whom was the notorious Manasses of Arles. He also fostered learning in the cathedral school. Joannes (1027) was distinguished for sanctity and learning. Bruno (1073), who wrote some interpretations of Scripture, was killed by one of his chaplains.

In the time of Bishop Ognibene (1157), a distinguished canonist, Pope Lucius III died at Verona, in 1185, after meeting Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and holding a synod there in 1184, and issuing the Papal Bull Ad Abolendam on November 4th of that year. There, too, was held the conclave which elected Pope Urban III, who spent nearly all of his brief pontificate at Verona. Bishops Jacopo da Breganze (1225) and Gerardo Cossadocca (1254) were exiled by the tyrant Ezzelino. Manfredo Roberti (1259) suffered insult and imprisonment at the hands of the Ghibellines (the emperor's supporters against the papacy). Bonincontro (1295) died in the odour of sanctity. Bartolommeo della Scala (1336), a Benedictine, was calumniated to his nephew Mastino, Lord of Verona, who slew him with his own hand, and among the penalties for this crime inflicted by Pope Benedict XII was the revocation of the privilege of nominating bishops.

Pietro della Scala reformed the lives of the clergy and vainly endeavoured to bring the canons under his own jurisdiction instead of that of the Patriarch of Aquileia. When the Visconti dynasty obtained possession of Verona, Pietro was banished. Francesco Condulmer (1439) founded the college of acolytes to add to the beauty of public worship and to form a learned and pious clergy; the school still exists. This institution was necessary because, with the establishment of the University of Verona, the cathedral school had been suppressed, and the young clerics who attended the university were at that time dispensed from officiating in church functions: the acolytes of the new college were obliged both to study and to attend ecclesiastical functions. Ermolao Barbaro also did much for the reform of the diocese.

Cardinal Giovanni Michiel (1471) was a munificent restorer of the cathedral and the episcopal palace, as also was Cardinal Marco Corner (1592). For Gian Matteo Giberti (1524), Pietro Lippomano and Luigi Lippomano (1544, 1548) see articles under their respective names. Agostino Valier (1565) was a cardinal. Sebastiano Pisani (1650) was a zealous pastor. Giovanni Bragadin (1733) was a mirror of all the virtues; in his episcopate the Patriarchate of Aquileia was suppressed, and Pope Benedict XIV brought the chapter under the bishop's jurisdiction and laid down wise rules for the government of the diocese. Giovanni Andrea Avogadro (1790) abdicated the see to return to the Society of Jesus.

Councils of Verona worthy of note are those of 1184, at which the pope presided, and 1276, against the Bogomilian Patarenes who were somewhat numerous in the Veronese territory, even among the clergy.

At Verona is the mother-house of the Sons of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and their college for the Central African missions. The Congregation of the Stimmatini was also founded at Verona.

The diocese was suffragan of Aquileia, then of Udine; since 1818 it has been suffragan of Venice.

List of Bishops of Verona[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Knights of Columbus. Catholic Truth Committee, The Catholic encyclopedia: an international work of reference on the constitution, doctrine, discipline, and history of the Catholic Church, Volume 15 (Google eBook). Encyclopedia Press, 1913 p. 361.