Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Auch
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2009)|
|Archdiocese of Auch-Condom-Lectoure-Lombez
|Metropolitan||Archdiocese of Toulouse|
|Area||6,171 km2 (2,383 sq mi)|
|(as of 2012)
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||6th Century (As Diocese of Auch)
879 (As Archdiocese of Auch)
29 June 1908 (As Archdiocese of Auch-Condom-Lectoure-Lombez)
|Cathedral||Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mary in Auch|
|Patron saint||Nativity of Our Lady|
|Archbishop||Maurice Marcel Gardès|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Robert Jean Louis Le Gall|
|Emeritus Bishops||Maurice Lucien Fréchard Archbishop Emeritus (1996-2004)|
|Website of the Archdiocese|
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Auch, otherwise known in antiquity as Augusta Auscorum, is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Catholic church in France. The archdiocese now comprises the department of Gers in south-west France. It now is officially Auch, Condom, Lectoure and Lombez. The archdiocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Toulouse, and the current bishop is Maurice Marcel Gardès, appointed in 2004.
Originally erected in the 6th century as the diocese of Auch, the diocese was elevated in 847 to an archdiocese. As a metropolitan see at the time, it had ten suffragan sees: Acqs (Dax) and Aire, afterwards united as the Diocese of Aire; Lectoure, later reunited with the Archdiocese of Auch; Couserans, afterwards united with the Diocese of Pamiers; Oloron, Lescar, and Bayonne, united later as the diocese of Bayonne; Bazas, afterwards united with the Archdiocese of Bordeaux; Comminges, united later with the Archdiocese of Toulouse; and Tarbes.
Up to 1789 the Archbishops of Auch bore the title of Aquitaine, though for centuries there had been no Aquitaine.
The Archdiocese of Auch, re-established in 1882, was made up of the former archdiocese of the same name and the former Dioceses of Lectoure, Condom, and Lombez. Condom was previously a suffragan of Bordeaux, and Lombez of Toulouse; thenceforth the suffragans of Auch were Aire, Tarbes, and Bayonne.
A local tradition that dates back to the beginning of the twelfth century tells us that Taurinus, fifth Bishop of Eauze (Elusa), abandoned his episcopal city, which was destroyed by the Vandals, and transferred his see to Auch. Eauze, in fact, probably remained a metropolitan see till about the middle of the ninth century, at which time, owing to the invasions of the Vikings, it was reunited, to the Diocese of Auch, which had existed since the fifth century at and then became an archdiocese.
The first Bishop of Auch known to history is the poet, St. Orientius (first half of the fifth century), in honor of whom a famous abbey was founded in the seventh century. Cardinal Melchior de Polignac, author of the "Anti-Lucrèce," was Archbishop of Auch from 1725 to 1741.
Auch Cathedral, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Gothic structure with a Byzantine façade, but in spite of this incongruity, very imposing; its fifteenth-century windows are said to be the most beautiful in France.
- Augustin de Maupeou † ( 1705 appointed - )
- Jacques des Maretz † (26 Feb 1714 appointed - )
- Melchior de Polignac † (Dec 1725 appointed - 20 Nov 1741 died)
- Louis-Apolinaire de La Tour du Pin-Montauban † (15 Jun 1783 appointed - 24 Oct 1801 resigned)
- André-Etienne-Antoine de Morlhon † (13 Jan 1823 appointed - 14 Jan 1828 died)
- Louis-François-Auguste de Rohan-Chabot † (27 Apr 1828 appointed - 6 Jul 1828 appointed, Archbishop of Besançon)
- Joachim-Jean-Xavier d'Isoard † (6 Jul 1828 appointed - 13 Jun 1839 appointed, Archbishop of Lyon)
- Nicolas-Augustin de la Croix d'Azolette † (4 Dec 1839 appointed - Jan 1856 retired)
- Louis-Antoine de Salinis † (12 Feb 1856 appointed - 30 Jan 1861 died)
- François-Augustin Delamare † (20 Feb 1861 appointed - 26 Jul 1871 died)
- Pierre-Henri Gérault de Langalerie † (30 Sep 1871 appointed - 13 Feb 1886 died)
- Louis-Joseph-Jean-Baptiste-Léon Gouzot † (16 Apr 1887 appointed - 20 Aug 1895 died)
- Matthieu-Victor-Félicien Balaïn, O.M.I. † (30 May 1896 appointed - 13 May 1905 died)
- Emile-Christophe Enard † (21 Feb 1906 appointed - 13 Mar 1907 died)
- Joseph-François-Ernest Ricard † (15 Apr 1907 appointed - 18 Sep 1934 retired)
- Virgile-Joseph Béguin † (24 Dec 1934 appointed - 2 Mar 1955 died)
- Henri Audrain † (2 Mar 1955 succeeded - 16 Apr 1968 resigned)
- Maurice-Mathieu-Louis Rigaud † (16 Apr 1968 appointed - 29 Dec 1984 died)
- Gabriel Vanel † (21 Jun 1985 appointed - 1 Mar 1996 resigned)
- Maurice Lucien Fréchard, C.S.Sp. (6 Sep 1996 appointed - 21 Dec 2004 retired)
- Maurice Marcel Gardès (21 Dec 2004 appointed - )
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.