Roman Catholic Diocese of Limburg

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Diocese of Limburg
Dioecesis Limburgensis
Bistum Limburg
LimburgerDomFront.jpg
Location
Country Germany
Ecclesiastical province Cologne
Metropolitan Limburg, Hesse
Statistics
Area 6,182 km2 (2,387 sq mi)
Population
- Catholics

693,230 (29.8%)
Information
Denomination Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established 16 August 1821
Cathedral St George's Cathedral
Patron saint St. George
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Sede vacante
Metropolitan Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki
Auxiliary Bishops Thomas Löhr
Apostolic Administrator Manfred Grothe
Vicar General Wolfgang Rösch
Emeritus Bishops Franz Kamphaus Bishop Emeritus (1982-2007)
Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst Bishop Emeritus (2008-2014)
Gerhard Pieschl Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus (1977-2009)
Map
Karte Bistum Limburg.png
Website
bistumlimburg.de

The Diocese of Limburg (Latin: Dioecesis Limburgensis) is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Germany. It belongs to the ecclesiastical province Cologne (Archdiocese of Cologne).

Its territory encompasses parts of the States of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. Its cathedral church is St George's Cathedral Limburg an der Lahn. The diocese's largest church is Frankfurt Cathedral, St. Bartholomew.

From October 2013, the administrator of the diocese during the suspension of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is Wolfgang Rösch.

At the end of 2008 the diocese had 2,386,000 inhabitants. About 28 per cent of them were Catholics.

Districts[edit]

The diocese is divided into multiple administrative districts. Each district is represented by a clerical dean.

History[edit]

The Diocese of Limburg was established in 1827, during the reorganization of Catholic diocese in the course of the secularization. It was initially established as a suffragan diocese of the ecclesiastical province Upper Rhine with its metropolitan seat in Freiburg im Breisgau. Its territory had before been under what is today the Archdiocese Trier and Mainz. The diocese, therefore, is a rather young diocese. Today it encompasses the former territory of the Duchy of Nassau, the city of Frankfurt am Main, landgraviate Hesse-Homburg, and the former county Biedenkopf. In 1929, it was subordinated to the ecclesiastical province Cologne, according to the so-called Prussian Concordat.[12]

The first bishop of Limburg (1827–1833) was Jakob Brand. At that time, there were about 650.000 Catholics in the diocese (approx 27% of the total population in the area).The bishop Franz Kamphaus stepped down after Pope Benedict XVI had accepted his retirement on 2 February 2007. He was succeeded by the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Münster, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst who had been elected by the cathedral chapter. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on 28 November 2007 and inaugurated by the Archbishop of Cologne Joachim Kardinal Meisner.

Controversy[edit]

In 2013 the Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was accused of lying and of squandering church money. He had a new episcopal headquarters built and was said to have lied about its cost, which has reportedly escalated to 31 million euros. He was also accused of flying first class to India, where he went to help poor children.[13] He rejected calls to resign and the Vatican sent Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo to try to resolve the situation.[14] The accusations are currently under church investigation. In parallel, the attorney general of Cologne is investigating the bishop.[15] On 13 October the bishop travelled to Rome to discuss the situation with the Vatican Curia.[16] On 23 October 2013, Tebartz van-Elst was suspended by Pope Francis as bishop of Limburg, and Wolfgang Rösch was named a new vicar general to administer the diocese in his absence.[17]

Laity within the Diocese of Limburg: “Synodal Way”[edit]

The “Synodal Way” was initiated by Bishop Wilhelm Kempf on 16 March 1969 in holding the first elections for a parish council. The basic idea is to have laity participate in important decisions concerning the diocese. “The main idea is to give every appointee a counterpart that consists of elected members who form a council.[18] Both bodies then are to discuss and decided certain issues." Accordingly, every appointed member of the clergy, such as a parish priest, faces a parish council that consists of elected members. On the next higher level, the pastoral realm, a clerical director faces the employees committee. On every "level" of the diocese, laity and appointed officials work together.

Ordinaries[edit]

  • Jakob Brand (21 May 1827 appointed – 26 Oct 1833 died)
  • Johann Wilhelm Bausch (8 Jan 1834 appointed – 9 Apr 1840 died)
  • Peter Joseph Blum (20 Jan 1842 appointed – 30 Dec 1884 died)
  • Johannes Christian Roos (19 Feb 1885 appointed – 2 Jun 1886 Appointed, Archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau)
  • Karl Klein (25 Sep 1886 appointed – 6 Feb 1898 died)
  • Dominikus (Martin Karl) Willi, O. Cist. (15 Jun 1898 appointed – 6 Jan 1913 died)
  • Augustinus Kilian (22 Jan 1913 appointed – 30 Oct 1930 died)
  • Antonius Hilfrich (30 Oct 1930 succeeded – 5 Feb 1947 died)
  • Ferdinand Dirichs (24 Sep 1947 appointed – 27 Dec 1948 died)
  • Wilhelm Kempf (3 May 1949 appointed – 10 Aug 1981 retired)
  • Franz Kamphaus (3 May 1982 appointed – 2 Feb 2007 retired)
  • Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst (28 Nov 2007 appointed – 26 March 2014 resigned)

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°23′20″N 8°04′00″E / 50.38889°N 8.06667°E / 50.38889; 8.06667