Roman Catholicism in Gabon

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The Roman Catholic Church in Gabon is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. It is endowed with the right to elect its own clergy, except archbishops.

There are over 600,000 Roman Catholics in Gabon - almost half the population divided in five major congregations. There are five dioceses including one archdiocese, plus an apostolic vicariate.[1]

History[edit]

The Catholic Church had its big first French missionary in Gabon Jean- Rémi Bessieux, from the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in the first half of the 19th century. In 1863 was born the Apostolic vicariate of Gabon, then called from the Two Guineas. Only after the 1878 began the evangelization of the hinterland. In 1958 Gabon becomes an Ecclesiastical province, with an autonomous Metropolitan see in Libreville, in 1899 the first priest was ordained in Gabon, and in 1961 was ordered the first bishop. In 1982 the Catholic Church received a pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II.

On December 12, 1997 Holy See and the Republic of Gabon signed an agreeing on the principles and some legal provisions concerning their relationship and their collaboration.

Ecclesiastical organization[edit]

The Catholic Church is present in Gabon with one ecclesiastical province, four suffragan dioceses and one apostolic prefecture:

Statistics[edit]

At the end of 2004 the Catholic Church in Gabon counted:

  • 14 parishes;
  • 108 priests;
  • 181 religious sisters;
  • 245 schools;
  • 18 charities.

The Catholic population amounted to 711,125 Christians, equal to 44.79 % of the population.

External links[edit]