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Has anyone ever seen a list of the Catholic or Anglican dioceses in the world? - montréalais

As of 1991, there are 569 Catholic archdioceses, plus 2014 dioceses, which are listed in the annual publication, The Official Catholic Directory. The list is taken from the Annuario Pontifico, and it states that permission to reproduce the directory was granted by the Vatican Sercretariat of State, Vatican Press - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. We might be able to list the dioceses on Wikipedia, but because of this notice, I don't know how much more info. we can include without seeking permission from the compiler. GUllman


Would it be useful to create a separate page, Diocese (Roman Empire)? ~ Dpr 06:35, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No, it wouldn't, because the one is the inspiration for the other. Perhaps that point is not emphatically clear in the text as it stands. In general, it is better to combine information, for richer context, rather than create separate pages for, say, each track on a CD. --Wetman 06:48, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC) Rereading the entry, it does seem quite clear. --Wetman 06:48, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)


It'd be cool to have some maps on this page. --Shanedidona 01:11, 4 February 2006 (UTC)


Diocesis redirects here. Why? Is it the Latin for "diocese"? If so, shouldn't the intro paragraph say so?

  • It is, and the Latin stems from Greek dioikesis; so it might be better to explain both. That's one of many improvements which can be taken form the >Cath. Enc. - anyone game for the job? [1] Fastifex 13:20, 20 July 2006 (UTC)


Why does the Church apparently like to call bishoprics "dioceses", and why do historians often like to call dioceses "bishoprics"? What drives the choice of word? (Note: I was reading a little book entitled Non Campus Mentis, which rendered the word as "Bishop Bricks"!) — Rickyrab | Talk 18:26, 28 January 2007 (UTC) See Talk:Bishopric --Bermicourt (talk) 20:25, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

History description[edit]

I had a couple of concerns about the following statements.

The Catholic Church adopted the Roman diocesan structure of authority during the 5th and 6th centuries, as each bishop fully assumed the role of the former Roman praefectus. This transfer of authority from secular officials to ecclesiastical leaders was facilitated by the Christian practice of establishing areas of ecclesiastical administration that coincided with those of the Roman civil administration. In modern times, many an ancient diocese, though later divided among several dioceses, has preserved the boundaries of a long-vanished Roman administrative division.

My concerns:

  • I this think is a misleading description of how the structure developed. I don't believe the Church ever "adopted" this structure. This structure was imposed on the Church as it was integrated with the Empire. When the Western Empire fell apart the bishops took over the role of the prefects (and in so doing adding some political roles to their spiritual roles) but fundamentally nothing new was invented.
  • The term "Catholic Church" is problematic here. Although technically not incorrect it is misleading since the term is commonly associated with the modern Roman Catholic Church and this did not exist as a distinct entity at this time (and the article should not attempt to dive into the politics of the later East-West Schism).
  • This statement, like the entire article is focused on the Western churches.
  • Also, why are we using "praefectus"? Is this just showing off our knowledge of Latin?

Perhaps this should be rephrased as

As the Western Roman Empire fell during the 5th and 6th centuries the western bishops of the Church took over many of the administrative roles of the former Roman prefect preserving the diocesan structure. This transfer of authority from secular officials to ecclesiastical leaders was natural in that, because of the close integration of the secular and ecclesiastical leadership in the Empire, the areas of ecclesiastical administration always coincided with those of the Roman civil administration. A millenium later this process would be somewhat repeated when the Ottoman Empire conquered the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Empire and the eastern bishops assumed political roles as the Roman civil structure was stripped away. In modern times, many an ancient diocese, though later divided among several dioceses, has preserved the boundaries of a long-vanished Roman administrative division.

--Mcorazao 15:13, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

WP:Be bold and edit! --Macrakis 15:21, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Other denominations[edit]

I think this section should be cut down to just the use of the term "diocese" in other religions. Introducing terms for administration of other religions just begs for somebody to come up and start adding their own terms from their own religion, eventually turning this section into a one of those big lists Wikipedia seems to be always trying to avoid. (I was sorely tempted to add the term "synod" in there) (talk) 16:38, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Agree that the edit to narrow this section to focus on the term diocese is required. The information about Methodism is interesting but belongs somewhere else. It seems a bit "me too". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:41, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

History of diocesan administration[edit]

The article ought to be augmented with regards to the History of diocesan administration, especially since the Second Vatican Council. When we speak of changes in the Church, many of those changes occur within the establishment of the diocese itself, and on this point the various administrative reforms have been especially important in recent (20th century) Church history. ADM (talk) 05:29, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Disentangling Diocese from Bishopric[edit]

There is a relevant discussion at Talk:Bishopric which impacts this article and, potentially, a host of "Diocese of Foo" articles too. --Bermicourt (talk) 20:25, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

History Section[edit]

I think the history section is confusing and should be rewritten. In ancient Rome, in the east (especially), the word dioikesis was used to refer to a territory dependent for its administration upon a city (civitas). The area administered by a bishop developed, generally, as I understand it, such that his episcopal jurisdiction tended to correspond to a Roman civil diocese (in the old sense of a civitas and its surrounding area). Diocletian's reforms used the term "diocese" to refer to the 12 (later 13) divisions of the empire, usually headed by a vicarius, and each containing several provinces. As the article stands, it seems to imply that ecclesiastical dioceses and the jurisdiction of bishops developed from the later Roman empire's division into dioceses...but this is inaccurate and misleading. Ecclesiastical dioceses developed from the older sense of a "diocese" as a civitas and its surrounding area. These are two different uses of the term "dioikesis" that really have little to do with one another except for a coincidence of terminology, and in no way correspond geographically. A "diocese" in the earlier sense is a relatively small geographic entity, while a "diocese" in the latter sense is much larger. A diocese in the latter sense would have contained many many, perhaps 100s of bishops (depending on what diocese we are talking about).

The issue is complicated by the ecclesiastical history of the use of a term "diocese". The actual use of the term dioikesis to refer to the jurisdiction of a bishop goes back to the 4th century (at least) in Spain and Africa, although generally different terms were used (like paroikia, or parochia), while the term "diocese" was sometimes reserved for the territory of a patriarch (as in the canons of Constantinople (381)--this confuses the issue since the jurisdiction of bishops tended to correspond to the old use of the term diocese in the sense of a civitas and its environs). Anyhow, as it stands, the article is misleading and ought to be changed, since there never was any ecclesiastical diocese (in the modern sense) that corresponded to any of the 13 dioceses of the Later Roman Empire, nor did the jurisdiction of bishops (whether spiritual or civil) correspond to the jurisdiction of the vacarii or prefects who administered these later Roman dioceses. More importantly, I do not believe that the later Roman dioceses really played any significant role in the development of ecclesiastical dioceses in the modern sense.Ocyril (talk) 07:17, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Why not re-write it as you suggest but keeping to the more recent common usage then at the end of that please cover these exceptions you have brought to notice here. Thanks, Eddaido (talk) 07:31, 1 September 2014 (UTC)