Talk:Primate (bishop)

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Is the Archbishop of Lyon's status as Primate of France secure? I ask this because Lyon was not part of France, but of the Kingdom of Arles, until the later middle Ages. I'd have thought the Archbishop of Reims was the traditional Primate of France, or at least would have had a claim to the title... john k 20:58, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've been trying to find out who the Primate of France is...I've created Archbishop of Paris and Archbishop of Reims, and I'll get to Lyon later, but in the process of doing this, I have seen all three referred to as Primate of France. (All three current ones, I mean, in addition to various times throughout history.) Adam Bishop 02:00, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What a mess. Perhaps one is the Primate of All France, and another is the Primate of France...I believe the Archbishop of Lyon is actually Primate of Gaul...The Catholic Encyclopedia, by the way, gives Lyon, Reims, Bourges, Vienne, Narbonne, Bordeaux, and Rouen! (but not Paris). Lyon and Vienne are now merged, and Narbonne and Bourges are no longer metropolitan sees, but that still leaves Lyon, Reims, Bordeaux, Rouen, and Paris as potential primates! Germany is weird, too. I know that Mainz was the primate before 1801, but Catholic Encyclopedia also gives Trier and Magdeburg as possibilities. And post-1801, none of those work - Magdeburg is no longer a diocese, and Trier and Mainz are not metropolitan sees anymore (not sure why not for Mainz - why would you make Freiburg a metropolitan see when you have the grand old see of Mainz in the same ecclesiastical province?). For Spain, Cathen lists Toledo, Santiago de Compostella, and Braga (which is in Portugal). Supposedly, at the first Vatican Council, the only folks recognized as primates were Salzburg (of Austria?), Antivari (of ?), Salerno (?), Bahia (of Brazil), Gnesen (of Poland), Tarragona (of Spain? of Catalonia?), Gran (of Hungary), Mechlin (of Belgium), and Armagh (of All Ireland)... This, I think, is the problem with informal titles. john k 05:20, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The limited recognition of primates that you cite was for precedence purposes. There were other primates at the First Vatican Council, but since they were cardinals they took their precedence as cardinals, who have higher precedence than primates. The bishops of those other sees cited (such as Ledóchowski of Gnessen [1]) were not cardinals at the time of the council and had to be placed somewhere, so they were recognized as primates and took their place after the patriarchs. Thus, the list of recognized primates at the First Vatican Council is not necessarily the complete list of primates. Pmadrid 8 July 2005 14:28 (UTC)

Suggest that the primates mentioned before the new title "Honorary," be moved there. I suspect there will be a bunch of them eventually.Student7 03:50, 7 December 2006 (UTC)


I don't understand from the article that any of the titles of primate are "official." The article seems to differentiate between various levels of fiction. Some that were "historic" and therefore less fictional than the others? Why bother to differentiate?Student7 00:10, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Primate of Austria[edit]

I have deleted the "primate of Austria" in that list, as there has never been such a title. Since 1648 the archbishop of Salzburg - which is in Austria - bears the title "primas Germaniae" (primate of Germany). But by that time, Austria and Salzburg were part of the Holy Roman Empire of German nation. And the title remained although the borders have changed.

Explanation to this "confusing" stuff (see above): Primas Germaniae, that is of the Holy Roman Empire, was the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz (St. Boniface's see). Trier is the oldest diocese, but was not, afaik, primate: That's why legends make the diocese of Mainz even older. And since the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz sat in the Elector Council, there was need of another Prince-Archbishop to be primate in the Prince Council (where all other bishops were - but some Salzburg suffragans, but that's another story), and that was Magdeburg. I don't know why: maybe this was helpful for the Eastern colonisation. When Magdeburg fell to Protestantism, this title was transferred to Salzburg whose archbishop had for Centuries been legatus natus of the Pope. And when Mainz fell under the metropolitan authority of Mechelen due to the Concordat of 1801 (Freiburg was later), the primatial see of Salzburg remained alone. (The Archbishop of Regensburg, the former archbishop of Mainz, claimed to be named primate of Germany by Pope Pius VII. without a written document. but after his death, Regensburg fell itself under the metropolitan authority of Munich.) -- (talk) 22:53, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Archbishop of Salerno[edit]

The text now says that the Archbishop of Salerno claims the title of Primate of Servia. On the face of it this is impossible. Was Sicily meant? J S Ayer (talk) 03:08, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

German as missionary language in Poland[edit]

I removed doubuious claims about it. In 10th century language of church and aministration of Piast state was Latin, not German. Moreover Poland wasn't baptized by German missionaries but via marriage of Polsih duke Mieszko I and christian princess Dubravka from Czech Přemyslid dynasty. Radomil talk 18:07, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

French primatial sees[edit]

As to the question to the confusing French primatial sees:

  • The Roman empire used to be divided into provinces, and France, as we know, was Celtical Gaul, Aquitania, Belgium and the Province. Without knowing exact dates, when primatial rights were awarded by the Pope, I figure that: Primate of All Aquitania was Bourges. Primate of Aquitania was Bordeaux. Primate of Celtical Gaul was Lyon. Primate of Belgium was Reims and Primate of the Province was most probably Arles, though Narbonne, the capital, claimed this title too.
  • A primatial see for all the Franconian Empire (Primate of the Gauls and Germany) was created in Sens, I think with authority over all these.
  • Somewhen, a primatial see for Novempopulania and Navarra was created in Auch, though these belong to Aquitania.
  • In the eleventh century, the primatial rights of Sens (concerning France, probably not concerning Germany) were by explicit Papal order transferred to Lyon, which indeed did not belong to the Kingdom of France at the time.
  • One century later, the archbishop of Vienne, archchancellor of the Kingdom of Arles, became Primate of the Seven Provinces: That was another, later Roman subdivision which divided France into Gaul and Seven Provinces. Probably, the authority of Lyon over Seven Provinces ended thereby. Since in the Seven Provinces, there were some primates, Vienne was now primate of primates. Today, the dioceses of Lyon and Vienne have joined each other.
  • Wikipedia says that the archbishop of Bourges was somewhen elevated to be even a patriarch. If this is true, a) the authority of Vienne ended at least over his own province, b) the patriarchal authority ended by forgetting, or by the loss even of the metropolitan authority in 2002.
  • At the end of the Middle Ages, a new primatial see, by today independent of Lyon, was instituted in Rouen: that of Normandy (by the way, including the Channel Islands).
  • The Archdiocese of Mechelen, founded in the 16th century, inherited somewhen (maybe with a state named Belgium being founded) the title of primate of Belgium.
  • The primatial see of Arles ended by dissolving, or, if the archbishop of Aix (and Arles) had any inheritance, then, when he lost the metropolitan authority himself in 2002. The primatial see of Bourges ended in 2002. Likewise ended the authority of Auch.
  • It must be mentioned that some dioceses styled themselves primatial, though being not even metropolitan (Dol, then Rennes, for Brittany, Nancy for Lorraine). And this may show a certain precedence, but is nowise the classical primatial title. -- (talk) 15:38, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

In Ireland[edit]

I've seen the Archbishop of Tuam and the Archbishop of Cashel referred to historically as Primate of Connaught and Munster respectively - when did this usage cease? Opera hat (talk) 17:43, 20 July 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't it be pronounced prime-it?


Please revert to older more detailed central section, making corrections if needed. It appears to have been dumbed down. 14:49, 14 March 2012‎ (talk)‎

Um, no. They need to be source. Dumbing down is adding unsource material. Removing the sourced list is improper and consider vandalism. The remove has been reverse and additional primates that have source are listed. Spshu (talk) 20:24, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Primates & Exarchs[edit]

"The closest equivalent position in the Eastern Catholic Churches is an exarch.[1] In the order of precedence of the Catholic Church, primates and exarchs may rank immediately below major archbishops, and precede metropolitan archbishops.[1]" - The statement regarding equivalency is only, if at all, true, in the Eastern Orthodox Church (and a careful reading of the cited source material would make clear that its text refers to such). An exarch in the Catholic Church is merely the bishop of a territory which has not, as yet, been elevated to eparchial status.

As well, the statement regarding precedence has no basis. It also cites the 1913 encyclopedia but the title "major archbishop" did not exist until the 1990s, so one can be assured that there is no corroboration there as to the position of primates versus major archbishops. I have deleted the first sentence and edited the second to limit it to primates preceding metropolitan archbishops. Irish Melkite (talk) 09:23, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

"Primates exist only in the West, and correspond not to the patriarchs but to the exarchs of the East." from source CE:Primate. Spshu (talk) 13:13, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
Spshu, you are over a century out of date in your choice of source. What is much worse, you have falsified the source. It was in 1911 that the Catholic Encyclopedia published Auguste Boudhinon's article, in which he wrote that "Primates ... correspond ... to the exarchs of the East". When he wrote that, the only exarchs were in non-Catholic churches, not in Catholic churches. Yet you (by mistake, for I assume your good faith) attribute to Boudhinon the false statement: "The closest equivalent position in the Eastern Catholic Churches is an exarch." More recently than when Boudhinon wrote his article, exarchs have been appointed in Eastern Catholic Churches, but none of them is of the level of primate in the Latin Church. Esoglou (talk) 17:41, 20 May 2013 (UTC)[edit]

Is a reliable source for this Wikipedia article? Or should it be classified as more or less a blog run by Gabriel Chow of Toronto? I withhold judgement until I hear the views of others. Esoglou (talk) 17:43, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Spshu apparently considers that is not a reliable source, having now deleted from the article all that was attributed to that source (in spite of having reinstated it all earlier, when I myself had too hastily deleted the same material). I would like to hear other views too, before forming a decided personal opinion. Esoglou (talk) 10:08, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
No, I don't consider to be unreliable, but I don't see a reason to argue over it. Spshu (talk) 21:17, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
I am undecided and have therefore repented of removing the references. Spshu holds that is not unreliable - or at least does not consider it to be unreliable - and yet has removed the references. A curious situation. Since I must have recourse to the reliable sources noticeboard to settle the dispute between Spshu and me on whether the Code of Canon Law is a reliable source for Catholic canon law, I'll also raise the question there. Esoglou (talk) 09:12, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Just for the record: On the reliable sources noticeboard, the only judgement expressed was "There are undoubtedly far better sources for this kind of information than a personal blog. Use them." Esoglou (talk) 13:10, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
From personal experience outside this environment, I've found GCatholic occasionally useful as a start point in researching something but, as or more often, I've had to rebut or correct erroneous information presented by folks who, on being queried, cited GCatholic as their info source. I'd not consider it a reliable source. Irish Melkite (talk) 05:18, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Sources for Catholic canon law[edit]

Would Spshu kindly indicate the grounds on which s/he attached "citation needed" tags to statements about Catholic canon law after first deleting the quotations from the Code of Canon Law that explicitly makes those statements. Would Spshu agree that we raise on the Reliable sources noticeboard the question whether the exact explicit statements of the law in the Code are a reliable source for what is the law? Notice that, for good measure though unnecessarily, I have in each instance added a citation of a commentary on the Code of Canon Law that (of course) says the exact same thing - what more can Spshu require? Esoglou (talk) 10:08, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

I do not understand the logic of Spshu's removal of the references in the article to what the Code of Canon Law says, while accepting references in the article to verbatim quotations of what the Code of Canon Law says given in another book. I have therefore raised the question on the reliable sources noticeboard, here. Esoglou (talk) 09:10, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Archbishop of Westminster as primate[edit]

I'm looking at this CNA article which specifically refers to Vincent Nichols as "the new Primate of England and Wales, Archbishop Vicent Nichols of Westminster". I would prefer an official news agency's interpretation over our reading canon law. Mangoe (talk) 15:22, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
If you think this is a reliable source, cite it in the article. It will be better than the sources that do not say he is a primate. Esoglou (talk) 16:29, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

"Primate" is not just Roman Catholic[edit]

The title "Primate" is not by used the Roman Catholic Church exclusively. For example, there are Armenian Orthodox Primates in New York, California, and many countries in the Middle East. This page should either specify somewhere that it is Roman Catholic Centered or it should include at least a mention of Primates outside the Roman Catholic fold. Jdzakarian (talk) 21:47, 13 June 2013 (UTC)

The article already has a section on the Anglican Communion. You can add another on the Armenian Apostolic Church. Esoglou (talk) 07:30, 14 June 2013 (UTC)