Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh
|Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh
Vicariatus Apostolicus de Phnom-Penh
|Area||31,946 km2 (12,334 sq mi)|
|(as of 2010)
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||30 August 1850 (As Vicariate Apostolic of Cambogia)
3 December 1924 (As Vicariate Apostolic of Phnom-Penh)
|Cathedral||Saint Joseph Parish (Phsar Taught)|
|Apostolic Vicar||Olivier Schmitthaeusler, M.E.P.|
|Emeritus Bishops||Émile Destombes Vicar Apostolic Emeritus (2001-2010)
Yves Ramousse Vicar Apostolic Emeritus (1992-2001)
The vicariate covers an area of 31,946 km² of southern Cambodia, covering the cities Phnom Penh, Kep and Sihanoukville, and Kandal, Takéo, Kampot, Kampong Speu and Koh Kong provinces. As of 2002, of the 4.4 million citizens in this prefecture, 13,250 are member of the Catholic Church. The vicariate is subdivided into 7 pastoral centers, and has 26 priests.
The Vicariate Apostolic of Cambodia was erected on August 30, 1850. Since 1860 it was responsible for the provinces Phsar Dek, Châu Đốc and Sóc Trăng of lower Cambodia, now part of Vietnam. In 1924, it was renamed as Vicariate Apostolic of Phnom Penh. On September 20, 1955, the vicariate became responsible for all of Cambodia. In 1968, the vicariate was split into three parts, with the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang responsible for the north west and the Apostolic Prefecture of Kompong Cham for the north east of the country.
During the rule of the Khmer Rouge, all religious activities were forbidden, and many Catholics were persecuted, especially priests and other ordinaries. Also many Vietnamese Catholics, the majority of Catholics in Cambodia, were either executed or expelled from the country. Most churches were also destroyed. The number of Catholics in the area of the vicariate fell from about 30,000 to less than 10,000. In 1990, the new constitution of Cambodia allowed free worship again.
On December 24, 2009 the French priest Olivier Schmitthaeusler, M.E.P. was named Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of Phnom-Penh and Titular Bishop of Catabum Castra. He succeeded to bishop Destombes on October 1st, 2010.
- Olivier Schmitthaeusler, M.E.P.: October 1st, 2010
- Émile Destombes, M.E.P.: April 14, 2001 - October 1st, 2010 (resigned)
- Yves-Georges-René Ramousse, M.E.P.: 1992 - April 14, 2001 (resigned)
- Joseph Chhmar Salas: 30 April 1976 – September 1977 (killed)
- Yves-Georges-René Ramousse, M.E.P.: 12 November 1962 - 1976 (resigned)
- Gustave-André-Ferdinand Raballand, M.E.P.: February 29, 1956 - April 1962 (resigned)
- Jean-Baptiste-Maximilien Chabalier, M.E.P.: December 2, 1937 - June 11 Jun 1955 (died)
- Valentin Herrgott, M.E.P. December 17, 1928 - March 23, 1936 (died)
- Jean-Claude Bouchut, M.E.P.: July 23 1902 - December 17, 1928 (died)
- Jean-Baptiste Grosgeorge, M.E.P. January 28, 1896 - March 1 Mar 1902 (died)
- Marie-Laurent-François-Xavier Cordier, M.E.P.: June 18, 1882 - August 14, 1895 (died)
- Jean-Claude Miche, M.E.P.: 1850 - 1869 (resigned)