Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia

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Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia

Apostolicus Vicariatus Arabiae Meridionalis

النيابة الرسولية من جنوب الجزيرة العربية
United Arab Emirates
Area929,969 km2 (359,063 sq mi)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
CathedralSt. Joseph's Cathedral, Abu Dhabi
Current leadership
Episcopal VicarsPaul Hinder
Apostolisches Vikariat Südliches Arabien.png
Website of the Apostolic Vicariate

The Apostolic Vicariate (or Vicariate Apostolic) of Southern Arabia (Latin: Vicariatus Apostolicus Arabiæ Meridionalis) is a Roman Catholic apostolic vicariate located in the United Arab Emirates.

It is a territorial jurisdiction of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church covering the following countries of the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding region: Oman, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The superior of the vicariate is the Swiss born Bishop Paul Hinder OFM Cap. It was established in 1888 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Aden and changed to its current name in 2011. The See of the jurisdiction was in Aden until 1973, when it was transferred to St. Joseph's Cathedral in Abu Dhabi.[1] Since 1916 it has been in the care of the Capuchins of Florence.


Originally part of the Vicariate Apostolic of the Gallas, the Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia was formed as a prefecture by Pope Pius IX on 21 January 1875. It was made into a vicariate Apostolic on 25 April 1888, by Pope Leo XIII as the Vicariate Apostolic of Aden, located in Yemen. On the 28 June 1889 the name was changed to the Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia responsible for the countries of the Arabian Peninsula and surrounding region: Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Somalia and Yemen, an area of over 1,200,000 square miles (3,100,000 km2). There are Catholic parishes in all these countries with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Somalia, where the public practice of non-Islamic religions is forbidden.

On 29 June 1953, the then Apostolic Prefecture of Kuwait (which has become the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia) was separated from the Apostolic Vicariate of Arabia, and a subsequent redrawing of boundaries in 2011 reduced its jurisdiction to the countries of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The vicariate was governed by the Capuchin friars, though Franciscan sisters have also been involved, especially in the beginning.[2]



  • 929,969 km²


  • Total population as of 31st December 2018: 42,948,063
  • Total Catholic population as of 2004: 1,300,500 (2.7% of the whole)
  • Parishes: 20
  • Total priests (diocesan and religious): 67
  • Permanent deacons living in the diocese: 1
  • Professed non-priest Men Religious belonging to Religious Institutes: 1
  • Professed Women Religious belonging to Religious Institutes: 50


Apostolic Vicars of Southern Arabia[edit]

  1. Louis-Callixte Lasserre, OFM Cap. (1888 – April 1900)
  2. Bernard Thomas Edward Clark, OFM Cap. (21 March 1902 – 18 June 1910)
  3. Raffaele Presutti, OFM Cap. (13 September 1910 – 1915)
  4. Evangelista Latino Enrico Vanni, OFM Cap. (15 April 1916 – 1925)
  5. Pacifico Tiziano Micheloni, OFM Cap. (25 April 1933 – 6 July 1936)
  6. Giovanni Tirinnanzi, OFM Cap. (2 July 1937 – 27 January 1949)[3]
  7. Irzio Luigi Magliacani, OFM Cap. (25 December 1949 – 1969)
  8. Giovanni Bernardo Gremoli, OFM Cap. (2 October 1975 – 21 March 2005)
  9. Paul Hinder, OFM Cap. (21 March 2005 – ) [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia, url accessed September 10, 2006
  2. ^ CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia
  3. ^ "Bishop chancery". Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. Retrieved 2011-04-17.
  4. ^ Arabia (Vicariate Apostolic) [Catholic-Hierarchy]

External links[edit]