Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockholm

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Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockholm
Dioecesis Holmiensis
Stockholms katolska stift
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Stockholm.svg
Country Sweden
Metropolitan Immediately Subject to the Holy See
Coordinates 59°18′50″N 18°04′21″E / 59.31389°N 18.07250°E / 59.31389; 18.07250Coordinates: 59°18′50″N 18°04′21″E / 59.31389°N 18.07250°E / 59.31389; 18.07250
Area 450,000 km2 (170,000 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2014)
106,873 (1.1%)
Parishes 44
Congregations 43[1]
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Latin Rite
Established 1953[1]
Cathedral Saint Eric's Cathedral
Secular priests 158[1]
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Anders Arborelius

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockholm (Latin: Dioecesis Holmiensis; Swedish: Stockholms katolska stift) is an exempt Latin Catholic ecclesiastical bishopric in Sweden and the only Roman Catholic diocese established in Sweden since the Protestant Reformation.

Its cathedral is Saint Erik Katolska Domkyrkoförsamlingen, in Sweden's capital city, Stockholm. The former Catholic cathedrals in Linköping, Lund, Skara, Strängnäs, Uppsala (archiepiscopal), Västerås and Växjö have all been turned into Lutheran churches.

The diocese of Stockholm, which belongs to no ecclesiastical province but forms an episcopal conference with its Nordic neighbours, includes 42 parishes and covers the entire country of Sweden.


Between 1521 and 1550 the episcopates of the last Roman Catholic bishops in Sweden and Finland ended.[2] Thereafter Lutheranism prevailed in Sweden-Finland as well as in Danish Scania, which later became part of Sweden.

In 1582 the stray Catholics in Sweden and elsewhere in Northern Europe were placed under the jurisdiction of a papal nuncio in Cologne. The Congregation de propaganda fide, on its establishment in 1622, took charge of the vast missionary field, which - at its third session - it divided among the nuncio of Brussels (for the Catholics in Denmark and Norway), the nuncio at Cologne (much of Northern Germany) and the nuncio to Poland (Sweden-Finland, and Mecklenburg).

In 1688 Sweden became part of the Apostolic Vicariate of the Nordic Missions. The German Paderborn bishops functioned as administrators of the apostolic vicariate. When a new Catholic missionary jurisdiction was established, it was not at any of the ancient episcopal sees but an Apostolic prefecture of Sweden in 1781, created out of parts of the Nordic Missions comprising then Sweden and Finland.

On 23 September 1783 the apostolic prefecture was promoted to the Apostolic Vicariate of Sweden, seated in the Swedish capital Stockholm. The Apostolic Vicariate of Sweden also included Finland between 1783 and 1809 (then passed to Mohilev Archdiocese), the southern areas of Norway between 1834 and 1868 (thereafter Mission sui juris of Norway, later Apostolic Prefecture of Norway), whereas Norway north of the polar circle formed part of Sweden vicariate from 1834 to 1855, then becoming the Apostolic Prefecture of the North Pole.

On 29 June 1953 the Apostolic Vicariate of Sweden was promoted to Roman Catholic Diocese Stockholm, named after its see, while the same diocesan status was given in Norway to the new bishorpic of Oslo. It enjoyed a papal Visit by Pope John Paul II in June 1989.

Episcopal Ordinaries[edit]

(all Roman Rite)

Apostolic Vicars of Sweden
  1. Nicolaus Oster (1783–1790)
  2. Rafael d'Ossery (1790–1795)
  3. Paolo Moretti (1795–1804)
  4. Jean Baptiste Gridaine (1805–1833)
  5. Jacob Laurentius Studach (1833.08.10 – death 1873.05.09), Titular Bishop of Orthosia (1862.05.22 – 1873.05.09)
  6. Johan Georg Huber (1874.09.01 – death 1886.03.25)
  7. Albert Bitter (1886.07.27 – retired 1922.10.09), Titular Bishop of Doliche (1893.06.15 – 1922.10.09); emeritate as Titular Archbishop of Soltania (1922.10.09 – 1926.12.19)
  8. Johannes Erik Müller (1922.10.09 – 1953.06.29 see below), Titular Bishop of Lorea (1922.10.09 – 1953.06.29)
Exempt Bishops of Stockholm
  1. Johannes Erik Müller ( see above 1953.06.29 – retired 1957.08.01); emeritate as Titular Archbishop of Pompeiopolis in Cilicia (1957.08.01 – death 1965.04.05)
  2. (Knut) Ansgar Nelson, English Benedictine Congregation (E.B.C.) (1957.10.01 – retired 1962.07.02), succeeding as former Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of Sweden (1947.08.11 – 1953.06.29), restyled Coadjutor Bishop of Stockholm (1953.06.29 – 1957.10.01), & Titular Bishop of Bilta (1947.08.11 – 1957.10.01); emeritate as Titular Bishop of Dura (1962.07.02 – death 1990.03.31)
  3. John E. Taylor (1962.07.02 – death 1976), also President of Scandinavian Episcopal Conference (1970 – 1973)
  4. Hubertus Brandenburg (1977.11.21 – retired 1998.11.17), previously Titular Bishop of Strathearn (1974.12.12 – 1977.11.21) & Auxiliary Bishop of Osnabrück (Germany) (1974.12.12 – 1977.11.21)
  5. Anders Arborelius (1998.11.17 – ...), also President of Scandinavian Episcopal Conference (2005.10 – 2015.09.09), Vice-President of Scandinavian Episcopal Conference (2015.09.09 – ...)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Stockholms Katolska Stift". Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockholm. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  2. ^ One see after the other turned into de facto sede vacante, with no new Catholic bishops invested or them living in captivity or exile as bishops merely by title, Skara since 1521, Uppsala since 1524/1526, Linköping since 1527, Växjö since 1530, Västerås since 1534, Lund since 1536, Strängnäs since 1536, and Åbo (Turku) since 1550.

Sources and External links[edit]