Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto
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|Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto
Cathedral in Bari
|Area||1,264 km2 (488 sq mi)|
|(as of 2015)
|Cathedral||Cattedrale-Basilica di S. Maria|
|Co-cathedral||Concattedrale di Maria SS. Assunta|
|Secular priests||196 (diocesan)
155 (Religious Orders)
The archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto (Latin: Archidioecesis Barensis-Bituntinus) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory in Apulia, southern Italy, created in 1986, when the historical archdiocese of Bari was united to the diocese of Bitonto.
The first known bishop of Bari was Gervasius, or Gerontius, who, in 347, was said to have been present at the Council of Sardica. Gerontius, however, was actually from the city of Beroea in Macedonia, and there is no record of Gervasius, or of Bari, at the Council of Sardica.
In 530 bishop Peter is said to have held the title of Metropolitan under Epiphanius, bishop of Constantinople & Ecumenical Patriarch. This too is a fantasy. In the VI century the bishops of Apulia were directly subject to the Roman pontiff. It was not until after the Byzantine Patriarchs regained their control of Calabria and Apulia after the decree of Leo I that Bari became an archbishopric, and that situation changed when the Normans invaded Calabria and Apulia in the 11th century and returned the Churches of Calabria and Apulia to the Roman obedience.
In the ninth century the Saracens laid waste Apulia, destroyed the city of Canosa (Canusium) and captured Bari. In 841, however, the Byzantine army reconquered Bari, and in 844 bishop Angelarius, Bishop of Canosa, brought to Bari the relics of Saint Rufinus[disambiguation needed], Saint Memorus, and Saint Sabinus, which he had rescued from the ruins of Canosa. Pope Sergius II conferred on Angelarius the title of Bishop of the two dioceses of Bari and Canosa, a title which the archbishops of Bari retained up to 1986.
In 933 Pope John XI granted the bishops of Bari the use of the pallium. It seems that the bishops were dependent on the Eastern Ecumenical Patriarch until the 10th century. Giovanni II (952) was able to withdraw from this influence, refusing to accept the prescriptions of the patriarch concerning liturgical points. All connection with the Eastern Churches was finally severed during the eleventh century, as Bari became a direct ecclesiastical dependency of Rome. So before the 10th c was over, the top ranking Orthodox episcopal dignitary throughout Byzantine Italy, became the archbishop of Melfi, in spite of Bari remaining the center of Byzantine authority in the area, as the seat of the katepano of Italia until the capture of the city by the Normans in 1071.
Ironically the archbishop of Bari that irreversibly distanced his see from Byzantium, was Bisanzio/Byzantius (1025), who obtained from the pope the privilege of consecrating his suffragans. He also began the construction of the new cathedral, which was continued by his successors, Nicolo (1035), Andreas (1062), and Elias (1089) of the Benedictine Order.
By contrast to Bisanzio's Catholicism affections, Andreas, the archbishop from 1062 to at least 1066, kept an eye to the roots of his Faith, for example journeying to Constantinople, and at some point even converting to Judaism. Archbishop Andreas then fled to Muslim-dominated Egypt, where he eventually died in 1078.
Other archbishops were:
- John the Saracen (1259), restored a tower of the cathedral damaged in an earthquake;
- Romualdo Grisoni (1280), distinguished for his restorations of churches;
- Bartolomeo Prignano (1377), later Pope Urban VI, who, however, never saw this see;
- Ascanio Gesualdo (1613), known for charity in the earthquake of 1632;
- Diego Sersale (1638), who at his own expense rebuilt the cathedral, the episcopal palace, and the seminary;
- the Dominican Tommaso Maria, of the Dukes of Bagnara (1684).
In 1087 some Bari sailors, on their return from the East, brought with them the relics of Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra, for which Roger Borsa, the Norman duke of Apulia, built a church, the Basilica of San Nicola; this became the object of interfaith veneration and of multinational pilgrimages.
In the reorganization of the dioceses of the Kingdom of Naples, at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the diocese of Bitetto was suppressed and made a part of the Diocese of Bari. The suffragan sees under Bari historically were: the diocese of Conversano, diocese of Ruvo, and diocese of Bitonto.
- Altamura-Gravina-Acquaviva delle Fonti
Bishops and Archbishops
Diocese of Bari
Erected: by 5th Century
Latin Name: Barensis
- Concordius (attested 465)
Archdiocese of Bari (-Canosa)
Elevated: 6th Century to Metropolitan See
Latin Name: Barensis (-Canusinus)
- Gualtieri (by 1120 – 1126)
- Matteo (1126 – 1129)
- Rainaldus (May? 1171 – 4 February 1188)
- Doferius (1 May 1189 – 3 March 1207)
1200 to 1600
- Sede Vacante (22 September 1225 – 21 December 1226)
- Marino Filangeri (21 December 1226 – 6 July 1251)
- Enrico Filangeri, O.P. (6 May 1252 – 10 October 1258)
- Conradus Teutonicus (7 March 1253 – 5 November 1254)
- Niccolò Brancaccio (12 Apr 1367 - 13 Jan 1377 Appointed, Archbishop of Cosenza)
- Bartolomeo Prignano (1377 - 8 Apr 1378 Elected, Pope)
- Landolfo Maramaldo (1378 - 1384 Resigned)
- Francesco de Aiello (1424 - 1453 Died)
- Guido Giudano, O.F.M. (1453 - 1454 Died)
- Giovanni Giacomo Castiglione (1493 - 1513 Died)
- Esteban Gabriel Merino (9 May 1513 - 2 Sep 1530 Appointed, Patriarch of the West Indies)
- Girolamo Grimaldi (2 Sep 1530 - 20 Aug 1540 Resigned)
- Girolamo Sauli (20 Aug 1540 - 18 Apr 1550 Appointed, Archbishop of Genoa)
- Giacomo Puteo (18 Apr 1550 - 16 Dec 1562 Resigned)
- Antonio Puteo (del Pozzo) (16 Dec 1562 - 14 Jul 1592 Died)
- Giulio Cesare Riccardi (30 Oct 1592 - 13 Feb 1602 Died)
1600 to 1800
- Bonviso Bonvisi (18 Mar 1602 - 1 Sep 1603 Died)
- Galeazzo Sanvitale (15 Mar 1604 - 1606 Resigned)
- Decio Caracciolo Rosso (3 Jul 1606 - 27 May 1613 Died)
- Ascanio Gesualdo (1 Jul 1613 - 27 Jan 1638 Died)
- Diego Sersale (20 Dec 1638 - 14 Jul 1665 Died)
- Giovanni Granafei (11 Oct 1666 - 18 Mar 1683 Died)
- Tommaso Marie Ruffo, O.P. (10 Apr 1684 - 30 Apr 1691 Died)
- Carlo Loffredo, C.R. (26 Nov 1691 - 10 Mar 1698 Appointed, Archbishop of Capua)
- Muzio Gaeta (Sr.) (7 Apr 1698 - 7 Mar 1728 Died)
- Mihály Karl (Michele Carlo) von Althan (20 Sep 1728 - 2 Dec 1735 Confirmed, Archbishop (Personal Title) of Vác)
- Muzio Gaeta (Jr.) (19 Dec 1735 - 16 Sep 1754 Appointed, Archbishop of Capua)
- Luigi d’Alessandro (16 Sep 1754 - 28 Jan 1770 Died)
- Adelmo Gennaro Pignatelli di Belmonte, O.S.B. (28 May 1770 - 15 Dec 1777 Appointed, Archbishop of Capua)
- Giambattista Ettore Caracciolo, C.R. (1 Jun 1778 - 22 May 1780 Died)
- Gennaro Maria Guevara Suardo, O.S.B. (27 Feb 1792 Confirmed - 29 Oct 1804 Appointed, Archbishop (Personal Title) of Aversa)
- Baldassare Mormile, C.R. (26 Jun 1805 Confirmed - 6 Apr 1818 Confirmed, Archbishop of Capua)
- Nicola Coppola, C.O. (25 May 1818 Confirmed - 17 Nov 1823 Confirmed, Archbishop (Personal Title) of Nola)
- Michele Basilio Clari (Clary), O.S.B.I. (17 Nov 1823 Confirmed - 15 Feb 1858 Died)
- Francesco Pedicini (27 Sep 1858 - 6 Jun 1886 Died)
- Enrico (Ernesto) Mazzella (14 Mar 1887 - 14 Oct 1897 Died)
- Giulio Vaccaro (24 Mar 1898 - 10 Mar 1924 Died)
- Pietro Pomares y Morant (16 Oct 1924 - 14 Dec 1924 Died)
- Augusto Curi (5 May 1925 - 28 Mar 1933 Died)
- Marcello Mimmi (31 Jul 1933 - 30 Aug 1952 Appointed, Archbishop of Naples)
- Enrico Nicodemo (11 Nov 1952 - 27 Aug 1973 Died)
- Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero, O.C.D. (21 Dec 1973 - 1 Aug 1977 Appointed, Archbishop of Turin)
- Andrea Mariano Magrassi, O.S.B. (24 Nov 1977 - 3 Jul 1999 Resigned)
Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto
30 September 1986 United with the Diocese of Bitonto to form the Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto
Latin Name: Barensis-Bituntinus
- Francesco Cacucci (3 Jul 1999 - )
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- Lanzoni, pp. 301-302. Cantel traces the story about "Metropolitan Peter" to the work of Antonio Beatillo in his History of Bari, though he expresses doubts as to its authenticity. Petrus-Josephus Cantel (1684). Metropolitanarum urbium historia civilis et ecclesiastica (etc.) (in French). Tomus primus. Paris: Stephanus Michallet. p. 415. So too: J.E.T. Wiltsch (1868). Handbook of the Geography and Statistics of the Church. Vol. II. London: Bosworth & Harrison. pp. 24–25. On doubts as to Beatillo's reliability see Giannone, I, p. 528.
- Cappelletti, XXI, p. 10. Gams, p. 856.
- According to Giannone, quoting Beatillo, Canosa had become a Metropolitan in 818. Giannone, p. 528.
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- Gualtieri was already Archbishop at the time of the visit of Pope Calixtus II to Bari in the winter of 1121/1122. Garruba, pp. 160-163.
- Matteo had been Abbot of the monastery of S. Lorenzo in Aversa. Bishop Matteo was consecrated by Pope Honorius II on 20 December 1126. Garruba, pp. 164-165.
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