Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto

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Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto
Archidioecesis Barensis-Bituntinus
San Sabino Ostabschluss.jpg
Cathedral in Bari
Country Italy
Ecclesiastical province Bari-Bitonto
Area 1,264 km2 (488 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2015)
736,801 (98.4%)
Parishes 126
Denomination Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 4th Century
Cathedral Cattedrale-Basilica di S. Maria
Co-cathedral Concattedrale di Maria SS. Assunta
Secular priests 196 (diocesan)
155 (Religious Orders)
76 Deacons
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Archbishop Francesco Cacucci
Co-cathedral in Bitonto

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.[1][2]


The first known bishop of Bari was Gervasius,[3] or Gerontius,[4] 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,[5] 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.[6]

In 780 bishop Leontius was present at the the Second Council of Nicaea.[7]

In the ninth century the Saracens laid waste Apulia, destroyed the city of Canosa (Canusium) and captured Bari.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

Remarkably, the next archbishop Urso (1080–1089)[11] was captured by the Muslim forces and converted to Islam.[12]

Other archbishops were:

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.[13]

Sufragan sees[edit]

Bishops and Archbishops[edit]

Diocese of Bari[edit]

Erected: by 5th Century
Latin Name: Barensis

  • Concordius (attested 465)[14]

Archdiocese of Bari (-Canosa)[edit]

Elevated: 6th Century to Metropolitan See
Latin Name: Barensis (-Canusinus)

1200 to 1600[edit]

1600 to 1800[edit]

since 1800[edit]

  • 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[23] (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[edit]

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 - )

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archdiocese of Bari-Bitonto" David M. Cheney. retrieved March 24, 2016
  2. ^ "Metropolitan Archdiocese of Bari–Bitonto" Gabriel Chow. Retrieved March 24, 2016
  3. ^ Ughelli, VII, p. 593.
  4. ^ Gams, p. 856.
  5. ^ J.-D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus III (Florence 1759), p. 46. Lanzoni, p. 300. There was a Gaudentius from Niassus (Dalmatia).
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Cappelletti, XXI, p. 10. Gams, p. 856.
  8. ^ According to Giannone, quoting Beatillo, Canosa had become a Metropolitan in 818. Giannone, p. 528.
  9. ^ Pietro Giannone (1729). The civil history of the Kingdom of Naples: In two volumes. Volume I. London: W. Innys ... G. Strahan ... R. Willock ... A. Millar al. p. 398. 
  10. ^ Norman Golb (1987) Jewish Proselytism — A Phenomenon in the Religious History of Early Medieval Europe, pp. 10–11
  11. ^ Thomas Forrest Kelly (1996) The Exultet in Southern Italy, p. 215 google books preview
  12. ^ Steven Epstein (2007) Purity Lost: Transgressing Boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean, 1000–1400, p. 145 google books preview
  13. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia article
  14. ^ Concordius attended the Roman Synod of 465 under Pope Hilarius. Ughelli, p. 593. J.-D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus VII, p. 959. Gams, p. 856. Lanzoni, p. 301.
  15. ^ "Archbishop Giulio Cesare Riccardi" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  16. ^ "Archbishop Galeazzo Sanvitale" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  17. ^ "Archbishop Decio Caracciolo Rosso" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  18. ^ "Patriarch Ascanio Gesualdo" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  19. ^ "Archbishop Diego Sersale" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  20. ^ "Archbishop Giovanni Granafei" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  21. ^ a b c d Ritzler, Remigius; Sefrin, Pirminus. HIERARCHIA CATHOLICA MEDII ET RECENTIORIS AEVI Vol V. p. 114. 
  22. ^ "Patriarch Muzio Gaeta (Sr.)" David M. Cheney. Retrieved December 17, 2016
  23. ^ Andrea Riccardi, ed. (1989). Enrico Nicodemo a Bari, 1953-1973: un vescovo meridionale tra modernizzazione e concilio (in Italian). Bari: Edipuglia srl. ISBN 978-88-7228-052-2. 


Reference Works[edit]



  • Benigni, Umberto. "Bari." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. pp. 295-296. Retrieved: 2016-09-30.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Bari". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 

Coordinates: 41°07′42″N 16°52′06″E / 41.12833°N 16.86833°E / 41.12833; 16.86833