Ethiopian Catholic Archeparchy of Addis Abeba

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Metropolitan Archeparchy of Addis Ababa
Country Ethiopia
Ecclesiastical province Addis Ababa
Metropolitan Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel[1]
Denomination Ethiopian Catholic
Rite Ge'ez Rite
Established 1839/1961
Cathedral Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary[1]
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel
Metropolitan Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel[1]
Auxiliary Bishops Lisane-Christos Matheos Semahun[1]
Ethiopia - Arcieparchia di Addis Abeba.jpg

The Metropolitan Ethiopian Catholic Archeparchy of Addis Ababa sui iuris (Addis Abeba of the Ethiopics) is an archeparchy (Eastern Catholic archdiocese) and the Metropolitan See of the Ecclesiastical province of Addis Abeba, covering the entire country, which has three suffragans, all in Ethiopia.

Its cathedral episcopal see is the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in national capital Addis Abeba.[1]

The Metropolitan Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel is also the head of the Ethiopian Catholic Church sui iuris (Eastern Catholic, Alexandrian Rite in Archaic Ge'ez), which comprises only his province. Yet even he still depends on the missionary Roman Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

He is styled Primate of Ethiopia, which country also has an overlapping Latin hierarchy, so far only comprising nine exempt missionary pre-diocesan jurisdictions.


As per 2014, it pastorally served 27,713 Ethiopian [Eastern] Catholics (0.1% of 30,302,000 total) on 253,000 km² in 23 parishes and 7 missions with 187 priests (26 diocesan, 161 religious), 494 lay religious (176 brothers, 318 sisters) and 64 seminarians.

Ecclesiastical province[edit]

Its suffragan eparchies (diocesan sees) are :


The present Archeparchy was established in 1839 as the huge (Latin Catholic) Apostolic Prefecture of Abyssinia, formed and based in Keren,[2] Eritrea, on territory removed from the jurisdiction of the even vaster Apostolic Vicariate of Syria, Egypt, Arabia and Cyprus.

On 1846.05.04 it lost Ethiopian territory to establish the Apostolic Vicariate of Galla.

In 1847 the prefecture was raised to Apostolic Vicariate of Abyssinia (hence entitled to a titular bishop).

It was renamed on 25 March 1937, after its seat (having been moved), to become the Apostolic Vicariate of Addis Ababa, having lost Ethiopian territories to establish the Apostolic Prefecture of Dessié (now it suffragan) and Apostolic Prefecture of Gondar.

On October 31, 1951, the (Latin) Apostolic vicariate was changed to an Apostolic Exarchate, establishing it as part of the Eastern Catholic Churches. It was made a fully independent diocese, on February 20, 1961, when it became a Metropolitan Archeparchy. The Eparchy of Emdeber was established as a suffragan daughter see on November 25, 2003 with territory separated from the archeparchy.[1]

In January 2015 Pope Francis detached the eparchies in Eritrea from the ecclesiastical province of Addis Abeba by erecting the Metropolitan Eritrean Catholic Church sui iuris.[3] (also Alexandrian Rite), covering all Eritrea.

On the same day Pope Francis established a new Ethiopian eparchy Bahir Dar-Dessie, which is also a suffragan daughter eparchy of Addis Abeba.[3]


Latin church[edit]

(all Latin Rite European members of a missionary order)

Apostolic Prefect of Abyssinia
Apostolic Vicar of Abyssinia (of the Ethiopics)
  • Saint Justin de Jacobis, C.M. (see above 1847 - death 07/31/1860) Titular bishop of Nilopolis(1847.07.06 – 1860.07.31)
  • Lorenzo Biancheri, C.M. (07/31/1860 - death 09/11/1864); Titular Bishop of Lagania (1853.01.28 – 1864.09.11), succeeding as former Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of Abyssinia of the Ethiopics (1853.01.28 – 1860.07.31)
  • Louis Bel, C.M. (7/11/1865 – death 03/01/1868), Titular Bishop of Agathopolis (1865.07.11 – 1868.03.01)
  • Jean-Marcel Touvier, C.M. (09/27/1869 – death 08/04/1888), Titular Bishop of Olena (1869.11.29 – 1888.08.04)
  • Jean-Jacques Crouzet, C.M. (08/01/1886 – 01/16/1896), Titular Bishop of Zephyrium (1888.10.01 – death 1933.01.08); also and longer (last) Apostolic Vicar of Southern Madagascar (Madagascar) (1896.01.16 – 1913.05.20), restyled first Apostolic Vicar of Fort-Dauphin (1913.05.20 – death 1933.01.08)
Apostolic Vicar of Addis Abeba

Particular Eastern Catholic church[edit]

Apostolic Exarchs of Addis Ababa
Metropolitan Archeparchs (Archbishops) of Addis Ababa
  • Asrate Mariam Yemmeru (04/09/1961 – retired 02/24/1977) also President of Ethiopian and Eritrean Episcopal Conference (1967 – 1976); previously Titular Bishop of Urima (1958.02.03 – 1961.04.09) as Eparch (Bishop) of Asmara of the Eritreans (Eritrea) (1958.02.03 – 1961.04.09); died 1990
  • Paulos Tzadua (02/24/1977 – 09/11/1998), created Cardinal-Priest of SS. Nome di Maria in Via Latina (1985.05.25 – death 2003.12.11), also President of Council of the Ethiopian Church (1994 – 1998); previously Titular Bishop of Abila in Palæstina (1973.03.01 – 1977.02.24) as Auxiliary Bishop of Addis Abeba of the Ethiopics (1973.03.01 – 1977.02.24)
  • Apostolic Administrator Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel (1998.06.16 – 1999.07.07 see below), Titular Bishop of Bita (1997.11.07 – 1999.07.07), while Auxiliary Bishop of Addis Abeba of the Ethiopics (1997.11.07 – 1999.07.07) and President of Council of the Ethiopian Church (1998 – ...); previously (latin) Apostolic Prefect of Jimma–Bonga (Ethiopia) (1994 – 1997.11.07)
  • Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M. (see above 07/07/1999 - ...),[1] also President of Ethiopian and Eritrean Episcopal Conference (1999 – ...), President of Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (2014.07.24 – ...), created Cardinal-Priest of S. Romano Martire (2015.02.14 [2015.10.18] – ...)

Sources, references and external links[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Metropolitan Archdiocese of Addis Abeba". Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "History". Catholic Eparchy of Keren. Retrieved January 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "New Eparchy in Ethiopia, Metropolitan Church of Eritrea". Zenit. January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.