Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Acerenza

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Archdiocese of Acerenza
Archidioecesis Acheruntina
Cattedrale di Acerenza.jpg
Country  Italy
Ecclesiastical province Potenza-Muro Lucano-Marsico Nuovo
Area 1,250 km2 (480 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2011)
42,382 (99%)
Parishes 21
Denomination Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 4th century
Cathedral Cattedrale dell’Assunzione della B. Maria Vergine
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Archbishop Francesco Sirufo
Emeritus Bishops Michele Scandiffio

The Archdiocese of Acerenza (Latin: Archidioecesis Acheruntina) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical territory in southern Italy, included in the provinces of Lecce and Potenza. It has existed as a diocese since the fourth or fifth centuries. In the 11th century it was elevated to an archdiocese. In 1203 it was united with the diocese of Matera to form the Archdiocese of Acerenza and Matera. This was separated again in 1954, recreating the Archdiocese of Acerenza, which briefly became the Diocese of Acerenza in 1976 before reverting to an archdiocese in 1977. Its metropolitan is the Archdiocese of Potenza-Muro Lucano-Marsico Nuovo.[1][2]


Acerenza was certainly an episcopal see in the course of the fifth century, for in 499 we meet with the name of its first known bishop, Justus, in the Acts of the Roman Synod of that year. The town was known in antiquity as the "high nest of Acherontia".[3]

Acerenza was in early imperial times a populous and important town, and a bulwark of the territory of Lucania and Apulia. In the Gothic and Lombard period it fell into decay, but was restored by Grimoald II, Duke of Beneventum (687-689). An Archbishop of Acerenza (Giraldus) appears in 1063 in an act of donation of Robert Guiscard to the monastery of the Santissima Trinità in Venosa.

For a few years after 968 Acerenza adopted the Greek Rite in consequence of an order of the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas (963-969), whereby it was made one of five suffragans of the archdiocese of Otranto, and compelled to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople.[4] Pope Urban VI (1378–89, Bartolommeo Prignano), was once Archbishop of Acerenza.

Acerenza Cathedral is one of the oldest and most beautiful cathedrals in Italy, known for a bust long supposed to be that of Saint Canius, patron of the city, to whom the cathedral is dedicated, but now judged to be a portrait-bust of Julian the Apostate, though others maintain that it is a bust of the Emperor Frederick II, after the manner of the sculptors of the Antonine age.

List of bishops/archbishops[edit]

Bishops of Acerenza[edit]

  • down to Joseph the names and duration of the bishops are traditional
  • Romanus (300–329)
  • Monocollus (for 8 years)
  • Petrus I (for 3 years)
  • Sylvius (for 5 years)
  • Theodosius (for 8 years)
  • Aloris (for 22 years)
  • Stephanus Primus (for 2 years)
  • Araldus (for 4 years)
  • Bertus (for 3 years)
  • Leo I (for 23 years)
  • Lupus (for 3 years)
  • Evalanius (for 12 years)
  • Azo (for 3 years)
  • Asedeus (for 8 years)
  • Joseph (for 23 years)
  • Leo II (occurs 799)
  • Peter II (833)
  • Rudolf (869–874)
  • Leo III (874–904)
  • Andrea (906–935)
  • Johannes I (936–972)
  • Johannes II (993–996)
  • Stephan II (996–1024)

Bishops or Archbishops of Acerenza[edit]

  • at some point during the 11th century, before 1063, the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese[1]
  • Stephan III (1029–1041)
  • Stephan IV (1041–1048)
  • Goderio I (1048–1058)
  • Goderio II (1058–1059)

Archbishops of Acerenza[edit]

  • Godano or Gelardo (1059–1066)
  • Arnald (1066–1101)
  • Peter III (1102–1142)
  • Durando (1142–1151)
  • Robert I (1151–1178)
  • Riccardo (1178–1184)
  • Peter IV (1184–1194)
  • Peter V (1194–1197)
  • Rainaldo (1198–1199)
  • Andrea (1200–1231)

Archbishops of Acerenza and Matera[edit]

From 1203 to 1954 the archbishopric of Acerenza was joined to that of the Diocese of Matera to form the Archbishopric of Acerenza and Matera[1]

Archbishops of Acerenza[edit]

Acerenza and Matera were separated again into two archdioceses as from 2 July 1954[1]
  • Domenico Pecchinenna (1954–1961)
  • Corrado Ursi (1961–1966) (also Archbishop of Naples)
  • Giuseppe Vairo (1966–1979)[15]
  • Francesco Cuccarese (1979–1987)
  • Michele Scandiffio (1988–2005)
  • Giovanni Ricchiuti (2005–2013)


  1. ^ a b c d "Archdiocese of Acerenza" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 20, 2016
  2. ^ "Archdiocese of Acerenza" Gabriel Chow. Retrieved March 20. 2016
  3. ^ Horace, Odes, III, iv, 14
  4. ^ Moroni, Dizionario, L, 63.
  5. ^ the first historically documented bishop of Acerenza, he is recorded as having attended the Synod of Rome in 499
  6. ^ "Giovanni Michele Cardinal Saraceni " David M. Cheney. Retrieved July 29, 2016
  7. ^ "Archbishop Sigismondo Saraceno" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  8. ^ "Archbishop Francesco Antonio Santorio" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  9. ^ "Archbishop Francisco Avellaneda" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gauchat, Patritius (Patrice). HIERARCHIA CATHOLICA MEDII ET RECENTIORIS AEVI Vol IV. p. 67. 
  11. ^ "Archbishop Scipione de Tolfa" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  12. ^ "Archbishop Giovanni Myra (Mira)" David M. Cheney. Retrieved September 5, 2016
  13. ^ "Archbishop Simone Carafa Roccella, C.R." David M. Cheney. Retrieved January 4, 2017
  14. ^ in 1818 the name was changed to "Archdiocese of Acerenza (e Matera)" and in 1822 to "Archdiocese of Acerenza-Matera" (Catholic Hierarchy
  15. ^ the archdiocese of Acerenza became a diocese on 21 August 1976 and an archdiocese again on 3 December 1977 (Catholic Hierarchy)

External links[edit]


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

Coordinates: 40°48′00″N 15°57′00″E / 40.8000°N 15.9500°E / 40.8000; 15.9500