Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dijon

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Archdiocese of Dijon

Archidioecesis Divionensis

Archidiocèse de Dijon
Cathédrale St Bénigne - Dijon.jpg
Ecclesiastical provinceDijon
Area8,760 km2 (3,380 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2013)
355,700 (65.7%)
Parishes60 'new parishes'
DenominationRoman Catholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established9 April 1731 (As Diocese of Dijon)
8 December 2002 (As Archdiocese of Dijon)
CathedralCathedral of St. Benignus of Dijon
Patron saintSt. Benignus of Dijon
Secular priests133 (diocesan)
44 (Religious Orders)
Current leadership
Metropolitan ArchbishopAntoine Hérouard
SuffragansArchdiocese of Sens
Diocese of Autun
Diocese of Nevers
Territorial Prelature of Mission de France
Locator map for Archdiocese of Dijon
Website of the Archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dijon (Latin: Archidioecesis Divionensis; French: Archidiocèse de Dijon) is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The archepiscopal see is Dijon Cathedral, which is located in the city of Dijon. The diocese comprises the entire department of Côte-d'Or, in the Region of Bourgogne. Originally established as the Diocese of Dijon in 1731, and suffragan to the Archdiocese of Lyon, the diocese was elevated to the rank of archdiocese in 2002. The most significant jurisdiction change occurred after the Concordat of 1801, when the diocese annexed the department of Haute-Marne. In 1821, a Papal Bull re-established the Diocese of Langres.[1] The current archbishop is Antoine Hérouard, appointed in 2022.


Church of Saint Michel, Dijon


Between the years 506 and 540, it was revealed to Gregory, Bishop of Langres, an ancestor of Gregory of Tours, that a tomb which the piety of the peasants led them to visit contained the remains of St. Benignus. He had a large basilica erected over it, and soon travellers from Italy brought him the acts of this saint's martyrdom. These acts are part of a collection of documents according to which Burgundy was evangelized in the 2nd century by St. Benignus, an Asiatic priest and the disciple of St. Polycarp, assisted by two ecclesiastics, Andochius and Thyrsus. The good work is said to have prospered at Autun, where it received valuable support from the youthful Symphorianus; at Saulieu where Andochius and Thyrsus had established themselves; at Langres where the three brothers, Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Meleusippus, were baptized, and finally at Dijon. In the meantime the persecution of Marcus Aurelius broke out, and St. Benignus and his companions were put to death.

The doubts first raised by Boulliau and Tillemont in the 17th century concerning the authenticity of these acts seem justified by the conclusions of G. Van Hooff and Louis Duchesne, according to which the Acts of St. Benignus and the martyrdom of the three brothers of Langres, on which the aforesaid traditions are based, are apocryphal and copied from Cappadocian legends. Animated polemics arose among the scholars of France on the apostolate of St. Benignus.[2]

Langres and Dijon[edit]

Under the Merovingians and Carolingians, most of the bishops of Langres resided at Dijon, e.g. St. Urbanus (5th century),[3] St. Gregory,[4] and St. Tetricus (6th century),[5] who were buried there. When, in 1016, Lambert, Bishop of Langres, ceded the seigniory and county of Dijon to King Robert of France, the Bishops of Langres made Langres their place of residence.


In 1731, Pope Clement XII made Dijon a diocese. When formed, it was composed of 164 parishes divided among seven regional deaneries. 155 of these parishes had been part of the Diocese of Langres, and 19 others had come from the Diocese of Besançon. The seven deaneries were supervised by the two archdeacons.[6] The Abbey of Saint-Etienne of Dijon (5th century) long had a Chapter of Canons Regular who observed the Rule of St. Augustine; the Chapter was altered to one of secular canons by Pope Paul V in 1611, and Pope Clement XI made its church the cathedral of Dijon; during the Revolution the Cathedral was transformed into a forage storehouse. The former abbatial church of Saint-Bénigne became the cathedral of Dijon early in the 19th century. From the 1730s the Chapter was composed of six dignities and twelve Canons. The city of Dijon had some 30,000 inhabitants, and was divided into seven parishes. There were two colleges for the education of the young, along with eight houses of male religious, and eight monasteries of men.[7]


The diocese of Dijon was abolished during the French Revolution by the Legislative Assembly, under the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790).[8] Its territory was subsumed into the new diocese, called 'Côte-d'Or ', which was part of the Metropolitanate called the 'Metropole de l'Est' (which included eight new 'départements'). The Civil Constitution mandated that bishops be elected by the citizens of each 'département', which immediately raised the most severe canonical questions, since the electors did not need to be Catholics and the approval of the Pope was not only not required, but actually forbidden. Erection of new dioceses and transfer of bishops, moreover, was not canonically within the competence of civil authorities or of the Church in France. The result was schism between the 'Constitutional Church' and the Catholic Church. The legitimate bishop of Dijon, René de Mérinville, refused to take the oath, and therefore the episcopal see was declared vacant. He was in fact one of the thirty bishops who subscribed to the Exposition des principes, sur la Constitution civile du Clergé (30 October 1790). He emigrated to Germany and took up residence at Karlsruhe.[9]

On 15 February 1791 the electors of 'Côte-d'Or' were assembled, and elected the former Jesuit Jean-Baptise Volfius, whose brother was a member of the Constituent Assembly, as their President; they then proceeded to elect him as their bishop.[10] Volfius travelled to Paris for his consecration, which was carried out on 13 March by Jean-Baptiste Gobel, the Bishop of Lydda in partibus, who had just been installed as Constitutional Bishop of Paris. Volfius, and all the Constitutional Bishops, were required to resign in May 1801 by First Consul Bonaparte, who was negotiating with Pope Pius VII the Concordat of 1801 (15 July 1801). Once the Concordat went into effect, Pius VII was able to issue the appropriate bulls to restore many of the dioceses and to regulate their boundaries, most of which corresponded closely to the new 'départements'. The Bull Qui Christi Domini created the Diocese of Dijon out of the two 'départements' of Côte-d'Or and Haute-Marne.[11] The diocese of Langres was reestablished in principle in 1817, but difficulties between the King and the Pope postponed the implementation of Langres until 1823.[12]

Separation of Church and State[edit]

Pope Pius X's request in 1904 for the resignation of Albert-Léon-Marie Le Nordez, Bishop of Dijon since 1899, was one of the incidents which led to the Law of Separation of 1905 and the rupture of relations between France and the Holy See.[13]



Romanesque architecture was very popular in Burgundy; its masterpiece is the Cathedral of Saint-Bénigne of Dijon, consecrated by Paschal II in 1106 and completed in 1288. The Gothic style, although less used, characterizes the churches of Notre-Dame de Dijon (1252–1334), Notre-Dame de Semur, and l'Abbaye Saint-Seine; it was also the style of the Sainte-Chapelle of Dijon, which is no longer in existence. Under the dukes of Burgundy, at the close of the 14th and beginning of the 15th century, Burgundian art flourished in a surprising degree. The Chartreuse de Champmol, on which Philip the Bold had Claus Sluter, the sculptor, at work from 1389 to 1406, and which was the acme of artistic excellence, was almost totally destroyed during the Revolution; however, two superb traces of it may still be seen, namely the Puits des prophètes and the portal of the church. The Beaune hospital (1443) is a fine specimen of the Gothic style, and the church of Saint-Michel in Dijon (1497) has 16th- and 17th-century porches covered with fantastic bas-reliefs. The Abbeys of Cîteaux, Fontenay, and Flavigny (where in the 19th century Père Lacordaire installed a Dominican novitiate) were all within the territory of Dijon.


The following saints are specially honoured:

Among the famous persons of Dijon the Seneschal Philippe Pot (1428–94) is remembered for his exploits against the Turks in 1452 and his deliverance from his captors. The illustrious Bossuet was a native of Dijon. Hubert Languet, the Protestant publicist (1518–81), was born at Vitteaux.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sautereau, pp. 5-8. Gabriel Chow, "Metropolitan Archdiocese of Dijon, France", retrieved: 2016-12-28.[self-published source?]
  2. ^ Paul Lejay, "Saint-Bénigne de Dijon," Revue d'histoire et de littérature religieuses. Vol. VII. Paris. 1902. pp. 71–96.
  3. ^ Duchesne, p. 186, no. 6, who points out that his biography was written in the tenth century, and that nothing is actually known about Urbanus. His cult was local.
  4. ^ Duchesne, p. 186, no. 16.
  5. ^ Duchesne, p. 186-187, no. 17.
  6. ^ Sautereau, pp. 5-6.
  7. ^ Ritzler, VI, p. 197, note 1.
  8. ^ Ludovic Sciout (1872). "Chapitre IV: La Constitution Civile". Historie de la constitution civile du clergé (1790-1801) (in French). Vol. Tome premier. Paris: Firmin Didot frères.
  9. ^ Sautereau, p. 17.
  10. ^ Pisani, p. 246.
  11. ^ Concordat, et recueil des bulles et brefs de N.S.P. le pape Pie VII, sur les affaires actuelles de l'Église de France (in Latin and French). chez J.R. Vigneulle. 1802. pp. 24–43. (Latin, with French translation)
  12. ^ Société bibliographique (France) (1907), L'épiscopat français..., p. 221.
  13. ^ Robert Piot (1905). Les dessous de l'affaire Le Nordez: histoire documentaire du diocèse de Dijon, 1898-1905 (in French). Au Courrier des rédations. Malcolm O. Partin (1969). Waldeck-Rousseau, Combes, and the church: the politics of anticlericalism, 1899-1905. Durham NC USA: Duke University Press. pp. 223–225.
  14. ^ A native of Dijon, Bouhier had been Canon and Prebendary and Dean of the Chapel Royal in Dijon. He held the degree of Doctor in utroque iure (Civil and Canon Law) from Paris (1691). He had been Vicar General of the diocese of Langres when he was nominated by King Louis XV on December 25, 1725, to be bishop of Dijon. The diocese was finally created on 9 April 1731 by Pope Clement XII, and Bouhier was preconized (approved) on the same day. He resigned the see on 13 December 1743 in favor of his cousin. Jean, p. 234. Ritzler, VI, p. 197, with note 2.
  15. ^ Claude Bouhier was born in Dijon in 1683, and was Doctor of theology (Paris). He was Provost of the Cathedral of Saint-Étienne de Dijon and Abbot commendatory of Fontaine-Daniel and Prior of Notre-Dame-de-Pontailler. He had been Vicar-General of Langres for the Archdeaconry of Dijon. He was nominated by King Louis XV on 8 September 1643, preconized by Pope Benedict XIV on 16 December 1643, and consecrated on 24 January 1744. He died on 19 June 1755 at the age of 72. Sautereau, pp. 10-12. Jean, pp. 234-235. Ritzler, VI, p. 198, with note 3.
  16. ^ d'Apchon: Jean, p. 235. Ritzler, VI, p. 198, with note 4.
  17. ^ De Vogüé: Jean, p. 235. Ritzler, VI, p. 198, with note 5.
  18. ^ A native of Limoges, Mérinville was senior Aumonier to Queen Marie Antoinette, who obtained his nomination to the see of Dijon. He was consecrated on 15 May 1787. He resigned the bishopric of Dijon on 2 December 1801. Sautereau, pp.17-18. Jean, pp. 235-236. Ritzler, VI, p. 198, with note 6.
  19. ^ Volfius was a native of Dijon. He was consecrated in Paris at the Oratory by Constitutional Bishop Jean-Baptiste Gobel on 13 March 1791, and took possession of the diocese of Côte-d-Or on 22 March. He resigned the Constitutional diocese on 14 October 1801. On 25 May 1816 he made a retraction of all of his errors. He died in Dijon on 8 February 1822 at the age of 87. He was given a Christian burial in the city cemetery. Sautereau, pp. 18-24. Pisani, pp. 245-252.
  20. ^ Reymond was born in Vienne, and received a doctorate from the University of Valence. On 17 November 1792 he was elected a Constitutional Bishop (Isère) and was consecrated on 13 January 1793 by Charles Savines of Viviers (a genuine bishop). He resigned in 1801. On 9 April 1802 he was named Bishop of Dijon and Langres. He was named a Baron of the Empire in 1808, and Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1810. He died in Dijon on 20 February 1820 at the age of 82. Gams, p. 546. Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., pp. 222-223.
  21. ^ Dubois was born at Argentolles (Haute-Marne), and was a Doctor of the Sorbonne. He became Vicar-General of Soissons in 1791, but, being an ardent royalist, he refused to take the oath of the Civil Constitution; he emigrated. In 1801 he was named Vicar-General of Arras and then Vicar-General of Metz. On 4 March 1820 he was named Bishop of Dijon, and was preconized (approved) by Pope Pius VII on 3 June. Dubois was consecrated in Paris, and on 5 August he made his solemn entry into Dijon; on the 7th he took possession of the diocese. He died in Paris on 6 January 1822, after only eighteen months as bishop. Gams, p. 546. Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., pp. 224-225.
  22. ^ Boisville was born in Rouen, and was a Doctor of the Sorbonne. He was a Canon of the Cathedral of Rouen and Vicar-General of Bayeux. In 1802 he was named Vicar-General of Rouen. In 1817 he was named Bishop of Blois, but never obtained possession due to problems that arose between Louis XVIII and Pius VII. In January 1822 he was named Bishop of Dijon and Administrator of Langres. His appointment was approved (preconized) by Pope Pius VII on 19 April 1822, and he was consecrated bishop on 11 August in Paris at Saint-Geneviève. On 23 August he took possession of his diocese, and on 8 September he was installed in the Cathedral. He was a determined royalist and gallican. He died in Dijon on 27 May 1829. Claude-Nicolas Amanton (1829). Notice nécrologique sur M. de Boisville, évêque de Dijon (in French). Dijon: Odobé. Gams, p. 546. Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., pp. 225-226.
  23. ^ Raillon: Gams, p. 546. Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., pp. 226-227.
  24. ^ Rey: Gams, p. 546. Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., pp. 227-228.
  25. ^ Rivet: Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., pp. 228-230.
  26. ^ Castillon: Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., pp. 230-231.
  27. ^ Lécot: Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., pp. 231-232. Harris M. Lentz (23 March 2009). Popes and Cardinals of the 20th Century: A Biographical Dictionary. Jefferson, NC USA: McFarland. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-4766-2155-5. Livio Rota (1996). Le nomine vescovili e cardinalizie in Francia alla fine del (in Italian). Rome: Gregorian Biblical BookShop. pp. 323–328. ISBN 978-88-7652-690-9.
  28. ^ Oury: Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., p. 232.
  29. ^ Le Nordez: Société bibliographique (France) (1907). L'épiscopat français..., p. 232. Joseph Toussaint (1976). Monseigneur Le Nordez et la rupture des relations entre la France et l'Église (in French). Coutances: OCEP. Larkin, Maurice (2002). Religion, Politics and Preferment in France Since 1890: La Belle Epoque and Its Legacy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 59–61. ISBN 978-0-521-52270-0.
  30. ^ Carlos d' Eschevannes (1912). Mgr Pierre Dadolle, évêque de Dijon, 1906-1911, sa vie, son oeuvre, 1857-1911 (in French). Domois-Dijon: Union typographique.
  31. ^ "Rinunce e nomine"., (11/02/2022)


Reference Works[edit]


External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. {{cite encyclopedia}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

Coordinates: 47°19′08″N 5°02′28″E / 47.3188°N 5.0412°E / 47.3188; 5.0412