Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hamburg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Archdiocese of Hamburg

Archidioecesis Hamburgensis

Erzbistum Hamburg
Domkirche Sankt Marien Hamburg.jpg
Cathedral of Our Lady, Hamburg
Country Germany
Ecclesiastical provinceHamburg
Area32,493 km2 (12,546 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2016)
Decrease 5,732,374
Increase 401,955 (Increase 7%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established23 July 1973
(As Apostolic Administration of Schwerin)
24 October 1994
(As Archdiocese of Hamburg)
CathedralCathedral of Our Lady, Hamburg
Patron saintSt Ansgar
Current leadership
Metropolitan ArchbishopStefan Heße
SuffragansDiocese of Hildesheim
Diocese of Osnabrück
Auxiliary BishopsRev. Msgr. Horst Eberlein (Auxiliary Bishop-elect; Titular Bishop-elect of Tisedi; appointed by Pope Francis Feb. 9 '17)
Vicar GeneralRev. Ansgar Thim
Bishops emeritusWerner Thissen
Norbert Werbs
Hans-Jochen Jaschke
Map of the Archdiocese
Map of the Archdiocese
Website of the Archdiocese

The Archdiocese of Hamburg (Lat. Archidioecesis Hamburgensis; Ger. Erzbistum Hamburg) is a diocese in the north of Germany and covers the Federal States of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein as well as the Mecklenburgian part of the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In terms of surface area it is the largest in Germany. It is characterized by its situation as a diocese in the Diaspora. Seat of the archbishop is the New St. Mary's Cathedral in Sankt Georg, Hamburg. On January 26, 2015 Stefan Heße, Generalvikar of the Archdiocese of Cologne, was appointed Archbishop of Hamburg.[1]


In 831 Hamburg was elevated to an archbishopric by Pope Gregory IV and in 834 the Benedictine monk Ansgar was elected as the first archbishop. After the looting of Hamburg by Vikings in 845 the archbishopric of Hamburg was united with the bishopric of Bremen, and the archbishop's seat moved to Bremen. Still, there was a cathedral chapter in Hamburg with several special rights, which started to build St. Mary's Cathedral. The incumbents of the Hamburg-Bremen see are usually titled Archbishop of Hamburg and Bishop of Bremen between 848 and 1072, however, some later archbishops continued the tradition of naming both dioceses until 1258. During Reformation the bishopric underwent steady deterioration and finally, with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, it ceased to exist.

By the apostolic constitution Omnium Christifidelium of Pope John Paul II, of October 24, 1994 coming into effect on January 7, 1995, the archdiocese of Hamburg was erected again. Today it consists of territory that once belonged to the dioceses of Osnabrück, and Hildesheim, namely the Free and Hanse-City of Hamburg, the State of Schleswig-Holstein and the half-State of Mecklenburg. The cathedral and the vicar-general are seated in the city-quarter Sankt Georg which is located in the borough of Hamburg-Central.


  • Theodor Hubrich † (23 November 1987 Appointed – 26 March 1992 Died)
  • Ludwig Averkamp † (24 October 1994 Appointed – 16 February 2002 Retired)
  • Werner Thissen (22 November 2002 Appointed – 24 March 2014 Retired)
  • Stefan Heße (14 March 2015 – Present)


  1. ^ "Freue mich auf die Begegnungen", domradio, Germany, 26 January 2015. Retrieved on 26 January 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°33′27″N 10°00′49″E / 53.5575°N 10.0136°E / 53.5575; 10.0136