Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rabaul

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The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rabaul is a Latin Rite Metropolitan Archdiocese in Papua New Guinea.

It has its cathedral episcopal see Sacred Heart Cathedral in Vunapope and a Co-Cathedral, St Francis Xavier’s Co-Cathedral, in the national capital Rabaul.

History[edit]

In 1844, it was established as Apostolic Vicariate of Melanesia (a pre-diocesan jurisdiction, entitled to a titular bishop and exempt, i.e. directly subject to the Holy See) on territory split off from the Apostolic Vicariate of Western Oceania.

On 8 December 1890, it was renamed as Apostolic Vicariate of New Pomerania.

It lost territories repeatedly, to establish :

On 14 November 1922, it was renamed after its see as Apostolic Vicariate of Rabaul.

On 5 July 1957, it lost territory again to establish the Apostolic Vicariate of Kavieng (now its suffragan diocese).

On 15 November 1966, it was promoted as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Rabaul.

On 4 July 2003, it lost territory to establish another suffragan see, the Diocese of Kimbe.

Coat of arms[edit]

The new coat of arms of the Archdiocese was adopted in 2016. The proposal of coat of arms created Marek Sobola, a heraldic specialist from Slovakia, who also made a coat of arms for the Archbishop Francesco Panfilo S.D.B. [1]

Coat of arms
Archbishop Francesco Panfilo S.D.B. - Coat of arms

Province[edit]

Its ecclesiastical province comprises, besides the Metropolitan's Archdiocese, the following suffragan bishoprics :

Past Ordinaries[edit]

(all Roman Rite; so far missionary members of Latin congregations)

Apostolic Vicars of Melanesia
Apostolic Vicars of New Britain
  • Stanislas Henri Verjus, M.S.C. (1889.05.10 – 1889.12.28), Titular Bishop of Limyra (1889.05.10 – 1892.11.13), later Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of New Guinea (Papua New Guinea) (1889.12.28 – 1892.11.13)
  • Louis Couppé, M.S.C. (1889.12.28 – 1890.12.08 see below), Titular Bishop of Lerus (1889.12.28 – 1925.12.18)
Apostolic Vicar of new Pomerania
  • Louis Couppé, M.S.C. (see above 1890.12.08 – 1922.11.14 see below)
Apostolic Vicars of Rabaul
  • Louis Couppé, M.S.C. (see below 1922.11.14 – retired 1923), on emeritate promoted as Titular Archbishop of Hierapolis (1925.12.18 – 1926.07.20)
  • Gerard Vesters (Gerardo Vesters), M.S.C. (1923.02.16 – 1938), Titular Bishop of Diocletianopolis in Palæstina (1923.02.16 – death 1954.08.30); previously Prefect Apostolic of Celebes (Indonesia) (1919.12 – 1923.02.16)
  • Leo Isidore Scharmach, M.S.C. (1939.06.13 – 1963), Titular Bishop of Mostene (1939.06.13 – 1964.11.26)
  • Johannes Höhne, M.S.C. (1963.03.01 – 1966.11.15 see below), Titular Bishop of Urima (1963.03.01 – 1966.11.15)
Metropolitan Archbishops of Rabaul
  • Johannes Höhne, M.S.C. (1966.11.15 – death 1978.05.27)
  • Albert-Leo Bundervoet, M.S.C. (1980.03.06 – 1989.03.29)
  • Karl Hesse, M.S.C. (1990.07.07 – 2011.08.11), also President of Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and Soloman Islands (1994 – 1996), Apostolic Administrator sede plena of Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) (1995 – 1996.09.12), again Apostolic Administrator of Bougainville (1996.09.12 – 1999.04.19), President of Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and Soloman Islands (2002 – 2005); previously Titular Bishop of Naratcata (1978.04.27 – 1980.10.24) & Auxiliary Bishop of Rabaul (1978.04.27 – 1980.10.24), Bishop of Kavieng (Papua New Guinea) (1980.10.24 – 1990.07.07)
  • Francesco Panfilo, Salesians (S.D.B.) (2011.08.11 – ...), previously Bishop of Alotau–Sideia (Papua New Guinea) (2001.06.25 – 2010.03.18), President of Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and Soloman Islands (2008.04 – 2011.05), Coadjutor Archbishop of Rabaul (2010.03.18 – 2011.08.11)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources and external links[edit]

Coordinates: 4°20′39″S 152°16′37″E / 4.3441°S 152.2770°E / -4.3441; 152.2770