Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen

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Diocese of Aachen
Dioecesis Aquisgranensis
Bistum Aachen
Aachener Dom HDR.jpg
Aachen Cathedral
Country Germany
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cologne
Coordinates 51°19′55″N 6°33′34″E / 51.331952°N 6.559439°E / 51.331952; 6.559439Coordinates: 51°19′55″N 6°33′34″E / 51.331952°N 6.559439°E / 51.331952; 6.559439
Area 3,937 km2 (1,520 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2012)
1,110,948 (54.8%)
Parishes 538
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Cathedral Aachen Cathedral
Patron saint Mary, Mother of Jesus
Secular priests 535
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolitan Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki
Auxiliary Bishops Johannes Bündgens,
Karl Borsch
Vicar General Manfred von Holtum
Emeritus Bishops Gerd Dicke Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus (1970-2003)
Karl Reger Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus (1987-2006)
Heinrich Mussinghoff Bishop emeritus
Location of the Diocese of Aachen
Location of the Diocese of Aachen

The Diocese of Aachen is one of 27 dioceses in Germany. It is also one of seven dioceses that has a majority Catholic population, 57.6%. The weekly Mass attendance rate in the diocese is 11.5%.


The diocese is in the west of Germany, extending from the town Krefeld in the north till mountainous area of the Eifel to the south. Neighboring dioceses are Cologne, Münster, Essen and Trier in Germany, Liège in Belgium and Roermond of the Netherlands.

The diocese is subdivided into seven regions, which are in turn further subdivided into 538 parishes.

  1. Region Aachen-Stadt (Aachen city)
  2. Region Düren
  3. Region Eifel
  4. Region Heinsberg
  5. Region Kempen Viersen
  6. Region Krefeld
  7. Region Mönchengladbach


The bishop emeritus of Aachen is Heinrich Mussinghoff. There are two auxiliary bishops, Johannes Bündgens and Karl Borsch. There are two emeritus auxiliary bishops, Gerd Dicke and Karl Reger.

The vicar general is Manfred von Holtum, who was appointed to the post on October 1, 1997.

List of diocesan bishops[edit]

Tenure Incumbent Notes
9 May 1802 to 13 August 1809 Marc Antoine Berdolet Installed 25 July 1802; died in office
1825 Diocese abolished  
1931 Diocese re-established  
30 January 1931 to 5 October 1937 Joseph Vogt Ordained 19 March 1931; installed 25 March 1931; died in office
7 September 1943 to 19 May 1954 Johannes Joseph van der Velden Priest of Köln Cologne; ordained 10 October 1943; died in office
30 August 1954 to 13 December 1974 Johannes Pohlschneider Priest of Münster; ordained 18 November 1954; retired
9 September 1975 to 23 January 1994 Klaus Hemmerle Priest of Freiburg im Breisgau; Ordained 8 November 1975; died in office
12 December 1994 to 8 December 2015 Heinrich Mussinghoff Priest of Münster; Ordained 11 February 1995

List of auxiliary bishops[edit]

Tenure Incumbent Notes
1931 to 1943 Hermann Joseph Sträter Ordained 16 October 1931, became Apostolic Administrator 15 May 1938, died 16 March 1943
1938 to 1969 Friedrich Hünermann Ordained 3 December 1938, died 15 February 1969
1961 to 1979 Joseph Ludwig Buchkremer Ordained 21 December 1961, retired 4 October 1979
1970 to 2003 Ernst Franz Gerd Werner Dicke Ordained 11 April 1970, retired 21 November 2003
1978 to 1980 Maximilian Goffart Ordained 18 February 1978, died 17 July 1980
1981 to 1986 Augustus Peters Ordained 6 April 1981, died 3 May 1986
1987 to 2006 Karl Reger Ordained 7 February 1987, retired 15 March 2006
2003 to present Karl Borsch Ordained 17 January 2004
2006 to present Johannes Bündgens Ordained 20 May 2006


Coat of arms of the diocese

Historically the city of Aachen belonged to the Diocese of Liège, divided by the Archdiocese of Cologne by the Wurm River.

The diocese was first created in 1802, covering the area west of the Rhine formerly belonging to Cologne, as well as parts from the dioceses Liege, Utrecht, Roermond and Mainz. After the first bishop Marc Antoine Berdolet died in 1809, Pope Pius VII didn't approve the successor suggested by Napoleon, Jean Dénis Francois Le Camus. After the end of the French rulership over the area the diocese was abolished by the bull "De salute animarum" of July 16, 1821, and included into the archdiocese of Cologne.

On August 13, 1930 by the papal bull "Pastorale officii nostri" the diocese was reerected. Joseph Vogt was appointed as its first bishop.

Major Churches[edit]

The cathedral of the diocese is the Aachen Cathedral, which was built in 800 by Charlemagne. It also was the first German world heritage site, inscribed in 1980.

The diocese has two churches that have been given the status of basilica minor.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Roman Catholic Hierarchy in Germany
    Archdioceses Dioceses
    Bamberg Eichstätt | Speyer | Würzburg
    Berlin Dresden-Meissen | Görlitz
    Freiburg im Breisgau Mainz | Rottenburg-Stuttgart
    Hamburg Hildesheim | Osnabrück
    Cologne Aachen | Essen | Limburg | Münster | Trier
    Munich & Freising Augsburg | Passau | Regensburg
    Paderborn Erfurt | Fulda | Magdeburg
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