Roman Catholic Diocese of Nancy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Diocese of Nancy and Toul

Dioecesis Nanceiensis et Tullensis

Diocèse de Nancy et de Toul
Nancy Cathedral BW 2015-07-18 16-31-28.jpg
Ecclesiastical provinceBesançon
MetropolitanArchdiocese of Besançon
Area5,275 km2 (2,037 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2017)
672,000 (89%)
DenominationCatholic Church
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedUnited: 20 February 1824
CathedralCathedral of Notre-Dame-de-l'Annonciation in Nancy
Patron saintThe Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed in Heaven
Current leadership
BishopJean-Louis Papin
Metropolitan ArchbishopJean-Luc Bouilleret
locator map of diocese of Nancy
Website of the Diocese

The Diocese of Nancy and Toul (Latin: Dioecesis Nanceiensis et Tullensis; French: Diocèse de Nancy et de Toul) is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in France.[1] After a considerable political struggle between Louis XV, Louis XVI, and the Dukes of Lorraine,[2] the diocese was erected by Pope Pius VI on 17 December 1777.[3] The Diocese of Nancy is a suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the metropolitan Archdiocese of Besançon.[4]


The title of count and the rights of sovereignty of the medieval Bishops of Toul originated in certain grants which Henry the Fowler gave St. Gauzelin in 927. During the Conflict of Investitures in 1108, the chapter became divided: the majority elected Riquin of Commercy as bishop; the minority chose Conrad of Schwarzenburg. Henry V granted Conrad the title of bishop, with the stipulation that he did not exercise episcopal office.

In 1271 grave differences broke out again in the chapter of Toul. In 1278 Pope Nicholas III personally appointed Conrad of Tübingen as bishop. Thereafter, it was generally the Holy See which appointed the bishops, alleging various reasons as vacancies arose. As a result, many Italian prelates held this important see until 1552, when Toul was occupied by France. In 1597 Charles III, duke of Lorraine asked Pope Clement VIII for the dismemberment of the See of Toul and the creation of a see at Nancy; this failed through the opposition of Arnaud d'Ossat, Henry's ambassador at Rome. In the end, Clement VIII decided that Nancy was to have a primatial church and that its prelate would have the title of Primate of Lorraine and wear episcopal insignia, but should not exercise episcopal jurisdiction.

In 1648 according to the Treaty of Westphalia the bishoprics of Metz, Toul and Verdun (all belonging to the Holy Roman Empire) became French cities. The duchy of Lothringen, surrounded by French territories and repeatedly occupied by French troops, finally fell to the French, and Lorraine became a French province. The population of Toul was around 10,000 persons in 1688.[5] After the French revolution of 1789 France was divided into departments—Lorraine consisted of the departments of Meurthe, Meuse, Moselle and Vosges. Nancy, Verdun, Metz and Epinal became the capitals of these departments.[6]

In 1688, the Cathedral of Toul had a Chapter with ten dignities and forty Canons. In the city of Toul there were seven parishes, seven houses of male religious and four monasteries of monks. The diocese had around 200 parishes.[7]

In 1777, the Cathedral of Nancy had a Chapter in which there were three dignities and twenty-four Canons. In the city of 30,000 persons there were 7 parishes, twelve houses of male religious, and ten monasteries of monks.[8] All cathedral chapters in France were abolished in 1790 by the Constituent Assembly.

In 1777 and 1778 Toul lost territories out of which were formed two new dioceses: Saint-Die and Nancy, both of them suffragans of Trier. The Concordat of 1802, suppressing Toul, made Nancy the seat of a vast diocese which included three Departments: Meurthe, Meuse, and Vosges.


The diocese of Nancy was abolished during the French Revolution by the Legislative Assembly, under the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790).[9] Its territory was subsumed into the new diocese, called 'Meurthe', which was part of the Metropolitanate called the 'Metropole du Nord-Est' (which included seven new 'départements' and dioceses). 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 in 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 Nancy, Anne Louis Henri de La Fare, refused to take the oath, and therefore the episcopal seat was declared vacant.

On 13 March 1791 the electors of Meurthe were assembled, and elected the Lazarist P.-F. Chatelain, a Professor at the Seminary in Toul. After some considerable consideration, he refused the election.[10] The electors therefore returned to their deliberations, and, on the recommendation of the Ecclesiastical Committee of the National Assembly, on 8 May 1791 chose the Oratorian Luc-François Lalande of Saint-Lô, a theologian and student of Hebrew. He was consecrated a bishop at Notre Dame in Paris on 29 May by Jean-Baptiste Gobel, the titular Bishop of Lydda, who had been installed as Constitutional Bishop of Paris. On 3 June he made his official entry into Nancy, where he began a war of pamphlets with Bishop de la Fare, who was in exile in Trier.[11] In September 1792 Lalande was elected a delegate to the Convention, where, on 7 November, he renounced his functions. In 1795 he became a member of the Council of 500. In 1801 he wrote a letter of submission to Pope Pius VII. At the end of 1799, an assembly of Constitutional priests elected Francois Nicolas of Epinal as a successor to Lalande.[12]


Nicolas, and all the Constitutional Bishops, were required to resign in May 1801 by First Consul Bonaparte, who was negotiating a treaty with Pope Pius VII, the Concordat of 1801 (15 July 1801). Nicolas never recanted. 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'.[13] The Concordat of 1802, suppressing Toul, made Nancy the seat of a vast diocese which included three Departments: Meurthe, Meuse, and Vosges.

In a Bull of 6 October 1822,[14] Pope Pius VII re-established the Dioceses of Verdun and Saint-Dié, detaching from the diocese of Nancy the departments of Meuse and Vosges. Since 1824 the bishops of Nancy have borne the title of Bishops of Nancy and Toul, since nearly all of the territory of the ancient Diocese of Toul is united with that of Nancy.[15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Catholiques en Meurthe-et-Moselle". 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  2. ^ John McManners (1999). Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century France: The Clerical Establishment and Its Social Ramification. Oxford University Press. pp. 184–185. ISBN 978-0-19-827003-4.
  3. ^ Bullarii Romani Continuatio: summorum pontificum Clementis XIII, Clementis XIV, Pii VI, Pii VII, Leonis XII . (in Latin). Vol. Tomus quintus (Pii VI, anni 1-3). Rome: Typ. Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae. 1842. pp. 440–461. Gaetano Moroni, ed. (1847). Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica da s. Pietro sino ai nostri giorni specialmente intorno ai principali santi ... compilazione di Gaetano Moroni: Mos-Nic. 47 (in Italian). Rome: dalla Tipografia Emiliana. p. 159.
  4. ^ Diocese of Nancy (-Toul) from
  5. ^ Ritzler, V, p. 394 note 1.
  6. ^ "Lorraine". GenWiki. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
  7. ^ Ritzler, V, p. 394 note 1.
  8. ^ Ritzler, VI, p. 300 note 1.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Paul Pisani (1907). Répertoire biographique de l'épiscopat constitutionnel (1791-1802) (in French). Paris: A. Picard et fils. pp. 215–216.
  11. ^ Pisani, pp. 216, 457.
  12. ^ Pisani, pp. 218-220
  13. ^ 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)
  14. ^ Bullarii Romani continuatio, Summorum Pontificum Benedicti XIV, Clementis XIII, Clementis XIV, Pii VI, Pii VII, Leonis XII, Pii VIII constitutiones... (in Latin). Vol. Tomus septimus, Pars II. Parti: Aldina. 1852. pp. 2295–2304. L. Jerome, in: Société bibliographique (France) (1907), L'épiscopat français..., p. 385.
  15. ^ Nancy - Catholic Encyclopedia article
  16. ^ Montauban was born in the diocese of Paris, and held a Licenciate in theology from the university of that city. He was a Vicar General of Autun. He was nominated bishop of Nancy by King Louis XVI on 10 August 1777, and was preconized (approved) by Pope Pius VI on 15 December 1777. He resigned the diocese of Nancy on 15 July 1783, so that he could be appointed, on 18 July 1783, archbishop of Auch. Ritzler, Hierarchia catholica, VI, p. 300 with note 2.
  17. ^ Fontanges was born in the diocese of Clermont, and held a Licenciate in theology from the University of Paris. He was a nephew of the Bishop of Lavaur. Fontanges was a Vicar General of Chartres, and Aumonier to the Queen. He was nominated Bishop of Nancy on 15 June 1783 by King Louis XVI and preconized by Pope Pius VI on 18 July 1783. He was consecrated on 17 August 1783 by Archbishop Etienne-Charles de Loménie de Brienne. Fontanges was later named archbishop of Bourges, on 17 December 1787, and in 1788 transferred to Toulouse. Jean, pp. 416–417. Ritzler, VI, p. 300 with note 3.
  18. ^ De la Fare was named Bishop of Nancy on 7 October 1787 and preconized on 17 December. He was consecrated in Dijon on 13 January 1788 by Bishop René des Monstiers de Mérinville of Dijon. De la Fare was elected to the Estates General in 1789, and gave the opening address in Versailles on 5 May 1789. He refused to have anything to do with any government of France except the Bourbon monarchy, and emigrated to Germany. Louis XVIII appointed him his Chargé-d'affaires in Vienna. He therefore refused to resign the diocese of Nancy until 1816, even though requested to do so by Pope Pius VII in November 1801. He was later named archbishop of Sens. He was created a cardinal on 16 May 1823. He died in Paris at the Tuileries on 10 December 1829. Jean, p. 417. Ritzler, VI, p. 300 with note 4. Bernard de Brye (2004). Consciences épiscopales en exil, 1789-1814: à travers la correspondance de Mgr de la Fare, évêque de Nancy (in French). Paris: Editions du CERF. ISBN 978-2-204-06938-0.
  19. ^ Osmond was born at Ouanaminthe (Haiti) in 1754 of aristocratic Norman parents. Brought to France at the age of 4, he was brought up by his uncle Charles d'Osmond, the Bishop of Comminges. He studied in Paris at S. Sulpice and S. Magalore, and became Vicar General of Toulouse in 1777. In 1785 he succeeded his uncle as Bishop of Comminges, and was consecrated on 7 May 1785 by Etienne-Charles de Loménie de Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse. He refused to take the oath to the Constitution in 1790 and emigrated to Spain and then England. He resigned his diocese at the demand of Pope Pius VII of 28 September 1801. Napoleon named him Bishop of Nancy on 9 April 1802 and he made his entry into his diocese on 13 June 1802. He was created a Baron of the Empire and a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by Napoleon in 1808. In 1810 Napoleon sent Osmond to be Archbishop of Florence, without bothering about canonical requirements; he was in Florence from January 1811 until April 1814. In 1811 Napoleon made him a Count of the Empire. In Nancy Msgr. Benoît Costaz substituted for Osmond as Episcopal Administrator until his return in May 1814. Osmond died in Nancy on 27 September 1823. L. Jerome, in: Société bibliographique (France) (1907), L'épiscopat français..., pp. 383–385.
  20. ^ Forbin-Janson was born in Paris in 1785, and emigrated as a child. On his return he entered the seminar of S. Sulpice in 1808. He was a vicar general of Chambéry. Returning to Paris he assisted in the founding of the Missionaires de France. He was named Bishop of Nancy by royal ordinance of 21 November 1823, and was consecrated by the Archbishop of Rouen, the Prince de Croy, on 6 June 1824. Heavily involved in the Revolution of 1830, he was forced to leave Nancy for Paris, leaving the diocese in the hands of vicars-general and Coadjutors. Forbin-Janson served as a missionary in Canada and the United States from 1839 to 1841. He died on 11 July 1844 at the Château de La Guilhermy near Marseille. L. Jerome, in: Société bibliographique (France) (1907), L'épiscopat français..., pp. 386–387. Richard F. Costigan (1 January 1980). Rohrbacher and the Ecclesiology of Ultramontanism. Rome: Gregorian Biblical BookShop. pp. 47–50. ISBN 978-88-7652-466-0.
  21. ^ Menjaud was later nominated archbishop of Bourges by imperial decree of 30 July 1859. He departed Nancy on 12 October 1859, and on 18 October the Chapter named an Administrator. L. Jerome, in: Société bibliographique (France) (1907), L'épiscopat français..., pp. 388–390.
  22. ^ Darboy was later named archbishop of Paris by imperial decree of 10 January 1863; he left Nancy on 8 April, but was named Apostolic Administrator until the installation of his successor. L. Jerome, in: Société bibliographique (France) (1907), L'épiscopat français..., pp. 390–391.
  23. ^ Lavigerie was later named archbishop of Algiers on 12 January 1867; he left Nancy on 8 April, and his two Vicars-General were elected Vicars-Capitular to administer the diocese. L. Jerome, in: Société bibliographique (France) (1907), L'épiscopat français..., pp. 391–392. François Renault (1994). Cardinal Lavigerie: Churchman, Prophet, and Missionary. London: Athlone Press. ISBN 978-0-485-11453-9.
  24. ^ Foulon was named archbishop of Besançon by Presidential decree on 22 March 1882, which was ratified (preconized) by Pope Pius IX on 30 March. L. Jerome, in: Société bibliographique (France) (1907), L'épiscopat français..., pp. 393–394.
  25. ^ Born in Chambéry in 1838, Turinaz was the nephew of Bishop Jean-François Turinaz, Bishop of Tarantaise. He studied at the French seminary in Rome (1859–1861) where he obtained doctorates in theology and Canon Law. He became Private Secretary of Cardinal Alexis Billiet, Archbishop of Chambéry. Turinaz was named bishop of Tarantaise by presidential decree on 10 January 1873, and preconized (approved) by Pope Pius IX on 21 March; he was consecrated on 11 June 1873 by Bishop François Gros. Bishop Turinaz was transferred from the diocese of Tarentaise by imperial decree on 23 March 1882, which was approved by Pope Leo XIII on 30 March 1882. L. Jerome, in: Société bibliographique (France) (1907), L'épiscopat français..., pp. 394–395, 618–619.
  26. ^ Born at Nancy in 1873, Ruch was educated at the Grand Séminaire de Nancy and the Institut Catholique in Paris, and was a Doctor of theology. He was named Coadjutor Bishop of Nancy and titular Bishop of Gerasa (Palestine) in 1913; he was consecrated in the Cathedral of Nancy on 16 July 1913. He became Bishop of Nancy in October 1918. He was later named archbishop of Strasbourg in 1919. He died in 1945. Louis Châtellier (1982). Francis Rapp (ed.). Le Diocèse de Strasbourg (in French). Paris: Editions Beauchesne. pp. 270–272. ISBN 978-2-7010-1037-3.
  27. ^ Jaeger was born at Nancy in 1944. He holds a Licenciate in philosophy and one in theology from the Faculté Catholique et Université d’État de Lille. From 1986 to 1991 he was Superior of the Seminary of Lille. On 11 April 1991 he was named Coadjutor Bishop of Nancy and Toul, and was consecrated by Jean Albert Bernard on 2 June 1991. On 31 November he succeeded to the diocese, upon the resignation of Bishop Bernard, who had passed the retirement age of 75. Subsequently, on 12 August 1998, Jaeger was named bishop of Arras. Diocèse d'Arras, Biographie de Mgr Jaeger évêque d'Arras, retrieved: 2017-01-11 (in French).
  28. ^ Papin was born in 1947 in Chemillé (Maine-et-Loire). He studied at the Institut catholique de Paris, and taught dogmatic theology at the seminary in Nancy. He was named Bishop of Nancy by Pope John Paul II on 3 September 1999, and consecrated in the Cathedral of Nancy on 24 October 1999 by Bishop Jean Pierre Orchampt of Angers. Catholiques en Meurthe et Moselle, Monseigneur Jean-Louis Papin, retrieved: 2017-01-11. (in French) David M. Cheney,, Bishop Jean-Louis Henri Maurice Papin, retrieved: 2017-01-11.

Reference works[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°41′29″N 6°11′11″E / 48.69139°N 6.18639°E / 48.69139; 6.18639