Roman Catholic Diocese of Punta Arenas

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Diocese of Punta Arenas
Dioecesis Punta Arenas
Diócesis de Punta Arenas
Catedral Pta Arenas.jpg
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
Country Chile
Ecclesiastical province Puerto Montt
Metropolitan Puerto Montt
Area 112,310 km2 (43,360 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
120,208 (79.9%)
Rite Latin Rite
Established 16 November 1883 (134 years ago)
Cathedral Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Punta Arenas
Patron saint Mary Help of Christians
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Bernardo Miguel Bastres Florence
Metropolitan Archbishop Cristián Caro Cordero
Emeritus Bishops Tomás Osvaldo González Morales

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Punta Arenas (in Latin: Dioecesis Punta Arenas ) is a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Puerto Montt, in Chile. Its current bishop is Mgr. Bernardo Bastres Florence, S.D.B. and the retired (emeritus) bishop is Mgr. Tomás Osvaldo González Morales.


In 1883 the Holy See established the Apostolic Prefecture of Patagonia Meridional, Tierra del Fuego e Islas Malvinas, which was entrusted to the Salesian congregation. In 1916, the prefecture was upgraded and its name changed to Apostolic Vicariate of Magallanes e Islas Malvinas, and on 17 January 1947, Pope Pius XII erected the diocese proper by means of the Bulla "Ut in amplissimo Patagoniae Chilensis territorio". In 1952, the Apostolic Prefecture of the Falkland Islands was separated from the diocese.

All the bishops of the diocese of Punta Arenas have belonged to the Salesian congregation.

Diocesan statistics[edit]

The diocese, which comprises the entire Chilean region of Magallanes (Magallanes y Antártida Chilena), covers a territory of 112,302 km². It is estimated than 79% of the inhabitants of the diocese are Catholic.[1] This figure represents about 120,000 Catholics out of a total population of 151,000.

Punta Arenas is the southernmost diocese in the whole Roman Catholic Church and its parish Nuestra Señora del Carmen, in Puerto Williams (Navarino island), is the southernmost Catholic parish in the world.

The mother church of the diocese is the Cathedral of El Sagrado Corazón (Sacred Heart) in the city of Punta Arenas.


  • Abraham Aguilera Bravo S.D.B. † (22 December 1916 - 24 October 1924 appointed bishop of San Carlos de Ancud)
  • Arturo Jara Márquez S.D.B. † (29 January 1926 – 1938 resigned)
  • Vladimiro Boric Crnosija S.D.B. † (1 February 1949 - 29 August 1973 died)
  • Tomás Osvaldo González Morales S.D.B. (28 March 1974 - 4 March 2006 retired)
  • Bernardo Bastres Florence S.D.B. (appointed 4 March 2006)



External links[edit]