Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint-Flour

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Diocese of Saint-Flour

Dioecesis Sancti Flori

Diocèse de Saint-Flour
Saint-Flour Cathedral.JPG
Ecclesiastical provinceClermont
MetropolitanArchdiocese of Clermont
Area5,726 km2 (2,211 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2017)
164,000 (est.)
143,000 (guess) (87.2%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established20 February 1317
CathedralCathedral of St Peter and St Flour in Saint-Flour, Cantal
Patron saintSaint Flour of Lodeve
Secular priests50 (diocesan)
6 (Religious Orders)
10 Permanent Deacons
Current leadership
BishopSede vacante
Metropolitan ArchbishopFrançois Kalist
Bishops emeritusBruno Grua
Website of the Diocese of Saint-Flour
Dioceses established after the Concordat of 1801

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint-Flour (Latin: Dioecesis Sancti Flori; French: Diocèse de Saint-Flour) is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese comprises the department of Cantal. Erected in 1317, the diocese was suffragan of (subject to) the Archdiocese of Bourges until 2002. With the general reorganization of the structure of the French church by Pope John Paul II, Saint-Flour became the suffragan of the Archdiocese of Clermont. The seat of the bishop is located in Saint-Flour, Cantal.

The current bishop is Bruno Grua, who was appointed in March 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI. Like many French bishops, he was compelled to face the problem created by the dwindling number of priests in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1970 in Saint-Flour there were 264 priests; in 2010 there were 85.[1] The number of parishes was 161 in 2010, and half did not have a full-time priest.[2] Bishop Grua therefore reorganized the parish structure, reducing the number of parishes from 161 to 32 to ensure that every Catholic had a priest who was responsible for his/her spiritual needs. In 2014 there was one priest for every 1,914 Catholics. In 2017 there was one priest for every 2,553 Catholics.


The diocese is named after St. Florus (Flour), who is said to have been the first Bishop of Lodève and to have died at Indiciat (later Saint-Flour) while evangelizing Haute-Auvergne. These traditions have been the subject of numerous discussions. In two documents concerning the foundation of the second monastery of St-Flour, drawn up in 1013 and 1031, and in a letter written to Pope Urban IV in 1261 by Pierre de Saint-Haon, prior of Saint-Flour, St. Flour is already considered as belonging to the Apostolic times, and the Speculum sanctorale of Bernard Gui in 1329 relates at length the legend of this "disciple of Christ". Marcellin Boudet believes it more likely that St. Flour lived in the fifth century, and that it was he who attended the Council of Arles in 450 or 451.[citation needed]

At the close of the tenth century there was already a monastery at Indiciat. A local seigneur, Astorg de Brezons, surnamed "the Red Bull", gave this monastery to the abbey of Cluny, then under the direction of Odilo, Abbot of Cluny, and the donation was confirmed by Pope Gregory V (996–99).[3] Amblard de Brezons, his nephew, surnamed "le Mal Hiverné", seized the monastery and destroyed all of it except the church. Amblard and Astorg, from 1010 to 1013, gave this church and its fief to St. Peter's at Rome, together with the monastery of Sauxillanges, governed by Odilo; but later Amblard considered this donation as void, and constructed a fortress, a remnant of which is now the sacristy of the cathedral, on the site of the old monastery; afterwards Amblard, seized with remorse at Rome, between 1025 and 1031 gave back to Odilo all he possessed, and a large monastery was again founded. Pope Urban II, after the Council of Clermont (1095), consecrated the church of this new monastery. Pope Callistus II (1119–1124) passed some time there, on 1 and 2 June 1119.[4] The church collapsed in 1396, and no remains of it exist.

Creation of the diocese[edit]

In August, 1317, Pope John XXII detached Haute-Auvergne from the bishopric of Clermont and raised St-Flour to the rank of a bishopric, the first ordinary of which was his chaplain Raymond de Montuéjols. Among his successors were Pierre d'Estaing (1361–67), afterwards Archbishop of Bourges and cardinal in 1370; and Louis-Siffrein-Joseph de Salamon (1820–29), former counseiller-clerc to the Parliament of Paris, who during the French Revolution had secretly acted in France as the pope's agent, a rôle concerning which he has left very important memoirs.[citation needed]

The diocese of Saint-Flour was particularly hard hit by the Black Death of 1348–1353.[5] The mortality rate was over 50%.[6]


During the French Revolution, the National Constituent Assembly reformed the Church in France, drawing up the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (12 July 1790).[7] All clergy were obliged to swear an oath of allegiance to the Constitution,[8] thereby effectively entering into a schism with the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church. The Assembly ordered that the number of dioceses in France be reduced from 135 to 83, and that these surviving dioceses should be coterminous with the new 'départements' which were being created for civil administration; the new dioceses were to be grouped into new Metropolitanates. Saint-Flour was one of the dioceses to be suppressed. These revisions were contrary to the procedures of the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church.

In the Haut-Auvergne, the new Constitutional diocese was to be called 'Cantal', and it was assigned to the 'Metropole du Sud-Est'. The legitimate bishop of Saint-Flour, Ruffo de Bonneval, refused to take the oath to the Constitution, and therefore his seat was declared vacant. The electors of 'Cantal' were convened at Aurillac in March 1791, and nearly every village had its candidate. Half of the eligible electors refused to participate (198 out of 396), and the remaining voters took some time to sort out the candidates. On 15 March, they elected Anne-Alexandre-Marie Thibault, who had been a parish priest at Souppes in the diocese of Meaux. He was consecrated in Paris at Nôtre-Dame on 3 April 1791 by Constitutional Bishop Lamourette, his Metropolitan. Naturally he did not have his bulls of consecration from Rome, and therefore his consecration was valid, but illegitimate in Canon Law. He returned to his diocese in May to considerable hostility; he dismissed all the faculty of the seminary, since they had refused to take the oath to the Constitution, and then returned to Paris, where he was elected a member of the National Convention. He never returned, becoming a politician and successfully maneuvering the changes in government up to 1801 and the Concordat. He was forced to retire into private life, and died on 26 February 1813 without having been reconciled to the Church.[9]


The diocese was re-established by the Holy See in accordance with canon law and the Concordat of 1801, which had been agreed by First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII. The boundaries of the canonically re-established diocese were aligned, however, to coincide with those of the civil département of Cantal, rather than the territory of the pre-revolutionary diocese.

The Abbey of Aurillac (fr) is located in the diocesan territory.[10]

Bishops of Saint-Flour[edit]

to 1800[edit]

  • Raymond de Vehens de Mostuejouls : (31 July 1317 – 1319)[11]
  • Henri de Faltrédi : (19 April 1319 – 29 January 1320)[12]
  • Archambaud : (6 February 1320 – 1347)[13]
  • Deodatus de Canillac, O.S.B. : (25 July 1347 – 2 August 1361)[14]
  • Pierre d'Estaing : (19 November 1361 – 2 April 1368)[15]
  • Pierre Raussen : (2 April 1368 – 1374)[16]
  • Pontius de Rochefort  : (14 July 1374 – 1383)[17]
  • Pierre de Vissac  : (13 March 1383 – 12 July 1395)[18]
  • Hugues de Manhac : (12 July 1295 – 16 January 1404)[19]
  • Gerard du Puy (de Miremont) : (17 December 1404 – 4 January 1413)[20]
  • Bertrand de Cadoent, O.S.B. : (15 February 1413 – 28 January 1426)[21]
  • Jacques Lupi : (19 August 1426 – 1451)[22]
  • Pierre de Lautoin : (7 July 1452 – 1461)[23]
  • Antoine de Lautoin, O.S.B. : (30 March 1461 – 1482)[24]
  • Charles de Joyeuse : (10 September 1483 – 1500)[25]
  • Louis de Joyeuse : (29 January 1500 – )[26]
  • Balthasar Jarente : (11 May 1543 – 9 January 1548)[27]
  • Antoine de Lévis : (9 January 1548 – 1566)[28]
  • Jean Paul de Selve : (23 May 1567 – 1572)[29]
  • Pierre de Baume : (9 February 1573 – 1599)[30]
  • Raymond de Rouchon : (10 March 1599 – September 1609)[31]
  • Charles de Noailles : (28 September 1609 – 8 April 1647)[32]
  • Jacques de Montrouge : (8 April 1647 – 1664)[33]
  • Jérôme de la Mothe-Houdancourt : (23 June 1664 – 9 May 1693)[34]
  • Joachim Joseph d'Estaing : (9 November 1693 – 13 April 1742)[35]
  • Paul de Ribeyre : (9 July 1742 – 10 June 1776)[36]
  • Anne Hippolyte Hay de Bontville : (16 September 1776 – 13 December 1779)[37]
  • Claude Marie de Ruffo de Laric : (13 December 1779 – 1801)[38]

since 1800[edit]


  1. ^ Annuario Pontificio 1971 and 2011, quoted by David M. Cheney, Catholic-Hierarchy: Diocese of Saint-Flour, retrieved: 2016-12-08.
  2. ^ Compare the statistics for ca. 1920, printed in the article "Saint-Flour" in: The Catholic Encyclopedia: Supplement 1 (c1922). New York: Encyclopedia Press. 1922. p. 654. There were 314 parishes and 486 secular priests. The major seminary had 45 seminarians, and the minor seminary 60.
  3. ^ Gallia christiana II, pp. 419-420.
  4. ^ Philippus Jaffe, Regesta pontificum Romanorum I, editio altera (Leipzig 1885), p. 783, nos. 6698-6699.
  5. ^ Marcellin Boudet; Roger Grand (1902). Étude historique sur les épidémies de peste en Haute-Auvergne (XIVe-XVIIIe siècles) (in French). A. Picard et fils. pp. 29–38.
  6. ^ Ole Jørgen Benedictow (2004). The Black Death, 1346-1353: The Complete History. Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press. pp. 334–337. ISBN 978-1-84383-214-0.
  7. ^ Text of Civil Constitution of the Clergy (in English) Retrieved: 2016-11-13.
  8. ^ Ludovic Sciout (1872). Histoire de la constitution civile du clergé, 1790-1801 (in French). Vol. Tome 1. Firmin Didot et Cie. pp. 180–191, 398–433.
  9. ^ Paul Pisani (1907). Répertoire biographique de l'épiscopat constitutionnel (1791-1802) (in French). Paris: A. Picard et fils. pp. 289–292.
  10. ^ Guillaume-Marie-Frédéric Bouange (1899). Histoire de l'abbaye d'Aurillac, précédée de la vie de saint Géraud, son fondateur (894-1789) (in French). Paris: A. Fontemoing.
  11. ^ Bishop Raymond was transferred to the diocese of Saint-Papoul on 16 April 1319. He was created a cardinal by Pope John XXII on 18 December 1327. Eubel, I, p. 16 no. 20; p. 251, with note 2; p. 390.
  12. ^ Bishop Henri had been Abbot of the monastery of Cluny. Gallia christiana II, p. 423. Eubel, I, p. 251.
  13. ^ Archambaud had been Abbot of the monastery of Aurillac (Auriliacum). Gallia christiana II, p. 423-424. Eubel, I, p. 251.
  14. ^ Deodatus was transferred to Maguelonne on 2 August 1361. Eubel, I. pp. 251 and 321.
  15. ^ Pierre d'Estaing was transferred to the diocese of Bourges on 2 April 1368. Eubel, I, pp. 139 and 251.
  16. ^ Petrus Raussen had been Provost of the Church of Lerida. Saint-Marthe notes that he was the first of the bishops of Saint-Flour to be drawn from the secular clergy, the earlier bishops having all been monks. Gallia christiana II, p. 425. Eubel, I, p. 251.
  17. ^ Ponce de Rochefort: Eubel I, p. 251.
  18. ^ Pierre de Vissac had been Dean of the collegiate church of Brivatum in the diocese of Saint-Flour. He was transferred to the diocese of Lavaur on 12 July 1395. Eubel I, p. 251, 518.
  19. ^ Hugues de Manhac had been an abbot. was transferred to the diocese of Limoges on 16 January 1404 by Pope Benedict XIII. Eubel, I, pp. 251 and 301.
  20. ^ Bishop Gerard (or Gerald) de Puy was Bishop-Elect of Montauban when appointed to Saint-Flour. He was transferred to the diocese of Mende on 4 January 1413 by Pope John XXIII. He was then transferred to Carcassonne on 19 April 1413. Eubel, I, pp. 166, 251, 342 and 347.
  21. ^ Bishop Bertrand was transferred to Uzès on 28 January 1426. Eubel, I, pp. 251 and 511.
  22. ^ Eubel I, p. 251; II, p. 154.
  23. ^ Lautoin had been Prior of the Cathedral Chapter. He died on 21 November 1462. Eubel, II, p. 154.
  24. ^ Eubel, II, pp. 154-155.
  25. ^ Charles de Joyeuse had been Provost of the cathedral of Viviers. Eubel, II, p. 155.
  26. ^ Louis de Joyeuse was a priest of the diocese of Viviers. Eubel, II, p. 155; III, p. 197.
  27. ^ Jarente was transferred to Embrun on 9 January 1548. Eubel, III, pp. 190 and 197.
  28. ^ De Levis was Archbishop-Elect of Embrun when appointed to Saint-Flour. Eubel, III, p. 197.
  29. ^ De Selve was a native of Limoges. Gallia christiana II, p. 432. Eubel, III, p. 197.
  30. ^ De Baume was the illegitimate son of Claude de Baume, Baron of Mont St. Sorlin. He participated in the Council of Bourges in 1584. Gallia christiana II, p. 432. Eubel, III, p. 197.
  31. ^ Gallia christiana II, p. 433. Eubel, III, p. 197. Gauchat, IV, p. 189.
  32. ^ Noailles was transferred to the diocese of Rodez on 8 April 1647. Gauchat, IV, pp. 189 and 299.
  33. ^ Montrouge: Gauchat, IV, p. 189.
  34. ^ De la Mothe was the brother of Philippe (Marshal of France) and Henri (Archbishop of Auch). He held a doctorate in theology (Bourges). He died on 9 May 1693. Gams, p. 617. Jean, pp. 110-111.
  35. ^ D'Estaing was born in the diocese of Clermont. He was a priest of the diocese of Lyon and a Canon of the Cathedral of Lyon. He was nominated by King Louis XIV on 8 September 1693, and approved by Pope Innocent XII on 9 November. Jean, p. 111. Ritzler, V, p. 203, with note 3.
  36. ^ Ribeyre was a native of the diocese of Clermont: Jean, p. 111. Ritzler, VI, p. 217, with note 2.
  37. ^ Hay was born at the Château de Montbuan in the diocese of Rennes. Hay was transferred to Grasse on 13 December 1779. Jean, p. 112. Ritzler, VI, p. 217, with note 3.
  38. ^ Ruffo was born in Grenoble, of the family of the Counts of Laric. When his episcopal seat was usurped by the Constitutional bishop Thibault, Ruffo emigrated to Italy. He resigned at the time of the Concordat of 1801. He died in Paris on 1 October 1816. Jean, p. 112. Ritzler, VI, p. 217, with note 4.
  39. ^ Cadalen had been curate of the Cathedral of Albi, then Canon and Vicar-General of Albi. He was consecrated on 26 November 1833. L'Ami de la religion: journal ecclésiastique, politique et littéraire ... (in French). Vol. Tome 89. Paris: A. LeClere. 1836. p. 167. Almanach du clergé de France: publié sur les documens du Ministère des cultes (in French). Paris: chez Gauthier Frère et Cie, Libraires. 1835. p. 372.
  40. ^ De Marguerye had been the private secretary of Cardinal de Rohan when Archbishop of Besançon, and at the same time was Almoner of the Collège de Besançon and honorary Canon of the Cathedral. After the death of the Cardinal, de Marguerye became Canon Theologian of Soissons and Vicar-General (1836). Pierre Moulier (2008). Frédéric de Marguerye, un évêque archéologue dans le Cantal (1837-1852) (in French). Saint-Flour: Cantal Patrimoine. GGKEY:G9NK741NKQ7.
  41. ^ Augustin-Pierre Denys (1868). Mgr Lyonnet (Jean-Paul-François-Félix-Marie), archevêque d'Albi... (in French). Abbeville.
  42. ^ Lamouroux had been born in Saint-Flour, and was Canon and Vicar-General of the diocese. He was named by imperial decree on 14 June 1857, preconized (approved) by Pope Pius IX on 3 August, and consecrated on 28 October 1857. Charles F. Druon (1875). Le Concile du Puy, tenu en octobre 1873: simples notes (in French). Paris: Librairie de Victor Palmé. pp. 216–218.
  43. ^ Antoine Lesmarie (1892). La vie et l'épiscopat de Monseigneur Baduel, évêque de Saint-Flour (in French). Saint-Flour: Imp. F. Boubounelle.
  44. ^ Daniel Escoulen (1991). François Marty: évêque en France (in French). Rodez: Rouergue. ISBN 978-2-905209-52-8.
  45. ^ A native of Lyon, Grua possesses a Maitrîse en theologie from the Catholic University of Lyon. He was Vicar-General of the diocese of Digne (1998-2003). Église Catholique en France, Mgr. Bruno Grua, retrieved: 2016-12-10. (in French) Diocese de Saint-Flour (Cantal), Mgr. Bruno Grua, biographie, retrieved: 2016-12-10. (in French)


Reference works[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°02′N 3°06′E / 45.03°N 3.10°E / 45.03; 3.10