Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas
|Archdiocese of Kaunas
Kaunas Cathedral, the mother church of the Archdiocese
|Area||8,750 km2 (3,380 sq mi)|
|(as of 2013)
(As Diocese of Žemaičiai)
4 April 1926
(As Archdiocese of Kaunas)
|Cathedral||Cathedral Basilica of St Peter and St Paul|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Lionginas Virbalas|
|Suffragans||Diocese of Šiauliai, Diocese of Telšiai, Diocese of Vilkaviškis|
|Auxiliary Bishops||Kęstutis Kėvalas|
|Emeritus Bishops||Sigitas Tamkevičius|
Map of the Archdiocese
|Website of the Diocese|
The Roman Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kaunas (Latin: Archidioecesis Kaunensis) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Lithuania. It is based in Kaunas, the second-largest city in Lithuania. The archdiocese's motherchurch and thus seat of its archbishop is Kaunas Cathedral Basilica; it also houses a Minor Basilica in a town of Šiluva, in the region of Samogitia. The current Archbishop of Kaunas is His Excellency Lionginas Virbalas, SJ, having been appointed by Pope Francis on June 11, 2015.
The Archdiocese of Kaunas was established as the Diocese of Samogitia in 1417 with a seat in Medininkai according to directions from the Council of Constance. The diocese was suppressed in 1798 and restored again in 1849. It was reorganized into the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kaunas by Pope Pius XI on April 4, 1926 with the suffragan sees of Vilkaviškis, and Telšiai.
The Apostolic constitution issued by Pius XI, intended to structure the diocesan territories in accordance with the actual boundaries of Lithuanian Republic after the Declaration of Independence in 1918. Due to fact, that the Lithuanian capital city Vilnius and the eastern parts of the country were seized by Polish troops in 1920 and annexed by Poland in 1922, Kaunas became not only the Temporary capital of Lithuania but also the metropolitan center of the Lithuanian ecclesiastical province. The diocese of Vilnius was also elevated being an Archbishopric with its ecclesiastical province on temporarily Polish areas.
In 1997 parts of the archdiocese have been ceded to the new founded Diocese of Šiauliai
List of bishops of Samogitia
List of bishops and archbishops of Kaunas
- Archbishop Juozapas Skvireckas (1926–1959)
- Vacant (1959–1989)
- Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevičius, MIC (1989–1996)
- Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevičius, SJ (1996–2015)
- Archbishop Lionginas Virbalas, SJ (2015–present)
List of Apostolic Administrators of Kaunas
Archbishop of Kaunas Juozapas Skvireckas left Kaunas with retreating German forces in 1944, and went into exile. After his departure the archdiocese was governed by capitular vicars and Apostolic administrators who experienced continuous restrictions and persecutions of Soviet authorities.
- Stanislovas Jokūbauskis (1944–1947)
- Juozapas Stankevičius (1947–1965)
- Juozapas Matulaitis-Labukas (1965–1979)
- Liudvikas Povilonis (1979–1988)
- Juozas Preikšas (1988–1989)