Apostolic Vicariate of San Miguel de Sucumbíos

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Apostolic Vicariate of San Miguel de Sucumbíos
Apostolicus Vicariatus Sancti Michaëlis de Sucumbios
Country Ecuador
Area 13,287 km2 (5,130 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
111,000 (79.9%)
Parishes 41
Denomination Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 16 April 1924 (91 years ago)
Cathedral Catedral Nuestra Señora del Cisne
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Vicar Apostolic Sede vacante
Emeritus Bishops Gonzalo López Marañon, O.C.D.
Ecuador - Vicariato apostolico di San Miguel de Sucumbíos.jpg

The Apostolic Vicariate (or Vicariate Apostolic) of San Miguel de Sucumbíos (Latin: Apostolicus Vicariatus Sancti Michaëlis de Sucumbios) is a missionary entity of the Roman Catholic Church. Its cathedral see, the Catedral Nuestra Señora del Cisne, is located in the city of Nueva Loja, Sucumbíos Province in Ecuador.


On 16 April 1924 Pope Pius XI established the Prefecture Apostolic of San Miguel de Sucumbíos from the Apostolic Vicariate of Napo.

Pope John Paul II elevated it to a Apostolic Vicariate on 2 July 1984.[1][2] It remains exempt, i.e. directly subject to the Holy See, not part of an ecclesiastical province.

Nomination conflict with the Ecuadorian state[edit]

In October 2010, after López Marañon of the Discalced Carmelites retired at the mandatory age of 75, the Holy See appointed Rafael Ibarguren, of the Heralds of the Gospel as Apostolic Administrator (ad interim for the Ordinary) of the Vicariate Apolistic. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa objected to the nomination as he considered Ibarguren 'ultraconservative and fundamentalist', he also feared that Ibarguren would destroy all the social work his predecessor had achieved.[3] Correa asserted that he could veto the nomination of Ibarguren on the basis of a Modus vivendi agreement between Ecuador and the Holy See. The Episcopal Conference of Ecuador asserted otherwise. Relations between the two entities were strained and believers within Sucumbíos were divided in those supporting the Heralds of the Gospel and those who did not.[3]

On 5 December 2011, Pope Benedict XVI named Paolo Mietto Apolostic Administrator.[4] This member of the missionary Congregation of Saint Joseph was succeeded by a fellow Josephite Celmo Lazzari, the former Apostolic Vicar of neighbouring 'mother vicariate' napo, as -present- Apostolic vicar.

Incumbent Ordinaries[edit]

Apostolic prefects (all Discalced Carmelites (O.C.D.)
  • Pacifico del Carmine, O.C.D. † (21 May 1937 - 1954)
  • Manuel Gomez Frande, O.C.D. † (18 Nov. 1955 - 1968)
  • Gonzalo López Marañon, O.C.D. (26 June 1970 - see below)
Apostolic vicars
  • Gonzalo López Marañon, O.C.D. (see above - 30 Oct. 2010)
  • Apostolic Administrator Rafael Ibarguren Schindler (2010.10.30 – 2012.02.10)
  • Apostolic Administrator Paolo Mietto, C.S.I. (2012.02.10 – 2013.11.21
  • Celmo Lazzari, C.S.I. (2013.11.21 – ...)

See also[edit]

Sources and References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vicariate Apostolic of San Miguel de Sucumbíos". Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  2. ^ "Apostolic Vicariate of San Miguel de Sucumbíos". Giga Catholic. Retrieved 2013-04-17. 
  3. ^ a b Paúl Mena Erazo (20 March 2011). "Ecuador: Correa enfrenta a Iglesia Católica por nombramiento de vicario". BBC Mundo. Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Nombrado Administrator Apostólico del Vicariato de Sucumbios" (in Spanish). Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2013.