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As of May 31, 2018, the Catholic Church in its entirety comprises 3,160 ecclesiastical jurisdictions, including over 645 archdioceses and 2,236 dioceses, as well as apostolic vicariates, apostolic exarchates, apostolic administrations, apostolic prefectures, military ordinariates, personal ordinariates, personal prelatures, territorial prelatures, territorial abbacies and missions sui juris around the world.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.
Ecclesiastical jurisdiction in its primary sense does not signify jurisdiction over ecclesiastics, but jurisdiction exercised by church leaders over other leaders and over the laity.
The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. Sometimes it is also called bishopric.
In addition to these jurisdictions, there are 2,103 titular sees (bishoprics, archbishoprics and metropolitanates).
A titular see in various churches is an episcopal see of a former diocese that no longer functions, sometimes called a "dead diocese".
This is a structural list to show the relationships of each diocese to one another, grouped by ecclesiastical province, within each episcopal conference, within each continent or other geographical area.
An ecclesiastical province is one of the basic forms of jurisdiction in Christian Churches with traditional hierarchical structure, including Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. In general, an ecclesiastical province consists of several dioceses, one of them being the archdiocese, headed by metropolitan bishop or archbishop who has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over all other bishops of the province.
An episcopal conference, sometimes called a conference of bishops, is an official assembly of the bishops of the Catholic Church in a given territory. Episcopal conferences have long existed as informal entities. The first assembly of bishops to meet regularly, with its own legal structure and ecclesial leadership function, is the Swiss Bishops' Conference, which was founded in 1863. More than forty episcopal conferences existed before the Second Vatican Council. Their status was confirmed by the Second Vatican Council and further defined by Pope Paul VI's 1966 motu proprio, Ecclesiae sanctae.
The list needs regular updating and is incomplete, but as articles are written up, more will be added, and various aspects need to be regularly updated.
This refers to Catholic dioceses in the world, of all (Latin or Eastern) Churches, as of 25 April 2018 [update] .
|Holy See : St.Peter's Chair in Rome (papacy)||1||1||0|
|Patriarchal Sees (Patriarchates)||9||8||0|
|Titular Patriarchal Sees||4||3||1|
|Major Archiepiscopal Sees (Major Archeparchies)||4||4||0|
|Metropolitan Sees (Archdioceses & Eastern Archeparchies)||549||532||17|
|Other Archiepiscopal Sees (Archdioceses & Eastern Eparchies)||77||70||7|
|Episcopal Sees (Dioceses & Eastern Eparchies)||2,237||2,068||169|
|Titular Metropolitan Sees including Archeparchies||93||12||81|
|Titular Archiepiscopal Sees including Archeparchies||91||5||86|
|Titular Episcopal Sees including Eparchies||1,915||1,108||807|
|Territorial Abbacies (Benedictine; often Exempt)||11||9||2|
|Military Ordinariates (all Exempt)||36||28||8|
|Personal Prelature (exempt)||1||1||0|
|Apostolic Vicariates (generally Exempt, mission)||84||75||9|
|Apostolic Prefectures (generally Exempt, mission)||39||15||24|
|Independent Missions (Missions sui iuris)||8||8||0|
Additional types, exclusively for the Eastern Churches, Ex-Anglican and extraordinary form
|Major Archeparchies (Eastern, Sui Juris)||4||4||0|
|Metropolitan Sees (Eastern Archeparchies) Sui Juris||5||5||0|
|Apostolic Exarchates (Exempt, Eastern mission)||16||14||2|
|Ordinariates for the Faithful of the Eastern Churches (Exempt)||9||7||2|
|Personal Ordinariates (Ex-Anglicans, Ordinariate Use; all Exempt)||3||3||0|
|Patriarchal Exarchates (Eastern, mission)||10||8||2|
|Archiepiscopal Exarchates (Eastern)||5||4||1|
|Territories Dependent on the Patriarch (Eastern)||5||5||0|
|Personal Apostolic Administration (unique case)]]; exempt)||1||1||0|
These (arch)dioceses are exempt from belonging to any ecclesiastical province, hence only the Vatican can exert the authority and coordinating functions normally falling to the Metropolitan Archbishop. We group them here geographically. Nevertheless, most belong to an episcopal conference, in which case the more relevant mention is in its geographical region, as exempt dioceses as such do not have specific ties with each other.
An apostolic prefect or prefect apostolic is a priest who heads what is known as an apostolic prefecture, a 'pre-diocesan' missionary jurisdiction where the Catholic Church is not yet sufficiently developed to have it made a diocese. Although it usually has an (embryonal) see, it is often not called after such city but rather after a natural or administrative geographical area.
An apostolic vicariate is a territorial jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church under a titular bishop centered in missionary regions and countries where dioceses or parishes have not yet been established. It is essentially provisional, though it may last for a century or more. The hope is that the region will generate sufficient numbers of Catholics for the Church to create a diocese. In turn, the status of apostolic vicariate is often a promotion for a former apostolic prefecture, while either may have started out as a mission sui iuris.
The Roman Rite is the main or Western liturgical rite of the Roman Catholic Church, the main particular church sui iuris of the Catholic Church. It is the most widespread liturgical rite in Christianity as a whole. The Roman Rite gradually became the predominant rite used by the Western Church, developed out of many local variants from Early Christianity on, not amounting to distinctive rites, that existed in the medieval manuscripts, but have been progressively reduced since the invention of printing, most notably since the reform of liturgical law in the 16th century at the behest of the Council of Trent (1545–63) and more recently following the Second Vatican Council (1962–65).
For transcontinental Cyprus, Turkey and Azerbaijan, see Asia
There are also 'meetings of episcopal conferences' for the (arch)bishops from countries belonging to:
(The ecclesiastical provinces' corresponding administrative regions are mentioned in parenthesis)
Scandinavian Bishops Conference
Swiss Bishops Conference
Note:The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) divides the non-exempt dioceses of the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) into fourteen geographical regions—termed "Bishops' Regions" for the Latin Church provinces—and a fifteenth "region" that consists of the Eastern Catholic eparchies. These regions are not the canonical "ecclesiastical regions" described in canon 433 and 434, but are operated by an elected regional chairman.
This is not a geographical region and it does not consist of ecclesiastical provinces. Instead, it consists exclusively of US branches of various, generally Europe- or Asia-based, particular Eastern Catholic Churches. See the Eastern Catholic Churches section (below) for their particular hierarchies.
Ecclesiastical province of the Ruthenian Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh
Ecclesiastical Province of Philadelphia
(Latin and Eastern Churches)
For transcontinental Armenia, Georgia, Cyprus and the Russian Federation, see Europe
No ecclesiastical province, the Latin Church has only the exempt Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ispahan, directly subject to the Holy See
The conference also includes Eastern Catholic bishops of two churches:
covering transcontinental Turkey, which is not comprised in any Latin ecclesiastical province
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh
includes (italicized) various Eastern Church dioceses, notably Syro-Malankara (an Antiochian Rite) and Syro-Malabar (a Syro-Oriental Rite), either in Eastern provinces of their own particular churches, exempt or (some Syro-Malabar) as suffragans of Roman Catholic Metropolitan Archbishops in their mixed-rite ecclesiastical provinces
Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (P.C.B.C.)
Episcopal Conference of Vietnam (Hội Đông Giám Mục Việt Nam), at Nha Trang
Note: The United States Minor Outlying Islands (U.S. Minor Islands)—such as Wake, Midway, and Johnston, which are territories of USA—are administered by the US Military Ordinariate (the Archdiocese for the Military Services of the United States), in Washington, D.C.
Note: The Diocese of Honolulu, on and for Hawaii, is a suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of San Francisco (California, USA)
This province covers all of French Polynesia (French overseas collectivity) and the Pitcairn Islands (UK).
Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (S.E.C.A.M.)
Most national churches are also part of an episcopal conference and a regional (subcontinental) group of those, so we list them geographically :
Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (R.E.C.O.W.A.)
The West African subcontinent was previously covered by two language-distinct super-conferences:
Neither country has or is part of any Latin Church province.
However, each country has an Alexandrian rite (like the Egyptian Copts, but in Geez language) Metropolitan particular church 'sui iuris', whose episcopates fully parttake in the joint Episcopal Conference, yet also has its own council of bishops
(?only Latin dioceses) This subcontinent is still covered by two distinct super-conferences:
covers the dioceses in the republic of South Africa, and two neighbouring countries whose only dioceses belong to its provinces Botswana and Swaziland
These retain many Orthodox traditions, even in the hierarchic terminology, such as calling bishoprics Eparchies and archbishoprics Archeparchies.
In many respects they fall outside the competences of the regular Roman Curia, where they are mainly administered by a special Congregation for the Oriental Churches
Their respective diocesan structures overlap with and are partially parallel to each other, to the Latin Catholic church and to Orthodox churches, often 'sharing' a see. In addition, exempt, 'mixed' ordinariates for the Eastern churches without dioceses of their own are established in a few (European and Latin American) countries, directly subject to the Holy See
We present them grouped per ancient rite, or liturgical tradition
In the Arab World and Africa, the church has dioceses in :
Throughout the rest of the world, the Melkite Catholic church has dioceses and exachates for its diaspora in :
Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Church
A single ecclesiastical province sui juris
Synod : Council of the Slovak Church
entirely exempt, i.e. each directly subject to the Holy See :
No diocese presently,only an apostolic visitor for Belarus and another for abroad
entirely exempt, i.e. each directly subject to the Holy See:
entirely exempt, i.e. directly subject to the Holy See:
A single ecclesiastical province sui juris, covering Ethiopia (Synod styled Council of the Ethiopian Church)
A single ecclesiastical province sui juris, covering all and only Eritrea, which has no Latin Church diocese
Synod of the Syriac Catholic Church
Synod of the Armenian Catholic Church
Synod of the Syro-Malabar Church
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia . The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory . The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement . Kosovo has been recognized as an independent state by 112 out of 193 United Nations member states , while 11 states have recognized Kosovo only to later withdraw their recognition.|
The term exarch comes from the Ancient Greek ἔξαρχος, exarchos, and designates holders of various historical offices, some of them being political or military and others being ecclesiastical.
An Apostolic administration in the Catholic Church is administrated by a prelate appointed by the Pope to serve as the ordinary for a specific area. The area is not yet a diocese or for a diocese, eparchy or similar permanent ordinariate that either has no bishop or, in very rare cases, has an incapacitated bishop.
The Catholic Church in Syria is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.
A mission sui iuris, or in Latin missio sui iuris ; also spelled mission(s) sui juris), also known as an independent mission, is a rare type of Roman Catholic missionary pseudo-diocesan jurisdiction, ranking below an apostolic prefecture and an apostolic vicariate, in an area with very few Catholics, often desolate or remote.
The Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of Ujjain is a Syro-Malabar eparchy in India, part of the rite-specific the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.
The Ethiopian Catholic Archeparchy of Addis Ababa, officially the Metropolitan sui iuris Archeparchy of Addis Ababa is the metropolitan see of the Ethiopian Catholic Church, a sui iuris metropolitan Eastern Catholic Church.
A particular church is an ecclesiastical community of faithful headed by a bishop, as defined by Catholic canon law and ecclesiology. A liturgical rite depends on the particular church the bishop belongs to. Thus "particular church" refers to an institution, and "liturgical rite" to its practices.
The Marthoma Nasrani Eparchy of Great Britain is the sole eparchy for Syro-Malabar Catholics in Great Britain, with see in Preston, Lancashire.
The Ordinariate for Eastern (Rite) Catholics in France is a Catholic Ordinariate for Eastern Catholic faithful, jointly for Eastern Catholics in various rites and languages of particular churches sui iuris without proper jurisdiction there.