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St Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin Procath.jpg
St Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin

A pro-cathedral is a parish church that is temporarily serving as the cathedral or co-cathedral of a diocese or has the same function in a Catholic missionary jurisdiction that is not yet entitled to a proper cathedral, such as an apostolic prefecture or apostolic administration. It is distinct from a proto-cathedral, the term in the Roman Catholic Church for a former cathedral, which typically results from moving an episcopal see to another (usually new) cathedral, in the same or another city. In a broader context, the term 'proto-cathedral' may be used of a church used by a bishop before a settled cathedral (or pro-cathedral) has been designated.




In Ireland, the term is used to specifically refer to St Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin since the Anglican Reformation in Ireland, when Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick's Cathedral became the property of the (Anglican) Church of Ireland.

In Scotland, the term is used to refer to St Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Edinburgh, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, as the original St Andrews Cathedral was abandoned after the Scottish Reformation in 1560 and is currently in a ruinous state. St Andrew's Pro-Cathedral in Glasgow has been the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow since 1889. The original Glasgow Cathedral however had been re-established as the Church of Scotland’s High Kirk of Glasgow after the Scottish Reformation.

Details of some 15 former pro-cathedrals (11 Roman Catholic and 4 Anglican) can be found in the List of former cathedrals in Great Britain.

The (Anglican) Parish Church of St Helier in Jersey serves as the island's pro-cathedral.

In Spain, the Colegiata de San Isidro, Madrid served as the provisional cathedral for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madrid from its creation in 1885 until 1993, when Pope John Paul II consecrated the newly completed Almudena Cathedral.

In Valletta, Malta, there is an Anglican St Paul's Pro-Cathedral.

In Poland, the Carmelite Church, Warsaw served as a pro-cathedral until the reconstruction of St John's Cathedral.

In Albania, the Albanese Apostolic Administration of Southern Albania had the Kisha e Shën Maria dhe Shën Luigji, in Vlore, as only episcopal see of its Eastern Catholic particular sui jurus Albanian Catholic Byzantine Church.


In Baku (capital of Azerbaijan), the Church of the Immaculate Conception is the pro-cathedral episcopal see of the Apostolic Prefecture of Baku.

The Church of San Antonio de Motael was the pro-cathedral of Dili, East Timor before the Immaculate Conception Cathedral was constructed in 1989. [1]

In the Philippines, the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Philippines had the St. Stephen's Parish in Tondo, Manila as its pro-cathedral before the see was transferred to the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint John in Quezon City.[ citation needed ] Also, in February 2012, the Pro-Cathedral Church of San Fernando de Dilao became the Pro-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Manila, until the structural renovations of Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception on March 25, 2014. The cathedral was reopened to the general public on April 9, 2014. Meanwhile, San Diego Pro-Cathedral, Silay serves permanently as a pro-cathedral of the Diocese of Bacolod, a ready provisional co-cathedral in instances of regular repairs and maintenance being made to the main cathedral.

The Cathedral of the Holy Name, Mumbai, was previously the pro-cathedral of the Holy Name.


In San Luis Obispo, California, the parish church of Old Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and in Salinas, CA, the parish of Madonna Del Sasso, were both elevated to pro-cathedral status by the late Bishop Richard Garcia.

In Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, the parish church of Saint Peter's was the pro-cathedral for the Anglican southern Saskatchewan diocese until 1944. From 1944 to 1979, St. Paul's Cathedral served as the pro-cathedral before it was elevated to cathedral status.

In the United States, the church of St. Paul the Apostle in Savannah, Georgia, is the pro-cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. The Cathedral of the Incarnation (Baltimore) was a pro-cathedral for 35 years before the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland passed a resolution in 1955 for it to become the diocesan cathedral. St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was designated the pro-Cathedral in the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem in 1999 and as the Pro-Cathedral by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church in 2001. St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church in Tonawanda, NY became a Pro-Cathedral on August 12, 2011 as part of the North American Anglican Conference, and is the seat for Bishop [2] Bill Atwood. [3] [4] Some churches in the United States have also served as pro-Cathedrals during times of expansion but were never exaulted to full cathedral status, such as the Church of the Good Shepherd in Raleigh, North Carolina which served as the pro-Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, until it was decided they would have no cathedral.

Furthermore, St. John Chrysostom Malankara Syrian Catholic Pro-Cathedral in Hempstead, New York for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Exarchate in the United States

St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral is in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Camden.

Holy Name of Mary Pro-Cathedral in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette.

Holy Spirit Anglican Church in Akron, OH is the Pro-Cathedral for the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes under Bishop Mark Engel


In Christchurch, New Zealand, St Mary's has become the pro-cathedral of the Christchurch Catholic Diocese, in place of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament which is closed because of severe damage caused by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

St John's Pro-Cathedral served as the pro-cathedral in Perth, Western Australia.

Holy Cross Pro-Cathedral in Vanimo, West Sepik, Papua New Guinea, the see of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Vanimo

See also

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  1. Kohen, A. S. From the Place of the Dead. Lion Publishing plc, 1999.
  2. "The Times & The Sunday Times".
  3. "". Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2011-09-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)