Roman Catholic Suburbicarian Diocese of Albano

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Suburbicarian Diocese of Albano

Piazza Pia Albano.jpg
Albano Laziale Cathedral
Ecclesiastical province Rome
Area661 km2 (255 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2018)
510,950 (est.)
493,870 (est.) (96%)
Denomination Catholic Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established4th century
Cathedral Basilica Cattedrale di S. Pancrazio Martire
Secular priests 104 (diocesan)
80 (Religious Orders)
Current leadership
Pope Francis
BishopVincenzo Viva
Bishops emeritus Marcello Semeraro
Paolo Gillet (Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus)
Albano diocesi.png

The Diocese of Albano (Latin : Albanensis) is a Latin suburbicarian see of the Diocese of Rome in Italy, comprising seven towns in the Province of Rome. Albano Laziale is situated on the Appian Way some 15 kilometers from Rome.


Since 1966, it has both a titular bishop and a diocesan bishop.

Early history

The city of Albano, located at the fifteenth milestone from Rome on the Via Appia Antiqua, and two miles from the ancient Alba Longa. A villa of Pompey the Great and a villa of the Emperor Domitian were located in the area. [1] had an amphitheater by the second half of the first century A.D. [2] In 197, the Emperor Septimius Severus created the Legio II Parthica, whose headquarters was at the Castra Albana, until they were disbanded by the Emperor Constantine (306–337). [3]

According to the Liber Pontificalis [4] the Emperor Constantine I provided the city with a new basilica, that of Saint John the Baptist:

fecit basilicam Augustus Constantinus in civitate Albanensis, videlicet S. Joannis Baptistae.

He also presented the church with various vessels of silver and silver gilt, and endowed the church with a number of local properties, including the farm of Mola (a mile west of the town), possession of the lake of Albano, the Massa Mucii, all the abandoned houses in Albano, possession of gardens, and other properties. [5]

This Constantinian basilica was destroyed by fire toward the end of the 8th century, or at the beginning of the 9th, along with the bishop's residence. [6] Ferdinando Franconi has established [7] the identity of this basilica with the present Albano Cathedral, which still contains some remains of the edifice dedicated by Pope Leo III to Saint Pancras. The cathedral was restored in 1563, and again at the beginning of the 19th century. [8] Under the basilica there was a crypt, or confessio, from which bodies were transferred to the cemetery nearby. The cathedral is administered by a Chapter consisting of two dignities, the Archpriest and the Archdeacon, and eight Canons. [9]

The foundation of the episcopal see of Albano may be contemporaneous with the erection of the Constantinian basilica. It is alleged[ by whom? ] that the first known bishop of the see is Dionysius (d. 355). [10] Bishop Ursinus is found on an inscription in the Catacomb of Domitilla; the consular date is either 345 or 395. In 463, sources attest to a bishop of Albano named Romanus.


The importance of this early Christian community is apparent from its cemetery, discovered in 1720 by Giovanni Marangoni.[ citation needed ] It differs but little from the Christian cemeteries found in Rome. Its plan, clearly mapped out in the Epitome de locis ss. martyrum quae sunt foris civitatis Romae, is considered by Giovanni Battista de Rossi [ citation needed ] as the synopsis of an ancient description of the cemeteries, written before the end of the 6th century:

per eandem vere viam (Appiam) pervenitur ad Albanam civitatem et per eandem civitatem ad ecclesiam S. Senatoris ubi et Perpetua jacet corpore et innumeri sancti et magna mirabilia ibidem geruntur.

Saint Senator of Albano [11] is inserted in the martyrology for 26 September (et in Albano Senatoris), without further specification. From this he passed to the Roman martyrology , where he is commemorated on the same day. But the first account of the martyrs of Albano is found in the Almanac of Philocalus (4th century) on 8 August:

VI Idus aug. Carpophori, Victorini et Severiani, Albano, et Ostense septimo ballistaria, Cyriaci, Largi, Crescentiani, Memmiae, Julianae, et Smaragdi.

The cemetery has frescoes, painted at various times by unknown artists, which show the various expressions of Christian funerary art from the fourth to the 9th century.

Pope Innocent I was a native of Albano. [12]

Later history

In the mid-19th century, the diocese of Albano contained only about 8,000 persons. It included ten castelli: Sabello, Riccia, Genzano, Cività-Lavinia, Nemi, Marino, Castelgandolfo, Pratica, Ardea, and Nettuno. [13] At the end of the century, it contained about 44,000 inhabitants, served by 60 secular priests and 124 priests of religious orders, and there were twelve parishes. The diocese had 67 churches, chapels, or oratories. [14] There were three collegiate churches, with colleges of Canons, at Ariccia, Civita-Lavinia, and Nemi. [15]

By the beginning of the 20th century, it had become apparent to the papacy that the suburbicarian bishops had become overburdened with the responsibilities of their curial and diocesan duties. The increase in commerce, in roads and travel, and the migration of people to the city, [16] as well as the increased burden of duties in the papal administration because of the mass and complexity of problems affecting the Church, [17] made some sort of relief necessary. On his own initiative, therefore, Pope Pius X issued a decree, Apostolicae Romanorum Pontificium, granting the bishops of Ostia, Porto, Albano, Palestrina, and Frascati each a suffragan bishop to carry the burden of their pastoral duties in their dioceses. The pope appointed the suffragans, who had full powers inside the diocese, subject to the cardinal's approval, but not the power to ordain or consecrate, or the right to have a throne or display their coat-of-arms. [18] Further details were added by Pope John XXIII in his apostolic letter, Suburbicariis sedibus, defining the suffragan bishop as "Episcopus Ordinarius", with the same powers as other residential bishops, and enumerating the privileges of the cardinal bishop. [19]

In 1914, Pius X took steps to regulate the irregularities in the incomes of the six cardinal suburbicarian bishops. On his own initiative, after consulting with the curial cardinals and with their agreement, he issued the decree Edita a Nobis, in which he ordered that in the future the incomes of the cardinal bishops should be placed in a single fund, administered by the Office of Economic Affairs, to which each cardinal must render an annual account. Each year, after 6,000 Lire was to be given to each suffragan bishop, the remaining money collected was to be divided into equal portions, the bishop of Ostia to receive two portions, and each of the other bishops one portion. The decree also ordered that the bishop of Ostia, when promoted to that position, should also retain his previous bishopric; the diocese of Velitrae was to be removed from his jurisdiction, and from that point the suburbicarin bishops would be: Ostiensis, Portuensis et Sanctae Rufinae, Albanensis, Praenestina, Sabinensis, Tusculana, Veliterna. [20]

List of bishops

to 1000

  • Ursinus (395) [21]
  • Romanus (attested 465) [22]
  • Athanasius (attested 487) [23]
  • Chrysogonus (attested 495–502) [24]
  • Homobonus (attested 592–601) [25]
  • Epiphanius (attested 649) [26]
  • Juvenalis (649–682) [27]
  • Andreas (721 – before 743) [28]
  • Tiberius (743–761)
  • Leo (I) (761 – before 767)
  • Eustratius (Eustathius) (761–769) [29]
  • Constantius (772 – before 826) [30]
  • Benedictus (826 – before 844)
  • Petronacio (853 – ca. 867)
  • Paul (869 – before 898)
  • Petrus (I) (898–?)
  • Gregorius (963–985)
  • Teobaldo (995–996)
  • Joannes (996–1001)


[Basilios] [33]
[ Anastasius ] [37]
[Hugo (1135–1136)]
Joannes de Struma (1163–1168), appointed by Antipope Paschal III





Since 1966

Since 1966 functions are divided between the titular-bishop and the diocesan bishop.

Diocesan bishops

Titular bishops

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  1. Fraikin, p. 1373.
  2. Juvenal, Satires IV, 99. Cassius Dio Cocceianus, History of Rome, LXVI, iii. The Acilius Glabrio, who was compelled to fight a bear, is later included in a Christian group of the Flavian family as a molitor rerum novarum: Suetonius, "Life of Domitian", 10.
  3. Graham Webster, The Roman Imperial Army, third edition Totowa: Barnes & Noble Books 1985), p. 94.
  4. Under the name Pope Silvester, Louis Duchesne, ed. (1884). Le Liber pontificalis: texte, introduction et commentaire (in Latin). Vol. I, pars 1. Paris: E. de Boccard. pp. 184–185.
  5. Liber Pontificalis, pp. 184, 200.
  6. Liber Pontificalis, " Vita Leonis III"; in Louis Duchesne, Le Liber Pontificalis, Tome II (Paris: Thorin 1892), p. 32: "Episcopium vero m Albanense simul cum ecclesia quae in nomine beati Pancratii fundata est per quandam neglegentiam vel incuriam, per submissiones diabolicas1 post matutinis laudibus exusto a fundamentis usque ad summum tegnum combustum est."
  7. Franconi, Ferdinando (1877). La catacomba e la basilica costantiniana di Albano Laziale (in Italian). Roma: tip. di Roma.
  8. Fraikin, p. 1379.
  9. G. Cappelletti, Le chiese d'Italia I, p. 657.
  10. Cappelletti I, p. 658, who "sostenne vigorosamente contro gli Ariani la difesa del santo patriarca Atanasio." This is a mistake. Dionysius was Bishop of Milan, not Albano: C. J. Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church (tr. H. N. Oxenham) Vol. II (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark 1876), pp. 206-209.
  11. Lanzoni, p. 118.
  12. Liber Pontificalis, p. 220.
  13. Cappelletti I, p. 657.
  14. Fraikin, p. 1379. There are now (2018) 77 parishes.
  15. Fraikin, p. 1378.
  16. "hodie, multiplicatis commerciis, expeditioribus itineribus, auctoque proinde numero confluentium hominum, in quotidianum vocantur Fidei morumque discrimen."
  17. "Cardinalibus in Urbe negotia adeo sunt multiplicata, ut eorum paene mole obruantur, praesertim ob tot tantasque quibus Ecclesia nunc premitur necessitates... ingravescente praesertim aetate, tempus et vires interdum non sufficiant."
  18. The bishops of Sabina and Velletri already had suffragan bishops. Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Citta del Vaticano 1910), pp. 277-281.
  19. Acta Apostolicae Sedis 54 (Citta del Vaticano 1962), pp. 253-256.
  20. Acta Apostolicae Sedis 6 (Citta del Vaticano 1914), pp. 219-220.
  21. Orazio Marucci, "Di alcune inscrizioni recentemente trovate o ricomposte, nella basilica di S. Petronilla e dei SS. Nereo ed Achilleo sulla Via Ardeatina," in: Nuovo bullettino di archeologia cristiana 5 (Roma: Spithöver 1899), pp. 24-26. Fraikin, p. 1373.
  22. Bishop Romanus was present at the Roman synod held by Pope Hilarius on 19 November 465. Lanzoni, p. 120, no. 1. Cappelletti I, p. 658.
  23. Bishop Athanasius was present at the Lateran synod held by Pope Felix III on 13 March 487. Lanzoni, p. 120, no. 2. Cappelletti I, p. 658.
  24. Bishop Chrysogonua subscribed the acts of the Roman synods of 501, 502, and 504. Lanzoni, p. 120, no. 3. Fraikin, p. 1374.
  25. Gams, p. XXII, column 1. Cappelletti I, p. 658.Lanzoni, p. 120, no. 4.
  26. Bishop Epiphanius signed the acts of the Lateran synod held by Pope Martin I in October 649. Cappelletti I, p. 658. J.D. Mansi (ed), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, [,_Mansi_JD,_Sacrorum_Conciliorum_Nova_Amplissima_Collectio_Vol_010,_LT.pdf Tomus X (Florence: A. Zatta 1764), p. 866.
  27. Bishop Juvenalis signed the synodal letter of the Roman synod of 680, sent by Pope Agatho to the Third Council of Constantinople, which was read in the third plenary session. J.-D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus XI (Florence: A. Zatta 1764), p. 773.
  28. Bishop Andreas attended the Roman synod of Pope Gregory II on 5 April 721. Cappelletti I, p. 658. J.-D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus XII (Florence: A. Zatta 1764), pp. 262, 265.
  29. Bishop Eustratius was one of the three cardinal bishops who consecrated the antipope Constantinus II on 5 July 767. Philipp Jaffé (second edition S. Loewenfeld), Regesta pontificum Romanorum I (Leipzig 1885), p. 283. Gams, p. XXII.
  30. Gams, p. XXII. Cappelletti I, p. 659 (on the authority of Cesare Baronio, Annales Ecclesistici).
  31. Tedaldus is known only from a bull of 1044. and Hüls, p. 88.
  32. Hüls, pp. 89-90.
  33. Some sources mention cardinal Basilius ca.1072/73, e.g. Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' Cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, vol. 1 (Roma:Pagliarini 1792). p. 147; Cappelletti I, p. 660; Gams, p. XXII; Salvador Miranda, The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Biographical Dictionary, "Basilios"; retrieved: 16 December 2021; However, his existence has not been ascertained (cf. Klewitz, p. 116 note 1). Hüls, pp, 89-90, passes over him in silence. His name is not in the subscription lists of Philipp Jaffé, Regesta pontificum Romanorum, Vol. I.
  34. Petrus was a monk of Vallombrosa, a follower of Pope Gregory VII during the schism. Hüls, pp. 90-91.
  35. Hüls, pp. 91-92.
  36. Theodoricus was an adherent of antipope Clement III, who resided in Albano from July 1099 until he retired to Castello, where he died in September 1100. Theodoricus was elected his successor in the same month, but was captured and imprisoned before the end of the year. Jaffé, p. 772.
  37. Some sources, e.g Cardella, vol. 1, p. 211; Miranda, "Anastasio"; retrieved: 16 December 2021; mention cardinal Anastasio ca. 1114 but Klewitz, p. 120 no. 7 has proven that this resulted from a confusion. In Alfonso Chacón (Ciaconius) (1677), Agostino Olduin (ed.), Vitae et res gestae pontificum romanorum: et S.R.E. cardinalium(in Latin). Vol. I (secunda ed.). Roma: P. et A. De Rubeis (Rossi), p. 911-912, the name Anastasius follows immediately after the entry for Vitalis, Cardinal Bishop of Albano. Anastasius was cardinal priest of San Clemente from c. 1102 to c. 1125.
  38. Hüls, pp. 93-95.
  39. On 24 May 1116, Vitalis waS still Cardinal priest of S. Balbina, but he was one of the electors of Pope Gelasius II on 24 January 1118. Hüls, pp. 95-96.
  40. Bishop Matthaeus died on 25 December 1125. Brixius, p. 37, no. 29. Zenker, pp. 32-34, no. 12. Hüls, pp. 96-98.
  41. Albertus is known only from two subscriptions. Zenker, p. 34, no. 13.
  42. Jaffé I, p. 840. Zenker, pp. 34-35, no. 14.
  43. Brixius, p. 45 no. 36. Zenker, p. 35, no. 15.
  44. Zenker, pp. 36-38.
  45. Zenker, p. 39. no. 17.
  46. Henri was elevated at the Third Lateran Council by Pope Alexander III on March 7, 1179, in the second session J. D.Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio Vol. 22, p. 234. Jaffé II, p. 339. Brixius, pp. 61-62, no. 6.
  47. Source for the period 1189–1230: Maleczek, p. 63
  48. Pierre was named a cardinal by Pope Innocent VI on 17 September 1361. On 4 February 1364 he was promoted cardinal bishop of Albano. He died at Avignon on 20 May 1367. Eubel I, pp. 20, no. 9; 35.
  49. Brancaccio, Archbishop of Bari (1367-1377) and Archbishop of Cosenza (1377-1378). was appointed a cardinal by Pope Clement VII (Avignon Obedience) on 16 December 1378 as Cardinal Priest of S. Maria Transtiberim (1378-1390). He was promoted Bishop of Albano in April 1388. He died in Florence on 29 June 1412. Eubel I, pp. 27, no. 2; 35. Cappelletti I, p. 669. Salvador Miranda, The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Brancaccio. Retrieved: 2016-10-20. Archived 2008-05-08 at the Wayback Machine
  50. Salvador Miranda, The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church Consistory of November 20, 1551 Retrieved: 2016-10-20. [ self-published source? ]
  51. P. Gauchat Hierarchia catholica Volumen quartum (IV) (Münster 1935), pp. 32–33.
  52. Boncompagni was Doctor in utroque iure (Canon and Civil Law) (Rome, Sapienza (1676). He was Archbishop of Bologna from 1690 until his death in 1731. He was created a cardinal priest by Pope Innocent XII on 12 December 1695, and assigned the titular church of S. Maria in Via. He was promoted to the Suburbicarian diocese of Albano on 12 June 1724. He died in Rome on 24 March 1731. Ritzler, V, p. 19; p. 124 with note 3; VI, p. 126.
  53. Pico was a Doctor in utroque iure (Canon and Civil Law). In 1699 he became a Cleric of the Apostolic Camera (papal Treasury). He was appointed Prefect of the Papal Chamber in 1706, and given the titular Patriarchate of Constantinople (1706-1712). He became Prefect of the Apostolic Palace in 1707. At the same time he was given a three year term as Governor of Castelgandolfo. He was created a Cardinal Priest on 18 May 1712 by Pope Clement XI, and assigned the titular church of San Silvestro in Capite. He moved to Santa Prassede in 1728, and was promoted Cardinal Bishop of Albano on 9 April 1731. He held the diocese until he was promoted to Porto on 29 August 1740. He died on 10 August 1743. Ritzler, V, p. 28 no. 38, with notes 15–18, 48, and p. 170, with note 3; VI, p. 39. Pico della Mirandola was a member of the Accademia degli Arcadi, even before he became a cardinal: Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni (1730). L'istoria della volgar poesia (in Italian). Vol. III (third ed.). Venezia: L. Basegio. p. 287.
  54. Dugnani was a native of Milan. He received the degree Doctor in utroque iure (Canon and Civil Law) from the University of Pavia. In 1770 he became personal secretary to Pope Clement XIV. He was Apostolic Nuncio in France from 1787 to 1791 and consecrated Archbishop of Rhodes. He was elevated to the rank of Cardinal Priest by Pope Pius VI on 21 February 1794, and assigned the titular church of San Giovanni a Porta Latina; he was appointed Legate in the Romandiola. He moved to Santa Prassede in 1801. On 3 August 1807 he was promoted Cardinal Bishop of Albano, and on 8 March 1816 he transferred to the diocese of Porto. In May 1817 he became Prefect of the Signature of Justice. He died in Rome on 17 October 1818. J. J. Looney, ed. (2012). The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Retirement Series, Volume 8: 1 October 1814 to 31 August 1815. Princeton University Press. p. 483. ISBN   978-1-4008-4004-5. Ritzler, VI, p. 37, with notes 70–73.
  55. Falzacappa was a native of Corneto. He had previously been titular Archbishop of Athens (Greece) until he was transferred to Ancona on 10 March 1823; on the same day he was created Cardinal Priest by Pope Pius VII. He was first Cardinal Priest of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo, then of S. Maria in Trastevere, until 5 July 1830, when he was promoted to the diocese of Albano. He was named Prefect of the Signature of Justice, and a member of nine other Congregations in the Roman Curia. Notizie per l'anno 1834 (in Italian). Roma: Cracas. 1834. pp. 31, 73–74.Notizie per l'anno 1823 p. 32.
  56. Parocchi was a native of Milan. He had been Bishop of Pavia (1871–1877), and Archbishop of Bologna (1877–1882). He was created a cardinal by Pope Pius IX on 22 June 1877, and assigned the titular church of San Sisto (1877–1884), from which he moved to Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (1884–1889). He was Vicar General of the Pope for the City of Rome from 1884 to 1899. He was appointed Cardinal Bishop of Albano on 24 May 1889. ON 30 November 1896 he became Cardinal Bishop of Porto and sub-Dean of the College of Cardinals. He died on 15 June 1906. La gerarchia cattolica (in Italian). Roma: tip. Vaticana. 1888. pp. 64–65. A. Battandier (ed.) L'annuaire pontifique (Paris: La Bonne Presse 1899), pp. 98–99. Lentz, p. 140.
  57. Verga was born at Bassano, and enjoyed a career in the Roman Curia, culminating in the Secretaryship of the Congregation of the Council. He was named Cardinal Deacon of San Angelo in Pescheria on 10 November 1881, and moved to Santa Maria in Via lata on 1 June 1891. On 30 June 1896 he was promoted Cardinal Priest of San Callisto. ond on 30 November 1896 he was promoted to the See of Albano. A. Battandier (ed.) L'annuaire pontifique (Paris: La Bonne Presse 1899), pp. 98–99.
  58. Lentz, pp. 7–8.
  59. Lentz, pp. 84–85.
  60. Macario was Auxiliary Bishop of Albano from 1948 to 1966. Henri de Lubac (2015). Vatican Council Notebooks: Volume 1. San Francisco CA USA: Ignatius Press. pp. 461, n. ISBN   978-1-58617-305-0.
  61. Bräuer, p. 299. Lentz, p. 7.
  62. Bräuer, pp. 358–359. Lentz, p. 248.
  63. Bräuer, p. 399. Lentz, pp. 35–36.
  64. Bräuer, pp. 536–537. Lentz, pp. 178–179.

Books and articles

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Buonaiuti, Ernesto (1907). "Albano". In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company.