Diocese of Chur

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Diocese of Chur
Map of the Diocese of Chur
Basic data
Country Switzerland
Ecclesiastical province Immediate
Diocesan bishop Sedis vacancy
Apostolic Administrator Pierre Bürcher
Auxiliary bishop Marian Eleganti OSB
Emeritus diocesan bishop Vitus Huonder
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Peter Henrici SJ
Paul Vollmar SM
surface 12,272 km²
Parishes 308 (December 31, 2011 / AP 2013 )
Residents 1,769,999 (December 31, 2011 / AP 2013 )
Catholics 686,660 (December 31, 2011 / AP 2013 )
proportion of 38.8%
Diocesan priest 351 (December 31, 2011 / AP 2013 )
Religious priest 239 (December 31, 2011 / AP 2013 )
Catholics per priest 1,164
Permanent deacons 52 (December 31, 2011 / AP 2013 )
Friars 345 (December 31, 2011 / AP 2013 )
Religious sisters 908 (December 31, 2011 / AP 2013 )
rite Roman rite
Liturgical language German
cathedral St. Mary of the Assumption
address Hof 19
P.O. Box 133
7002 Chur
Website www.bistum-chur.ch

The Roman Catholic diocese of Chur ( Latin : Dioecesis Curiensis ) is located in eastern Switzerland and includes the cantons of Graubünden and Schwyz , as well as, provisionally since 1819, Uri , Glarus , Obwalden , Nidwalden and Zurich . The patron saint of the diocese of Chur is St. Lucius and the episcopal church is the Chur Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption .



The historical ecclesiastical division of Switzerland
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary from the north
Chur diocese coat of arms

The diocese of Chur was probably founded in the 4th century in the territory of Churrätien . A bishop of the diocese of Chur was first mentioned in a document in 451/52. Bishop Tello became known through his will in the 8th century.

The seat of the Bishop of Chur is the Episcopal Court in the city of Chur . The current baroque complex, the Episcopal Palace , dates from 1732/33. Above the courtyard was the St. Stephen's Chapel , one of the first cemetery churches in northern Grisons.

According to legend, Saint Lucius, who was executed as a martyr in Chur around the year 176, was the first bishop. His bones are kept in the cathedral in Chur and he is considered the patron saint of the diocese.

middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, the Bishop of Chur controlled large parts of today's Graubünden, Chiavenna , Bormio and the Vinschgau as secular ruler, as Prince-Bishop of the Holy Roman Empire . He was in constant feuds, wars and legal conflicts with his ministerials on the one hand ( Barons von Vaz , den Matsch , Sax-Misox , Werdenberg-Sargans and others) and competing territorial lords on the other ( Duchy of Milan , County of Tyrol , Habsburgs ). As early as the 14th century, the counties of Chiavenna and Bormio were lost to Milan. The Vinschgau and the Lower Engadine were in fact already in the hands of the Counts of Tyrol. Then the subjects of the bishop, the so-called "House of God", joined together in 1367 to form the Church of God in order to prevent their estrangement from the crumbling prince-bishopric. The Church of God was part of the Free State of the Three Leagues until 1798 . The Bishop of Chur belonged as imperial prince to the Austrian Empire .

Ecclesiastically, the diocese of Chur first belonged to the archbishopric of Milan . After the division of the Franconian Empire in 843 it was subordinate to the Archdiocese of Mainz and its church province , and since 1803 directly to the Pope.

Reorganization in the 19th century

In 1819 the diocese of Chur received parts of the expired diocese of Constance (Ob- and Nidwalden, parts of Uri, Schwyz, Glarus and Zurich) for provisional administration, after having previously lost the Vinschgau and parts of Vorarlberg. With the papal bull Ecclesias quae antiquitate of July 2, 1823, the newly created diocese of Chur-St. Gallen founded: St. Gallen did not agree with this. To end the year-long dispute, Pope Gregory XVI smashed therefore in 1836 the double diocese of Chur-St. Gallen and established an apostolic vicariate for St. Gallen, which became part of the diocese of St. Gallen in 1847 .

20th and 21st centuries

The use of the title Prince Bishop and the use of the secular symbols of dignity associated with it (such as the princely hat and coat ) was approved in 1951 by Pope Pius XII. also formally abolished.

In the 1990s, the Diocese of Chur was shaped by the dispute over the then Bishop Wolfgang Haas . During the dispute, the call for reorganization of the diocese of Chur arose in many cases , as in particular the part of the diocese belonging to the canton of Zurich and parts of the Catholic regional church of Graubünden, which is under state church law, was in sharp rejection of the Chur diocese leadership. However, the Holy See did not solve the problem in 1997 by reorganizing the diocese and thus founding a diocese of Zurich, but by separating the principality of Liechtenstein from the diocese of Chur. The territory of the Principality of Liechtenstein was elevated to the Archdiocese of Vaduz with Wolfgang Haas as the first Archbishop.

In February 2011 , Ernst Fuchs and the vicar general for the canton of Graubünden , Andreas Rellstab, resigned from their offices within a few days, initially the rain of the St. Luzi seminary in Chur . As a reason, they gave unspecified differences with Bishop Vitus Huonder. The auxiliary bishop of the diocese, Marian Eleganti, was appointed to succeed Fuchs. In a statement published on February 24, 2011, 11 of the 17 deans of the diocese turned against the administration of the bishop, which according to the signatories "is driving more and more pastors into internal emigration". Bishop Huonder announced that he wanted to contact the Apostolic Nuncio in Switzerland and the Bishops Congregation of the Holy See for the purpose of mediating the conflict . After Huonder had been in Rome for consultations at the end of March 2011, he announced in a letter to the Catholics of the diocese of April 7, 2011 that he had the full confidence of Pope Benedict XVI. enjoy and want to continue his office as bishop. On April 14, 2011, Huonder announced the appointment of Andreas Fuchs as the new Vicar General for the Canton of Graubünden, although Fuchs was not due to take office until the summer of 2011.

In view of Huonder's resignation in 2017, Vicar General for Urschweiz Martin Kopp called for the election of bishops in Chur to be postponed and for a foreign apostolic administrator to be appointed . Pierre Bürcher has been Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Chur since May 20, 2019 .

coat of arms

The coat of arms of the Diocese of Chur has been the upright black ibex on a silver background since the 13th century. The coat of arms was later adopted by the Church of Gods Association and found its way into the coat of arms of the Canton of Graubünden in the 19th century.

Diocesan calendar

In the diocese of Chur, the regional calendar for the German-speaking area is supplemented by the following celebrations (followed by the rank and the liturgical color ).

Abbreviations: H = solemn festival , F = festival , G = mandatory day of remembrance , g = non-mandatory day of remembrance , GK = general calendar , RK = regional calendar

See also

Web links

Commons : Diocese of Chur  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. The Urserental did not belong to the Diocese of Constance and therefore has a definitive status of affiliation with the Diocese of Chur.
  2. Lothar Deplazes, Pierre Surchat: Chur (Diocese, Principality). In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  3. where only the canton of Schwyz has now definitely been added to the diocese, while the other parts of the former Konstanz diocese continue to be administered provisionally by the diocese, albeit for almost 200 years.
  4. ^ Franz Gall : Austrian heraldry. Handbook of coat of arms science. 2nd edition Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 1992, p. 219, ISBN 3-205-05352-4 .
  5. Second high-ranking clergyman in the Diocese of Chur goes , NZZ of February 24, 2011
  6. Majority of the deans worried about the future of the Diocese of Chur ( Memento from September 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), kath.ch from February 26, 2011
  7. The fight for Chur , kath.net from February 28, 2011
  8. Chur Bishop Huonder has the confidence of the Pope
  9. ^ Chur: Andreas Fuchs new regional vicar general for Graubünden
  10. Vicar General Kopp calls for postponement of the election of bishops in Chur , SRF of October 24, 2016
  11. Vitus Huonder is no longer Bishop of Chur. In: tagesanzeiger.ch . May 20, 2019, accessed May 20, 2019 .
  12. Vitus Huonder is no longer Bishop of Chur. In: tagesanzeiger.ch . May 20, 2019, accessed May 20, 2019 .
  13. ^ Louis Mühlemann: Coats of arms and flags of Switzerland. Book Club Ex Libris, Zurich 1980, p. 114.