Diocese of Limburg

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Diocese of Limburg
Erzbistum Freiburg Erzbistum Bamberg Erzbistum Berlin Erzbistum Hamburg Erzbistum Köln Erzbistum München und Freising Erzbistum Paderborn Bistum Aachen Bistum Augsburg Bistum Dresden-Meißen Bistum Eichstätt Bistum Erfurt Bistum Essen Bistum Fulda Bistum Görlitz Bistum Hildesheim Bistum Limburg Bistum Magdeburg Bistum Mainz Bistum Mainz Bistum Münster Bistum Münster Bistum Osnabrück Bistum Passau Bistum Regensburg Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart Bistum Speyer Bistum Trier Bistum Trier Bistum WürzburgMap of the Diocese of Limburg
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Basic data
Country Germany
Ecclesiastical province Cologne
Metropolitan bishopric Archdiocese of Cologne
Diocesan bishop Georg Bätzing
Auxiliary bishop Thomas Löhr
Emeritus diocesan bishop Franz Kamphaus
Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Gerhard Pieschl
Vicar General Wolfgang Rösch
founding 1827
surface 6,182 km²
Dean's offices 11 (December 31, 2014)
Parishes 135 (December 31, 2018)
Residents 2,480,000 (December 31, 2016 AP 2017 )
Catholics 608,080 (December 31, 2018)
proportion of 24.5%
Diocesan priest 282 (December 31, 2014)
Religious priest 184 (December 31, 2014)
Catholics per priest 1,305
Permanent deacons 67 (December 31, 2014)
Friars 256 (December 31, 2014)
Religious sisters 733 (December 31, 2014)
rite Roman rite
Liturgical language Latin , German
cathedral Limburg Cathedral
address Rossmarkt 4
65549 Limburg
Website www.bistumlimburg.de
Ecclesiastical province
Erzbistum Freiburg Erzbistum Bamberg Erzbistum Berlin Erzbistum Hamburg Erzbistum Köln Erzbistum München und Freising Erzbistum Paderborn Bistum Aachen Bistum Augsburg Bistum Dresden-Meißen Bistum Eichstätt Bistum Erfurt Bistum Essen Bistum Fulda Bistum Görlitz Bistum Hildesheim Bistum Limburg Bistum Magdeburg Bistum Mainz Bistum Mainz Bistum Münster Bistum Münster Bistum Osnabrück Bistum Passau Bistum Regensburg Diözese Rottenburg-Stuttgart Bistum Speyer Bistum Trier Bistum Trier Bistum WürzburgMap of the Church Province of Cologne
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Logo of the Diocese of Limburg

The Diocese of Limburg ( Latin Dioecesis Limburgensis ) is a Roman Catholic diocese in the German church province of Cologne . It includes parts of the federal states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate . The cathedral church of the diocese is the Limburg Cathedral , the largest church in the diocese is the Imperial Cathedral of St. Bartholomew in Frankfurt am Main .

The diocese is divided into eleven districts: Frankfurt , Hochtaunus , Lahn-Dill-Eder , Limburg , Main-Taunus , Rheingau , Rhein-Lahn , Untertaunus , Westerwald , Wetzlar and Wiesbaden . Each district is presided over by a priest ("district dean"). For a number of years there has been a merger of parishes into so-called “new type of parishes”: currently (as of January 10, 2019) there are 86 parishes in the diocese, of these 86 parishes 42 are already “new type” parishes, i.e. large parishes that have been formed from several Catholic parishes, and 44 parishes "old type", which are still being combined into larger units. By 2023, 49 large parishes in the Limburg diocese should be reached.

In 2017 there were around 624,000 Catholics living in the diocese, around 25 percent of the area's population. Most of the Protestant Christians in this room belong to the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau .

Development of membership numbers


The diocese of Limburg was re-established in 1827 as a result of the reorganization of the Catholic dioceses after secularization as a suffragan diocese of the Upper Rhine ecclesiastical province with a metropolitan seat in Freiburg im Breisgau . Before that, the area belonged to the archbishopric of Trier and Mainz , with the northwestern part being Electorate and thus secularly ruled by the Archdiocese of Trier . It is one of the younger Catholic dioceses. It still includes the areas of the former Duchy of Nassau , the city of Frankfurt am Main, the Landgraviate of Hessen-Homburg and the former Biedenkopf district . 1929 was in the wake of the Prussian Concordat of the ecclesiastical province of Cologne assigned. The first Limburg bishop was Jakob Brand from 1827 to 1833 .

On February 2, 2007, the resignation of the previous Bishop Franz Kamphaus by Pope Benedict XVI. accepted. As his successor, the Limburg cathedral chapter elected the auxiliary bishop in the diocese of Münster Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst , who was on November 28, 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI. and was appointed to his office on January 20, 2008 by the Metropolitan of the Cologne ecclesiastical province , Archbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner . On March 26, 2014 Pope Francis granted Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst's resignation from October 20, 2013 and appointed Manfred Grothe , Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Paderborn , as Apostolic Administrator . On July 1, 2016, Georg Bätzing was appointed the new Limburg bishop. Episcopal ordination and inauguration took place on September 18, 2016 by Metropolitan and Archbishop Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki in Limburg Cathedral.

Cathedral chapter

The cathedral chapter consists of priests who take care of the divine service in the cathedral.

“As consultants (advisors) they support the diocesan bishop in running the diocese. The cathedral chapter is a public legal person and a corporation under public law. "

In the case of a bishopric, the cathedral chapter elects the diocesan bishop from a list of three candidates submitted by the Pope. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Löhr presides over the cathedral chapter as cathedral dean. The cathedral chapter includes (as of November 11, 2019):

Lay people in the Diocese of Limburg: The "synodal path"

The “Synodal Way” was initiated by Bishop Wilhelm Kempf on March 16, 1969 when he was first elected to the parish council . It is a matter of letting laypeople advise and participate in decisions on important matters .

"The basic idea is that every appointed office holder is faced with a committee of elected mandate holders, who then discuss and decide together."

According to this, the “office” at the parish level - i.e. the pastor  - is opposed to the parish council, a body made up of elected lay people. At the level of the “ pastoral room ”, the pastoral committee faces the priestly head. Lay people and full-time officials work together on the various “levels” of the diocese: in the parish council in the parish, in the pastoral committee at the level of the pastoral area, in the district synodal council at the district level. At the diocese level there is the episcopal advisory body of the diocesan synodal council (the bishop decides alone according to canon law) and the diocesan assembly as a mandate representative.

Diocesan Assembly

Diocesan assembly in the Wilhelm-Kempf-Haus in Wiesbaden-Naurod on October 28, 2017

The Diocesan Assembly (DV) is the elected representative of the Catholics of the Limburg diocese. Of the 77 members, 58 members are sent by the eleven district assemblies in the diocese. There are also 13 people from a free elective list and six people from a elective list of the Catholic associations in the diocese.

The diocesan assembly sees its task in “observing, discussing and taking a position on developments in church, social and state life”. The diocesan assembly is the body recognized by the bishop within the meaning of the Decree of the Second Vatican Council on the Apostolate of the Laity, No. 26. The diocesan assembly publishes the results of its deliberations mostly in the form of a declaration and can independently decide on the content. Topics are, for example, bioethical issues, pastoral care of the future, the dialogue process with the German bishops and, above all, socio-political issues on which the DV wants to express itself as the “voice of the laity”.

Ingeborg Schillai ( Taunusstein ) is the president of the diocesan assembly represented by Andreas Feldmar and Andreas Gref in her third term of office . Together with six other members, they form the Presidium. The diocesan assembly usually meets twice a year, the praesidium about ten times. That is why the Presidium can also comment on issues through current statements, e.g. B. for pre-implantation diagnosis (PGD).

The diocesan assembly sends members to the state working groups of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate, to the Diocesan Synodal Council (DSR) and to the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK). The Limburg diocesan councils are currently Barbara Wieland (Frankfurt), Christian Pulfrich (Dillenburg) and Wiegand Otterbach (Höhr-Grenzhausen) in the ZdK. The ZdK members are also (not entitled to vote) members of the diocesan assembly presidium.

In addition, the Presidium is in close contact with the political parties. The episcopal vicar for the synodal bodies takes part in presidium meetings and in both plenary assemblies.

Diocesan Synodal Council

The Diocesan Synodal Council (DSR) is the body that advises the Bishop of Limburg on all important decisions. The diocesan synodal council consists of the bishop of Limburg as chairman, the president of the diocesan assembly and 18 members elected by the diocesan assembly, the episcopal vicar for the synodal area, the auxiliary bishop and the vicar general, elected representatives of the council of priests, the council of orders, the council of deacons and the council of parishes from Catholics of other mother tongues, the professional groups of pastoral and parish officers and up to four members appointed by the bishop. The council currently has a total of 35 members.

"The bishop and the other members of the diocesan synodal council inform each other as dialogue partners and discuss together about the pending matters;" according to § 77 SynO. The DSR advises on the guidelines and priorities for pastoral care in the diocese, the coordination of pastoral activities in the diocese, principles for the commitment of staff in the pastoral service, the pastoral principles for drawing up the budget of the diocese and various other questions. He elects 13 of the 18 honorary members of the Diocesan Church Tax Council (DKStR). All budget issues of the diocese and the episcopal see of Limburg are discussed and decided by the DKStR. With a view to the budget, the DKStR is called upon to decide on the budget, to determine the annual financial statements, to decide on the type and scope of the audit of the annual financial statements and to elect the auditor.

Church institutions

Monasteries and religious orders

Before the secularization in 1803, there were 26 monasteries in the Nassau area. In 1817 the last of these monasteries, the Bethlehem Franciscan monastery in Limburg , was closed. Limburg remained a diocese without religious until the founding of the Dernbacher sisters and the Redemptorists settled in the Bornhofen monastery in 1850. In addition to the Dernbach sisters, another religious order, the Brothers of Mercy of Montabaur , has arisen in the diocese .

Today the following religious branches exist in the Diocese of Limburg (incomplete selection):

Schools sponsored by the Diocese of Limburg

Under the umbrella of the St. Hildegard School Society of the Diocese of Limburg, the following Catholic schools train their entrusted children and adolescents as grammar schools :

Catholic adult education

The diocesan education center of the Diocese of Limburg, based in the Haus am Dom in Frankfurt am Main, is a member of the Catholic Adult Education - Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Hessen .

Pilgrimage sites

Sanctuaries and Marian Grace places in the diocese of Limburg are: monastery church Bornhofen , Abbey Marie Instead , monastery church Marienthal , pilgrimage chapel Maria Hilf Beselich , Herzberg Chapel Hadamar , Church of Our Lady Reichenstein / Westerburg , Chapel Hill Hofheim , St. Mary's Chapel Kranenberg , Liebfrauenkirche Frankfurt , Marian Sanctuary Wirzenborn .

Closures of church buildings

The Herz-Jesu-Kirche in Friedrichsdorf before the demolition

In the diocese in the process carried out "Save and Replace" were in the parishes some parishes reduced since the number of churchgoers was often considerably less than that existing in the churches seats. As a rule, this meant a so-called house-in-house solution, which means that congregational rooms were built into the existing church so that the space that was previously used exclusively for liturgical purposes is also available for other pastoral activities. However, between 2007 and 2015, existing churches of no art historical importance were also demolished . In several of the affected communities there was clear resistance to these plans. In addition to the church space that is no longer required, the diocese stated that some of these churches had become dilapidated and that considerable expenditure would be required for renovation, as well as the considerable heating costs of the large church rooms. The related cancellation of grants for building maintenance and for heating the churches also met with considerable displeasure in some parishes.

In November 2012 the St. Hildegard Church in Frankfurt-Fechenheim was profaned, the Sacred Heart Church in Friedrichsdorf was profaned and demolished, and the Maria Queen Church in Niederweidbach was sold. In Frankfurt-Hausen, the former parish church of St. Raphael is being profaned and torn down.


The weekly church newspaper Der Sonntag is the diocese's newspaper . The diocese also publishes the biannual religious education magazine Eulenfisch .

List of saints


In addition to the regular budget, which must be accounted for, the Diocese of Limburg also has no accountability through the Episcopal See as long as no public funds are used in it. The amount of the Episcopal See's assets was first published on April 29, 2015. The total assets of the diocese, the accounting of which has been the first German diocese to have been based on commercial law regulations since January 1, 2003, totaled 1,155 million euros as of December 31, 2018, a large part of which is tied up in fixed assets . The financial assets included in the fixed assets are largely sustainable . The diocese income from church taxes rose in 2018 by 0.4 percent compared to the previous year to 228.1 million euros.

The Episcopal See was founded in 1827 for the maintenance of the respective bishop. Today it has the legal form of a corporation under public law . Since the change of its statute on April 1, 2011, the chair no longer owed accountability to the cathedral chapter, but only to the bishop, his vicar general and the newly formed asset management council; the cathedral chapter was disempowered in this regard. As a result of the “Law on Diocesan Asset Management in the Diocese of Limburg”, which came into force on April 1, 2016 after curial and synodal advice by the Apostolic Administrator Auxiliary Bishop Manfred Grothe , asset management in the Diocese of Limburg was reorganized. The reorganization provides for five bodies that perform the asset management tasks of the Limburg diocese and the Episcopal See. The Diocesan Assets Board of Directors began its work as a new body in May 2016.

See also


  • Walter Bröckers (Red.): Our common path. 150 years of the Limburg diocese. Frankfurt 1977, ISBN 3-7820-0399-3
  • Klaus Schatz: History of the Diocese of Limburg (= sources and treatises on the Middle Rhine church history , Volume 48). Society for Middle Rhine Church History, Mainz 1983
  • Ferdinand Ebert / Hermann J. Roth, events and characters from the history of the Limburg diocese. Religious local studies for Main, Lahn and Eder. Volume I. Long Legs 1993
  • Christoph Waldecker : Doors of honor, flowers and flags. The greetings of the bishops by Limburg citizens. In: Archive for Middle Rhine Church History 61 (2009), pp. 253–288
  • Martina Wagner: ... that you see the establishment of an episcopal seat and seminar in this city as a real benefit. Limburg as a bishopric. In: Limburg in the flow of time. Highlights from 1100 years of city history. Limburg 2010, pp. 309-330
  • Karl Wagner: Pastoral structure and personnel planning in the Diocese of Limburg. 1994

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. a b Catholic Church in Germany. (PDF: 1,041 kB) Statistical data 2018. Secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference, July 19, 2019, p. 3 , accessed on July 19, 2019 .
  2. Diocese atlas. Retrieved August 19, 2019 .
  3. a b Diocese of Limburg announces further parish mergers. In 2023 there should still be 49 large parishes. In: kathisch.de. January 9, 2019, accessed September 18, 2019 .
  4. Klaus Schatz: History of the Diocese of Limburg , Mainz 1983, p. 7, see also p. 11 (map: “Political and denominational borders before 1803”).
  5. Press Office of the Holy See March 26, 2014: Press release regarding the Diocese of Limburg (Germany)
  6. ^ Nomina del Vescovo di Limburg (Germania). In: Daily Bulletin. Holy See Press Office , July 1, 2016, accessed July 1, 2016 (Italian).
  7. Do not make yourself too fat as a bishop. Future bishop Dr. Georg Bätzing visits Limburg ( Memento from July 8, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  8. a b Limburg Cathedral Chapter. In: bistumlimburg.de. March 1, 2018, accessed September 18, 2019 .
  9. Becoming what we are - Bishop gives impulse on parish council day. In: bistum-limburg.de. September 11, 2018, accessed September 18, 2019 .
  10. a b Synodal Way ( Memento from February 10, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  11. a b c d The diocesan assembly. November 29, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2019 .
  12. https://bistumlimburg.de/beitrag/ingeborg-schillai-als-praesidentin-bestaetigt/
  13. https://bistumlimburg.de/beitrag/ingeborg-schillai-als-praesidentin-bestaetigt/
  14. Ingeborg Schillai is president of the Diocesan Assembly. Beatrix Schlausch's successor comes from the Untertaunus district ( Memento from October 24, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  15. ^ Diocese of Limburg: The diocesan assembly
  16. ^ Diocesan Synodal Council ( Memento of August 31, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ^ Diocese of Limburg: Decree of Bishop Franz Kamphaus of January 15, 2007. Published in the Official Gazette of the Diocese of Limburg 2007 No. 2 of February 1, 2007 No. 449: Document on the establishment of the profile church “Holy Cross - Center for Christian Meditation and Spirituality”. In: Website of the parish of St. Josef Frankfurt . February 1, 2007, accessed April 1, 2018 .
  18. ^ Diocese of Limburg: Decree of Bishop Franz Kamphaus of January 15, 2007. Published in the Official Gazette of the Diocese of Limburg 2007 No. 2 of February 1, 2007 No. 448: Document on the establishment of the profile church “St. Michael - Center for Mourning Pastoral “, Frankfurt am Main. In: Website of the parish of St. Josef Frankfurt . February 1, 2007, accessed April 1, 2018 .
  19. ^ Bishopric Limburg: CROSSOVER Youth Church Limburg. In: Website Youth Church Crossover. 2018, accessed April 1, 2018 .
  20. diocese Limburg . Jona Catholic Church Youth Frankfurt. In: Website youth church jona. 2018, accessed April 1, 2018 .
  21. ^ Diocese of Limburg: Kana Jugendkirche Wiesbaden. In: Website of the youth church of Kana. 2018, accessed April 1, 2018 .
  22. ^ Klaus Schatz: History of the Diocese of Limburg , Mainz 1983, p. 14.
  23. ^ (Arch) bishops of Germany and Austria and the bishop of Bozen-Brixen (ed.): Gotteslob - Catholic prayer and hymn book . Edition for the Diocese of Limburg. 1st edition. Katholische Bibelanstalt GmbH / Lahn-Verlag GmbH, Stuttgart / Kevelaer 2013, ISBN 978-3-7840-0203-3 , Our diocese in history, p. 967 .
  24. ^ Bishopric Limburg Episcopal Ordinariate: Holy Spirit Riederwald - Sankt Hildegard. Retrieved September 18, 2019 .
  25. Bells from the lake ring on the Main ( Memento from January 1, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  26. Am Industriehof in Frankfurt: Church in Frankfurt is being demolished and making room for a school - Frankfurter Neue Presse
  27. Diocese publishes annual accounts of the Episcopal See ( Memento of December 29, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  28. a b Diocese of Limburg: Annual Report 2018. Accessed January 27, 2020 .
  29. Franz-Josef Sehr : Diocese of Limburg: "To be best in class is better than penalties through exclusion" . In: Universal-Investment-Gesellschaft mbH (ed.): Allocate! No. 4, summer 2010 . Frankfurt 2010, p. 10-11 .
  30. Daniel Deckers: Diocese of Limburg: Give shape to faith. In: faz.net. June 23, 2013, accessed September 18, 2019 .
  31. Final report on the external ecclesiastical examination of the building project on Domberg in Limburg. (PDF; 2,793.55 kB) February 14, 2014, accessed on September 18, 2019 .
  32. More transparency, external control and unbundling ( Memento from August 13, 2016 in the Internet Archive )