Diocese of Toul

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St. Etienne Cathedral , Toul

The diocese of Toul was a diocese in Lorraine . It existed from the middle of the 4th century until its repeal in 1801. The cathedral was Saint-Étienne de Toul . The secular domain of the bishops was the bishopric of Toul . It belonged to the Holy Roman Empire until the early modern period and then fell to France . In 1817 a new diocese of Toul was established and in 1824 it was united with the diocese of Nancy to form the diocese of Nancy-Toul .


Around the middle of the 4th century the diocese was founded as a suffragan from Trier. The diocese covered the area from the Vosges to near the Marne . In 1402 the diocese comprised six archdeaconates with 23 deaneries and a total of 680 parishes.

The secular area of ​​the later bishopric began to develop around the 7th century. It finally comprised six bailiwicks . Characteristic was the big difference between the quite large spiritual area of ​​the diocese and the small secular dominion of the bishopric, initially with the city of Toul as the center.

From 925 the diocese belonged to the Holy Roman Empire as part of the Duchy of Lorraine . Like the other two bishoprics in Lorraine, Metz and Verdun , Toul was richly endowed at the expense of the newly formed Duchy of Lorraine. The three Lorraine dioceses were also referred to as the three dioceses .

From Bishop Gerhard I (963–994) until the beginning of the 12th century, most of the bishops came from the empire. Bishop Brun of Toul , who was a cousin of Conrad II , was named Leo IX. elected Pope in 1049 . The emperors hardly tried to influence the elections of bishops through the cathedral chapter . The diocese was involved in the imperial politics of the Ottonians and Salians . However, the very small Hochstift had only a comparatively low weight of its own.

In spiritual terms, the diocese was a center of the church reform movement in the 10th and 11th centuries, especially under Bishop Brun . Since the middle of the 11th century, numerous Benedictine priests have been founded by nobles in particular . Reform monasteries emerged from the end of the century. This was accompanied by an increase in the spiritual activity of the bishops in the diocese.

From the beginning of the 12th century until the middle of the 13th century, the cathedral chapter mainly elected bishops from the ranks of the Lorraine nobility. From the 12th century there was growing territorial competition between the bishopric and the dukes of Lorraine. For protection, the castle town of Liverdun was expanded into an important episcopal base from 1178 .

When there were several controversial elections in the 13th century, Pope Nicholas III transferred. the diocese in 1278 to the Franciscan Conrad Probus from Tübingen . This transferred the umbrella bailiwick to the Duke of Lorraine. With this, the secular rights of rule largely passed to the dukes. Since then, the cathedral chapter has hardly played a role in the election of bishops. Rather, the popes mostly appointed foreigners to the office. After the city of Toul had emancipated itself from episcopal rule, the bishops moved their residence to Liverdun.

In 1552, however, the French King Henry II , who had reached an agreement with some Protestant princes in the Treaty of Chambord , occupied the cities of Metz , Toul and Verdun . Charles V failed to recapture Metz in the following year, which means that the city of Toul remained in fact under the French crown. The diocese remained with the kingdom; at the time of Emperor Maximilian II , the bishop once again formally recognized its sovereignty by paying taxes to the empire. In the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 France was confirmed the possession of the city and the bishopric of Toul.

From 1668 the King of France selected the candidate for the episcopate. In 1777 Saint-Dié and Nancy were separated as new dioceses . The diocese was abolished in 1801 as a result of the French Revolution . The secular territory of the three monasteries Verdun, Toul and Metz formed the province of the three dioceses until the revolution .

In 1817 the diocese was rebuilt and in 1824 united with the diocese of Nancy to form the diocese of Nancy-Toul.

See also


  • Gerhard Köbler : Historical lexicon of the German countries. The German territories from the Middle Ages to the present. 4th, completely revised edition. CH Beck, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-406-35865-9 , p. 629.
  • Gerhard Taddey : Diocese of Toul. In the S. (Ed.): Lexicon of German history . People, events, institutions. From the turn of the times to the end of the 2nd World War. 2nd, revised edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-520-80002-0 , pp. 1240f.

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