Diocese of Bozen-Brixen

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Diocese of Bozen-Brixen
Map of the Diocese of Bolzano-Brixen
Basic data
Country Italy
Metropolitan bishopric Archdiocese of Trento
Diocesan bishop Ivo Muser
Vicar General Eugene Runggaldier
founding 6th century
surface 7,400 km²
Parishes 281 (2018 / AP 2019 )
Residents 525.092 (2018 / AP 2019 )
Catholics 501.619 (2018 / AP 2019 )
proportion of 95.5%
Diocesan priest 239 (2018 / AP 2019 )
Religious priest 174 (2018 / AP 2019 )
Catholics per priest 1,215
Permanent deacons 29 (2018 / AP 2019 )
Friars 221 (2018 / AP 2019 )
Religious sisters 402 (2018 / AP 2019 )
rite Roman rite
cathedral Brixen Cathedral, Assumption of the Virgin Mary and St. Kassian
Co-cathedral Assumption of Mary Bolzano
address Cathedral Square 5
39100 Bolzano
Website www.bz-bx.net
Ecclesiastical province
Map of the ecclesiastical province

The catholic diocese of Bozen-Brixen ( Italian Diocesi di Bolzano-Bressanone , Ladin Diozeja de Bulsan-Persenon , Latin Dioecesis Bauzanensis-Brixinensis ) covers the area of ​​the autonomous province of Bozen - South Tyrol in Italy . It was formed in 1964 as the legal successor to the diocese of Brixen, which had lost large parts of its diocese in North and East Tyrol in 1921 and has now been increased by the South Tyrolean portions of the Archdiocese of Trento .


Coat of arms of the diocese or the former prince-bishopric and bishopric of Brixen with the Easter lamb on a red background

Säben bishopric

The Säbener Berg was the seat of the diocese until the 10th century

The diocese should be from St. Kassian was founded around 350 and is venerated in Säben near Brixen . However, it is not certain that Kassian was actually bishop.

According to some researchers, the diocese of Säben is said to have been a retreat bishopric that emerged in the course of the collapse of the Roman Empire . Specifically, the bishopric of Augusta Vindelicum ( Augsburg ) should have been relocated to the safer Säben and in the following time it was subordinate to the Patriarchate of Aquileia . At a synod of bishops in Grado (between 572 and 577) a bishop Materninus von Säben was present, who is the first officially attested official. More is known about his successor, St. Ingenuinus , who took part in the Council of Marano in 590 and who in the same year bought prisoners of his diocese from the Franks . In the following year he is attested as signing a petition to the Byzantine emperor Maurikios .

There are no written sources about the further history of the diocese up to 769, so that it was considered that the diocese did not exist continuously at this time. Finally, in 769, Alim is again attested to as a bishop. During his term of office, the reorientation of the diocese from the Patriarchate of Aquileia to the church structures north of the Alps, which was completed with the incorporation into the Archdiocese of Salzburg in 798. As early as the late 6th century, the diocesan area was increasingly populated by Bavarians and became part of the Duchy of Bavaria . The upper and middle Inn Valley , a large part of the Eisack Valley and the Puster Valley belonged to the diocese . Archaeological finds prove the early existence of a bishop's church on Säbener Berg in the Longobard period .

Bishopric Brixen

On September 13, 901 King Ludwig transferred the child - from the property of his mother Uta - to the diocese under Bishop Zacharias the curtis, quae dicitur Prishna (courtyard, which is called Brixen). The bishopric was moved there before 990. St. Albuin resided as bishop in Brixen from around 975 to 1006. When the diocese moved, the relics of Saints Kassian and Ingenuinus were also brought to Brixen.

The transfer of county rights in the Inn, Eisack and Pustertal valleys by King Heinrich II.  (1004) and Emperor Konrad II.  (1027) established the secular rule of the bishops in parts of Tyrol (the Bressanone Monastery), which always existed until the Imperial Deputation Headquarters of 1803 were also prince-bishops . Friedrich Barbarossa granted them further sovereign powers in 1179 with the customs and coinage law . From 1265 the Brixen Hofburg served as the prince-bishop's residence. In times of war, the prince-bishops withdrew to Bruneck Castle in the Puster Valley, which was built in 1251 ; From 1578 onwards, Velthurns Castle in the Eisack Valley served as their summer residence .

The diocese comprised most of the Eisack Valley , the Puster Valley and the Inn Valley from Finstermünz to the Jenbach area and the valleys of the Dolomite Ladins (Val Gardena, Gadertal, Enneberg, Fassatal), and from 1778 also Cortina d'Ampezzo (Hayden).

The secular power of the bishops, the bishopric , was increasingly restricted from the middle of the 12th century by the Counts of Tyrol , who acted as bailiffs of the bishopric. At the end of the High Middle Ages, the prince-bishopric as an independent imperial territory largely only comprised the city and the surrounding area of ​​Brixen, Klausen and smaller areas in the Puster Valley. The prince-bishopric was closely linked to the ducal county of Tyrol through numerous treaties . In 1803 the prince-bishopric was finally abolished by the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss and incorporated into Austrian rulership .

In the years between 1808 and 1816 Brixen received the Vinschgau and parts of Vorarlberg at the expense of the Diocese of Chur . On May 2, 1818, Pope Pius VII changed the diocesan borders for Tyrol and Vorarlberg with the Bull Ex imposito , whereby Brixen lost large parts of the Vinschgau to Trento. With the breve dated June 16, 1819, a vicariate general for Vorarlberg was established in Feldkirch , which until then had belonged to the dioceses of Augsburg, Chur and Constance .

On September 29, 1822, the Emperor of Austria received the bull Quae nos gravissimi, the right to appoint the bishops for Brixen.

When South Tyrol came to Italy after the First World War , the administration of the parts of the diocese that remained with Austria became more difficult. However, the Holy See did not want to give the impression of recognizing the division of Tyrol by changing the diocesan borders. Therefore, the Vicar General of Vorarlberg, Sigismund Waitz , was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Austrian part of the Diocese of Brixen on April 9, 1921. On April 25, 1925 it became the Innsbruck-Feldkirch administration , but without establishing a new diocese. Since Brixen was cut off from its metropolitan seat Salzburg, but the Holy See did not want to incorporate it into an Italian metropolitan district, the diocese was placed directly under the Holy See on April 25, 1921 .

Bishopric Bolzano

In the "German part" around Bolzano and Merano, which belongs to the Italian-influenced diocese of Trento , the desire to be affiliated to the diocese of Bressanone grew. On August 6, 1964, the Bull Quo aptius made this area part of the diocese of Brixen. This in turn had to finally give up the rights to the areas in Austria and cede the Ladin deaneries of Fodom (Buchenstein) and Anpezo to the diocese of Belluno . It was named Diocese of Bozen-Brixen and was subordinated to Trento as a suffragan diocese. Associated with this was the transfer of the bishopric from Brixen to Bozen. The cathedra and the cathedral chapter remained in Bressanone, but the bishop has lived in Bozen since 1964, the former provost church ( Maria Himmelfahrt ) next to the Bressanone cathedral was elevated to a co- cathedral . The ordinariate is housed in a new building. Also in 1964, the Apostolic Administration Innsbruck-Feldkirch was raised to an independent diocese (in 1968 Vorarlberg became an independent diocese of Feldkirch ) and the Archdiocese of Salzburg was assigned as a suffragan diocese.

The (North) Tyrolean provincial government had advocated linking these two changes after, despite the text of the 1929 Concordat, an adjustment of the diocesan borders to the provincial borders or the inclusion of all mostly German-speaking deaneries in the diocese of Brixen could not be achieved.

After the unexpected death of Bishop Wilhelm Egger on August 16, 2008, Vicar General Josef Matzneller was appointed diocesan administrator . On December 5, 2008, the diocesan administrator Matzneller announced that the moral theologian Karl Golser, born in Tscherms in 1943, had been appointed bishop. Golser was the third bishop of Bozen-Brixen and the first to come from the former South Tyrolean part of the diocese of Trento. He received his episcopal ordination on March 8, 2009 in Brixen Cathedral. On July 27, 2011 Golser's resignation was accepted, Josef Matzneller was reappointed administrator and Ivo Muser was designated as bishop. On October 9, 2011, Muser was ordained bishop in Bressanone by Archbishop Luigi Bressan .

Financial position

The Curia Bozen-Brixen has considerable financial and real estate assets that are administered by its own institute, the DIUK. In the 2018 financial year, for example, total assets of around 97 million euros were reported, of which 74 million were fixed assets. Land and buildings hit 65 million.

Diocesan calendar

In the diocese of Bozen-Brixen, the regional calendar for the German-speaking area is supplemented by the following celebrations (followed by the rank):

  • January 7th: St. Valentin , Bishop in Raetia - g
  • January 15th: St. Romedius von Thaur , hermit on Nonsberg - g
  • January 29th: St. Joseph Freinademetz , religious priest and messenger of faith in China - G
  • February 4: St. Agatha , virgin and martyr (RK: February 5) - g
  • February 5th: St. Ingenuin and Albuin , bishops of Säben and Brixen - g
  • Saturday after the 2nd Sunday after Easter: St. Kassian and St. Vigilius , martyrs, diocesan patrons - H
  • May 16: St. John Nepomuk - g
  • May 29th: St. Sisinnius, Martyrius and Alexander, martyrs on Nonsberg - g
  • May 30th: Bl. Otto Neururer , priest and martyr - g
  • June 10: Bl. Heinrich von Bozen , day laborer - g
  • August 13th: Bl. Jakob Gapp , religious priest and martyr - g
  • September 9: St. Korbinian , Bishop in Freising - g
  • September 10th: Anniversary of the consecration of the cathedrals of Bressanone and Bozen - in the cathedrals H, in the rest of the diocese F
  • September 13th: St. Notburga , maid in the Lower Inn Valley - g
  • October 3: Bl. Josef Mayr-Nusser , layman, family man and martyr - g
  • Saturday after the 2nd Sunday in October: Consecration of those churches that do not celebrate their own consecration day - H
  • November 13th: Bl. Carl Lampert , priest and martyr - g
  • November 17th: St. Florinus von Matsch , priest in the Engadin - g
  • December 4th: Bl. Johannes Nepomuk von Tschiderer , Bishop of Trient - g
  • December 12th: Bl. Hartmann , Bishop of Brixen - g

Abbreviations: H = high festival, F = festival, G = mandatory day of remembrance, g = non-mandatory day of remembrance, RK = regional calendar for the German-speaking area

See also


  • Helmut Flachenecker , Hans Heiss and Hannes Obermair (eds.): City and Hochstift, Brixen, Bruneck and Klausen up to secularization in 1803 - Città e Principato, Bressanone, Brunico e Chiusa fino alla secolarizzazione 1803 (= publications of the South Tyrolean Provincial Archives 12), publishing house Athesia, Bozen 2000, 364 pages, ISBN 88-8266-084-2
  • Josef Gelmi : The Bishops of Brixen in the history of Tyrol . Bolzano 1984, ISBN 88-7014-362-7
  • Josef Gelmi: Church history of Tyrol . Tyrolia, Innsbruck-Vienna 1986, ISBN 3-7022-1599-9
  • Rudolf Leeb among other things: History of Christianity in Austria. From antiquity to the present . Uebereuter, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-8000-3914-1
  • Anselm Sparber: Church history of Tyrol, shown in the ground plan . Innsbruck-Vienna-Munich 1957 online .
  • Josef Vodka: Church in Austria. Guide through their history . Herder, Vienna 1959
  • Wolfgang Wüst : Sovranità principesco-vescovile nella prima età moderna. Un confronto tra le situazioni al di qua e al di là delle Alpi: Augusta, Bressanone, Costanza e Trento - Princely canons in the early modern era. A comparison of the southern and northern Alpine conditions in Augsburg, Brixen, Eichstätt, Konstanz and Trient , in: Annali dell'Istituto storico italo-germanico in Trento - Yearbook of the Italian-German historical institute in Trient 30 (2004), Bologna 2005, ISBN 88 -15-10729-0 , pp. 285-332

Historical monographs (by date)

  • Ignatz de Luca: Tyrol: The secular area of ​​the diocese of Brixen. In: Geographisches Handbuch von dem Oestreichischen Staats. 2. Volume The countries in the Austrian district. Verlag Johannes Paul Krauss, Vienna 1790, pp. 516-527 ( Google eBook, full view ).
  • Franz Anton Sinnacher: Contributions to the history of the episcopal church in Säben and Brixen in Tyrol. 9 volumes. Brixen 1821-1835.
  • Georg Tinkhauser : Topographical-historical-statistical description of the diocese of Brixen, with special consideration of the cultural history and the still existing art and architectural monuments from the past . Volume I, Brixen 1855, 698 pages,

Web links

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

Individual evidence

  1. "in the red field, a silver Easter lamb looking back, with a round golden banknote around its head, holding up a silver Easter flag marked with a red cross with its right forefoot": Johann Christoph Gatterer : Geschichts-, sex- and coat of arms calendar der durchlauchtigen Welt 23, Nuremberg (1764), p. 143 .
  2. Rejecting this Volker Bierbrauer : Sabiona - Säben: Archeology and History. In: Akademie Aktuell. Issue 3/2006, pp. 56–62, here p. 57 ( PDF ).
  3. ^ Paulus Diaconus , Historia gentis Langobardorum 3.26 and 3.31.
  4. Richard Heuberger : The establishment of the Brixen principality . In: Der Schlern 8, 1927, pp. 181-190 u. 283, reference p. 190 and 283 ("The Brixen bishops belonged to the German imperial princes by virtue of their ecclesiastical dignity and not as a result of the granting of a county in 1027.")
  5. Martin Bitschnau , Hannes Obermair : Tiroler Urkundenbuch , II. Department: The documents on the history of the Inn, Eisack and Pustertal valleys. Vol. 2: 1140-1200 . Universitätsverlag Wagner, Innsbruck 2012, ISBN 978-3-7030-0485-8 , p. 277-278 No. 753 .
  6. ^ Heinrich Kofler: History of the dean's office in Schlanders from its establishment in 1811 to the voluntary resignation of dean Josef Schönauer in 1989 . In: Marktgemeinde Schlanders (Hrsg.): Schlanders and its history. Volume 2: From 1815 to the present . Tappeiner, Lana 2010, ISBN 978-88-7073-531-4 , pp. 11-186, in particular pp. 11-15.
  7. ^ South Tyrol: Josef Matzneller elected diocesan administrator. kath.net, January 18, 2007.
  8. Habemus Episcopum: Ivo Muser is the new Head Shepherd Audio. stol.it.
  9. South Tyrol has a new bishop. ( Memento from October 11, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) stol.it.
  10. The riches of the church: Die Diözese , in: Südtiroler Wirtschaftszeitung from January 31, 2020; accessed on February 3, 2020.