Jóhannes Gunnarsson

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Jóhannes Gunnarsson SMM (born August 3, 1897 in Reykjavík , Iceland ; † June 17, 1972 ) was a Roman Catholic Bishop and Vicar Apostolic in Iceland.


Jóhannes Gunnarsson, whose grandfather was a Member of Parliament in the Icelandic Althing and whose father converted to Catholicism , was the only native Roman Catholic Icelander for twenty years. He completed his school days in Denmark, studied with Jesuits in Iceland and finished his studies in theology in the Netherlands . He joined the Congregation of Montfortains Fathers at and received on 14 June 1924, the sacrament of the priesthood in the Cathedral of Reykjavik.

In 1942 he was appointed by Pope Pius XII. Appointed Titular Bishop of Hólar and Vicar Apostolic in Iceland. He was ordained episcopal on July 7 of the next year by Titular Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani , Apostolic Delegate in the United States and Titular Archbishop of Laodicea in Phrygia , at St. Patrick's Church in Washington, DC . Co-consecrators were Bishop John Michael McNamara , auxiliary bishop in Baltimore , and Peter Leo Ireton , coadjutor bishop of Richmond . He was the first Icelandic-born Roman Catholic bishop in nearly four hundred years; the last before him was Jón Arason in 1550.

During his tenure, Pope Paul VI raised the Apostolic Vicariate Iceland to the Diocese of Reykjavík . , which took place with the enthronement of his successor Hendrik Hubert Frehen SMM on October 18, 1968. He was a participant in Vaticanum II from 1962 to 1965. 1967 was his resignation by Paul VI. granted.

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predecessor Office successor
Martin Meulenberg SMM Apostolic Vicar of Iceland
1942 - 1967
Hendrik Hubert Frehen SMM