Church region

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The term ecclesiastical region (from Latin: regio ecclesiastica ) denotes an ecclesiastical administrative unit.

Roman Catholic Church

Map overview of the 16 church regions in Italy.

In the Roman Catholic Church , in countries with a large number of ecclesiastical provinces, several ecclesiastical provinces can be merged into one ecclesiastical region. Such an ecclesiastical region can also include dioceses that do not belong to any ecclesiastical province, but rather immediately , i.e. H. report directly to the Holy See . The church regions are not to be confused with the regions (in Switzerland: diocese regions) into which individual dioceses can be divided.

The legal bases of the church regions are in the Codex Iuris Canonici from 1983 in Can. 433 and 434 placed:

  • Can. 433: § 1. If it seems expedient, the Holy See, especially in nations with a particularly large number of particular churches, can unite neighboring church provinces to form church regions at the suggestion of the Bishops' Conference. § 2. The church region can be raised to a legal person.
  • Can. 434: The convention of the bishops of a church region has the task of promoting cooperation and common pastoral action in the region; However, the powers assigned to the conference of bishops in the canons of this Code do not belong to this convention unless some powers have been expressly granted to it by the Holy See.


The Roman Catholic Church in Italy is completely divided into 16 church regions with a total of about 40 church provinces. The borders of the ecclesiastical regions largely coincide with those of the 20 state regions in Italy (Venice comprises three state regions, Marche and Abruzzo-Molise two each); however, there are certain variations (most clearly visible in Liguria). The church regions of Liguria, Lombardy and Basilicata each comprise only one church province.

The Italian ecclesiastical regions go back to the 17 regional bishops' conferences that were established in 1889 by the Congregation of Bishops and Regolars . From 1908 to 1976 there was a separate region of Romagna. In 1938 the regions became the point of reference for the regional church courts in nullity matters . Also in 1976 the regions of Campania, Benevento and Salerno were merged to separate Basilicata, which led to the number 16. In 1983 the CIC regulations cited above were issued. In 1994 the church regions were recognized by the church and in 1996 by the state as legal entities .

Other countries

There are also regional bishops' conferences or regions in other countries, such as Canada 4, the USA 15, Mexico 15 and Brazil 18. However, as far as can be seen, these are not formally recognized by the Holy See as church regions ; it is therefore not a question of church regions in the sense of Can. 433 § 1 CIC.

Protestant churches


  • In the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany , the church districts have the option of uniting congregations in their area to form church regions. In the church regions, the church congregations encourage and support each other in fulfilling their tasks. The church districts of Mecklenburg and Schleswig-Flensburg have made use of this option.


In the Evangelical-Reformed Regional Church of Graubünden , from 2019 church regions will replace the previous colloquia as links between parishes and the regional church .


In the provost of Kaliningrad (former North East Prussia ) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of European Russia , the three sub-areas with different numbers of individual parishes into which the provost is divided are referred to as church regions. The parishioners are each looked after by a central parish office: Gussew (Gumbinnen) , Kaliningrad (Königsberg) and Tschernjachowsk (Insterburg) with Slavsk (Heinrichswalde) . Of the former four regions, only two now exist.


  • Church provinces and church regions . In: Codex of Canon Law . 1983, Cann. 431-434 ( ).

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Diocesi e Parrocchie. In: Conferenza Episcopale Italiana, accessed January 15, 2019 (Italian).
  2. ^ Map: Atlante Chiesa Cattolica Romana, Regione Italiana
  3. instruction Alcuni Arcivescovi of August 24, 1889, Leonis XIII Acta IX (1890) 184 ; see also AAS 11 (1919) 175
  4. AAS 30 (1938) 410
  5. AAS 68 (1976) 678
  6. AAS 87 (1995) 369-389 ; see. Can. 433 § 2 CIC
  7. Gazzetta Ufficiale, Generale series n. 53 del 4-3-1996 . The Basilicata region is missing here because the congruent province of Potenza had already been granted legal personality in 1990 ( Gazzetta Ufficiale, Serie Generale n. 227 del 28-9-1990 ); see. Giovanni Neri: Personalità, rappresentanza, fini ed attività negli enti della Chiesa (2011), p. 179 .
  8. ; Regional Episcopal Assemblies
  9. ; Regions
  12. Article 39 of the constitution of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany
  13. ^ Statute on the formation of the church regions in the Evangelical Lutheran Church District Mecklenburg of October 8, 2012
  14. Statute for the assignment of the parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church District Schleswig-Flensburg to parish church regions according to § 7 paragraph 1 of the parishes of the parish of May 2, 2016
  16. ^ Constitution, Art. 24 ff., Art. 67 ; From colloquium to church region (2019)
  17. Map: Церковные регионы ( Memento from January 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  18. Евангелическо-Лютеранская Церковь Европейской части России, Калининградское Пропство