Suffragan Diocese

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Suffragan diocese or Suffragan is an administrative term from canon law .

Roman Catholic Church

Coat of arms of a Roman Catholic archbishop as metropolitan; the pallium is a special feature of the Metropolitan

In the Roman Catholic Church , a suffragan diocese is a territorial administrative district. The name refers to the term suffragan and thus shows that this particular diocese is part of an ecclesiastical province and that its head, unlike the head of the archdiocese of this ecclesiastical province, does not have a leading role in it.

The head of a church province is called a metropolitan ; he is the diocesan bishop of the archdiocese of this ecclesiastical province and has the title of archbishop . The other dioceses of the ecclesiastical province are referred to as "Suffragandioceses of the ecclesiastical province". The bishop of a suffragan will therefore suffragan called, but each diocesan bishop administers his own diocese separate and independent from the metropolitan.

The administrative structure of the Roman Catholic Church described applies worldwide. In Germany, for example, the Diocese of Trier and the Diocese of Münster form Suffragandiocese of the Archdiocese of Cologne .

Diocese organization in individual states


Catholic dioceses in Germany

The following suffragan dioceses are assigned to the German archdioceses today:

Archdiocese of Cologne :

Archdiocese of Freiburg :

Archdiocese of Paderborn :

Archdiocese of Munich and Freising :

Archdiocese of Bamberg :

Archdiocese of Berlin :

Archdiocese of Hamburg :

This division goes back largely to the rewrite of the Catholic dioceses in Germany after the Congress of Vienna . Before that, Mainz and Trier had been the seat of an archbishop for centuries, while Freiburg was not even a simple bishopric. The borders of the dioceses also shifted at that time, often in line with the then current political borders. Archbishoprics, such as the Archdiocese of Bremen, had already disappeared with the Reformation .


The Austrian church provinces

The following suffragan dioceses are assigned to the Austrian archdioceses today:


The organization of the Roman Catholic Church in Switzerland is unique in the world, as it has no suffragan dioceses and all six Roman Catholic dioceses are directly subordinate to Rome (see AP 2013 ).

Anglican Church

Great Britain

The Church of England (Anglican Church) is structured similarly to the Roman Catholic Church, but the terms are used differently:

There are two metropolitans in the Church of England who hold the title of primate in addition to the title of archbishop ( Canterbury and York ). The Archbishops of Canterbury and York each have a number of diocesan bishops. Associated with the diocesan bishops are in turn some "suffragan bishops" who are responsible for a certain territory within the diocese. The Anglican suffragan bishops are roughly comparable to the Roman Catholic auxiliary bishops due to their role as bishops, who are assigned special tasks within the diocese but are also assigned to a diocesan bishop . The Church of England does not have a specific name for the position of the diocesan bishops in relation to their metropolitans.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dioceses of Germany. In: Retrieved November 8, 2016 .