Apostolic Vicariate of Beirut
The Apostolic Vicariate of Beirut (Latin: Vicariatus Apostolicus Berytensis) is a Latin Rite missionary pre-diocesan exempt jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Lebanon, where otherwise Eastern Catholics are far more numerous. In 2010, there were 15,000 baptized. Its current bishop is Cesar Essayan.
Apostolic Vicariate of Beirut
Vicariatus Apostolicus Berytensis
|Cathedral||Saint Louis Des Capucins|
The Catholic presence in Lebanon of the Latin Rite begins with the Crusades in the late of eleventh century and ends with the final defeat of the Crusaders and the disappearance of the Crusader principalities in the Levant after the middle of the thirteenth century. In this period, in the lands corresponding to the current Lebanon were established several Latin ecclesiasticals, which most of the time they were supplanting ancient bishoprics of the early days of Christianity: the Archdiocese of Tyre from which depended the suffragan dioceses of Latin Catholic Bishop of Acre, Caesarea Philippi, Sidon and Berytus (modern Beirut), while from the Latin Patriarch of Antioch depended the suffragan dioceses of Byblos, Tripoli and Antarado. These dioceses disappeared with the end of the Crusader period and remain today mostly as the venue owners.
The Latin continued presence in the country with the Friars Minor, who arrived as early as the thirteenth century, and then with missionaries of other religious orders, such as the Capuchin Friars, the Carmelites, the Vincentians and the Jesuits, who arrived in the seventeenth century. For the faithful of the Latin Rite of Lebanon was not instituted any ecclesiastical district until the end of the French mandate at the end of World War II: the Apostolic Delegate (papal diplomatic envoy) of Syria held the functions of the bishop of the Latin Catholics of Lebanon.
The apostolic vicariate was erected on 4 June 1953 with the Papal bull Solent caeli of Pope Pius XII, with territory that was taken from the Syrian Apostolic Vicariate of Aleppo. The apostolic vicar is a member of the Conference of the Latin Bishops of the Arab Regions.
It enjoyed a papal visit from Benedict XVI in September 2012.
The apostolic vicariate extends its jurisdiction over all Catholic faithful of the Latin Rite in Lebanon. It is exempt, i.e. directly subject to the Holy See, not part if any ecclesiastical province.
Its territory is divided into only eighth Latin parishes.
(all Roman Rite)
- Apostolic Vicars of Beirut
- So far, all missionary members of Latin congregations
- Eustace John Smith, Franciscans (O.F.M.), Titular Bishop of Apamea Cibotus (8 December 1955 – 1973 Resignation)
- Paul Bassim, Discalced Carmelites (O.C.D.), Titular Bishop of Laodicea ad Libanum (8 September 1974 – 30 July 1999 Retired)
- Paul Dahdah, O.C.D., Titular Archbishop of Aræ in Numidia (30 July 1999 – 2 August 2016)
- Cesar Essayan, O.F.M. Conv. (elect)
- Armenian Catholic Archeparchy of Beirut (Metropolitanate)
- Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Beirut and Byblos (Metropolitanate)
- Maronite Catholic Archeparchy of Beirut (non-metropolitan)
- Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Beirut
- Syrian Catholic Eparchy of Beirut (Patriarch of Antioch's proper diocese)