Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen

The Diocese of Aachen (Latin: Dioecesis Aquisgranensis) is a Latin diocese of the Catholic Church located in Germany and one of the six dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of Cologne. The incumbent bishop is Helmut Dieser, who was appointed by Pope Francis on 23 September 2016. The bishop's seat is Aachen.

Diocese of Aachen

Dioecesis Aquisgranensis

Bistum Aachen
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Aachen
Coat of arms
Country Germany
MetropolitanArchdiocese of Cologne
Area3,937 km2 (1,520 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2012)
1,110,948 (54.8%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteRoman Rite
Established1802 (re-established 13 August 1930)
CathedralAachen Cathedral
Patron saintMary, Mother of Jesus
Secular priests535
Current leadership
BishopHelmut Dieser
Metropolitan ArchbishopRainer Maria Woelki
Auxiliary BishopsKarl Borsch
Vicar GeneralAndreas Frick
Bishops emeritus
Location of the Diocese of Aachen
Location of the Diocese of Aachen

Geography edit

The diocese is located in the very west of Germany, extending from Krefeld in the north to the mountainous Eifel area in the south. Bordering dioceses are Cologne, Münster, Essen and Trier in Germany, Liège in Belgium and Roermond in the Netherlands.

The diocese is divided into seven regions which are in turn further subdivided into 538 parishesː

  1. Region Aachen-Stadt (Aachen city)
  2. Region Düren
  3. Region Eifel
  4. Region Heinsberg
  5. Region Kempen Viersen
  6. Region Krefeld
  7. Region Mönchengladbach

Ordinaries edit

The bishop emeritus of Aachen is Heinrich Mussinghoff. There are two auxiliary bishops, Johannes Bündgens and Karl Borsch. Also, there are two emeritus auxiliary bishops, Gerd Dicke and Karl Reger. The vicar general is Andreas Frick.

List of diocesan bishops edit

Tenure Incumbente Notes
9 May 1802 – 13 August 1809 Marc Antoine Berdolet Installed 25 July 1802; died in office
1825 Diocese abolished  
1930 Diocese re-established  
30 January 1931 – 5 October 1937 Joseph Vogt Ordained 19 March 1931; installed 25 March 1931; died in office
7 September 1943 – 19 May 1954 Johannes Joseph van der Velden Priest of Köln Cologne; ordained 10 October 1943; died in office
30 August 1954 – 13 December 1974 Johannes Pohlschneider Priest of Münster; ordained 18 November 1954; retired
9 September 1975 – 23 January 1994 Klaus Hemmerle Priest of Freiburg im Breisgau; ordained 8 November 1975; died in office
12 December 1994 – 8 December 2015 Heinrich Mussinghoff Priest of Münster; Ordained 11 February 1995

List of auxiliary bishops edit

Tenure Incumbent Notes
1931–1943 Hermann Joseph Sträter Ordained 16 October 1931, became Apostolic Administrator 15 May 1938, died 16 March 1943
1938–1969 Friedrich Hünermann Ordained 3 December 1938, died 15 February 1969
1961–1979 Joseph Ludwig Buchkremer Ordained 21 December 1961, retired 4 October 1979
1970–2003 Ernst Franz Gerd Werner Dicke Ordained 11 April 1970, retired 21 November 2003
1978–1980 Maximilian Goffart Ordained 18 February 1978, died 17 July 1980
1981–1986 Augustus Peters Ordained 6 April 1981, died 3 May 1986
1987–2006 Karl Reger Ordained 7 February 1987, retired 15 March 2006
2003–present Karl Borsch Ordained 17 January 2004
2006–present Johannes Bündgens Ordained 20 May 2006, retired 8 November 2022

History edit

Historically, today's territory of the Diocese of Aachen belonged to the Diocese of Liège and the Archdiocese of Cologne. The diocese was first created in 1802, covering the area west of the Rhine formerly belonging to Cologne, as well as parts from the dioceses Liège, Utrecht, Roermond and Mainz. After the first bishop Marc Antoine Berdolet died in 1809, Pope Pius VII refused to commission the successor suggested by Napoleon, Jean Denis François Camus. After the French rulership over the area, the diocese was abolished by the bull De salute animarum of July 16, 1821, and incorporated into the archdiocese of Cologne.

On August 13, 1930 the diocese was re-established by the papal bull Pastorale officii nostri. Joseph Vogt was appointed as its first bishop.

Major Churches edit

Aachen Cathedral

The principal church of the diocese is the Aachen Cathedral, of which the central part, the Palatine Chapel, was built in 800 under Charlemagne. It was also the first German World Heritage Site, inscribed in 1978.

The diocese has two churches that have been given the status of basilica minorː

See also edit

External links edit