World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Diocese of Metz

Article Id: WHEBN0018360101
Reproduction Date:

Title: Diocese of Metz  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Henry II of France, Provinces of France, Moselle, Verdun, State religion, Roman Catholicism in France, Parlement, List of cathedrals in France, Georges de La Tour, Lay abbot
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Diocese of Metz

Diocese of Metz
Dioecesis Metensis
Metz Cathedral
Country France
Metropolitan Immediately Subject to the Holy See
Area 6,226 km2 (2,404 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
829,000 (81%)
Rite Latin
Cathedral Metz Cathedral
Patron saint Saint Clement of Metz
Current leadership
Bishop Pierre René Ferdinand Raffin, O.P.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metz is a Diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. In the Middle Ages it was in effect an independent state (prince-bishopric), part of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by the prince-bishop who had the ex officio title of count. It was annexed to France by King Henry II in 1552; this was recognized by the Holy Roman Empire in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. It then was part of the province of the Three Bishoprics. Since 1801 the Metz diocese is a public-law corporation of cult (établissement public du culte).


Metz was definitely a bishopric by 535, but may date from earlier than that.[1] Metz's St.-Pierre-aux-Nonnains is built on the site of a Roman basilica which is a likely location for the one of the earliest Christian congregations of France.[2]

Originally the diocese was under the metropolitan of Trier. After the French Revolution, the last prince bishop, Cardinal Louis de Montmorency-Laval (1761-1802) fled and the old organization of the diocese was broken up. With the Concordat of 1801 the diocese was re-established covering the departments of Moselle, Ardennes, and Forêts, and was put under the Archdiocese of Besançon. In 1817 the parts of the diocese which became Prussian territory were transferred to the Diocese of Trier. In 1871 the core areas of the diocese became part of Germany, and in 1874 Metz diocese, then reconfined to the borders of the new German Lorraine department became immediately subject to the Holy See. As of 1910 there were about 533,000 Catholics living in the diocese of Metz.

When the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State was enacted, doing away with public-law religious corporations, this did not apply to the Metz diocese then being within Germany. After World War I it was returned to France, but the concordatary status has been preserved sinceas part of the Local law in Alsace-Moselle. In 1940, after the French defeat, it came under German occupation till 1944 when it became French again. The bishop of this see is nominated by the French government according to the concordat of 1801. The concordat further provides for the clergy being paid by the government and Roman Catholic pupils in public schools can receive religious instruction according to diocesan guide lines.


According to the traditional list of bishops, the current bishop Pierre René Ferdinand Raffin is the 105th bishop of Metz. According to this list, the first bishop was Saint Clement, supposedly sent by Saint Peter himself to Metz. The first fully authenticated bishop however is Sperus or Hesperus, who was bishop in 535. Many of the bishops were declared holy or blessed, like Saint Arnulf (611-627), Saint Chrodegang (742-766) or Saint Agilram (768-791). Adelbero was bishop of Metz in 933 AD. The bishop of Metz is appointed by the President of the Republic.

Bishops since 1900

  • Willibrord Benzler, O.S.B., 1901-1919
  • Jean-Baptiste Pelt, 1919-1937
  • Joseph-Jean Heintz, 1938-1958
  • Paul Joseph Schmitt, 1958-1987
  • Pierre René Ferdinand Raffin, O.P., since 1987


External links

  • Website of the diocese
  • Catholic hierarchy
  • -logo.svg 

Coordinates: 49°07′12″N 6°10′33″E / 49.1201°N 6.17591°E / 49.1201; 6.17591

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.