Roman Catholic Diocese of Limburg

Diocese of Limburg

Dioecesis Limburgensis

Bistum Limburg

St George’s Cathedral, Limburg
Country  Germany
Ecclesiastical province Cologne
Metropolitan Limburg, Hesse
Area 6,182 km2 (2,387 sq mi)
– Total
– Catholics
(as of 2013)
648,619 (27.4%)
Denomination Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established 16 August 1821
Cathedral St George’s Cathedral
Patron saint St. George
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Georg Bätzing
Metropolitan Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki
Auxiliary Bishops Thomas Löhr
Apostolic Administrator Manfred Grothe
Vicar General Wolfgang Rösch
Emeritus Bishops Franz Kamphaus Bishop Emeritus (1982-2007)
Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst Bishop Emeritus (2008-2014)
Gerhard Pieschl Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus (1977-2009)
Karte Bistum Limburg.png

Logo of the Diocese of Limburg

The Diocese of Limburg (Latin: Dioecesis Limburgensis) is a diocese of the Catholic Church in Germany. It belongs to the ecclesiastical province Cologne (Archdiocese of Cologne).

Its territory encompasses parts of the States of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. Its cathedral church is St George’s Cathedral Limburg an der Lahn. The diocese’s largest church is Frankfurt Cathedral, St. Bartholomew.

From October 2013, the administrator of the diocese during the suspension of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst is Wolfgang Rösch. The Bishop later resigned. The Cathedral Chapter elected and on July 1, 2016, Pope Francis appointed, the Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trier, Germany, Georg Bätzing, to serve as the next Bishop of the Diocese of Limburg, succeeding Bishop Tebartz-van Elst.[1] He was consecrated by the Archbishop of Cologne Rainer Woelki on September 18, 2016.

At the end of 2008 the diocese had 2,386,000 inhabitants. About 28 per cent of them were Catholics.


  • 1 Districts
  • 2 History
  • 3 Controversy
  • 4 Laity within the Diocese of Limburg: “Synodal Way”
  • 5 Ordinaries
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


The diocese is divided into multiple administrative districts. Each district is represented by a clerical dean.

  • Frankfurt am Main[2]
  • Hochtaunus[3]
  • Lahn-Dill-Eder[4]
  • Limburg[5]
  • Main-Taunus[6]
  • Rheingau[7]
  • Rhein-Lahn[8]
  • Untertaunus[9]
  • Westerwald[10]
  • Wetzlar[11]
  • Wiesbaden[12]


The Diocese of Limburg was established in 1827, during the reorganization of Catholic diocese in the course of the secularization. It was initially established as a suffragan diocese of the ecclesiastical province Upper Rhine with its metropolitan seat in Freiburg im Breisgau. Its territory had before been under what is today the Diocese of Trier and Diocese of Mainz. The diocese, therefore, is a rather young diocese. Today it encompasses the former territory of the Duchy of Nassau, the city of Frankfurt am Main, landgraviate Hesse-Homburg, and the former county Biedenkopf. In 1929, it was subordinated to the ecclesiastical province Cologne, according to the so-called Prussian Concordat.[13]

The first bishop of Limburg (1827–1833) was Jakob Brand. At that time, there were about 650.000 Catholics in the diocese (approx 27% of the total population in the area). The bishop Franz Kamphaus founded five theme churches. He converted in 2005 three parish churches in 2005 to youth churches (Crossover in Limburg, Jona in Frankfurt and Kana in Wiesbaden), two more parish churches were converted in 2007 to the Centre for Christian Meditation and Spirituality in the Holy Cross Church, Frankfurt-Bornheim[14] and the Centre for Mourning Counselling in the church St. Michael, Frankfurt-Nordend in Frankfurt. He stepped down after Pope Benedict XVI had accepted his retirement on 2 February 2007. He was succeeded by the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Münster, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst who had been elected by the cathedral chapter. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on 28 November 2007 and inaugurated by the Archbishop of Cologne Joachim Cardinal Meisner.


In 2013 the Bishop of Limburg Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was accused of lying and of squandering church money. He had a new episcopal headquarters built and was said to have lied about its cost, which has reportedly escalated from an initial 5.5 million euros to 31 million euros. He was also accused of flying first class to India, where he went to help poor children.[15] He rejected calls to resign and the Vatican sent Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo to try to resolve the situation.[16] The accusations are currently under church investigation. In parallel, the attorney general of Cologne investigated the bishop.[17]
On 13 October the bishop travelled to Rome to discuss the situation with the Vatican Curia.[18]
On 23 October 2013, Tebartz van-Elst was suspended by Pope Francis as bishop of Limburg, and Wolfgang Rösch was named a new vicar general to administer the diocese in his absence.[19]

Laity within the Diocese of Limburg: “Synodal Way”

The “Synodal Way” was initiated by Bishop Wilhelm Kempf on 16 March 1969 in holding the first elections for a parish council. The basic idea is to have laity participate in important decisions concerning the diocese. “The main idea is to give every appointee a counterpart that consists of elected members who form a council.[20] Both bodies then are to discuss and decided certain issues.” Accordingly, every appointed member of the clergy, such as a parish priest, faces a parish council that consists of elected members. On the next higher level, the pastoral realm, a clerical director faces the employees committee. On every “level” of the diocese, laity and appointed officials work together.


  • Jakob Brand (21 May 1827 appointed – 26 Oct 1833 died)
  • Johann Wilhelm Bausch (8 Jan 1834 appointed – 9 Apr 1840 died)
  • Peter Joseph Blum (20 Jan 1842 appointed – 30 Dec 1884 died)
  • Johannes Christian Roos (19 Feb 1885 appointed – 2 Jun 1886 Appointed, Archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau)
  • Karl Klein (25 Sep 1886 appointed – 6 Feb 1898 died)
  • Dominikus (Martin Karl) Willi, O. Cist. (15 Jun 1898 appointed – 6 Jan 1913 died)
  • Augustinus Kilian (22 Jan 1913 appointed – 30 Oct 1930 died)
  • Antonius Hilfrich (30 Oct 1930 succeeded – 5 Feb 1947 died)
  • Ferdinand Dirichs (24 Sep 1947 appointed – 27 Dec 1948 died)
  • Wilhelm Kempf (3 May 1949 appointed – 10 Aug 1981 retired)
  • Franz Kamphaus (3 May 1982 appointed – 2 Feb 2007 retired)
  • Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst (28 Nov 2007 appointed – 26 March 2014 resigned)
  • Georg Bätzing (1 Jul 2016 appointed, 18 September 2016 ordinated)


  1. ^
  2. ^ Katholische Stadtkirche Frankfurt am Main
  3. ^ Hochtaunus
  4. ^ Katholische Kirche im Bezirk Lahn-Dill-Eder
  5. ^ Bezirk Limburg
  6. ^ Main-Taunus
  7. ^ Rheingau
  8. ^ Rhein-Lahn
  9. ^ Untertaunus
  10. ^ Westerwald
  11. ^ Wetzlar
  12. ^ Wiesbaden
  13. ^ Über das Bistum. Das Bistum Limburg.
  14. ^ Roman Catholic Diocese of Limburg (1 February 2007). “Dekret des Bischofs Franz Kamphaus vom 15.01.2007 über die Errichtung der Profilkirche “Heilig Kreuz – Zentrum für christliche Meditation und Spiritualität” (=decree of bishop Franz Kamphaus from 15 January 2007 concerning the foundation of the theme church “Holy Cross – Centre for Christian Meditation and Spirituality”)” (in German). Parish of St.-Josef Frankfurt. Retrieved 27 November cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//”)no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  15. ^ “Days Numbered for Controversial German Bishop”. Der Spiegel. 27 August 2013.
  16. ^ “Vatican looks into German ‘luxury bishop’ charges”. Reuters. 9 September 2013.
  17. ^ Bishop of Limburg in trouble and in court Deutsche Welle
  18. ^ Bishop of Limburg Tebartz-van Elst case referred to the Vatican Deutsche Welle
  19. ^ “Mitarbeiter putschen gegen Bischof Tebartz-van ElstIm Bistum ist der Teufel los” (in German). NTV. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  20. ^ Synodaler Weg

External links

  • Official homepage (in German)
  • List of Bishops of Limburg (in German)
  • History of the Diocese Limburg (in German)

Coordinates: 50°23′20″N 8°04′00″E / 50.38889°N 8.06667°E / 50.38889; 8.06667

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