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Diocese of Rome
Dioecesis Urbis seu Romana
Diocesi di Roma
|Area||881 km2 (340 sq mi)|
|(as of 2013)|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Cathedral||Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran|
|Patron saint||Saint Peter|
Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Philip Neri
Saint Lawrence of Rome
|Source: Annuario Pontificio 2012|
The Diocese of Rome (Latin: Dioecesis Urbis seu Romana; Italian: Diocesi di Roma) is the ecclesiastical district under the direct jurisdiction of the pope, who is bishop of Rome as well as the supreme pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church. As the Holy See, the papacy is a sovereign entity with diplomatic relations, and civil jurisdiction over the Vatican City State located geographically within Rome. The Diocese of Rome is the metropolitan diocese of the Province of Rome, an ecclesiastical province in Italy. The first bishop of Rome was Saint Peter in the first century. The incumbent since 13 March 2013 is Pope Francis.
Historically, many Rome-born men, as well as others born elsewhere on the Italian Peninsula have served as bishops of Rome. Since 1900, however, there has been only one Rome-born bishop of Rome, Pius XII (1939–1958). In addition, non-Italians have served as bishops of Rome since John Paul II was elected in 1978.
It is the metropolitan archdiocese of the Roman ecclesiastical province and primatial see of Italy. The cathedral is the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran. The primate of Italy is the pope, holding primacy of honor over the Italian sees and also primacy of jurisdiction over all other episcopal sees by Catholic tradition.
The pope is, in the first place, the bishop of Rome. Some titles derive from his role as head of the diocese of Rome. Those officially listed for him in the Annuario Pontificio are:
Other titles are in reference to his position as head of the Church:
The title "pope" does not appear in the official list, but is commonly used in the titles of documents, and appears, in abbreviated form, in the signatures of the popes.
The best evidence available for the origins of the Church in Rome is Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans. This indicates that the church was established probably by the early 40s AD. Saint Peter became associated with this church sometime between the year 58 and the early 60s.
According to one historian:
The final years of the first century and the early years of the second constitute the "postapostolic" period, as reflected in the extrabiblical writings of Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch. By now the church at Rome was exercising a pastoral care that extended beyond its own community, having replaced Jerusalem as the practical center of the growing universal Church. Appeals were made to Peter and Paul, with whom the Roman church was most closely identified.
The city of Rome has grown beyond the boundaries of the diocese. Notable parts of the city belong to the dioceses of Ostia and Porto-Santa Rufina. Ostia is administered together with the Vicariate of the City and thus included in the statistics given below, while Porto is instead administered by its own diocesan bishop. The diocese covers an area of 849 km² and includes most of the city and the municipality of Rome in Italy, and the entire territory of Vatican City. The diocese is divided into two vicariates, each with its respective vicar general.
Each vicar general, in the name and by mandate of the pope, exercises the episcopal ministry and pastoral government for the diocese of Rome; the vicar general is therefore responsible for the effective government of the Roman diocese, assisted by a vicegerent archbishop and auxiliary bishops.
Unless the bishop of a diocese reserves some acts to himself, vicars general have by law within a diocese the power to undertake all administrative acts that pertain to the bishop except those that in law require a special mandate of the bishop.
The diocese covers a territory of 881 square kilometres (340 sq mi) of which 0.44 square kilometres (0.17 sq mi) is in the Vatican City State. The diocese has 1,219 diocesan priests of its own, while 2,331 priests of other dioceses, 5,072 religious priests and 140 Opus Dei priests reside in its territory, as do 2,266 women religious. In 2004, they ministered to an estimated 2,454,000 faithful, who made up 88% of the population of the territory.
There remains the titular Suburbicarian See of Ostia, held, in addition to his previous suburbicarian see, by the cardinal bishop elected to be the dean of the College of Cardinals. The Diocese of Ostia was merged with the Diocese of Rome in 1962, and is now administered by a vicar general, in tight cooperation with the vicar general for Rome. It was also diminished to contain only the cathedral parish of Ostia (Sant'Aurea in Ostia Antica), which, however, in 2012 was divided into two parishes, who together form the present diocese of Ostia.
Other Italian dioceses having Rome as their metropolitan see: