Archbishopric of Bremen

The diocese of Bremen is a former diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany. The diocese of Bremen consisted 787-1648. It was a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cologne, but was itself a metropolitan see. After the Thirty Years' War was from the worldly possessions of the archbishopric, the. " Archbishopric ", the Duchy of Bremen, which included the Elbe- Weser Triangle


Foundation of the diocese

After the defeat of the Saxons by Charlemagne 787 Willehad was ordained a bishop in the year. Willehad the area was assigned to the Weser estuary as a diocese. He chose Bremen at his residence and consecrated the first 789 Bremen Cathedral on the name of the Apostle Peter.

848 decided the Synod of Mainz, the Bishopric of Bremen to insinuate the Archbishop of Hamburg, so that a double Diocese of Bremen -Hamburg arose. This sparked violent protests of the Archbishop of Cologne Hilduin. His successor Gunthar of Cologne fought against, assign the bishopric of the church province of Hamburg. So the Diocese of Bremen since 848 was theoretically under the administration of the Archbishop of Hamburg, but practically only been about 870, when Pope Nicholas I decreed that the diocese of Bremen is supplied to the Archdiocese of Hamburg. Archbishop Adalgar ( 888-909 ) became Pope Sergius III. again a confirmation of the merger, but with the proviso that Hamburg no suffragans get. In 1224, Pope Honorius III. the double diocese based in Bremen final, but should remain the cathedral chapter of Hamburg and should send to the election of bishops the provost, the dean and the Scholaster to Hamburg.

Archbishop Adalbert strove during his episcopate, 1043-1072, to the obtaining of a patriarch. Trying to become the patriarch of the North, but failed. Until 1104, when the church province of Lund was spun off from the Metropolitan See of Bremen -Hamburg, succeeded the archbishops to take the dioceses of North Germany (Oldenburg, Ratzeburg, Schwerin, Schleswig ) well below their metropolitan authority as the bishoprics of Scandinavia, namely, Aarhus ( DK ) Gardar (Greenland), Faroe Islands, Linkoping ( S), Odense ( DK ), Oslo (N), Ripen (DK), Roskilde (DK), Selje (N), Skálholt (IS), Skara (S ), Strängnäs (S ), Trondheim (N), Uppsala (S ), Viborg (DK), Vestervig (DK), Västerås (S) and Växjö (S). All but the first three suffragan dioceses of northern Germany were from 1104 to Metropolie Lund.

Creation of a territory

The area of the Archdiocese

The territory of the archbishopric was significantly greater than that of the secular territory of the Archbishopric. The Erzdiözesangebiet ranged from 12 to 16 century of East Frisia in the west to the east of the Weser river in the county of Hoya, on the Elbe to the Schleswig border in the north and a line between Kiel and Reinbek in the east. It bordered the dioceses of Münster, Osnabrück, Minden, Verden, Ratzeburg, Lübeck and the Schleswig.

The area of the Archbishopric

In the following centuries succeeded the archbishops to create a private Bremer territory, which comprised about one-third of the diocesan territory. It always came back to disputes with neighboring princes and the citizenry and the Bremen Council of the city of Bremen, which strove for their freedom. Even before Bremen 1646 formally as a free imperial city became rich again immediately, the Archbishops therefore chose their stay increasingly out of town, sometimes in bending, but eventually definitely in their main castle VOERDE, today Bremervörde. From the walled area of ​​the city of Bremen only the cathedral precincts remained under archbishop's jurisdiction. Since 1500 the Archbishopric of Bremen was part of the Lower Saxon kingdom circle.

The increasing economic difficulties of the Archbishops strengthened the position of citizenship in their stalls Constitution, particularly under the leadership of the purchase team. From 1540, the territory was totally under one administration of citizenship. Simultaneously, the Reformation took quick feet, which was reinforced by the influence of the Bremen cathedral chapter, which was Protestant in its majority. This then selected consecutively several Lutheran administrators, so that one can speak of a Protestant archbishopric in 1566. In contrast to the Lutheran territory of the Archdiocese of the city of Bremen was but a Calvinist.

The care of the Roman Catholic Christians in the area of the then defunct diocese of Bremen initially went about as a result of the Reformation to the Apostolic Vicariate of the North, from 1824 to the bishopric of Hildesheim. The Roman Catholic communities of the Bremen Town area south of the Lesum belong since become the Diocese of Osnabrück.

Duchy of Bremen

Then in 1648 it came by the Peace of Westphalia finally the secularization of the archbishopric, which came as Duchy of Bremen, together with the also secularized Duchy of Verden as a territory of Bremen - Verden to Sweden. On the history of the territory Bremen see the corresponding main article

The care of the Roman Catholic Christians in the territory of the former diocese of Bremen now officially went first to the Apostolic Vicariate of the North, from 1824 to the bishopric of Hildesheim. The Roman Catholic communities of the Bremen Town area south of the Lesum belong since become the Diocese of Osnabrück.