Roman Catholic Diocese of Erfurt

The diocese of Erfurt (Latin: Dioecesis Erfordiensis ) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Thuringia. Bishop and cathedral chapter have at the Cathedral Beatae Mariae Virginis in Erfurt their headquarters

Catholic dominated areas in the diocese are the calibration field, where almost two-thirds of the municipalities are, and to a lesser extent, the city of Erfurt. This is due to the close historical relationship between the two regions Kurmainz. The other areas of the diocese formerly belonged to the Electorate of Saxony or the Thuringian States and are, accordingly, marked Evangelical Lutheran. The Catholics put there only a small minority of the population.

  • 6.1 churches
  • 6.2 pilgrimage sites


St. Boniface founded a bishopric in Erfurt for the first time 742. This was but already 755 re-dissolved and added to the diocese of Mainz. The only bishop was Adalar.

From 1821 Thuringia mostly belonged to the territory of the diocese of Paderborn. With the Prussian Concordat of 1929, a reorganization of the bishoprics. For the northern area of Thuringia, the Bishop of Fulda was responsible, south of the Thuringian Forest, the Bishop of Würzburg. After the Second World War it became increasingly difficult for the two bishops to exercise the duties, in the eastern part of their dioceses. Therefore, followed in 1946 for the eastern area of the diocese of Fulda the establishment of a Bishop Generalvikariats in Erfurt with establishment of the Erfurt cathedral dean Joseph Freusberg as Vicar General who in 1953 also became auxiliary bishop. His successor Hugo Aufderbeck 1968 appointed Bishop Commissioner. For the Bishopric of Würzburg Episcopal Vicariate in Meiningen was built in 1950 and Joseph Schönau used as Episcopal Commissioner of the Bishop of Würzburg. He was succeeded in 1970 Karl Ebert.

With the reorganization of the Catholic Church in the GDR in 1973, the territories of the bishoprics of Fulda and Würzburg were associated with the new Episcopal Office Erfurt -Meiningen by decree of the Holy See. Head of Episcopal office was as Apostolic Administrator, Hugo Aufderbeck, in 1981 Joachim Wanke succeeded.

Under an agreement between the Holy See and the State of Thuringia on the establishment of the Diocese of Erfurt on 14 June 1994, the Episcopal Office Erfurt -Meiningen was raised on 8 July 1994 with the Apostolic Constitution Quo aptius by Pope John Paul II to the diocese and assigned to the Ecclesiastical Province of Paderborn. Joachim Wanke since can be described as diocesan bishop. The Dean's Office in the Thuringian Rhön Geysa remained with the diocese of Fulda due to historically very close links.

With the Apostolic Letter Fideles ecclesialis John Paul II confirmed on 21 September 1994, the St. Elizabeth of Thuringia as a saint of diocese; of St. Boniface and St. Kilian were Mitpatrone.


Due to demographic changes, the number of believers drops considerably - this has a direct impact on the church structure. On 1 January 2005 began a structural reform, in which the number of deans from 14 to seven and the parishes was first reduced from 120 to 95. In 2008, the number of parishes was further reduced to 74, currently (2014 ) the number of parishes has almost halved with 63 compared to 2005. The resolved parishes continue to exist as a branch of a larger parish communities. Parishes are to be further reduced by gradually mergers to 32 by the year 2020. This is due to the shortage of priests in the diocese in particular. Since this, however, many parishes are very large and they sometimes several branch churches shall be assigned to the diocese is increasingly relying on the work of the laity, including as Diakonatshelfer.

Effective 1 October 2012, Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Bishop Wanke for health reasons. Since then, the diocese is in the period of vacancy. On 2 October 2012, the Erfurt Cathedral Chapter Auxiliary Bishop Reinhard Hauke ​​elected diocesan administrator. He heads the diocese until a new bishop elected by the Chapter, was appointed by the Pope and the diocese has taken possession.


  • Aufderbeck Hugo (1973-1981)
  • Joachim Wanke (1981-1994)
  • Joachim Wanke (1994-2012)
  • Hans- Reinhard Koch (1985-2004)
  • Reinhard Hauke ​​(since 2005)

→ see also auxiliary bishops of Mainz, based in Erfurt (1191-1807)

Diocese outline

The diocese of Erfurt is divided into the following seven deaneries (see also church buildings of the diocese of Erfurt):

  • Dingelstädt with 20 communities in Südeichsfeld
  • Erfurt with the communities Cathedral Parish of St. Mary
  • St. Boniface in Hochheim with St. Elizabeth in Bischleben and St. Raphael in Neudietendorf
  • St. Joseph with St. Marien in Stotternheim, St. Anthony in Gispersleben and St. Martin in Witterda
  • St. Lawrence with St. Nicolai and Jacobi ( Scots Church ) and St. George
  • St. Nicholas in Melchendorf with St. Mary and St. Martin in Vieselbach in Dittelstedt
  • St. Severi with St. Martini ( Bruehlervorstadt )
  • St. Wigbert with St. Crucis
  • Provost of St. Mary in the Holy City
  • St. Aegidien in Heiligenstadt
  • St. Gerard in Heiligenstadt
  • St. Matthew in Arenshausen
  • St. Cosmas and Damian in Geisleden
  • St. Mauritius in Steinbach
  • St. Nicholas in Siemerode
  • St. James in uder
  • St. Boniface in Wüstheuterode
  • St. Stephen Berlingerode with St. Nicholas and St. Nicholas Böseckendorf Neuendorf
  • St. Martin Bernterode
  • Nativity of Mary Bischofferode with St. John the Baptist Holungen and apostles St. Simon and Jude Neustadt / E.
  • St. Vitus Breitenworbis
  • St. Peter and St. Paul with St. Martin Deuna Vollenborn
  • St. Valentine Ecklingerode with Assumption Brehme
  • St. Stephen Gernrode
  • St. Dionysius Hundeshagen with St. Margaret Breitenbach
  • St. Martin Kirchworbis
  • St. Pancras Beuren
  • St. John the Baptist Birkungen
  • St. Mary Magdalene Leinefelde with St. Martin Kallmerode
  • St. Boniface Leinefelde with Visitation width wood
  • St. Nicholas Worbis with pilgrimage church of St. Anthony
  • Nativity of Mary Niederorschel with St. Catherine Stockhausen and Assumption Kleinbartloff
  • St. Andrew Teistungen with St. John the Baptist Ferna
  • St. Michael White -Lüderode with St. John the Baptist Jützenbach
  • St. John the Baptist Wingerode
  • St. Andrew's Bad Salzungen with St. Kilian Bad Love Stone
  • St. Elisabeth ( Eisenach ) with Sacred Heart and St. Conrad of Gerstungen Parzham Ruhla
  • St. Charles Borromeo Friedrichroda with St. Joseph Winterstein, Chapel of Mary Tabarz and Our Lady Walterhausen
  • St. Boniface Church of Christ the King Gotha Gotha
  • St. Leopold Hildburghausen with St. Elisabeth ice rink
  • St. Mary Meiningen with St. Mary Obermaßfeld, Church of the Holy Cross and St. Giles Römhild Wolfmannshausen
  • St. Peter Ohrdruf
  • St. Helena Schmalkalden and Chapel of St. Michael Wernshausen
  • St. Stefan Sonnenberg with St. Mary Grafenthal
  • St. Kilian Suhl with St. Mary Schleusingen and Christ the King, Zella- Mehlis

Church institutions

  • Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Erfurt
  • Catholic seminary Erfurt
  • Inter Diocesan Offizialat Erfurt

Student Communities

At all university locations of the diocese, the parish priest are used simultaneously as a university chaplain. In Erfurt, Ilmenau, Jena and Weimar also exist own students municipalities ( KSG ).

Be supervised by a joint pastors in the churches in Jena and Weimar, which is parked for the students counseling. Since 2010 this office will no longer accompanied by a priest but by a consultant, as Rev. Pohlmann has taken over the local church Jena as the successor of Monsignor Karl -Heinz Ducke. By 2012 the church was supervised by the Erfurt Cathedral Priest. By become necessary personnel changes, the pastoral has now been taken over by an employee of the Faculty of Theology in Erfurt.

The community in Ilmenau will lose their pastor. 2016, the parishes Arnstadt and Ilmenau are fused, the parish moved to Arnstadt. The plan is then a common student pastoral care of Erfurt and Ilmenau.


  • Ursuline Convent of Erfurt
  • Carmelite St. Teresa Weimar- Schöndorf
  • Bergkloster Heiligenstadt ( Heiligenstädter School Sisters )
  • Franciscan monastery on the Hülfensberg ( Geismar )


  • Edith - Stein-Schule Erfurt
  • Mountain School St. Elizabeth Catholic High School Heiligenstadt

Houses of the diocese

  • Family center " Monastery notch Schernberg " Dingelstädt
  • Education Centre St. Ursula, Erfurt
  • Education Centre St. Martin, Erfurt
  • Youth House St. Sebastian ( SEB), Erfurt
  • Marcel Callo House ( MCH), Heiligenstadt
  • Retreat House St. Clement, Heiligenstadt

Culture and sights


  • Erfurt Cathedral and Gloriosa ( largest medieval free-swinging bell in the world)
  • Church buildings in the diocese of Erfurt

Pilgrimage Places

  • Hülfensberg ( at Döringsdorf, Südeichsfeld )
  • Klüschen Hagi ( at Wachstedt, calibration field )
  • Notch Schernberg ( in Dingelstädt, calibration field )
  • Anthony Church in Worbis
  • Grace Etzelbach

The most important pilgrimages of the diocese are the men pilgrimage to Klüschen Hagi, the woman 's pilgrimage to the mountain notch, and the Diocese of pilgrimage and the youth pilgrimage to the Cathedral Hill in Erfurt. There are also many smaller pilgrimages, especially in the predominantly Catholic calibration field.

The area of the diocese is crossed by several historical pilgrimage routes. For the most part these were recovered only after the German reunification.

Pictures of Roman Catholic Diocese of Erfurt