ⓘ Roman Catholic Diocese of Lavant. The Diocese of Lavant was a suffragan bishopric of the Archdiocese of Salzburg, established 1228 in the Lavant Valley of Carin ..

Roman Catholic Diocese of Lavant

ⓘ Roman Catholic Diocese of Lavant

The Diocese of Lavant was a suffragan bishopric of the Archdiocese of Salzburg, established 1228 in the Lavant Valley of Carinthia.

In 1859 the episcopal see was re-assigned to Maribor Marburg an der Drau in present-day Slovenia, while the Carinthian parishes passed to the Diocese of Gurk. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Maribor Marburg, in Slovenia was later separated from the Salzburg ecclesiastical province and became a suffragan of the Archbishop of Ljubljana on 5 March 1962, with which the title of Bishop of Lavant was united. On 7 April 2006 the diocese was elevated to the Archdiocese of Maribor.

While the bishops of Lavant bore the title of prince-bishops German: Furstbischof, this was purely honorary and they never became full-fledged prince-bishops with secular power over a self-ruling prince-bishopric Hochstift, unlike the majority of the bishops in the Holy Roman Empire. They only exercised pastoral authority over their diocese like other ordinary bishops and for that reason, they did not have seat and vote in the Imperial Diet.


1. History

The original seat of the bishopric lay in the eastern part of Carinthia in the valley of the Lavant River. It was here, in the parish of Sankt Andra, that Archbishop Eberhard II of Salzburg had established, on 20 August 1212, with the consent of Pope Innocent III and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, a collegiate chapter, the regular canons of which followed the Rule of St. Augustine; its members were chosen from the cathedral chapter of Salzburg. On account of the great remoteness and the difficulty of travelling, the Salzburg Archbishop, about the year 1223, asked Pope Honorius III to allow him to found a bishopric at Sankt Andra. After the pope had the archbishops request examined by commissioners, and had given his consent, Eberhard drew up the deed of foundation, on 10 May 1228, wherein he secured the possession of the episcopal chair for himself and his successors in perpetuity. He named as first suffragan bishop his court chaplain Ulrich died 1257, who had formerly been priest of Haus im Ennstal, in the Duchy of Styria.

In the deed of foundation of the new bishopric, no exact boundaries were defined. In a deed of Archbishop Frederick II of Salzburg of 1280, seventeen parishes, situated partly in Carinthia and partly in Styria, were described as belonging to Lavant; the extent of the diocese was rather small, but the bishops also attended to the office of vicar-general diocesan deputy of the Archbishops of Salzburg for some scattered districts; they also frequently attended to the office of Vicedominus bishops feudal deputy in secular affairs at Friesach.

The tenth bishop, Dietrich von Wolfsau 1318–32, is mentioned in deeds as the first honorific prince-bishop; he was also secretary of the Habsburg duke Frederick the Handsome, and was present at the Battle of Muhldorf in 1322. Since the twenty-second bishop, Theobald Schweinbeck 1446–63, the bishops have borne without intermission the title of Furst prince.

The following prominent bishops deserve special mention: the humanist Johann I von Rott 1468–82, died as Prince-Bishop of Breslau; Georg II Agrikola 1570–84, who after 1572 was also at the same time Bishop of Seckau; Georg III Stobaus von Palmburg 1584–1618, a worthy promotor of the Counter-Reformation; Maximilian Gandolph Freiherr von Kienburg 1654–65, did much towards increasing the financial resources of the diocese.

By the new regulations under Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, several territories were added to the Diocese of Lavant. Prince-Archbishop Michael Brigido of Laibach in 1788 ceded a number of parishes in the southern part of what is now the Diocese of Lavant the Diocese of Gurk; and the district of Volkermarkt, which was afterwards again detached, was added to the bishopric at that time.

The extent of the diocese was changed by the circumscription of 1 June 1859. The valley of the Lavant and the district of Volkermarkt in Carinthia fell to the Diocese of Gurk; in consequence of which the District of Marburg was transferred from Seckau to Lavant; since then the diocese comprises the whole of southern Styria. By the decree of the Congregation of the Consistory of 20 May 1857, the see of the bishop was removed from St. Andra to Marburg; the parish church of St. John the Baptist in that place being elevated into a cathedral, and the title "of Lavant" being preserved. On 4 September 1859, Bishop Anton Martin Slomschek 1846–62 made his solemn entry into Marburg. His successors, Jakob Maximilian Stepischnegg 1862–89, and Michael Napotnik since 1889 have shown great zeal for the promotion of the spiritual life by introducing religious orders and founding educational and charitable institutions and clubs. But the most beneficial work done for the religious life of the diocese was that of the diocesan synods, held by Stepischnegg 1883, and by Napotnik, who followed his example 1896, 1900, 1903, and 1906.

The old cathedral chapter, which was composed of the canons of the Augustinian order, was dissolved in 1808, and its property was assigned to the "Religionsfond" founded by Joseph II; in 1825 a new cathedral chapter was provisionally erected, and definitively so in 1847.

The most prominent ecclesiastical buildings in the diocese are: the cathedral and parish church of St. John the Baptist, at Marburg, which was begun in the middle of the twelfth century as a Romanesque basilica, rebuilt after 1520 in the Gothic style, again restored after the fire in 1601, and once more in 1885; the provostship and parish church of St. Georg, at Pettau, erected in the Gothic style about 1314; the abbey and parish church of St. Daniel, at Cilli, dates from the middle of the sixteenth century; and the shrine of St. Maria der Wuste, in the neighbourhood of Marburg built 1628, in the baroque style.


2. Present statistics

In 2004, the diocese of Maribor had 704.384 Catholics of 826.229 people = 85.3% of inhabitants, 311 diocesan and 93 regular priests, 4 permanent deacons, 109 male 134? and 290 female members of religious orders. On April 7, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI elevated the diocese to an archdiocese with the new suffragan dioceses of Celje and Murska Sobota.


3.1. List of prince-bishops Suffragan Bishops of Lavant

  • Werner 1304–1316
  • Augustin 1389–1391
  • Wolfhard von Ehrenfels 1411–1421
  • Ortolf von Offenstetten 1387–1391
  • Lorenz von Lichtenberg 1424–1432
  • Wulfing von Stubenberg 1299–1304
  • Heinrich von Helfenberg 1291–1299
  • Heinrich I Krafft 1332–1338
  • Nikolaus von Unhorst 1391–1397
  • Dietrich Wolfhauer 1317–1332
  • Friedrich Deys 1421–1423
  • Heinrich IV Krapff 1363–1387
  • Peter Kroll von Reichenhall 1357–1363
  • Ulrich II 1408–1411
  • Gerhard von Ennstal 1275–1285
  • Ulrich von Haus 1228–1257
  • Konrad I 1285–1291
  • Hermann von Gnas 1433–1436
  • Otto von Mornstein 1260–1264
  • Heinrich II von Leis 1338–1342
  • Lorenz von Lichtenberg 1436–1446
  • Konrad II Torer von Torlein 1397–1408
  • Heinrich III 1342–1356
  • Herbord 1267–1275
  • Almerich Grafendorfer 1265–1267
  • Karl von Friesach 1257–1260


3.2. List of prince-bishops Suffragan Prince-Bishops of Lavant

  • Theobald Schweinpeck 1446–1463
  • Georg III Stobaus von Palmburg 1584–1618
  • Ignaz Franz Zimmermann 1824.05.19 – death 1843.09.28
  • Georg I 1483–1486
  • Philipp I Renner 1536–1555
  • Rudolf von Rudesheim 1463–1468
  • Martin Herkules Rettinger von Wiespach 1556–1570
  • Leonhard Peurl 1508–1536
  • Johann I von Roth 1468–1483
  • Leonhard II von Gotz 1619–1640
  • Franz Xaver Kuttnar 1843.11.23 – death 1846.03.08
  • Georg II Agricola 1570–1584
  • Anton Martin Slomsek 1846.05.30 – death 1862.09.24
  • Albert von Priamis 1640.12.29 – death 1654.09.08
  • Max Gandolf von Kuenburg 1654.12.08 – 1665.02.07, later Bishop of Seckau Austria 1665.02.07 – 1668.07.30, Metropolitan Archbishop of Salzburg Austria 1822.04.19 – death 1831.11.29
  • Erhard Paumgartner 1487–1508

3.3. List of prince-bishops Suffragan Bishops of Lavant-Maribor

TO CHECK Suffragan Bishops of Lavant
  • Maksimilijan Drzecnik, Bishop of Lavant 1960.06.15 – 1962.03.05, previously Titular Bishop of Abrittum 1946.09.15 – 1960.06.15 as Auxiliary Bishop of Lavant 1946.09.15 – 1960.06.15 and Apostolic Administrator of Lavant 1949 – 1960.06.15; from 1962 Bishop of Maribor Slovenia 1962.03.05 – death 1978.05.13
  • Mihael Napotnik, Prince-Bishop of Lavant 1889.09.27 – death 1922.03.28
  • Jakob Ignaz Maximilian Stepischnegg, Prince-Bishop of Lavant 1862.12.21 – 1889.06.28
  • Andrej Karlin, Bishop of Lavant 1923.06.06 – death 1933.03.06, previously Bishop of Koper Slovenia 1911.02.06 – 1919.12.15, Bishop of Trieste Italy 1911.02.06 – 1919.12.15, Titular Bishop of Themiscyra 1919.12.15 – 1923.06.06
  • Blessed Anton Martin Slomsek, Prince-Bishop of Lavant 1846.05.30 – death 1862.09.24
  • Ivan Jozef Tomazic, Bishop of Lavant 1933.06.27 – death 1949.02.27, succeeded as previous Auxiliary Bishop of Lavant 1928.06.08 – 1933.06.27 and Titular Bishop of Bargala 1928.06.08 – 1933.06.27
from 1962.03.05: United with as title of Diocese of Maribor) Suffragan Bishops of Maribor and Bishops of Lavant BIOs to ELABORATE
  • Franc Kramberger, Bishop of Maribor 1980–2011, from 2006 Archbishop of Maribor
Archbishops of Maribor and Bishops of Lavant
  • Alojzij Cvikl, Archbishop of Maribor 2013–
  • Marjan Turnsek, Archbishop of Maribor 2011–2013

4. Sources and external links

  • Herbermann, Charles, ed. 1913. "Lavant". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  • Catholic Hierarchy
  • GCatholic, with incumbent bios

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. 1913. "Lavant". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

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