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Archbishop of Avignon

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Avignon is an Archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church, in France. The diocese exercises jurisdiction over the territory embraced by the department of Vaucluse, in the Region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. The current archbishop is Jean-Pierre Marie Cattenoz, who was appointed in 2002.

Established in the 4th century as the Diocese of Avignon, the diocese was elevated to an Archdiocese in 1475,[1] with the suffragan sees of the diocese of Carpentras, the diocese of Vaison, and the diocese of Cavaillon. By the Concordat of 1801 these three dioceses were united to Avignon, together with the diocese of Apt, a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Aix. At the same time, however, Avignon was reduced to the rank of a bishopric and was made a suffragan see of Aix.[2]

The archdiocese of Avignon was re-established in 1822,[3] and received as suffragan sees the diocese of Viviers (restored in 1822); diocese of Valence (formerly under Lyon); diocese of Nîmes (restored in 1822); and diocese of Montpellier (formerly under Toulouse).

On 16 December 2002, the see [officially Archdiocese of Avignon (-Apt, Cavaillon, Carpentras, Orange, e Vaison)] lost its Metropolitan status and became instead a suffragan see of Marseille. In 2009 its name was changed to Archdiocese of Avignon, the secondary titles being suppressed.


There is no evidence that either Saint Rufus, disciple of Saint Paul (according to certain traditions the son of Simon of Cyrene) or Saint Justus, likewise held in high honour throughout the territory of Avignon, was venerated in antiquity as bishop of that see. The first bishop known to history is Nectarius, who took part in several councils about the middle of the fifth century. Saint Agricol (Agricolus), bishop between 650 and 700, is the patron saint of Avignon.

In 1475 Pope Sixtus IV raised the diocese of Avignon to the rank of an archbishopric, in favour of his nephew Giuliano della Rovere, who later became Pope Julius II.


To 1000

1000 to 1474


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