Roman Catholic Diocese of Viterbo

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Diocese of Viterbo

Dioecesis Viterbiensis
Duomo di viterbo, esterno 01.jpg
Viterbo Cathedral
Ecclesiastical provinceImmediately subject to the Holy See
Area2,161 km2 (834 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2014)
174,400 (est.) (96.3%)
DenominationCatholic Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established6th century
CathedralBasilica Cattedrale di S. Lorenzo Martire (Viterbo)
Co-cathedralBasilica Cattedrale del S. Sepolcro (Acquapendente)
Basilica di S. Maria Maggiore (Tuscania)
Concattedrale di S. Nicola (Bagnoregio)
Secular priests112 (diocesan)
61 (religious Orders)
Current leadership
BishopLino Fumagalli
Bishops emeritusLorenzo Chiarinelli

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Viterbo (Latin: Dioecesis Viterbiensis) is a Catholic ecclesiastical territory in central Italy. It was called historically (from the 12th century) the Diocese of Viterbo e Tuscania. Its territory was changed to Diocese of Viterbo, Acquapendente, Bagnoregio, Montefiascone, Tuscania and San Martino al Monte Cimino in 1986, and shortened to Viterbo.[1][2] The diocese is exempt, i.e. immediately subject to the Holy See, not belonging to any ecclesiastical province.


The name of Viterbo occurs for the first time in the 8th century, under Pope Zachary, when it was a village tributary to Toscanella, in Lombard Tuscany (Tuscia Langobardorum) on the Via Cassia. Charlemagne gave the pope all this Tuscan territory in feudal tenure, the imperial authority over it being still represented by a sculdascio (feudal sheriff) and later by a count.

The episcopal see of Viterbo was transferred from Toscanella, which venerates the martyrs Secundianus, Verianus and companions (who, however, were Romans). They suffered not far from the city, to which their relics were translated in the seventh century by Bishop Maurus, the first known bishop (649). Among the successors of Maurus was Homobonus, to whom Pope Leo IV (850) addressed a letter determining the boundaries of the diocese. In 876 Joannes, in the name of Pope John VIII, carried the imperial insignia to Charles the Bald.

In 1192 Pope Celestine III made it the diocese of Viterbo, on territory split off from the Tuscanello bishopric, but jointly held with that (now secondary) see until 1913. As direct subjects of the popes, many of its bishops were transferred to a richer see and/or even created Cardinals.

During the tenth century Toscanella was for some time under the Bishop of Centumcellae. The succession of its bishops recommences with Joannes (1027); another Joannes distinguished himself in the reform of Benedict (1049) and brought back the clergy of Tuscania to the common life. Gilbert (1059) and Giselbert (1080) were also promoters of reform, while Richard (1086) adhered to the antipope Clement III, who united with Toscanella Centumcellae and the see of Blera.

Among other bishops were Ranieri (c. 1200), in whose episcopate the Paterini came to Viterbo, still active in 1304. After him Cardinal Raniero Capocci was for a long time the administrator.

In the fourteenth century the clergy of Toscanella repeatedly refused to recognize the bishop elected by the chapter of Viterbo, so that Pope Clement V (1312) reserved to the Holy See the right of appointment.[3] In 1435 the Diocese of Corneto was separated and joined with the then recently erected Diocese of Montefiascone.

When Cardinal Albornoz came to effect the reconquest of the Papal States, Viterbo submitted and built a fortress (Rocca) for the governor of the Patrimony. In 1367, during the sojourn of Pope Urban V at Viterbo, a quarrel between the populace and the retinue of one of the cardinals developed into a general uprising, which Cardinal Marcus of Viterbo quickly put down.

On 31 August 1369 it lost territory to establish the Diocese of Montefiascone

In 1375 Francesco di Vico took possession of the city, which joined in the general revolt against papal rule, but quickly submitted. When the Western Schism arose, Vico's tyranny recommenced; he took the side of Pope Clement VII and sustained a siege by Cardinal Orsini. The people rose and killed him (8 May 1387), and Viterbo returned to the obedience of Pope Urban VI. But in 1391 Gian Sciarra di Vico reentered the city and took possession of its government. In 1391 Cardinal Pileo, the papal legate of Clement VII, would have given the city over to Pope Boniface IX, but his plan failed, and he fled, so Vico came to an understanding with Boniface.

After a century of trouble, peace was not re-established until 1503, when the government of Viterbo was subsequently, instead of the governor of the Patrimony, to a cardinal legate; after 1628 it was the residence of a simple governor. One of its cardinal legates was Reginald Pole, around whom there grew up at Viterbo a coterie of friends, Vittoria Colonna among them, who aroused suspicions of heterodoxy.

On 2 May 1936 it gained territory from the suppressed Territorial Abbacy of San Martino al Monte Cimino.

By the middle of 1986, papal policy in the selection of bishops had concentrated in the person of Bishop Luigi Boccadoro the following posts: the Diocese of Viterbo e Tuscania, the diocese of Acquapendente (since 1951), the diocese of Montefiascone (since 1951), and the Administratorship of the diocese of Bagnoregio (since 1971); he was also the Abbot Commendatory of Monte Cimino. On September 30, 1986, Pope John Paul II moved to consolidate these several small dioceses by suppressing them and uniting their territories[4] into the diocese of Viterbo e Tuscania, whose name was changed to the Diocese of Viterbo.[5]


Diocese of Viterbo[edit]

Erected: 6th Century Latin Name: Viterbiensis

Diocese of Viterbo e Tuscania[edit]

United: 12th Century with the Diocese of Tuscanella
Latin Name: Viterbiensis et Tuscanensis
Immediately Subject to the Holy See

1192 to 1400[edit]

  • Giovanni (1192 – 1199.04.06)[6]
  • Raniero (1199–1222)
  • Filippo (1223–?)
  • Raniero Capocci, Cistercians (O. Cist.) (1226–1233 see below)[7]
  • Matteo Sappolini (1233–1239)
  • Raniero Capocci, O. Cist. again (see above 1243 – retired 1244)
  • Scambio Aliotti (1245–1253)
  • Alferio (1254–1258)
  • Pietro (1259–?)
  • Filippo (1263 – death 1285)
  • Pietro di Romanuccio Capocci (1286.08.25 – death 1312)[8]
  • Giovanni (1312.03.10 – 1318)
  • Angelo Tignosi (1318.03.19 – death 1343.12.08)
  • Bernardo del Lago (1344.02.06 – death 1347.07.27)
  • Giovanni (1348, death)
  • Giovanni (1348), previously Bishop of Forlì (Romagna, Italy) (1342–1346)
  • Pietro de Pino (Pierre Pin) (1348.05.13 – 1348.07.15)[9]
  • Pietro Dupin (1348.12.10 – 1350.11.18), later Metropolitan Archbishop of Benevento (southern Italy) (1350.11.18 – death 1360)
  • Niccolò de’ Vetuli (1350.11.19 – death 1385.07)
  • Archbishop-bishop Ambrogio da Parma (1389–1391)[10]
  • Giacomo Ranieri (1391 – death 1417.07.12)

1400 to 1600[edit]

1600 to 1800[edit]

  • Lanfranco Margotti (26 Jan 1609 – 28 Nov 1611 Died)
  • Tiberio Muti (19 Dec 1611 – 14 Apr 1636 Died)
  • Alessandro Cesarini (iuniore) (14 May 1636 – 13 Sep 1638 Resigned)
  • Francesco Maria Brancaccio (13 Sep 1638 – 2 Jun 1670 Resigned)
  • Stefano Brancaccio (2 Jun 1670 – 8 Sep 1682 Died)
  • Urbano Sacchetti (29 Mar 1683 – 24 Jan 1701 Resigned)
  • Andrea Santacroce (24 Jan 1701 – 10 May 1712 Died)
  • Michelangelo dei Conti (1 Aug 1712 – 14 Mar 1719 Resigned)
  • Adriano Sermattei (15 Mar 1719 – 9 Apr 1731 Died)
  • Alessandro degli Abbati (21 May 1731 – 30 Apr 1748 Died)
  • Raniero Felice Simonetti (6 May 1748 – 20 Aug 1749 Died)
  • Giacomo Oddi (22 Sep 1749 – 2 May 1770 Died)
  • Francesco Angelo Pastrovich, O.F.M. Conv. (14 Dec 1772 – 4 Apr 1783 Died)
  • Muzio Gallo (14 Feb 1785 – 13 Dec 1801 Died)

since 1800[edit]

  • Dionisio Ridolfini Conestabile (26 Sep 1803 – 17 Dec 1806 Died)
  • Antonio Gabriele Severoli (11 Jan 1808 – 8 Sep 1824 Died)
  • Gaspare Bernardo Pianetti (3 Jul 1826 – 4 Mar 1861 Retired)
  • Gaetano Bedini (18 Mar 1861 – 6 Sep 1864 Died)
  • Matteo Eustachio Gonella (22 Jun 1866 – 15 Apr 1870 Died)
  • Luigi Serafini (27 Jun 1870 – 20 Feb 1880 Resigned)
  • Giovanni Battista Paolucci (27 Feb 1880 – 9 Nov 1892 Died)
  • Eugenio Clari (16 Jan 1893 – 9 Mar 1899 Died)
  • Antonio Maria Grasselli, O.F.M. Conv. (19 Jun 1899 – 30 Dec 1913 Resigned)
  • Emidio Trenta (17 Jul 1914 – 24 Jan 1942 Died)
  • Adelchi Albanesi (14 Apr 1942 – 21 Mar 1970 Died)
  • Luigi Boccadoro (8 Jun 1970 – 27 Mar 1986 Appointed Bishop of Viterbo, Acquapendente, Bagnoregio, Montefiascone, Tuscania e San Martino al Monte Cimino)

Diocese of Viterbo, Acquapendente, Bagnoregio, Montefiascone, Tuscania e San Martino al Monte Cimino[edit]

United: 27 March 1986 with Diocese of Acquapendente, Diocese of Bagnoregio, and Diocese of Montefiascone
Latin Name: Viterbiensis, Aquipendiensis, Balneoregiensis, Faliscodunensis, Tuscanensis et Sancti Martini ad Montem Ciminum
Immediately Subject to the Holy See

  • Fiorino Tagliaferri (14 Mar 1987 – 30 Jun 1997 Retired)

Diocese of Viterbo[edit]

16 February 1991: Name Changed

  • Lorenzo Chiarinelli (30 Jun 1997 – 11 Dec 2010 Retired)
  • Lino Fumagalli (11 Dec 2010 – )

Territorial abbacy of San Martino al Monte Cimino[edit]

This Benedictine territorial abbey (i.e. exerting diocesan authority, rather than resorting under any bishop) was established as such in 1300. On 2 May 1936, the territorial abbey lost its autonomous prelature status, as it was united with the then-diocese of Viterbo and Tuscania.


  1. ^ "Diocese of Viterbo" David M. Cheney. Retrieved January 2, 2017
  2. ^ "Diocese of Viterbo" Gabriel Chow. Retrieved February 29, 2016
  3. ^ Umberto Benigni, "Diocese of Viterbo and Toscanella." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  4. ^ "in unam dioecesim iuridice redigeremus, satis enim eas coeptis, institutis, moribus, mente coaluisse....perpetuo unimus, unione, ut dicunt, exstinctiva; quae proinde adquiret atque comprehendet in suo territorio uniuscuiusque harum Ecclesiarum territorium"
  5. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis Vol. 78 (Città del Vaticano: Typis polyglottis vaticanis 1986), pp. 906-907.
  6. ^ Bishop Giovanni was earlier Bishop of Tuscanella (1188 – 1199.04.06); he was created Cardinal-Priest of S. Clemente (1189.05 – 1199.04.06); later promoted Cardinal-Bishop of Albano (1199.04.06 – death 1210)
  7. ^ Capocci was created Cardinal-Deacon of S. Maria in Cosmedin (1216 – death 1250?)
  8. ^ Pietro Capocci was previously Bishop of Ancona (Italy) (? – 1286.08.25)
  9. ^ Bishop Pierre de Pin was later Bishop of Verona (northeast Italy) (1348.07.15 – 1349.07.27), Bishop of Périgueux (France) (1349.07.27 – death 1382)
  10. ^ Archbishop Ambrogio was previously Metropolitan Archbishop of Oristano (Italy) (1364 – 1377.02.20), Archbishop-Bishop of Cittanova (1377.02.20 – 1380.10.10), Archbishop-Bishop of Concordia (Italy) (1380.10.10 – 1389)
  11. ^ Scelloni had previously been Bishop of Terni (Italy) (1472.02.14 – 1472.08.31); later again Bishop of Terni (Italy) (1491.12.05 – ?)
  12. ^ Cardinal Riario, a nephew of Pope Sixtus IV was Cardinal-Deacon of S. Lorenzo in Damaso (pro illa vice Deaconry) (1480.05.05 – 1503.11.29, thereafter kept in commendam'(under his protection), Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church of the Reverend Apostolic Camera (1483.01.24 – 1521.07.09), Protodeacon of Sacred College of Cardinals (1503.09 – 1503.11.29), promoted Cardinal-Bishop of Albano (1503.11.29 – 1507.08.03)


  • Eubel, Conradus (ed.) (1913). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 1 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link) (in Latin)
  • Eubel, Conradus (ed.) (1914). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 2 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Eubel, Conradus (ed.); Gulik, Guilelmus (1923). Hierarchia catholica, Tomus 3 (second ed.). Münster: Libreria Regensbergiana.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Gams, Pius Bonifatius (1873). Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae: quotquot innotuerunt a beato Petro apostolo (in Latin). Ratisbon: Typis et Sumptibus Georgii Josephi Manz.
  • Gauchat, Patritius (Patrice) (1935). Hierarchia catholica IV (1592-1667). Münster: Libraria Regensbergiana. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  • Ritzler, Remigius; Sefrin, Pirminus (1952). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentis aevi V (1667-1730). Patavii: Messagero di S. Antonio. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  • Ritzler, Remigius; Sefrin, Pirminus (1958). Hierarchia catholica medii et recentis aevi VI (1730-1799). Patavii: Messagero di S. Antonio. Retrieved 2016-07-06.

Sources and external links[edit]


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Diocese of Viterbo and Toscanella" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.