AskDefine | Define suburbicarian

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. (In the Roman Catholic church) Describing any of the six dioceses surrounding Rome. These dioceses are always headed by Cardinals of the highest rank.


  • The Oxford English Dictionary

Extensive Definition

The seven suburbicarian dioceses are Roman Catholic dioceses located in the suburbs that surround Rome, reserved for the highest order of Cardinals. A Cardinal Bishop is named titular bishop of each of the sees, which have varied slightly in history but are now Velletri-Segni, Porto-Santa Rufina, Frascati, Palestrina, Albano, Sabina-Poggio Mirteto, and Ostia; the see of Ostia is conferred on the Dean of the College of Cardinals in addition to his other see; the Dean is chosen by and from the six cardinal bishops of the suburbicarian dioceses, with the approval of the pope (formerly the dean was always the longest-serving cardinal bishop). However, since the 1960s, six of the dioceses have had their own substantive bishop, pursuant to a decree of Pope John XXIII titled Suburbicarii Sedis, with the exception of Ostia which was merged with the diocese of Rome and is administered by Rome's Cardinal Vicar General.
The titular bishops still formally "take possession" of the dioceses but the substantive bishops exercise all ordinary jurisdiction.

List of Cardinal-Bishops of Ostia

Cardinal-Bishops of Velletri-Segni

Cardinal-Bishops of Porto-Santa Rufina

Cardinal-Bishops of Frascati

details Bishop of Frascati

Cardinal-Bishops of Palestrina

details Bishop of Palestrina

Cardinal-Bishops of Albano

details Bishop of Albano

Cardinal-Bishops of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto

details Bishop of Sabina


suburbicarian in German: Suburbikarisches Bistum
suburbicarian in Spanish: Diócesis suburbicaria
suburbicarian in Italian: Diocesi suburbicaria
suburbicarian in Portuguese: Igreja suburbicária
suburbicarian in Russian: Субурбикарные епархии
suburbicarian in Swedish: Suburbikariska stift
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