Apostolic vicariate

Apostolic vicariate

An apostolic vicariate is a form of territorial jurisdiction of the Catholic Church established in missionary regions and countries which do not have a diocese. It is therefore essentially provisional, though it may last for a century or more. The ultimate hope is that the region will generate sufficient numbers of Catholics and become stabile enough for the Church as to warrant erection as a diocese.

An apostolic vicariate is led by a vicar apostolic who is usually a titular bishop. While such a territory can be classed as particular church, according to canon 371.1 of the Latin Code of Canon Law a vicar apostolic's jurisdiction is an exercise of the jurisdiction of the Pope — that is to say, the territory comes directly under the pope as "universal bishop," and the pope exercises this authority through a "vicar" or delegate. This is unlike the jurisdiction of a diocesan bishop, whose jurisdiction derives directly from his office.

Like any ecclesiastical jurisdiction, an apostolic vicariate may be administered by the bishop of a neighbouring diocese, or even by a priest appointed transitionally as an apostolic administrator. As in a regular diocese, the vicar apostolic may appoint priests as vicars exercising limited jurisdiction over the apostolic vicariate.

An apostolic vicariate is to be distinguished from an apostolic prefecture, a similar type of territory under the leadership of a priest, which is not yet organised enough to be termed an apostolic vicariate. There is also the mission sui iuris, under a superior. The usual sequence of development is: mission, apostolic prefecture, apostolic vicariate and finally diocese.

The apostolic vicariate is also to be distinguished from a territorial abbacy (or "abbey nullius") — an area not a diocese but under the direction of the abbot of a monastery.

Historical Apostolic vicariates

"(incomplete list of "former" missionary jurisdictions, to be limited to those treated in Wikipedia articles or about to)"
In Africa:
*Vicariate Apostolic of the Congo
*Vicariate Apostolic of Dahomey
*Vicariate Apostolic of French Congo, or Lower Congo
*Vicariate Apostolic of Kamerun
*Vicariate Apostolic of Kenia
*Vicariate Apostolic of Kimberley in Orange
*Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Victoria Nyanza
*Vicariate Apostolic of Sahara
*Vicariate Apostolic of Senegambia
*Vicariate Apostolic of Shire
*Vicariate Apostolic of Sudan or Central-Africa
*Vicariate Apostolic of Unyanyembe

In the Americas:
*Vicariate Apostolic of Aguarico
*Vicariate Apostolic of San José del Amazonas
*Vicariate Apostolic of Athabasca
*Vicariate Apostolic of Beni
*Vicariate Apostolic of Camiri
*Vicariate Apostolic of Esmeraldas
*Vicariate Apostolic of Galápagos
*Vicariate Apostolic of Goajira
*Vicariate Apostolic of Guapi
*Vicariate Apostolic of Inírida
*Vicariate Apostolic of Iquitos
*Vicariate Apostolic of Jaen in Peru
*Vicariate Apostolic of Keewatin
*Vicariate Apostolic of Leticia
*Vicariate Apostolic of Lower California
*Vicariate Apostolic of Marysville
*Vicariate Apostolic of Mackenzie
*Vicariate Apostolic of Méndez
*Vicariate Apostolic of Mitú
*Vicariate Apostolic of Montevideo, Uruguay (1832-1878)
*Vicariate Apostolic of Napo
*Vicariate Apostolic of Nuflo de Chávez
*Vicariate Apostolic of Pando
*Vicariate Apostolic of Puerto Maldonado
*Vicariate Apostolic of Pucallpa
*Vicariate Apostolic of Puerto Carreño
*Vicariate Apostolic of Gaitán
*Vicariate Apostolic of Puyos
*Vicariate Apostolic of Reyes
*Vicariate Apostolic of Requena
*Vicariate Apostolic of San Andrés and providencia
*Vicariate Apostolic of San Ramon
*Vicariate Apostolic of San Vicente - Puerto leguízamo
*Vicariate Apostolic of Sucumbíos
*Vicariate Apostolic of Tierradentro
*Vicariate Apostolic of Trinidad
*Vicariate Apostolic of Yurimaguas
*Vicariate Apostolic of Zamora

In Asia:
*Vicariate Apostolic of Amoy
*Vicariate Apostolic of Arabia
*Vicariate Apostolic of Batavia (Jakajarta, on Java)
*Vicariate Apostolic of Changanacherry in Travancore, India
*Vicariate Apostolic of Ernakulam in India
*Vicariate Apostolic of Kiang-nan
*Vicariate Apostolic of Kottayam
*Vicariate Apostolic of Madras
*Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Kan-Su
*Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Shan-Si
*Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Shan-Tung
*Vicariate-Apostolic of Patna
*Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Shan-Si
*Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Shan-Tung
*Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Shen-Si
*Vicariate Apostolic of Trichur

In Europe:
*Vicariate Apostolic of Breda
*Vicariate Apostolic of Gibraltar
*Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Germany
*Vicariate Apostolic of Scotland

In Oceania:
*Vicariate Apostolic of Central Oceania
*Vicariate Apostolic of Fiji
*Vicariate Apostolic of Marquesas Islands
*Vicariate Apostolic of New Pomerania
*Vicariate Apostolic of Sandwich Isands
*Vicariate Apostolic of Tahiti


* [http://www.gcatholic.com/dioceses/data/typeapvc.htm List of Current Apostolic Vicariates] by Giga-Catholic Information

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