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Geschicht vun der Diözees . Histoire du diocèse  
19 August 2016

History of the Archbishopric of Luxembourg

The diocese of Luxembourg was established by Pope Pius IX on 27th of September 1870. Having belonged to the French Revolution as the Archbishopric of Trier (the south of the country) or the diocese of Liège (the north of the country), Luxembourg was part of the diocese of Metz until 1823. Because of political upheaval - the Congress of Vienna attached Luxembourg in 1815, raised to the title of Grand Duchy, in personal union with the King of the Netherlands - the Pope Pius VII incorporated Luxembourg in the diocese of Namur.

After obtaining his political independence, the country, taking a desire that had already appeared under King Philip II (1555-1598), wanted with increasing insistence the creation of an independent bishopric. This wish had a beginning of realization, when by apostolic decree of 2nd of June 1840, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg became Apostolic Vicariate.

Thirty years later, the Apostolic Vicariate was established in an autonomous diocese, immediately subject to the Holy See. By the law of 30th of April 1873, civil authorities recognized the creation of the Bishopric of Luxembourg, not yet grant it legal personality. This was conferred by an Act of 30th of April 1981.

On 23rd of April 1988 the Holy Father elevated the Diocese of Luxembourg to the rank of Archdiocese immediately subject to the Holy See.

The Territory

The archdiocese’s territory coincides with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, located between Germany, Belgium and France. The total area of 2,586 km². The maximum distances are 82 km (north-south) and 57 km (east-west). There are two natural regions: north (Oesling) with altitudes between 400 and 550 m, forming 32% of the territory, and south (Good Country) with altitudes ranging from 130 to 300 m, forming 68% of the territory. Both regions are very unevenly populated.

The human size of the diocese, its coincidence with a political and administrative unit and a natural community are significant advantages.

Nevertheless, the uneven distribution of the population between the north and the south poses problems for the organization of pastoral care.

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