Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht

The Archdiocese of Utrecht (Latin: Archidioecesis Ultraiectensis) is an archdiocese of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The Archbishop of Utrecht is the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical province of Utrecht. There are six suffragan dioceses in the province: Breda, Groningen-Leeuwarden, Haarlem-Amsterdam, Roermond, Rotterdam, and 's-Hertogenbosch. The cathedral church of the archdiocese is Saint Catherine Cathedral which replaced the prior cathedral, Saint Martin Cathedral, after it was taken by Protestants in the Reformation.

Archdiocese of Utrecht

Archidioecesis Ultraiectensis

Aartsbisdom Utrecht
Wappen Bistum Utrecht
TerritoryParts of the provinces Utrecht, Overijssel, Gelderland, and Flevoland[1]
Coordinates52°05′15″N 5°07′27″E / 52.08750°N 5.12417°ECoordinates: 52°05′15″N 5°07′27″E / 52.08750°N 5.12417°E
Area10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi)[2]
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2017)
Increase753,700 (Steady18.5%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteLatin Rite[2]
Established4 March 1853[2]
CathedralSaint Catherine's Cathedral[3]
Patron saintSaint Willibrord
Current leadership
Metropolitan ArchbishopWim Eijk[2][4]
Auxiliary BishopsTheodorus Cornelis Maria Hoogenboom
Herman Willebrordus Woorts
Bishops emeritusAdrianus Johannes Simonis Cardinal Archbishop Emeritus (1983-2007)
Johannes Antonius de Kok Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus (1982-2005)
The location of the Archdiocese of Utrecht in the Netherlands

The location of the Archdiocese of Utrecht in the Netherlands


The Archdiocese of Utrecht was established in the 7th century and disestablished in the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation. The Catholic church reestablished the Archdiocese in the 19th century.

Historic Diocese and Archdiocese

Utrecht comm plaque Willibrord
commemoration plaque at the Domkerk in Utrecht. Translation: In the year 1939, twelve centuries after his death, the blessed work of the apostel Willibrord, the preacher of the Gospel in these lands, is unitedly and thankfully commemorated.


According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the founding of the diocese dates back to Francia,[5] when St. Ecgberht of Ripon sent St. Willibrord and eleven companions on a mission to pagan Frisia, at the request of Pepin of Herstal.[5][6] The Diocese of Utrecht (Latin: Dioecesis Ultraiectensis) was erected by Pope Sergius I in 695.[7] In 695 Sergius consecrated Willibrord in Rome as Bishop of the Frisians.[5]

George Edmundson wrote, in Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 edition, that the bishops, in fact, as the result of grants of immunities by a succession of German kings, and notably by the Saxon and Franconian emperors, gradually became the temporal rulers of a dominion as great as the neighboring counties and duchies.[8] John Mason Neale explained, in History of the so-called Jansenist church of Holland, that bishops "became warriors rather than prelates; the duties of their pastoral office were frequently exercised by suffragans, while they themselves headed armies against the Dukes of Guelders or the Counts of Holland."[9](p63) Adalbold II of Utrecht "must be regarded as the principal founder of the territorial possessions of the diocese," according to Albert Hauck, in New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, especially by the acquisition in 1024 and 1026 of the counties of Drenthe and Teisterbant;[10] but, the name "Bishopric of Utrecht" is not used in the article. Debitum pastoralis officii nobis was Pope Leo X's 1517 prohibition to the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Hermann of Wied, as legatus natus,[a] to summon, to a court of first instance in Cologne, Philip of Burgundy, his treasurer, and his ecclesiastical and secular subjects.[12][b] Leo X only confirmed a right of the Church, explained Neale; but Leo X's confirmation "was providential" in respect to the future schism.[9](p72) The Bishopric ended when Henry of the Palatinate resigned the see in 1528 with the consent of the cathedral chapter, and transferred his secular authority to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The chapters voluntarily transferred their right of electing the bishop to Charles V, and Pope Clement VII gave his consent to the proceeding.[5] George Edmundson wrote, in History of Holland, that Henry, "was compelled" in 1528 to formally surrender "the temporalities of the see" to Charles V.[13](p21) Lordship of Utrecht


The diocese was elevated to an archdiocese in 1559.[7] It was taken from Province of Cologne, in which it was a suffragan, and elevated to the rank of an archdiocese and metropolitan see.[5] During the administration of the first archbishop, Frederik V Schenck van Toutenburg, Calvinism spread rapidly, especially among the nobility, who viewed with disfavor the endowment of the new bishoprics with the ancient and wealthy abbeys.[5] The parish churches were attacked in the Beeldenstorm in 1566.[14] The hanging of the nineteen Martyrs of Gorkum in Brielle in 1572 is an example of the persecution which Catholics suffered.[5] During the Dutch Revolt in the Spanish Netherlands, the archdiocese fell.[5] In the Beeldenstorm in 1580, the collegiate churches were victims of iconoclastic attacks and St. Martin's Cathedral, Utrecht, was "severely damaged".[14] "Even though approximately one third of the people remained Roman Catholic and in spite of a relatively great tolerance,"[14] as early as 1573,[5] the public exercise of Catholicism was forbidden,[5][14] and the cathedral was converted into a Protestant church in 1580.[14] The cathedral chapter survived and "still managed its lands and formed part of the provincial government" in the Lordship of Utrecht.[14] "The newly appointed canons, however, were always Protestants."[14] The two successor archbishop appointed by Spain neither received canonical confirmation nor could they enter their diocese because of the States-General opposition.[5] The archdiocese was suppressed in 1580.[7] Walter Phillips wrote, in Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 edition, the last archbishop of Utrecht, Frederik V Schenck van Toutenburg, died in 1580, "a few months before the suppression of Roman Catholic public worship" by William I, Prince of Orange.[8] "Suppression of dioceses," wrote Hove, "takes place only in countries where the faithful and the clergy have been dispersed by persecution," the suppressed dioceses become missions, prefectures, or vicariates apostolic. This is what occurred in the Dutch Republic.[15][c]

Mission sui iuris of Batavia

The Holland Mission started when the vicariate was erected by Pope Clement VIII in 1592.[16] "For two centuries after the [1648] Peace of Westphalia much of Holland was under vicars apostolic as mission territory, as England was in the same period; although some areas had archpriests dependent on the nuncios in Cologne and Brussels."[17]

Modern Archdiocese

The see was reestablished as an Archdiocese in the 1853.


Pre-Reformation Bishops

Pre 1853 Archbishops

  • Frederik V Schenck van Toutenburg (1559–1580)
  • Herman van Rennenberg (1580–1592) - unable to be enthroned due to Protestantism
  • Jan van Bruhesen (1592–1600) - unable to be enthroned due to Protestantism

Post 1853 Archbishops

Source: Radboud University Library.[18]

Auxiliary bishops

See also

Further reading

  • Ring, Trudy; Watson, Noelle; Schellinger, Paul, eds. (1995). "Utrecht". International dictionary of historic places. 2. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn. p. 761. ISBN 188496401X.


  1. ^ "As papal power increased after the middle of the eleventh century these legates came to have less and less real authority and eventually the legatus natus was hardly more than a title."[11]
  2. ^ Joosting and Muller noted that Leo X also promulgated another bull, in which he commissioned that the Bishop of Utrecht, his treasurer and his subjects informed that they were empowered to disregard privileges formerly granted to others and to prosecute offenders while setting aside formerly specified legal process.[12]
  3. ^ Changes of this nature were not regulated by canon law, according to Hove who wrote in 1909.[15]


  1. ^ a b (in Dutch) Achtergronden aartsbisdom. Retrieved on 2009-10-13.
  2. ^ a b c d Archdiocese of Utrecht. Retrieved on 2009-10-13.
  3. ^ (in Dutch) De Kathedraal. Retrieved on 2009-10-13.
  4. ^ (in Dutch) Aartsbisschop. Retrieved on 2009-10-13.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLins, Joseph (1912). "Archdiocese of Utrecht" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 15. New York: Robert Appleton.
  6. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainMershman, Francis (1912). "St. Willibrord" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 15. New York: Robert Appleton.
  7. ^ a b c "Archdiocese of Utrecht". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  8. ^ a b Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainEdmundson, George; Phillips, Walter A (1911). "Utrecht". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 823–824.
  9. ^ a b This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Neale, John M (1858). History of the so-called Jansenist church of Holland; with a sketch of its earlier annals, and some account of the Brothers of the common life. Oxford; London: John Henry and James Parker. OCLC 600855086.
  10. ^  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHauck, Albert (1908). "Adalbold". In Jackson, Samuel Macauley (ed.). New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. 1 (third ed.). London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls. p. 32.
  11. ^ La Monte, John L (1949). The world of the Middle Ages: a reorientation of medieval history. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. p. 393. OCLC 568161011.
  12. ^ a b This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Pope Leo X. Debitum pastoralis officii nobis (in Latin). From Joosting, Jan G. C.; Muller, Samuel (1912). "Verbod van Paus Leo X aan den aartsbisschop van Keulen als legatus natus, Philips bisschop van Utrecht, diens fiscus en diens kerkelijke en wereldlijke onderdanen in eerste instantie naar keulen te doen dagvaarden". Bronnen voor de geschiedenis der kerkelijke rechtspraak in het bisdom Utrecht in di middeleeuwen. Oude vaderlandsche rechtsbronnen (in Dutch). 's-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff. pp. 59–62. Retrieved 2014-01-09. This book contains documents relating to the limit of the jurisdiction of the bishop of Utrecht. This book was published in Werken der Vereeniging tot Uitgaaf der Bronnen van het Oud-Vaderlandsche Recht. 's-Gravenhage: Martinus Nijhoff. 2 (14). OCLC 765196601.
  13. ^ Edmundson, George (1922). History of Holland. Cambridge historical series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. LCCN 22004345.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "History". Domkerk Utrecht. Utrecht. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
  15. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHove, Alphonse van (1909). "Diocese" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. 5. New York: Robert Appleton.
  16. ^ "Mission "Sui Iuris" of Batavia (Holland Mission)". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  17. ^ "The hierarchy in Holland". The Tablet. London. 1953-05-16. p. 20. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  18. ^ "Lijst van Nederlandse bisschoppen sinds 1853". (in Dutch). Nijmegen: Radboud Universiteit. Katholiek Documentatie Centrum. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
  19. ^ "Bishop Goswin Haex von Loenhout, O. Carm." David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  20. ^ "Bishop Godefridus Yerwerd, O.S.B." David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  21. ^ "Bishop Bonaventura Engelbertz van Oldenzeel, O.F.M." David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  22. ^ "Bishop Nicolas Van Nienlant" David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 21, 2016

External links

Archbishop of Utrecht

Archbishop of Utrecht may refer to:

The archbishop of the Archdiocese of Utrecht (695–1580)

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht#Roman Catholic archbishops after Restoration of the Episcopal Hierarchy, a Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church

Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht, a Metropolitan Archbishop and Primate of the Old Catholic Church

Archdiocese of Utrecht

Archdiocese of Utrecht may refer to:

Archdiocese of Utrecht (695–1580), the historic diocese, prince-bishopric and archdiocese before and during the Protestant Reformation

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht (1853 – present), the current archdiocese in the Netherlands within the Catholic Church

Old Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht (1723 – present), the current archdiocese within the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands

Catholic Church and ecumenism

The Catholic Church has engaged in the modern ecumenical movement especially since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the issuing of the decree Unitatis redintegratio and the declaration Dignitatis humanae. It was at the Council that the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity was created. Before that time, those outside of the Catholic Church were categorised as heretics (in reference to Protestantism and other groups) or schismatics (as in the case of the Orthodox Church).

Holland (Batavia) Mission

The Holland Mission or Dutch Mission (Dutch: Hollandse Zending or Hollandse Missie) (1592 – 1853) was the common name of a Catholic Church missionary district in the Low Countries during and after the Protestant Reformation.

Johannes Wilhelmus Maria Liesen

Johannes (Jan) Wilhelmus Maria Liesen (born in Oosterhout, North Brabant, Netherlands on 17 September 1960) is a Dutch clergyman and bishop of the Roman Catholic Church, being appointed on November 26, 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Breda.

Joseph Frans Lescrauwaet

Joseph Frans Lescrauwaet, M.S.C. (19 June 1923 – 19 November 2013) was a Dutch prelate of the Roman Catholic Church.

Lescrauwaet was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands and was ordained a priest on 12 September 1948 from religious order of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Lescrauwaet was appointed auxiliary bishop of Diocese of Haarlem on 19 October 1983 as well as Titular Bishop of Turres Concordiae and was ordained bishop on 14 January 1984. Lescrauwaet resigned as auxiliary bishop of Haarlem on 22 March 1995.

Lebuïnuskerk, Deventer

The Great Church or St. Lebuinus Church (Dutch: Grote of Lebuïnuskerk) is the main church building of the Dutch city of Deventer, Netherlands.

List of people associated with the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas

This is a partial list of alumni, faculty and staff associated with the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy.

Lordship of Utrecht

The Lordship of Utrecht was formed in 1528 when Charles V of Habsburg conquered the Bishopric of Utrecht, during the Guelders Wars.

In 1528, at the demand of Henry of the Palatinate, Prince-Bishop of Utrecht, Habsburg forces under Georg Schenck van Toutenburg, liberated the Bishopric, which was occupied by the Duchy of Guelders since 1521-1522. On October 20, 1528, Bishop Henry handed over power to Charles of Habsburg. The Bishopric of Utrecht came to an end and was divided into the Lordship of Utrecht and the Lordship of Overijssel, both ruled by a Habsburg Stadtholder.

Between 1528 and 1584 the Stadtholder of Utrecht was the same as the Stadtholder of the County of Holland.

The Lordship became part of the Burgundian Circle by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549, and one of the Seventeen Provinces.

During the Eighty Years' War, Utrecht joined the revolt against Charles's son Philip II of Spain from the beginning. It was at the center of the Union of Utrecht in 1579 (not to be confused with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713).

When the Batavian Republic was created in 1795, the Lordship of Utrecht was abolished.

Old Catholic Church

The term Old Catholic Church was used from the 1850s by groups which had separated from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with papal authority; some of these groups, especially in the Netherlands, had already existed long before the term. These churches are not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Member churches of the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU) are in full communion with the Anglican Communion, and some are members of the World Council of Churches.The formation of the Old Catholic communion of Germans, Austrians and Swiss began in 1870 at a public meeting held in Nuremberg under the leadership of Ignaz von Döllinger, following the First Vatican Council. Four years later, episcopal succession was established with the consecration of an Old Catholic German bishop by a prelate of the Church of Utrecht. In line with the "Declaration of Utrecht" of 1889, adherents accept the first seven ecumenical councils and doctrine formulated before the East–West Schism of 1054, but reject communion with the pope and a number of other Catholic doctrines and practices. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church notes that since 1925, they have recognized Anglican ordinations, that they have had full communion with the Church of England since 1932 and have taken part in the ordination of Anglican bishops. According to the principle of Ex opere operato, ordinations out of communion with Rome are still valid, and for this reason the validity of orders of Old Catholic bishops has never been formally questioned by Rome, although not any female priests.The term "Old Catholic" was first used in 1853 to describe the members of the See of Utrecht who did not recognize any infallible papal authority. Later Catholics who disagreed with the Roman Catholic dogma of papal infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council (1870) were hereafter without a bishop and joined with Utrecht to form the Union of Utrecht of the Old Catholic Churches (UU). Today these Old Catholic churches are found chiefly in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria and Czechia. Union of Utrecht Old Catholic churches are not generally found outside of Western Europe.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden

The Diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden (Dutch: Bisdom Groningen-Leeuwarden; Latin: Dioecesis Groningensis-Leovardiensis) is a suffragan Latin diocese of the Catholic Church in the northern part of the ecclesiastical province of the Metropolitan Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht (covering all the Netherlands). It encompasses the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe, as well as the Noordoostpolder, a part of the province of Flevoland.The cathedral episcopal seat is the Saint Joseph Cathedral in the city of Groningen, capital of the province of the same name. Neither former cathedral remains in Catholic use : the Sint-Maartenskerk, dedicated to Saint Martin, also in Groningen, is now Protestant church; the Sint-Vituskerk, dedicated to Saint Vitus, in Leeuwarden (Friesland province, most of dutch Frisia) is now ruined.

Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy

The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady Mother of Mercy are a Roman Catholic congregation founded in the Netherlands in 1832 by Rev. Johannes Zwijsen, pastor of Tilburg, aided by Mary M. Leijsen, for the instruction of children and the betterment of people deprived of spiritual aid.

St. Martin's Cathedral, Utrecht

St. Martin's Cathedral, Utrecht, or Dom Church (Dutch: Domkerk), is a Gothic church dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, which was the cathedral of the Diocese of Utrecht during the Middle Ages. It is the country's only pre-Reformation cathedral, but has been a Protestant church since 1580.

It was once the Netherlands' largest church, but the nave collapsed in a storm in 1674 and has never been rebuilt, leaving the tower isolated from the east end.

The building is the one church in the Netherlands that closely resembles the style of classic Gothic architecture as developed in France. All other Gothic churches in the Netherlands belong to one of the many regional variants. Unlike most of its French predecessors, the building has only one tower, the 112-metre-high (367 ft) Dom Tower, which is the hallmark of the city.

St Catherine's Cathedral, Utrecht

St. Catherine's Cathedral, Utrecht, is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria situated in Utrecht in the Netherlands.

It was built as part of the Carmelite friary founded in 1456. After 1529, work on the building was continued by the Knights Hospitallers.

The large church was completed only in the middle of the 16th century. From 1580 to 1815 it was the home of a Protestant community. In 1815 it was returned to the Roman Catholics, first as a garrison church, then since 1842 as a parish church.Since 1853 St. Catherine's Church has been the seat of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Utrecht as St. Catherine's Cathedral, and is the Roman Catholic metropolitan church of the Netherlands. The former St. Martin's Cathedral remains the Protestant church. In 1898 architect Alfred Tepe began some major changes to the church. It was lengthened with the current western trave; the new facade was a copy of the old one which was possibly designed by Rombout Keldermans II. A tower, based on the tower of the town hall of Kampen, was added in 1900.

Some of the relics of Saint Willibrord, patron saint of the Benelux countries, are kept in the reliquary under the main altar.

Due to financial difficulties the parish board has announced to close the St. Catherine's Cathedral. On March 2 2019 however, the parish board announced that this decision had been overturned by the Archbishop of Utrecht, Cardinal W.J. Eijk, due to a lack of support for the move among Catholic faithful and the national significance of Saint Catherine's as the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Dutch Church Province.

Utrecht (disambiguation)

Utrecht is a city in the Netherlands.

Utrecht may also refer to:

Utrecht (agglomeration), including the city of Utrecht

Utrecht (province), of which the city of Utrecht is the capitalIn history:

Lordship of Utrecht, precursor of the province

Episcopal principality of Utrecht, precursor of the lordship

Archdiocese of Utrecht (695–1580), historic diocese and precursor of the bishopricOutside the Netherlands:

Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal, a South African village named after the Dutch city

Republic of Utrecht, named after the village

New Utrecht, Brooklyn, named after the Dutch cityOther uses:

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht, current diocese of Utrecht

Old Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht

Union of Utrecht, treaty signed in 1579, regarded as the foundation of the Dutch Republic

Union of Utrecht (Old Catholic), a federation of Old Catholic Churches

Treaty of Utrecht, series of treaties signed in 1713, helped ending the War of the Spanish Succession

Utrecht University

FC Utrecht, a Dutch Association football club

Utrecht Art Supplies, a vendor of fine art materials, based in New Jersey

Utrecht Caravaggism, a group of painters of the Baroque school in the early part of the seventeenth century

Utrecht Centraal railway station

HNLMS Utrecht, several ships of the Royal Netherlands Navy

Latin Province of Utrecht
Latin Province of Port of Spain
Sui iuris Jurisdictions
Defunct Latin Jurisdictions

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