Bishop of Bruges
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Bishop of Bruges
Diocese of Bruges

Dioecesis Brugensis

Bisdom Brugge (Dutch)
Diocèse de Bruges (French)
Bistum Brügge (German)
Turm St Salvator.JPG
Country Belgium
Ecclesiastical provinceMechelen-Brussels
MetropolitanArchdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels
Area3,145 km2 (1,214 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2015)
968,000 (82.2%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established27 May 1834
CathedralSt. Salvator's Cathedral in Bruges
Current leadership
BishopLodewijk Aerts
Bishops emeritus
The diocese of Bruges, coextensive with the province of West Flanders
The diocese of Bruges, coextensive with the province of West Flanders

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bruges, (Bisdom Brugge in native Dutch) is a suffragan diocese in ecclesiastical province of the primatial Metropolitan archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels (which covers all the Roman Catholic church in Belgium).

The Renaissance diocese since 1558 was suppressed in 1801 during the Napoleonic and Dutch eras and restored in 1834 a pre-diocesan stage as Apostolic vicariate since 1832.[1] Its territory coincides with West Flanders.

Its cathedral episcopal see is the Sint-Salvator Cathedral, dedicated to Our Savior, in Bruges (Brugge), West Flanders province, a minor basilica a minor World Heritage Site. Its patron saint however is Saint Donatian, hence the cathedral is also known as Sint-Salvators- en Donaaskathedraal after both saints.


As per 2014, it pastorally serves 965,000 Catholics (82.1% of 1,174,752 total) on 3,145 km² in 362 parishes and 65 missions with 708 priests (499 diocesan, 209 religious), 91 deacons, 1,986 lay religious (290 brothers, 1,696 sisters) and 7 seminarians.


An earlier diocese of Bruges was established on 12 May 1558, on territory split off from the Diocese of Tournai, as part of the great Habsburg reform of the church in the then Spanish Low Countries. Its cathedral see, St. Donatian's Cathedral, was destroyed in a fire in 1799 during the aftermath of the French Revolution.

During the Napoleonic Concordate-period reforms, it was suppressed on 1801.07.15 and its territory merged into the Diocese of Gent (Ghent).

On 1832.12.17, shortly after the independence of Belgium, it was restored as (pre-diocesan) Apostolic Administration of West-Vlaanderen ('West Flanders', the name of the Belgian province it coincides with, as most Belgian bishoprics), regaining its territory from Ghent. On 1834.05.27, this was promoted to Diocese again and renamed after its see, Brugge, while the incumbent Apostolic Administrator was promoted Suffragan Bishop. On 1967.05.31 it lost a bit of territory to the Ancient Diocese of Tournai, shortly after a reshuffle of province borders involving a few municipalities, notably Moeskroen being transferred to Hainaut (which Tournai bishopric covers).

In 1985 the diocese enjoyed a papal visit from Pope John Paul II, who on 17 May gave a homily on the horrors of war at Ypres as part of his pastoral visit to the Low Countries.[2]

A pederasty scandal saw its self-confessed, hardly remorseful bishop Roger Vangheluwe forced into 'early emeritate', traumatizing the entire Belgian church.


Franciscus-Renatus Boussen, eighteenth bishop of Brugge
Lode Aerts, bishop as of 2016
Suffragan Bishops (first diocese)
Apostolic Administrator of West-Vlaanderen
  • François-René Boussen (January 21, 1833 - May 27, 1834 see below), Titular Bishop of Ptolemais (December 17, 1832 - June 23, 1834), Coadjutor Bishop of Gent (Belgium) (December 17, 1832 - June 23, 1834)
Suffragan Bishops (present diocese)

External links and sources


  1. ^ "Diocese of Brugge {Bruges}". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^

Coordinates: 51°12?18?N 3°13?21?E / 51.204977°N 3.222416°E / 51.204977; 3.222416

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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