Diocese of Lleida
Diócesis de Lleida Spanish
Diòcesi de Lleida Catalan
|Area||2,977 km2 (1,149 sq mi)|
|(as of 2016)|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||5th Century (As Diocese of Lérida)|
31 October 1992 (As 31 October 1992)
|Cathedral||Cathedral of the Assumption in Lleida|
|Bishop||Salvador Giménez Valls|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Jaume Pujol Balcells|
|Bishops emeritus||Juan Piris Frígola Bishop Emeritus (2008-2015)|
Francesc-Xavier Ciuraneta Aymí Bishop Emeritus (1999-2007)
|Website of the Diocese|
The Diocese of Lleida, known as the Diocese of Lerida in English, (Latin, Ilerdensis) is located in north-eastern Spain, in the province of Lleida, part of the autonomous community of Catalonia. The diocese forms part of the ecclesiastical province of Tarragona, and is thus suffragan to the Archdiocese of Tarragona.
The diocese of Lleida was created in the 3rd century. After the Moorish conquest of Lleida in 716 the episcopal see was moved to Roda (until 1101) and then to Barbastro (1101-1149). The city of Lleida was conquered from the Moors by the Count Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona in 1149, and the see was again transferred to its original seat. The Bishop's Palace is located in Rambla d'Aragó.
Lleida is one of the most populous cities in Catalonia, built on the right bank of the River Segre, about 100 miles from Barcelona. The town is oriental in appearance, and its streets are narrow and crooked. The population in 1900 was 23,683. The old Byzantine-Gothic Cathedral, of which the ruins are to be seen on the citadel, dates from 1203. During the Middle Ages the University of Lleida was famous; in 1717 it was suppressed, and united with Cervera.
At present, Lleida is sede vacante, since its last bishop, Mgr. Francesc-Xavier Ciuraneta Aymí resigned on March 8, 2007. The diocese is under the temporary administration of Mgr. Xavier Salinas Viñals, Bishop of Tortosa.
La Canal says that the diocese was erected in 600, but others maintain it goes back to the third century, and there is mention of a St. Lycerius, or Glycerius, as Bishop of Lleida in AD 269.
In 514 or 524 a council attended by eight bishops passed decrees forbidding the taking up of arms or the shedding of blood by clerics. A provincial council in 546 regulated ecclesiastical discipline.
In 546AD a Council to regulate ecclesiastical discipline was called in Lerida. A Practice had developed in the Iberian Peninsula, whereby on the death of a bishop, lower ranking clerics (and on occasions the bishops relatives) would ransack and loot the deceased bishops home. The council confirmed that the deceased bishops executors should occupy the bishops residence with guards and defend the premises. Three years latter a synod at Valencia changed the protector to the nearest neighboring bishop. Clerics who were caught looting would also be excommunicated.  The regulations of the Council were adopted by the General Cannon Law of the Roman Catholic Church for implementation in all dioceses.
The signatures of other bishops of Lleida are attached to various councils up to the year 716, when the Moors took possession of the town, and the see was removed to Roda. An unbroken list of bishops of Lleida goes back to the year 887.
In 1101 King Pedro I of Aragon took the city of Barbastro from the Moors and transferred the see from Roda to Barbastro. The first bishop, Poncio, went to Rome to obtain the pope's permission for this transfer.
A council in 1173 was presided over by Cardinal Giacinto Bobone, who afterwards became Pope Celestine III. A council in 1246 absolved king James I of Aragon from the sacrilege of cutting out the tongue of the Bishop of Girona.
The seminary was founded in 1722.
During the Peninsular War the French held it (1810), and in 1823 Spain once more obtained possession of it. Owing to its natural position its strategic value has always been very great, and it was strongly fortified in 1910.
The cathedral chapter prior to the Concordat of 1851 consisted of 6 dignities, 24 canons, 22 benefices, but after the concordat the number was reduced to 16 canons and 12 beneficed clerics.
In 1910 the Catholic population of the diocese was 185,000 souls scattered over 395 parishes and ministered to by 598 priests. Besides 395 churches for public worship, there were in the diocese five religious communities of men, six of women, and several hospitals in charge of nuns. The seminary accommodated 500 students.
In 1995, following the Ilerdensis et Barbastrensis de finum mutatione decree, 84 culturally Catalan La Franja parishes that had traditionally belonged to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lleida for over eight centuries, were segregated and transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Barbastro-Monzón. These were followed by a further 27 parishes in June 1998. The amputated parishes were in the Llitera and Baix Cinca Catalan-speaking Aragonese areas.
After the parish segregation a controversy began regarding the return of ancient works of art belonging to the segregated parishes and which were stored at the Lleida Diocesan Museum. The decree and the ensuing controversies were perceived as anti-Catalan measures by many in Lleida and in the concerned parishes, as they were not previously consulted, and part of a strategy to assimilate the La Franja people into the Spanish-speaking mainstream congregation by cutting them off from their cultural roots.
All the names (except the first one) are given in Catalan:
In 1149 the episcopal see returned to Lleida.
In 1149 the episcopal see returned to Lleida.