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According to the tradition, Christianity was first preached at Capua by St. Priscus, a disciple of St. Peter. In the martyrology mention is made of many Capuan martyrs, and it is probable that, owing to its position and importance, Capua received the Christian doctrine at a very early period.
The first bishop of whom there is positive record is Proterius (Protus), present at the Roman Council under Pope Melchiades in 313.
In 841, during the bishopric of Paulinus, a band of Saracens destroyed Capua, and much of the population emigrated in a new town founded in another location. The episcopal see was moved there; later the old city, growing around the ancient basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, was repopulated and called Santa Maria di Capua (current Santa Maria Capua Vetere). It is part of the current archdiocese of Capua. The first bishop of the diocese of Capua Nova ("New Capua") was Landulf (843-879).
In 968 pope John XIII took refuge in Capua, and in gratitude raised the see to archiepiscopal rank on 14 August 966. First archbishop was John (966-973).
On 24 December 1108, Pope Paschal II, who had been staying at Benevento for some months, visited Capua at the request of Abbot Bruno of Montecassino, and dedicated the renovated church of S. Benedict in Capua.
Cathedral and Chapter
In the 13th century, the cathedral had more than fifty-two clerics called canonici. Archbishop Marino Filomarino (1252-1285) reduced the number to forty, ten priests, ten deacons, and twenty subdeacons. They were originally presided over by a dignity called the Archpriest, though the name was later changed to Dean. There was also an Archdeacon. In 1698 there were four dignities (the Dean, the Archdeacon, and two Primicerii)
Councils at Capua
In Lent 1087, an important conference of cardinals and bishops took place at Capua with Cardinal Desiderius, the Abbot of Montecassino. A prominent part in the proceedings was taken by Cincius, the consul of Rome, Jordan Prince of Capua, and Duke Roger of Apulia and Calabria. On 24 May 1086, Desiderius had been the leading candidate in the papal election to succeed Pope Gregory VII, but he steadfastly refused the election. Finally he was prevailed upon to assume the papal mantle, but he had second thoughts and removed himself to Terracina. The conference at Capua put strong pressure on him to reassume the papal throne, and, on 21 March 1087, he relented. Finally he was crowned in Rome on 9 May 1087 as Pope Victor III.
In 1569, Cardinal Niccolò Caetani di Sermoneta (1546-1585) presided over a provincial council in Capua. Archbishop Cesare Costa (1572-1602) held a provincial council on 2 November 1577. On 6-9 April 1603, Archbishop Robert Bellarmine (1602-1605) presided at a provincial council in Capua. The next provincial council took place in 1859, two hundred and fifty-six years after Bellarmine's council.
Cardinal Robert Bellarmine (1602-1605) held a diocesan synod in 1603. Cardinal Niccolò Caracciolo (1703-1728) held a diocesan synod in Capua on Pentecost Sunday, 1726.
Loss of metropolitan status
Following the Second Vatican Council, and in accordance with the norms laid out in the council's decree, Christus Dominus chapter 40, major changes were made in the ecclesiastical administrative structure of southern Italy. Wide consultations had taken place with the bishops and other prelates who would be affected. Action, however, was deferred, first by the death of Pope Paul VI on 6 August 1978, then the death of Pope John Paul I on 28 September 1978, and the election of Pope John Paul II on 16 October 1978. Pope John Paul II issued a decree, "Quamquam Ecclesia," on 30 April 1979, ordering the changes. Three ecclesiastical provinces were abolished entirely: those of Conza, Capua, and Sorrento. A new ecclesiastical province was created, to be called the Regio Campana, whose Metropolitan was the Archbishop of Naples. The dioceses formerly members of the suppressed Province of Capua (Gaeta, Calvi and Chieti, Caserta, and Sessa Arunca) became suffragans of Naples. The archbishop of Capua himself retained the title of archbishop, but the diocese became a suffragan of Naples.
On April 30, 2013, Bishop Salvatore Visco of Isernia-Venafro was appointed Archbishop of Capua by Pope Francis. Archbishop Visco was born in Naples on July 28, 1948. He completed his studies at the Major Seminary of Naples as a student at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy, in the section Saint Thomas (Capodimonte). He was ordained a priest on April 14, 1973. After ordination he was Parochial Vicar of Holy Mary. He served as a Professor of Religion in the public schools (1974-1994), and at the same time was Pastor of the Church of Mater Domini (1985-1993), Director of the Diocesan Liturgical Office (1985-1994), Episcopal Delegate for the Permanent Diaconate ministry program, and Diocesan Director for other Ministries (1985-1995). He was promoted Vicar General of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pozzuoli, and Dean of the Chapter of the cathedral (1994-2007). Appointed Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Isernia-Venafro on April 5, 2007, by Pope Benedict XVI, he was ordained a Bishop on June 2, 2007. He is currently vice-president of the Episcopal Conference of Abruzzi - Molise.
^Ritzler-Sefrin V, p. 141 note 1. The arrangement continued into the mid-19th century: Cappelletti, p. 115.
^Ferdinand Gregorovius (1896). History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages. Volume IV, part 1. London: G. Bell & sons. pp. 261-267. |volume= has extra text (help) A. Fliche, "Le Pontificat de Victor III," Revue d' histoire ecclésiastique 20 (1924) 387-412.
^Christus Dominus 40. Therefore, in order to accomplish these aims this sacred synod decrees as follows: 1) The boundaries of ecclesiastical provinces are to be submitted to an early review and the rights and privileges of metropolitans are to be defined by new and suitable norms. 2) As a general rule all dioceses and other territorial divisions that are by law equivalent to dioceses should be attached to an ecclesiastical province. Therefore dioceses which are now directly subject to the Apostolic See and which are not united to any other are either to be brought together to form a new ecclesiastical province, if that be possible, or else attached to that province which is nearer or more convenient. They are to be made subject to the metropolitan jurisdiction of the bishop, in keeping with the norms of the common law. 3) Wherever advantageous, ecclesiastical provinces should be grouped into ecclesiastical regions for the structure of which juridical provision is to be made.
^Acta Apostolicae Sedis 71 (Città del Vaticano 1979), pp. 562-563.
^Bishop Proterius was present at the Roman synod of Pope Miltiades. J.D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus II (Florence: A. Zatta 1759), p. 437. Ughelli, p. 298. Lanzoni, p. 201.
^Lanzoni, p. 202: The Beneventan documents of the 7th and 13th century consider Vitalianus a bishop of Benevento, not of Capua.
^Pamphilus was a bishop of Sulmona, not of Capua. Lanzoni, p. 202.
^Julianus was a bishop of Aeclanum, not of Capua. Lanzoni, p. 202.
^A bishop Symmachus was said to have been at the deathbed of S. Paulinus of Nola in 431; the report, in a letter of Uranius, does not name his diocese. It is reported that there was once an inscription in the church of S. Maria Suricorum (Capua), reading "Sanctae Mariae Symmachus episcopus". Lanzoni, p. 202: "Ma apparteneva veramente al nostro Simmaco ?" Cappelletti, p. 20.
^No evidence. There were saints named Rufus and Rufinus. Lanzoni, p. 202.
^Bishop Tiburtius was present at the Roman synod of Pope Hilarius on 18 November 465. J.-D. Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus VII (Florence: A. Zatta 1762), p. 959.
^Bishop Constantine attended the third Roman synod of Pope Felix III in 487. He was also present at first Roman synod of Pope Symmachus in 499. Mansi, Tomus VII, p. 1171; Tomus VIII, p. 234. Lanzoni, p. 234. Kehr, p. 216, nos. 2 and 3.
^His name appears in the "Life of St. Germanus", but only in the codex in Capua; the other manuscripts of the same text ignore him. Lanzoni, p, 203.
^Germanus was papal Legate in Constantinople, sent by Pope Hormisdas in 518. Ughelli, pp. 305-306. Cappelletti, p. 21. Lanzoni, p. 203, no. 5.
^Pope Gregory I ordered that the clergy and people of Capua should stop harassing Bishop Festus and make peace with him. Gregory had to announce, however, that Festus died in Rome in November 1594. Lanzoni, p. 203, no. 9. Kehr, p. 216, no. 4 and no. 5.
^At the end of 598, Pope Gregory I refers to Bishop Basilius of Capua. In September 602 he settled a lawsuit in which Bishop Basilius was involved. Lanzoni, p. 203, no. 10. Kehr, p. 217 no. 9, no. 11.
^Bishop Decorosus signed the synodal letter of the Roman synod of 680, sent by Pope Agatho to the Third Council of Constantinople, which was read in the third plenary session. J.-D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus XI (Florence: A. Zatta 1764), p. 773. There is mythological material concerning his prelacy in the Breviarium Capuanum: Ughelli, pp. 309-310.
^Vitalian is known only from the hagiographic martyrology in the Breviarium Capuanum, replete with mythological decorations. Ughelli, p. 310.
^Autchar is known only from a poem by an anonymous monk, and reports of an inscription in Lombard characters. Ughelli, pp. 310-311. Cappelletti, pp. 40-42 (repeating Ughelli, but assigning a date of 726).
^Bishop Theodorus was present at the Roman synod of Pope Zacharias in 743. J.-D. Mansi (ed.), Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, editio novissima, Tomus XII (Florence: A. Zatta 1766), p. 383, 384. One manuscript gives his name as Ambrosius. Ughelli, pp. 311-312.
^A Radipertus (or Radelpertus, or Rodelpertus) is attested as Bishop of Sessa Aurunca. he is buried in the cathedral of Caleno (Carinola), to which diocese he might be attributed. Ughelli, pp. 312-313. Cappelletti, p. 43. Granata, p. 116. Gams, p. 867.
^Paulinus is said to have been consecrated by Pope Leo IV (842-853). Ughelli, p. 313. Cappelletti, p. 45, assigns him the dates 832-840.
^Landulphus transferred the seat of the bishop to Pons Casilini, after the destruction of Old Capua by the Saracens in 856. He built a new cathedral, dedicated to S. Stephen and S. Agata. Ughelli, pp. 314-316. Gams, p. 867.
^Otho is known only from an identifying tag in a mosaic in the cathedral. Ughelli, p. 319. Granata, pp. 220-221. Kehr, p. 228, no. 4.
^Ugo is known only from an identifying tag in a mosaic in the cathedral. Ughelli, p. 319. Granata, p. 221. Gams, p. 868, column 1, assigns a 10th century date.
^In 928, Petrus was bishop-elect, according to Peter the Deacon of Montecassino. Ughelli, p. 319.
^Bishop Sico was severely rebuked and threatened with excommunication by Pope Marinus II (942-946), for having intruded a deacon into the church of the monastery of S. Angelo in Formis, to the detriment of good order and violation of rights of the monastery of S. Benedict. Kehr, p. 234, no. 1.
^Bishop Matthaeus was the recipient of a mandate from Pope Lucius III, to give the churches in Capua founded by the monastery of S. Trinitas in Cava their liberty. Kehr, p. 228, no. 4.
^Rainaldus: Eubel, Hierarchia catholica I, p. 164.
^In the summer of 1216, Bishop Rainaldus accompanied Queen Constance of Aragon to Germany to her husband Frederick II. He was present in the imperial headquarters at Nuremberg, but was back in Capua by March 1217. Gentile died of malaria in 1222. Norbert Kamp (2000), "Gentile, Rainaldo," in: Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Volume 53 (Treccani: 2000); retrieved: 5 October 2019. (in Italian)
^Pietro, who had been a Canon of Ferentino and a papal chaplain, had previously been Bishop of Sora (1267-1278), Bishop of Reate (1278-1286), and then Archbishop of Monreale (Sicily) (1286-1298). He was appointed Patriarch of Aquileia by Pope Boniface VIII on 8 July 1299. Eubel I, pp. 99, 165, 348, 416, 458.
^Leonardo had previously been Bishop of Aversa. He was transferred to the diocese of Capua by Pope Boniface VIII on 20 July 1299. He was made a cardinal on 2 March 1300, and appointed Cardinal-Bishop of Albano. He died on 7 December 1311. Eubel I, pp. 13, no. 11; 165.
^Giovanni had been Archbishop of Benevento (1295-1301). He died in 1304. Eubel I, pp. 133, 165.
^Philippus had been Bishop of He was appointed Archbishop of Capua by Pope Urban V in 1363, but he died before taking possession of the diocese. Eubel I, p. 165.
^Ludovico was initially a supporter of Clement VII in the Western Schism, but when he went over to Urban VI, he was deposed. Eubel I, p. 165.
^Niccolò had previously been appointed Bishop of Tropea (1410) by Pope Gregory XII, after his deposition by the Council of Pisa. He was transferred to the diocese of Capua by Pope Eugenius IV on 18 February 1385. Eubel, Hierarchia catholica I, p. 500; II, p. 118.
^Ferrari had been Bishop of Modena from 1495 to 1501, though he was not residential, governing instead through Vicars General. He was in fact papal Datary for Pope Alexander VI from 1496, and therefore resident in the Papal Curia. On 28 September 1500, he was appointed a cardinal. He was transferred to the diocese of Capua on 9 August 1501, continuing his work as papal Datary. He died on 20 July 1502, poisoned by his Maestro di Camera. Eubel II, pp. 24, no. 31; 118. Eubel II, p. 56, no. 652: "Julii 20 Joannes Bapt. de Ferrariis card. Mutinensis et Capuanus in palatio apost. apud s. Petrum in cameris suae habitationis obiit. Requiescat in pace. Eadem die fuit consistoriuna secretum, in quo S. P. ecclesiam Capuan. per illius card, obitum vacantem commendavit cardinali Estensi..."
^Cardinal d'Este was never consecrated a bishop. He died on 3 September 1520. Ughelli, p. 356. Cappelletti, p. 100. Eubel II, p. 118.
^A Swabian, Schönberg (Fra Nicolò Schomberg) studied in Florence at S. Marco, and was a protege of Girolamo Savonarola. He was a professor of theology and secretary of Cardinal Giulio de'Medici. He served as Nuncio to various German states in 1517 to raise support for a crusade; his mission was a failure. He was Nuncio again in 1524 to all the Christian princes. In 1529 he was Nuncio to the Emperor, to arrange the Peace of Cambrai. In 1530 he was made papal governor of Florence for Clement VII (Medici). He was named a cardinal on 21 May 1535. He died on 9 September 1537, according to his funeral monument ("quinto Idus Septembris"). Lorenzo Cardella (1793), Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo IV (Rome: Pagliarini, 1793), pp. 143-145. Ughelli, p. 356-357. Giuseppe de Leva (1863). Storia Documentata di Carlo V (in Italian). Volume I. Venice: P. Naratovich. p. 249. |volume= has extra text (help) Cappelletti, pp. 100-101.
^A native of Naples, Caracciolo had previously been appointed Bishop of Tricarico at the age of 24; he served from 1502 to 1540 (with permission). He was transferred to the diocese of Capua by Pope Paul III on 28 April 1536. He died in Naples on 15 March 1546. Ughelli, p. 357. Eubel II, p. 257; III, pp. 151.
^Niccolò was the son of Camillo Caetani, Duke of Sermoneta, and Flaminia Savelli, daughter of Troilo of the Lords of Palombara. He was a protonotary apostolic. He was named a cardinal on 22 December 1536 by Pope Paul III. On 5 May 1546, he was named Archbishop of Capua, though he was an absentee bishop during most of his administration. He held a provincial synod. He resigned in 1572, and died on 1 May 1585. Ughelli, pp. 357-358. Eubel III, pp. 25, no. 20; 151 with note 7.
^Arcella had previously been nuncio and Collector of Papal Revenue in Sicily, and papal Nuncio in Naples in 1532. and then again in Sicily. He was appointed Bishop of Bisignano (1530-1537), and Bishop of Policastro (1537-1542). He was appointed Archbishop of Capua in the papal consistory of 18 January 1549. Cappelletti, p. 101. Eubel III, p. 134 with note 3; 151; 277.
^Ritzler-Sefrin, Hierarchia catholica VI, p. 146 with note 2.
^Gaeta had previously been Archbishop of Bari. Ritzler-Sefrin VI, p. 146 with note 3.
^Born in Sorrento in 1699, Galeota lectured in theology and canon law at the Theatine house in Naples. He was provincial Visitor of his Order for Naples in 1743 and 1744. He was Provost of S. Paul's in Naples for the year 1747. He was consecrated a bishop in Rome on 12 May 1748 by Cardinal Portocarrero. He served as Archbishop of Cosenza (1748-1764). On 20 August 1764, he was transferred to the diocese of Capua by Pope Clement XIII. He resigned the diocese on 18 November 1777, and was appointed titular Archbishop of Heraclea. He died in Naples on 14 June 1778. Ritzler-Sefrin VI, p. 147 with note 4; 190 with note 3; 233 with note 3.
^Pignatelli had previously been Archbishop of Bari. Ritzler-Sefrin VI, p. 147 with note 5.
^Gervasio had earlier been Bishop of Gallipoli. Ritzler-Sefrin VI, p. 147 with note 6.
^Born in Naples in 1783, Serra was the son of Duke Luigi of Cassano. He held the degree of Doctor in utroque iure from the College of Protonotaries in Rome. He was appointed titular Archbishop of Nicaea by Pope Pius VII on 16 March 1818, and on 6 October 1818 was named papal Nuncio to Baveria, where he served until 1826. On 3 July 1826 he was named Coadjutor Archbishop to Archbishop Mormile, and on 26 July he succeeded to the diocese. Serra was named a cardinal on 30 September 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI, though his appointment was only made public on 15 April 1833. He died in Capua on 17 August 1850. Ritzler-Sefrin, Hierarchia catholica VII, pp. 132, 281.
^Cosenza was born in Naples, and held a doctorate in theology from the University of Naples. In 1832 he was named Bishop of Andria (1832-1850). He was named Archbishop of Capua on 30 September 1850, and appointed a cardinal by Pope Pius IX on 30 September 1850. He died on 30 March 1863. Ritzler-Sefrin, Hierarchia catholica VII, p. 74; VIII, pp. 51, 180. Martin Bräuer (2014). Handbuch der Kardinäle: 1846-2012 (in German). Berlin: De Gruyter. p. 41. ISBN978-3-11-026947-5.
^Apuzzo was a native of Naples. In 1842 he was appointed tutor of the children of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies. He was appointed Archbishop of Sorrento on 23 March 1855, on the nomination of the King. On 24 Nov 1871 Apuzzo was appointed, Archbishop of Capua by Pope Pius IX. On 12 March 1877, Pius named Apuzzo a cardinal. He died in Capua on 30 July 1880. Ritzler-Sefrin, Hierarchia catholica VIII, pp. 22, 48, 98, 180, 530. Martin Bräuer (2014). Handbuch der Kardinäle: 1846-2012 (in German). De Gruyter. pp. 103-104. ISBN978-3-11-026947-5.
Kamp, Norbert (2002), "The bishops of southern Italy in the Norman and Staufen Periods," in: Graham A. Loud and Alex Metcalfe (edd.), The society of Norman Italy (Leiden/Boston/Köln, 2002), pp. 185-209.
Kehr, Paul Fridolin (1925). Italia pontificia Vol. VIII (Berlin: Weidmann 1925), pp. 200-237. (in Latin)