What are “dioceses”?
Dioceses, also known within the Catholic Church as “particular churches” or “local churches” under the authority of a Bishop, are ecclesiastical circumscriptions defined by geographical territory (such as the civil boundaries of a city). The dioceses of a given region are often grouped together by the Holy See into “ecclesiastical provinces” in order to facilitate cooperation and common action among them. Within this grouping, one diocese can be designated an “archdiocese” (also “metropolitan archdiocese”), establishing its centrality within an ecclesiastical province as well as denoting a higher rank often due to the size of its population and its historical significance. An archdiocese, under the leadership of its Archbishop, has responsibilities vis-à-vis subordinate (or “suffragan”) dioceses within the same ecclesiastical province only in very limited areas assigned to it by the Holy See. Otherwise, all dioceses and archdioceses, and their respective Bishops or Archbishops, are distinct and autonomous. It should be noted that in Canada, the Archdiocese of Winnipeg and the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface are uniquely without suffragan dioceses and therefore do not constitute centres of an ecclesiastical province.
Photograph courtesy of the Bishop Farrell Library & Archives, Diocese of Hamilton
What is the Latin Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church is composed of twenty four (24) autonomous Churches. The largest of these is the Latin Catholic Church, which name is derived from the language associated with its earliest communities in what was once the Roman Empire. Latin remains the official language of the Latin Catholic Church. The common expression “Roman Catholic” refers to the Latin Catholic Church and, while being less technical, is perhaps justified on account of the use of the Roman Rite in its liturgical worship and by the fact that its seat of governance, the Holy See, is located in the Diocese of Rome. The other twenty three (23) Churches, diverse in liturgical, theological, spiritual and canonical/disciplinary patrimony, are referred to as Eastern Catholic Churches due to their origins in Alexandria, Antioch, Armenia, Chaldea and Constantinople. All twenty four (24) Churches share the same doctrines in faith and morals and are in full communion with each other and with the Successor of Saint Peter, the Pope, who is the symbol of unity within the Catholic Church.
The ecclesiastical structure known as the “Episcopal Conference,” of which the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is one example in the Catholic Church, has for members Bishops of the Latin Catholic Church; however, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops also welcomes Eastern Catholic Bishops among its members, even though the Eastern Catholic Bishops are members of their respective Synods.
Dioceses in Canada
Arranged alphabetically in two parts: 1) Archdioceses and 2) Dioceses.
Corner Brook and Labrador
Hearst – Moosonee
Directory of Diocese, Eparchies, Ordinariates