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Diözese#

Diocese, ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. Since 1999, Austria has 9 dioceses (2 arch dioceses), subdivided into 230 Deaneries. The ecclesiastical province of Vienna is constituted by the archdiocese of Vienna (the city of Vienna, the eastern parts of the province of Lower Austria, the regions east of the Manhartsberg hill and the Vienna Woods) and the dioceses of Linz (Upper Austria), St. Poelten (the regions west of the Manhartsberg hill and the Vienna Woods) and Eisenstadt (Burgenland.). The ecclesiastical province of Salzburg is made up of the archdiocese of Salzburg (the province of Salzburg, and Tirol east of the River Ziller) and the dioceses of Gurk (Carinthia), Graz-Seckau (Styria) Innsbruck (Tirol west of the River Ziller and East Tirol) and Feldkirch (Vorarlberg). The organisation of the church established during Roman times ( Christianity, Early) was destroyed in the 6th century by the Great Migration of the Germanic tribes and Slav invasion. In the following centuries ( Christianisation), Salzburg (diocese in the 7th century, archdiocese from 798) and the suffragan diocese of Passau (now Germany) took over the ecclesiastical administration of the Austrian territory, which up to the mid-15th century did not have its own diocese (with the exception of Tirol). The first independent Austrian dioceses were established at Wiener Neustadt and Vienna; the latter was made an archdiocese in 1722.


The reform instituted by Joseph II and drawn up by the bishop of Laibach (Ljubliana/Slovenia), Count J. K. Herberstein, re-organised the ecclesiastical structure in Austria and brought it in line with the structure of the state. In 1784, Upper and Lower Austria were detached from the diocese of Passau, in 1785 the dioceses of Linz and St. Poelten were established and subordinated to Vienna as suffragan dioceses. Vienna was given jurisdiction over the eastern parts of Lower Austria and the Pitten area, which had been transferred from Salzburg to the diocese of Wiener Neustadt in 1782 (abolished in 1785). In 1786 SaIzburg gave up its diocesan rights in Styria and Carinthia, where the archbishops of Salzburg had set up their suffragan dioceses of Gurk (1072, but given a territory of its own in 1131), Seckau (1218) and Lavant (1228, seat in St. Andrae). Styria was divided into the dioceses of Seckau-Graz (for central and lower Styria) and Leoben (for upper Styria, unified with Seckau in 1859), Carinthia in the dioceses of Lavant (for the districts of Voelkermarkt and Cilli (now Slovenia) - in 1859 the Carinthian part was turned over to the diocese of Gurk, the Slovenian part to Marburg (Maribor) and Gurk-Klagenfurt (for the rest of Carinthia). In the course of this reorganisation, the part of Carinthia situated south of the River Drau/Drava, up to then under the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Aquileia, was incorporated into the Carinthian diocese. The ecclesiastical order in western Austria was untouched by Joseph II's reform. Tirol had always been part of the diocese of Brixen (Bressanone, South Tirol), only the smaller section east of the River Ziller was under the jurisdiction of Salzburg; Vorarlberg was divided among the dioceses of Chur (Switzerland), Constance and Augsburg (both Germany). After the breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 and the cession of South Tirol to Italy, the diocese of Brixen/Bressanone was detached from the metropolitanate of Salzburg in April 1921; this completed the division of North and South Tirol in church matters as well. North Tirol (west of the River Ziller) and East Tirol were unified with Vorarlberg to form the Apostolic Administration of Innsbruck-Feldkirch (from 1925 it had all the rights of a residential diocese) and directly subordinated to the Holy See. However, they remained in many ways under the jurisdiction of the archdiocese of Salzburg. In 1964 it was made into the diocese of Innsbruck with the "vicariate general for Vorarlberg at Feldkirch". In 1968 the Vorarlberg part was disconnected from the diocese of Innsbruck-Feldkirch and a separate diocese for the province of Vorarlberg was set up at Feldkirch. Burgenland, a new province after the war, was made an Apostolic Administration in 1922 and diocese (of Eisenstadt) in 1960. Alongside the dioceses there is also the "abbey nullius" of Mehrerau (in Vorarlberg), directly responsible to Rome.


The military vicariate at Wiener Neustadt was re-named "military ordinariate" in 1987.


The Protestant Church, Augsburg Confession has 7 superintendencies (dioceses) in Austria: Burgenland, Carinthia and East Tirol, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg and Tirol, Styria, Vienna. The seat is the respective provincial capital, with the exception of Carinthia (Villach).