Bishop of Dresden-Meissen

The Bishop of Dresden-Meissen is the Ordinary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dresden-Meissen in the Archdiocese of Berlin.

The diocese covers an area of 16,934 km² and was erected as the Diocese of Meissen on 24 June 1921. The name was changed to Dresden-Meissen on 15 November 1979.

The diocese is vacant.

Lists of the Bishops of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dresden-Meissen and its precursor offices

Bishops and administrator of Meissen (968–1581)

Name from to
Burchard von Meißen 968 969 or 970
Volkold or Volkrad 970 or 972 992
Eido I. or Ido, Ägidius 992 1015
Eilward or Agilward, Hildward (Ekkehardiner) 1016 1023
Hukbrecht or Hubert 1023 1024
Dietrich I. von Meißen 1024 1046
Eido II. or Ido (anti-bishop) 1040 1046
Meinward 1046 1051
Bruno I. von Meißen (anti-bishop) 1046 or 1051 1064 or 1065
Reiner von Meißen or Rainer 1051 1065 or 1066
Craft or Krafto, appointed, but did not take office 1066  
Benno von Meißen "the Saint", Count of Woldenburg 1066 1106
Sedisvakancy 1106 1108
Herwig or Hartwig 1108 1118 or 1119
Grambert 1118 or 1119 1125
Godebold or Godebald, Gotthold 1125 1140
Reinward 1140 1146
Berthold von Meißen 1146 1149 or 1150
Albrecht I. von Meißen 1149 or 1150 1152
Bruno II. von Meißen or Bruno I. 1152 1154
Gerung 1154 1170
Martin von Meißen 1170 1190
Dietrich II. von Kittlitz 1191 1208
Bruno III. von Borsendorf or Bruno II. 1209 maybe 1228
Heinrich I. von Meißen 1228 1240
Konrad I. von Wallhausen 1240 1258
Albrecht II. von Mutzschen 1258 1266
Withego I. von Kamenz or Witticho 1266 1293
Bernhard von Kamenz 1293 1296
Albrecht III von Leisnig, Albrecht III Burgrave of Leisnig 1296 or 1297 1312
Withego II. von Colditz or Witticho 1312 1341 or 1342
Wilhelm von Meißen (anti-bishop) 1312 1314
Johann I von Isenburg or Count "von 'Eisenberg? 1341 or 1342 1370
Dietrich von Schönberg, appointed, but did not take office 1370  
Konrad II von Kirchberg-Wallhausen 1370 or 1371 1375
Dietrich III von Meißen (anti-bishop) 1370 1373
Johann von Genzenstein 1375 or 1376 1379
Nikolaus I Ziegenbock 1379 1392
Johann III von Kittlitz und zu Baruth 1393 1398
Thimo von Colditz 1399 1410
Rudolf von der Planitz 1411 1427
Johann IV (Hoffmann) 1427 1451
Caspar von Schönberg 1451 1463
Dietrich III von Schönberg 1463 1476
Johann V von Weißenbach 1476 1487
Johann VI von Saalhausen 1487 1518
Johann VII von Schleinitz 1518 1537
Johann VIII von Maltitz 1537 or 1538 1549
Nicolaus II von Carlowitz or Karlowitz 1550 1555
Johann IX. von Haugwitz 1555 1559/81
Johann Leisentrit (administrator for the diocesan area outside of Saxony) 1560/67

The Bishops resided until 1595 in Wurzen. In 1559 the diocesan temporalities within Saxony were seized by the Electorate of Saxony.

Apostolic prefects of Meissen (1567–1921)

In the Meisen diocesan area located outside of then Saxony in Lower and Upper Lusatia there was no immediate overlord, since the then liege lord of the Two Lusatias, the Catholic king of Bohemia (in personal union Holy Roman Emperor) held the Lusatias as fief outright. The Kings of Bohemia did not effectively offend the spreading of the Protestant Reformation in the Two Lusatias. So it depended on the local vassals if Lutheranism prevailed or not, following the principle of Cuius regio, eius religio. The Two Lusatias thus became an area of regionally altering predominant denomination. In 1560 Meissen's last bishop John IX had appointed Johann Leisentrit as diocesan administrator for the Lusatian part of the diocese, seated in Bautzen. After the Holy See had recognised as a matter of fact the suppression of the Meissen diocese within Saxony it converted its Lusatian part into an apostolic prefecture (Apostolic Prefecture of Meissen) in 1567 with administrator Leisentrit elevated to prefect.[1] In canon law an apostolic prefecture is a diocese on approval.

According to its seat or its area comprised the prefecture was alternatively also called Apostolic Prefecture of Bautzen or Apostolic Prefecture of the Two Lusatias, respectively. When in 1635 the Lutheran Electorate of Saxony annexed the Two Lusatias it guaranteed in the cession contract (Traditionsrezess) with Bohemia to leave the existing religious relations untouched. As a signatory of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 Saxony later agreed to maintain the religious status quo as given in the reference year of 1624 in all its territories acquired since.[2] After the Prussian annexation of Lower Lusatia and easterly Upper Lusatia in 1815 the Holy See disentangled the newly Prussian diocesan area and incorporated it into the Prussian diocese of Breslau in 1821. The remaining diocese, officially always called Apostolic Prefecture of Meissen, was thus also called the Apostolic Prefecture of (Saxon) Upper Lusatia. The office of the apostolic prefect was held in personal union by the cathedral dean of Bautzen Cathedral. In the 19th century the episcopal function of the apostolic prefects was further emphasised by appointing them simultaneously with titular sees.

Name from to
Johann Leisentrit, as diocesan administrator until 1567,
as Apostolic Prefect as of 1567
1560/67 1586
Gregor Leisentrit 1587 1594
Christoph von Blöbel 1594 1609
August Wiederin von Ottersbach 1609 1620
Gregor Kathmann von Maurugk 1620 1644
Johann Hasius von Lichtenfeld 1644 1650
Martin Saudrius von Sternfeld 1650 1655
Bernhard von Schrattenbach,
vice-administrator of the prefecture
1655 1660
Christophorus Johannes Reinheld von Reichenau 1660 1665
Peter Franz Longinus von Kieferberg 1665 1675
Martin Ferdinand Brückner von Brückenstein 1676 1700
Matthäus Johann Josef Vitzki 1700 1713
Martin Bernhard Just von Friedenfels 1714 1721
Johann Josef Ignaz Freyschlag von Schmidenthal 1721 1743
Jakob Wosky von Bärenstamm 1743 1771
Carl Lorenz Cardona 1772 1773
Martin Nugk von Lichtenhoff 1774 1780
Johann Joseph Schüller von Ehrenthal 1780 1794
Wenzel Kobalz 1795 1796
Franz Georg Lock,
titular bishop of Antigonea since 1801
1796 1831
Ignaz Bernhard Mauermann,
apostolic vicar of the Saxon Hereditary Lands and titular bishop of Pella since 1819,
Priest of Meissen; died in office
1831 14 September 1841
Matthäus Kutschank 1841 1844
Joseph Dittrich,
simultaneously apostolic vicar of the Saxon Hereditary Lands and titular bishop of Corycus since 20 April 1846,
Priest of Litomerice; died in office
1845 5 October 1853
Ludwig Forwerk,
simultaneously apostolic vicar of the Saxon Hereditary Lands and titular bishop of Leontopolis in Augustamnica since 1854,
Priest of Meissen; died in office
11 July 1854 8 January 1875
Franz Bernert,
simultaneously apostolic vicar of the Saxon Hereditary Lands (28 January) and titular bishop of Azotus (18 March 1876),
Priest of Litomerice; died in office
28 January 1876 18 March 1890
Ludwig Wahl,
simultaneously apostolic vicar of the Saxon Hereditary Lands and titular bishop of Cucusus,
Priest of Rottenburg; fell ill and resigned
11 July 1890 1904
Georg Wuschanski,
as dean administrator of Bautzen for the prefecture since 1900,
as apostolic vicar of the Saxon Hereditary Lands and titular bishop of Samos since 13 February 1904
1900 13 February 1904
Georg Wuschanski,
simultaneously apostolic vicar of the Saxon Hereditary Lands and titular bishop of Samos,
Priest of Meissen; died in office
13 February 1904 28 December 1905
Dr. Aloys Schäfer,
simultaneously apostolic vicar of the Saxon Hereditary Lands and titular bishop of Abila Lysaniae,
Priest of Meissen; died in office
4 April 1906 5 September 1914
Franz Löbmann,
simultaneously apostolic vicar of the Saxon Hereditary Lands and titular bishop of Priene,
Priest of Meissen; died in office
30 January 1915 4 December 1920
Jakub Skala,
as administrator of the prefecture and for the apostolic vicariate of the Saxon Hereditary Lands
1920 1921

Bishops of Meissen (and Dresden-Meissen as of 1980; 1921 to date)

(Dates in italics indicate de facto continuation of office)

Tenure Incumbent Notes
12 August 1921 to 13 August 1930Christian Schreiber, Bishop of MeissenPriest of Fulda; ordained 14 September 1921; appointed first Bishop of Berlin
13 January 1931 to 21 May 1932Conrad Gröber, Bishop of Meissen Priest of Freiburg im Breisgau; ordained 1 February 1931; appointed Archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau
9 September 1932 to 9 March 1951Petrus Legge, Bishop of Meissen Priest of Paderborn; ordained 28 October 1932; died in office
9 March 1951 to 19 August 1957Heinrich Wienken, Bishop of Meissen Coadjutor Bishop of Meissen; installed 29 November 1951; retired
23 June 1958 to 21 June 1970Otto Spülbeck, Bishop of Meissen Coadjutor Bishop of Meissen; installed 24 July 1958; died in office
12 September 1970 to 15 November 1979 Gerhard Schaffran, Bishop of Meissen Auxiliary Bishop of Görlitz; installed 23 September 1970; becoming Bishop of Dresden-Meissen
15 November 1979 to 1 August 1987 Gerhard Schaffran, Bishop of Dresden-Meissen Hitherto Bishop of Meissen; retired
2 January 1988 to 20 February 2012Joachim Friedrich Reinelt, Bishop of Dresden-MeissenPriest of Dresden-Meissen; ordained 20 February 1988; retired
18 January 2013 to 8 June 2015Heiner Koch, Bishop of Dresden-MeissenPriest of Cologne; Auxiliary Bishop of Cologne; installed 16 March 2013; appointed Archbishop-designate of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Berlin, in Berlin, Germany, by Pope Francis on Monday, June 8, 2015, to replace the previous Archbishop there, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, who had earlier been transferred by Pope Francis to be Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne (Koln; Cologne, Germany)
since 29 April 2016Heinrich Timmerevers, Bishop of Dresden-MeissenPriest of Münster; Auxiliary Bishop of Münster)

Roman Catholic Hierarchy in Germany
    Bamberg Eichstätt | Speyer | Würzburg
    BerlinDresden-Meissen | Görlitz
    Freiburg im BreisgauMainz | Rottenburg-Stuttgart
    HamburgHildesheim | Osnabrück
    CologneAachen | Essen | Limburg | Münster | Trier
    Munich & FreisingAugsburg | Passau | Regensburg
    PaderbornErfurt | Fulda | Magdeburg


  1. Cf. "Diocese of Dresden-Meissen: Historical Details" on: The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church: Current and historical information about its bishops and dioceses (Catholic Hierarchy), retrieved on 1 April 2011.
  2. Georges Hellinghausen, Kampf um die Apostolischen Vikare des Nordens J. Th. Laurent und C. A. Lüpke: der Hl. Stuhl und die protestantischen Staaten Norddeutschlands und Dänemark um 1840, Rome: Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 1987, (=Miscellanea historiae Pontificiae; vol. 53), pp. 15seq. ISBN 88-7652-568-8.

See also

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