Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen

Diocese of Aachen
Dioecesis Aquisgranensis
Bistum Aachen

Coat of arms of the Diocese of Aachen

Coat of arms
Country Germany
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cologne
Coordinates 51°19′55″N 6°33′34″E / 51.331952°N 6.559439°E / 51.331952; 6.559439Coordinates: 51°19′55″N 6°33′34″E / 51.331952°N 6.559439°E / 51.331952; 6.559439
Area 3,937 km2 (1,520 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2012)
1,110,948 (54.8%)
Parishes 538
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established 1802 (re-established 13 August 1930)
Cathedral Aachen Cathedral
Patron saint Mary, Mother of Jesus
Secular priests 535
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Helmut Dieser
Metropolitan Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki
Auxiliary Bishops Johannes Bündgens,
Karl Borsch
Vicar General Andreas Frick
Emeritus Bishops Gerd Dicke
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus (1970–2003)
Karl Reger
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus (1987–2006)
Heinrich Mussinghoff
Bishop Emeritus (1994–2015)

Location of the Diocese of Aachen

The Diocese of Aachen is one of 27 dioceses in Germany and one of the six dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of Cologne. The incumbent bishop is Helmut Dieser, who was appointed by Pope Francis on 23 September 2016. The bishop's seat is Aachen.


The diocese is located in the very west of Germany, extending from Krefeld in the north to the mountainous Eifel area in the south. Bordering dioceses are Cologne, Münster, Essen and Trier in Germany, Liège in Belgium and Roermond in the Netherlands.

The diocese is divided into seven regions which are in turn further subdivided into 538 parishesː

  1. Region Aachen-Stadt (Aachen city)
  2. Region Düren
  3. Region Eifel
  4. Region Heinsberg
  5. Region Kempen Viersen
  6. Region Krefeld
  7. Region Mönchengladbach


The bishop emeritus of Aachen is Heinrich Mussinghoff. There are two auxiliary bishops, Johannes Bündgens and Karl Borsch. Also, there are two emeritus auxiliary bishops, Gerd Dicke and Karl Reger. The vicar general is Andreas Frick.

List of diocesan bishops

Tenure Incumbent Notes
9 May 1802 to 13 August 1809Marc Antoine BerdoletInstalled 25 July 1802; died in office
1825Diocese abolished 
1930Diocese re-established 
30 January 1931 to 5 October 1937Joseph VogtOrdained 19 March 1931; installed 25 March 1931; died in office
7 September 1943 to 19 May 1954Johannes Joseph van der VeldenPriest of Köln Cologne; ordained 10 October 1943; died in office
30 August 1954 to 13 December 1974Johannes PohlschneiderPriest of Münster; ordained 18 November 1954; retired
9 September 1975 to 23 January 1994Klaus HemmerlePriest of Freiburg im Breisgau; ordained 8 November 1975; died in office
12 December 1994 to 8 December 2015Heinrich MussinghoffPriest of Münster; Ordained 11 February 1995

List of auxiliary bishops

Tenure Incumbent Notes
1931 to 1943Hermann Joseph SträterOrdained 16 October 1931, became Apostolic Administrator 15 May 1938, died 16 March 1943
1938 to 1969Friedrich HünermannOrdained 3 December 1938, died 15 February 1969
1961 to 1979Joseph Ludwig BuchkremerOrdained 21 December 1961, retired 4 October 1979
1970 to 2003Ernst Franz Gerd Werner DickeOrdained 11 April 1970, retired 21 November 2003
1978 to 1980Maximilian GoffartOrdained 18 February 1978, died 17 July 1980
1981 to 1986Augustus PetersOrdained 6 April 1981, died 3 May 1986
1987 to 2006Karl RegerOrdained 7 February 1987, retired 15 March 2006
2003 to presentKarl BorschOrdained 17 January 2004
2006 to presentJohannes BündgensOrdained 20 May 2006


Historically, today's territory of the Diocese of Aachen belonged to the Diocese of Liège and the Archdiocese of Cologne. The diocese was first created in 1802, covering the area west of the Rhine formerly belonging to Cologne, as well as parts from the dioceses Liège, Utrecht, Roermond and Mainz. After the first bishop Marc Antoine Berdolet died in 1809, Pope Pius VII disapproved of the successor suggested by Napoleon, Jean Denis François Camus. After the French rulership over the area, the diocese was abolished by the bull De salute animarum of July 16, 1821, and incorporated into the archdiocese of Cologne.

On August 13, 1930 the diocese was re-established by the papal bull Pastorale officii nostri. Joseph Vogt was appointed as its first bishop.

Major Churches

Aachen Cathedral

The principal church of the diocese is the Aachen Cathedral, of which the central part, the Palatine Chapel, was built in 800 under Charlemagne. It was also the first German World Heritage Site, inscribed in 1978.

The diocese has two churches that have been given the status of basilica minorː

See also

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