Suburbicarian Diocese of Albano
|Area||661 km2 (255 sq mi)|
- Catholics (including non-members)
|(as of 2018)|
493,870 (est.) (96%)
|Cathedral||Basilica Cattedrale di S. Pancrazio Martire|
|Secular priests||104 (diocesan)|
80 (Religious Orders)
|Bishops emeritus||Marcello Semeraro|
Paolo Gillet (Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus)
The Diocese of Albano (Latin: Albanensis) is a suburbicarian see of the Roman Catholic Church in a diocese in Italy, comprising seven towns in the Province of Rome. Albano Laziale is situated some 15 kilometers from Rome, on the Appian Way.
Under current arrangements it has both a titular bishop and a diocesan bishop.
The city of Albano, located at the fifteenth milestone from Rome on the Via Appia Antiqua, and two miles from the ancient Alba Longa. A villa of Pompey the Great and a villa of the Emperor Domitian were located in the area. had an amphitheater by the second half of the first century A.D. In 197, the Emperor Septimius Severus created the Legio II Parthica, whose headquarters was at the Castra Albana, until they were disbanded by the Emperor Constantine (306–337).
According to the Liber Pontificalis the Emperor Constantine I provided the city with a new basilica, that of Saint John the Baptist:
He also presented the church with various vessels of silver and silver gilt, and endowed the church with a number of local properties, including the farm of Mola (a mile west of the town), possession of the lake of Albano, the Massa Mucii, all the abandoned houses in Albano, possession of gardens, and other properties.
This Constantinian basilica was destroyed by fire toward the end of the 8th century, or at the beginning of the 9th, along with the bishop's residence. Ferdinando Franconi has established the identity of this basilica with the present Albano Cathedral, which still contains some remains of the edifice dedicated by Pope Leo III to Saint Pancras. The cathedral was restored in 1563, and again at the beginning of the 19th century. Under the basilica there was a crypt, or confessio, from which bodies were transferred to the cemetery nearby. The cathedral is administered by a Chapter consisting of two dignities, the Archpriest and the Archdeacon, and eight Canons.
The foundation of the episcopal see of Albano may be contemporaneous with the erection of the Constantinian basilica.It is alleged that the first bishop of the see of whom we have any knowledge is Dionysius (d. 355). Bishop Ursinus is found on an inscription in the Catacomb of Domitilla; the consular date is either 345 or 395. It is in the next century (463), however, that we meet with a Bishop of Albano, Romanus.
The importance of this early Christian community is apparent from its cemetery, discovered in 1720 by Giovanni Marangoni. It differs but little from the Christian cemeteries found in Rome. Its plan, clearly mapped out in the Epitome de locis ss. martyrum quae sunt foris civitatis Romae, is considered by Giovanni Battista de Rossi as the synopsis of an ancient description of the cemeteries, written before the end of the 6th century:
Saint Senator of Albano is inserted in the martyrology for 26 September (et in Albano Senatoris), without further specification. From this he passed to the Roman martyrology, where he is commemorated on the same day. But the first account of the martyrs of Albano is found in the Almanac of Philocalus (4th century) on 8 August:
The cemetery has frescoes, painted at various times by unknown artists, which show the various expressions of Christian funerary art from the fourth to the 9th century.
Pope Innocent I was a native of Albano.
In the mid-19th century, the diocese of Albano contained only about 8,000 persons. It included ten castelli: Sabello, Riccia, Genzano, Cività-Lavinia, Nemi, Marino, Castelgandolfo, Pratica, Ardea, and Nettuno. At the end of the century, it contained about 44,000 inhabitants, served by 60 secular priests and 124 priests of religious orders, and there were twelve parishes. The diocese had 67 churches, chapels, or oratories. There were three collegiate churches, with colleges of Canons, at Ariccia, Civita-Lavinia, and Nemi.
By the beginning of the 20th century, it had become apparent to the papacy that the suburbicarian bishops had become overburdened with the responsibilities of their curial and diocesan duties. The increase in commerce, in roads and travel, and the migration of people to the city, as well as the increased burden of duties in the papal administration because of the mass and complexity of problems affecting the Church, made some sort of relief necessary. On his own initiative, therefore, Pope Pius X issued a decree, Apostolicae Romanorum Pontificium, granting the bishops of Ostia, Porto, Albano, Palestrina, and Frascati each a suffragan bishop to carry the burden of their pastoral duties in their dioceses. The pope appointed the suffragans, who had full powers inside the diocese, subject to the cardinal's approval, but not the power to ordain or consecrate, or the right to have a throne or display their coat-of-arms. Further details were added by Pope John XXIII in his apostolic letter, Suburbicariis sedibus, defining the suffragan bishop as "Episcopus Ordinarius", with the same powers as other residential bishops, and enumerating the privileges of the cardinal bishop.
In 1914, Pius X took steps to regulate the irregularities in the incomes of the six cardinal suburbicarian bishops. On is own initiative, after consulting with the curial cardinals and with their agreement, he issued the decree Edita a Nobis, in which he ordered that in the future the incomes of the cardinal bishops should be placed in a single fund, administered by the Office of Economic Affairs, to which each cardinal must render an annual account. Each year, after 6,000 Lire was to be given to each suffragan bishop, the remaining money collected was to be divided into equal portions, the bishop of Ostia to receive two portions, and each of the other bishops one portion. The decree also ordered that the bishop of Ostia, when promoted to that position, should also retain his previous bishopric; the diocese of Velitrae was to be removed from his jurisdiction, and from that point the suburbicarin bishops would be: Ostiensis, Portuensis et Sanctae Rufinae, Albanensis, Praenestina, Sabinensis, Tusculana, Veliterna.
Since 1966 functions are divided between the titular-bishop and the diocesan bishop.
Titular bishops (not a complete list)