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Roman Catholic Archdioceses in North America (1983: Doomsday)

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This article lists the current ecclesiastical provinces of the Roman Catholic Church in North America. It also gives a brief post-Doomsday history of the RCC in North America, and also explains what an ecclesiastical province is.

History

Post-Doomsday

The Soviet Union's attack upon the United States and Canada on Doomsday brought the destruction of the cities and towns in which the vast majority of U.S. archdioceses and dioceses were based, along with their counterparts in much of Europe, and of Vatican City itself.

Contact between Roman Catholics in the U.S. and Canada was for years reduced to the local and regional levels. Dioceses and archdioceses slowly began to develop on a regional level.

Doomsday forced each surviving parish and diocese to consider the new status of ecclesiastical authority. The vast majority of these parishes and dioceses conducted their affairs as if they were under the authority of the Vatican in Rome, despite the realization that there had been no contact from the Holy See since Doomsday because Rome - and the Vatican, and the Pope - had been destroyed.

A handful of parishes throughout the continent went "rogue", with the priests either claiming themselves to be the continuation of the papacy or claiming the RCC to have somehow ended, and their own parishes to be the successor to the RCC.

As the various dioceses within North America became known to the Vatican leadership in Rio de Janeiro, it sent emissaries to these dioceses to formally re-establish ties. All of the RCC parishes/dioceses accepted the new leadership and its authority; the first post-DD archdioceses to be recognized were St. John's (for Canada) and Midland (for West Texas). Many of these dioceses, especially the ones longest out of contact with the outside world, possess curious features, such as the priestesses of Niagara Falls, that the Vatican is working on removing, though many are likely going to be permanent.

The organization of dioceses and archdioceses in the former United States currently is fluid. With the Vatican leadership becoming aware of more and more survivor nations and city-states in the region, it desires to have a level of organization that works best for the current political and social situation in the former U.S. The Vatican therefore is in the process of mapping the former United States and Canada, identifying not just where people live in each of the 50 states, but also which areas are strong Catholic areas and which are not.

The current list of Metropolitan archdioceses in Canada and the former United States are:

  • Altoona-Johnstown: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Binghamton, Meadville and Reading. Includes the territory of Gettysburg, North Pennsylvania, Reading, the New York Republic, and State College, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Pennsylvania, Northeastern Ohio, and Southern New York State.
  • Billings: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Coeur d'Alene, Pasco, Spokane, Torrington, and Yakima. Includes the territory of the Pasco Free State and the Northern New United States, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Eastern Washington State, Idaho, Montana, and Northern Wyoming.
  • Cape Girardeau: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Joplin and Vandalia. Includes the territory of Cape Girardeau, Charleston, Joplin, Vandalia, and western parts of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Northeastern Arkansas, Missouri, and Southern Illinois.
  • Charleston in Virginia: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Charlottesville, Parkersburg, and Roanoke. Includes the territory of the Virginian Republic, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly West Virginia, Western and Central Virginia, Western Maryland, Eastern Kentucky, Southwestern Pennsylvania, and Southern Ohio.
  • Charlottetown: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Bathurst, Sydney, and Yarmouth. Includes the southern provinces of Canada, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
  • Churchill: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Iqaluit, Kuujjuaq, and Moosonee. Includes the northwestern territories of Canada, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly the Eastern Northwest Territories, Northeastern Manitoba, Northernmost Ontario, and Northwest and Northernmost Quebec as well.
  • Davenport: Sub-divisions include the diocese of Dubuque. Includes the territory of the Quad Cities, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Eastern Iowa and Northern Illinois.
  • Dodge City: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Ft. Collins, Scottsbluff, and Stillwater. Includes the territory of Stillwater, and the Southern New United States, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Southern Wyoming, Colorado, Western Nebraska, Kansas, and Northern Oklahoma.
  • Eugene: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Astoria, Baker City, and Redding. Includes the territory of Astoria, Cascadia, the Municipal States of the Pacific, and Oregon, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Northernmost California and Oregon.
  • Fargo: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Bismarck and Sioux Falls. Includes the territory of the Provisional Government of the Dakotas, as well as Lakotah, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly North and South Dakota.
  • Fort Smith: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Inuvik and Whitehorse. Includes the territory of the Northwest Alliance and the Yukon, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly the Yukon, the Western Northwest Territories, Northernmost Alberta, and Northern Saskatchewan.
  • Hattiesburg: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Corinth, Florence, Natchez, and Selma. Includes the territory of Corinth, Florence, Hattiesburg, Natchez, New Montgomery, and Selma, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
  • Kingston: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Cornwall, Midland in Ontario, and Oswego. Includes the territory of Malone, Midland, Oswego, and the Kingston region of Canada, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Eastern Ontario and Northwestern New York State.
  • Lafayette in Louisiana: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Hot Springs and Lake Charles. Includes the territory of Louisiana, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Arkansas and Louisiana.
  • Lexington: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Covington, Evansville, Owensboro, and Portland in Tennessee. Includes the territory of the eastern parts of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Jackson, Portland, and Waynesboro, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Western and Central Tennessee and Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Southwestern Ohio.
  • Lincoln: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Grand Island and Norfolk-in-Lincoln. Includes the territory of the Republic of Lincoln, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa.
  • London in Ontario: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Kitchener, Niagara, and Sarnia. Includes the territory of London, Niagara Falls, Norfolk-Haldimand, Pelee, and Waterloo, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Southern Ontario and Western New York State.
  • Manchester in Vermont: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Burlington, Lake Placid, Plymouth, and St. Albans, and the archdiocese of Houlton. Includes the territory of Aroostook, Keene, Lake Placid, the Northern Townships, the Outer Lands, Plymouth, and Vermont, as well as all other survivors in what was once Eastern New York State, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Southwestern New Brunswick.
  • Marquette: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Gaylord, Green Bay, Madison, Sudbury, Tawas, and Thunder Bay, and the archdiocese of Sault Saint Marie. Includes the territory of Sudbury, Superior, Wisconsin, and the Thunder Bay region of Canada, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Easternmost Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and North-Central Ontario.
  • Midland in Texas: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Broken Bow, Carlsbad, Graham, Edinburg, San Marcos, Tyler. Includes the territories of Central, East, South and West Texas as well as city-states in northern and southeastern Texas, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley Republic, along with Antlers, Broken Bow, and Hugo in Oklahoma, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly southeastern New Mexico, Texas and Southern Oklahoma.
  • Morristown: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Asheville, Greenville, and Rome in Georgia, Includes the territories of Blue Ridge, East Tennessee, Piedmont, and Rome, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Eastern Tennessee, Northern Georgia, Western North Carolina, and South Carolina.
  • Reno: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Fillmore and Placerville. Includes the territories of the California Republic, Napa, Santa Cruz, Sierra Nevada, and Utah, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly North-Central California, Nevada, and Utah.
  • Rimouski: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Baie-Comeau and Gaspé, and the archdiocese of Chicoutimi. Includes the territory of Saguenay and the West-Central areas of Canada, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Southern Quebec.
  • Saint Boniface: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Crookston, and International Falls, along with the archdioceses of Brandon and The Pas. The archbishop of Brandon is also the head of the ecclesiastical province. Includes Assiniboia, International Falls, and Olmsted, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Minnesota, Manitoba and Westernmost Ontario.
  • Saint Paul in Athabaska: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Grande Prairie and Prince George. Includes the territory of Athabaska and Prince George, as well as all survivors in North and Central British Columbia and North-Central Alberta.
  • Salisbury: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Atlantic City, Fredericksburg, and Manteo. Includes Delmarva, Elizabeth City, the Inner and Outer Banks, and the Kerr Republic, as well as all survivors in in what was formerly Delaware, New Jersey, and Eastern Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.
  • San Juan: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Arecibo, Caguas, Fajardo-Humacao, Mayagüez, Ponce, and Saint Thomas. Includes Puerto Rico and the United States Atlantic Remnant, as well as all survivors in what was formerly Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American expiates in the Caribbean in general.
  • Saskatoon: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Lethbridge and Swift Current. Includes the Provisional Canadian Government on the Great Plains, as well as all survivors in what was formerly Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan.
  • St. Augustine: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Americus, Fort Myers, and Gainesville. Includes the new Republic of Florida, along with Neonotia, as well as all survivors in what was formerly Florida, Southeastern Alabama, and Southern Georgia.
  • St. John's: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Corner Brook, Grand Falls, Labrador City, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Includes the Northeastern areas of Canada, as well as all survivors in what was formerly Newfoundland and Labrador, Island areas of Quebec, and Saint Pierre and Miquelon.
  • Toledo: Sub-divisions include the diocese of Port Clinton. Includes the Toledo Confederation, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly North and Central Ohio, Northeastern Indiana, and Southeastern Michigan.
  • Victoria: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Juneau, Kelowna, Olympia, and Prince Rupert. Includes Victoria, Alaska, and Siberian Alaska, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Alaska, Western and Southern British Columbia, and Western Washington State.
  • Visalia: Sub-divisions include the dioceses of Gallup, Prescott and Santa Maria. Includes the Chumash Republic, Dinétah, Prescott, Slab City, Visalia, and Ventura, as well as all other survivors in what was formerly Arizona, northeastern New Mexico, and Southern California.

There is also an independent Diocese of Hilo, in Hawaii, that includes all territories under the Kingdom of Hawaii.

Currently, there are seven Cardinals from these ecclesiastical provinces as well:

  • Alphonsus Liguori Penney, Archbishop Emeritus of St. Johns
  • Remi De Roo, Archbishop Emeritus of Victoria
  • Patrick Zurek, Archbishop of Midland in Texas
  • Robert Edward Mulvee, Archbishop Emeritus of Manchester in Vermont
  • John J. Snyder, Archbishop Emeritus of St. Augustine
  • Luis Aponte Martínez, Archbishop Emeritus of San Juan
  • Alexander King Sample, Archbishop of Marquette

It is rumored that Archbishops from the Great Lakes area, the North American Union, and the former American Southwest are currently being considered for a possible entrance into the College as well, though with the raising of the Archbishop of Marquette in June of 2011, it is considered to be doubtful that any more will be named at this time.

What is an ecclesiastical province?

An ecclesiastical province is a large jurisdiction of religious government, so named by analogy with a secular province, existing in certain hierarchical Christian churches, especially in the Catholic Church (both Latin and Eastern Catholic) and Orthodox Churches and in the Anglican Communion. In the early church, and in some modern churches, its chief city and seat is called a metropolis and its bishop is called a metropolitan.

In the Catholic Church, a province consists of a metropolitan archdiocese and one or more of other particular churches, usually dioceses. The archbishop of the metropolitan see is the Metropolitan of the province. The delimitation of church provinces in the Latin Church is reserved to the Holy See.

However, there have always been individual dioceses which do not belong to any province, but are directly subject to the Holy See. There are also some archdioceses that are not metropolitan sees and some that are suffragan to another archdiocese (for example, the Toledo archdiocese was briefly suffragan to the London archdiocese while the Vatican explored the state of the church in the Toledo region, like Chicoutimi, Houlton and Sault Saint Marie are suffragan to various ecclesiastical provinces today).

The authority of the metropolitan over the sees within his province is very limited. During a vacancy in a suffragan see, the metropolitan can name a temporary diocesan administrator if the College of Consultors of the diocese fails to elect one within the prescribed period. A metropolitan generally presides at the installation and consecration of new bishops in the province, and serves as the first court of appeal regarding canonical matters of provincial diocesan tribunals. The metropolitan's insignia is the pallium.

The authority exercised by the metropolitan over his suffragan dioceses is as limited today as it ever has been in history. Emphasis is placed on each bishop having a direct relationship with the pope and not dependent on the metropolitan. The metropolitan is supposed to hold a provincial council every three years. Because of restrictions, he probably cannot officially visit dioceses other than his own, that are technically within his jurisdiction. He can nominate candidates for vacancies to the bishopric within his province.

The borders of provinces have often been inspired, or even determined, by historical and/or present political borders; the same is often true of diocesan borders within a province. This is just as true in the current day as it was before Doomsday.

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