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Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poitiers
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Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poitiers

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Poitiers (Lat: Archidioecesis Pictaviensis) is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in France. The archepiscopal see is in the city of Poitiers. The Diocese of Poitiers includes the two Departments of Vienne and Deux-S vres. The Concordat of 1802 added to the see besides the ancient Diocese of Poitiers a part of the Diocese of La Rochelle and Saintes.

Erected in the third century, as a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Bordeaux, the diocese was elevated to an archdiocese in 2002. The archdiocese is the metropolitan of the Diocese of Angoul me, the Diocese of La Rochelle, the Diocese of Limoges, and the Diocese of Tulle.

The current archbishop is Pascal Wintzer, who was appointed in 2012.



Louis Duchesne holds that its earliest episcopal catalogue represents the ecclesiastical tradition of Poitiers in the twelfth century. The catalogue reckons twelve predecessors of Hilary of Poitiers, among them Nectarius, Liberius, and Agon, and among his successors Sts. Quintianus and Maxentius. Duchesne does not doubt the existence of these saints but questions whether they were bishops of Poitiers. According to him, Hilary (350-67 or 8) is the first bishop of whom we have historical evidence.

Among his successors were St. Pientius (c. 544-60); St. Fortunatus (c. 599); St. Peter (1087-1115), exiled by William IX, Count of Poitiers, whose divorce he refused to sanction; Gilbert de la Porr e (1142 54); William Tempier (1184 97), who, as Barbier de Montault has shown, was irregularly venerated as a saint in certain parts of the diocese since he died subsequent to the declaration of Pope Alexander III which reserved canonizations to the Holy See; Blessed Gauthier de Bruges (1278-1306); Arnauld d'Aux (1306 12), made cardinal in 1312; Guy de Malsec (1371-5), who became cardinal in 1375; Simon de Cramaud (1385 91), indefatigable opponent of the antipope Benedict XIII, and who again administered the diocese (1413 23) and became cardinal in 1413; Louis de Bar (1394-5), cardinal in 1397; Jean de la Tr mouille (1505-7), cardinal in 1507; Gabriel de Gramont (1532-4), cardinal in 1507; Claude de Longwy de Givry (1538 52), became cardinal in 1533; Antonio Barberini (1652-7), cardinal in 1627; Abb de Pradt (1805-9), afterwards Archbishop of Mechlin, Louis Pie (1849 80), cardinal in 1879.

St. Emmeram was a native of Poitiers, but according to the Bollandists and Duchesne the documents which make him Bishop of Poitiers (c. 650) are not trustworthy; on the other hand Bernard Sepp (Analec. Boll., VIII) and Dom Chamard claim that he did hold the see, and succeeded Didon, bishop about 666 or 668 according to Dom Chamard.

As early as 312 the Bishop of Poitiers established a school near his cathedral; among its scholars were Hilary, St. Maxentius, Maximus, Bishop of Trier, and his two brothers St. Maximinus of Chinon and St. John of Marne, Paulinus, Bishop of Trier, and the poet Ausonius. In the sixth century Fortunatus taught there, and in the twelfth century intellectual Europe flocked to Poitiers to sit at the feet of Gilbert de la Porr e.

Charles VII of France erected a university at Poitiers, in opposition to Paris, where the majority of the faculty had hailed Henry VI of England, and by Bull of 28 May 1431, Pope Eugene IV approved the new university. In the reign of Louis XII there were in Poitiers no less than four thousand students French, Italians, Flemings, Scots, and Germans. There were ten colleges attached to the university. In 1540, at the Coll ge Ste. Marthe, the famous Marc Antoine Muret, whom Gregory XIII called in later years the torch and the pillar of the Roman School, had a chair. The famous Jesuit Maldonatus and five of his confr res went in 1570 to Poitiers to establish a Jesuit college at the request of some of the inhabitants. After two unsuccessful attempts, they were given the Coll ge Ste. Marthe in 1605. Fran ois Garasse, well known for his violent polemics and who died of the plague at Poitiers in 1637, was professor there (1607-8), and had as a pupil Guez de Balzac. Among other students at Poitiers were Achille de Harlay, President de Thou, the poet Joachim du Bellay, the chronicler Brantome Descartes, Fran ois Vi te the mathematician, and Francis Bacon. In the seventeenth century the Jesuits sought affiliation with the university and in spite of the opposition of the faculties of theology and arts their request was granted. Jesuit ascendancy grew; they united to Ste. Marthe the Coll ge du Puygareau. Friction between them and the university was continuous, and in 1762 the general laws against them throughout France led to the Society leaving Poitiers. Moreover, from 1674 the Jesuits had conducted at Poitiers a college for clerical students from Ireland.

In 1806 the State reopened the school of law at Poitiers and later the faculties of literature and science. These faculties were raised to the rank of a university in 1896. From 1872 to 1875 Cardinal Pie was engaged in re-establishing the faculty of theology. As a provisional effort he called to teach in his Grand S minaire three professors from the Collegio Romano, among them P re Schrader, the commentator of the Syllabus, who died at Poitiers in 1875.


To 1000

  • Agon
  • St. Hilary 349 367
  • Pascentius
  • Quintianus
  • Gelais
  • Antheme
  • Maixent
  • Adelphius 533
  • Daniel 541
  • Pient 555 or 557 561
  • Pescentius 561
  • Marov e (Maroveus) 573 594
  • Platon 594
  • Venantius Fortunatus 599 610
  • Caregisile 614
  • Ernnoald 614 616
  • Johann I. 616 627
  • Dido (Desiderius) 629 669
  • Ansoald
  • Eparchius
  • Maximin
  • Gaubert
  • Godon de Rochechouart c.757
  • Magnibert
  • Bertauld
  • Benoit
  • Johann II.
  • Bertrand I.
  • Sigebrand c.818
  • Friedebert
  • Ebroin c.839
  • Engenold c.860
  • Frotier I.
  • Hecfroi
  • Frotier II. c.900
  • Alboin c.937
  • Peter I. c.963
  • Giselbert c.975

1000 to 1300

1300 to 1500

  • Arnaud d'Aux (card.) 1306
  • Fort d'Aux en 1314
  • Johann V. de Lieux 1357
  • Aimery de Mons 1363
  • Guy de Malsec (Gui de Maillesec) 1371
  • Bertrand de Maumont 1376
  • Simon of Cramaud 1385
  • Louis of Bar 1391 (Administrator 1392)
  • Ythier de Mareuil 1395
  • G rard de Montaigu 1405
  • Peter III. Trousseau 1409
  • Louis of Bar 1423-1424 (Administrator)
  • Hugo de Combarel 1424
  • Wilhelm V. Gouge de Charpaignes 1441
  • Jacques Juv nal des Ursins 1449
  • L on Gu rinet 1457
  • Johann VI du Bellay 1462
  • Wilhelm VI. de Cluny 1479
  • Peter IV. d'Amboise 1481

1500 to 1800

From 1800


de:Liste der Bisch fe von Poitiers fr:Liste des v ques de Poitiers it:Arcidiocesi di Poitiers pl:Archidiecezja Poitiers

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