A word of the Byzantine Greek (dioíkēsis) went to late Latin (dioecēsis) before arriving at our language as diocese . This is the name of territory over which a bishop has jurisdiction .
It should be remembered that a bishop is a ecclesiastical superior . Having jurisdiction, on the other hand, implies having authority to administer or govern.
A diocese, therefore, is a district whose ecclesiastical administration is in charge of a bishop. This prelate is responsible for directing all parishes that are part of his diocese. Several dioceses, in turn, can be grouped into ecclesiastical provinces .
The Catholic Church considers that each diocese is a part of the town of God , whose spiritual guidance is entrusted to the bishop. If the diocese, for some reason, lacks a bishop, there is talk of vacant diocese .
Dioceses also have the function of training future members of the clergy . That's why they found seminars where the applicants take the studies that allow them to be ordained.
The Catholic Church of Spain , for example, is composed of sixty dioceses, each under the jurisdiction of a bishop or a archbishop . The Spanish dioceses, simultaneously, are grouped into fourteen ecclesiastical provinces.
Only fifty-six of these dioceses are in charge of a bishop, since the remaining fourteen are actually archdioceses, and therefore are directed by different archbishops. On the other hand, there are two personal jurisdictions with reach all the territory of the nation, although without its own territory.
Next we will see some of the dioceses and archdioceses of the Spanish territory, with their creation date and other data, such as the eventual deletions and reactivations:
* Diocese of Barcelona, created in the year 400 and converted into an archdiocese in 1964. In 2004, it was elevated to the metropolitan archdiocese;
* Diocese of Sant Feliú de Llobregat, whose creation took place in 2004, dismembered from the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Barcelona;
* Diocese of Tarrasa, with origin in 2004 and with the same origin of the previous one;
* Metropolitan Archdiocese of Burgos, created in the third century with the first name from Goose, renamed in 1075 with Burgos instead of Goose and finally elevated to the metropolitan archdiocese in 1574;
* Diocese of Bilbao, which was created in 1949 as a dismemberment of three other dioceses;
* Diocese Osma-Soria, emerged in the year 600 with the name of Osma and renamed a century and a half later;
* Diocese of Palencia, which spent more than three centuries suppressed until it was restored in 1035;
* Diocese of Vitoria, whose creation dates from 1861 as a dismemberment of an archdiocese and three dioceses;
* Metropolitan Archdiocese of Granada, initially emerged as a diocese, in 1437, and elevated in 1492 to its current title;
* Diocese of Almeria, of 1492, after two deletions over almost a millennium of existence, since 300;
* Diocese of Cartagena, 100;
* Diocese of Guadix, created in the 15th century.
At Roman empire , a diocese is called a administrative divition formed by several provinces . He vicar (vicarius) was the governor of the diocese, being under the subordination of the prefect of the praetorium
It is worth mentioning that Roman dioceses are usually called civil dioceses to avoid confusion with religious dioceses. Both districts have nothing to do with each other.
There are a large number of dioceses internationally that have higher education centers. The Catholic University , for example, was created linked to diocesan seminary to support the formation of clergy. Anyway, the college Catholic is also a source of services of great importance for the nation in which they are or even for their continent, and in the world there are many who make considerable contributions to both science and culture.