Bishopric of Gurk
Political Information
1072 - Present
Austrian until ?
Prince of the Empire
Lands Secularized

The Bishopric of Gurk is a Roman Catholic diocese based in Klagenfurt in Carinthia, Austria. The bishopric covers the territory the modern state, and is suffragan to the Archbishopric of Salzburg.

History of the Bishopric (1072 - present)Edit

In 1070 Pope Alexander II gave his support to the establishment of a bishopric in Gurk. The Holy Roman Emperor gave his support in 1072 and the first bishop, Günther of Krappfeld (1072 - 1090), was invested. The right of appointment, consecration and investment of the bishops of Gurk lay with the Archbishops of Salzburg. The episcopolitan residence was not in Gurk, however, but in nearby Strasburg Castle. In 1131 the borders of the diocese were defined by Archbishop Conrad I of Salzburg, who set them quite small. The Bishops however were the vicar-generals of the Archbishops in the region of Carinthia.

Bishop Roman I (1131 - 1167) managed to obtain the right of the cathedral chapter to elect the bishops through large-scale forgery of documents, but after a century-long struggle the archbishops regained the right. Dissensions against the right of the archbishops to appoint bishops did not cease, and eventually the Dukes of Carinthia claimed the right of investiture. Archbishop Matthäus Lang of Wellenburg (1519 - 1540) signed an agreement with the House of Habsburg (which had inherited Carinthia) on 25 October 1525 whereby the sovereign twice had the right of investiture and the third time the archbishop did, although the archbishops retained the right of confirmation and consecration. The bishopric was enlarged in 1775 through the reforms of the Emperor Joseph II, and again in 1786. In 1783 the bishops moved their residence from Strasburg Castle to Pöckstein, and in 1787 both the residence and the capital of the see were moved to Klagenfurt. In 1859 the borders of the diocese were again reformed to cover the entire region of Carinthia.

See alsoEdit