Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta
Archdiocese of Atlanta
Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta
Coat of arms
|Territory||69 counties in northern Georgia|
|Ecclesiastical province||Province of Atlanta|
|Area||55,521 km2 (21,437 sq mi)|
- Catholics (including non-members)
|(as of 2014)|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||July 2, 1956|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of Christ the King|
|Patron saint||Immaculate Heart of Mary|
Pope Pius X
|Archbishop||Gregory John Hartmayer|
|Auxiliary Bishops||Joel Matthias Konzen|
The Archdiocese of Atlanta is an archdiocese of the Catholic Church in the U.S. state of Georgia. Its ecclesiastical territory comprises Georgia's northern counties, including the capital of Atlanta. It is led by a prelate archbishop, who is also pastor of the mother church, the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta. The Cathedral is the metropolitan see of the Catholic Ecclesiastical Province of Atlanta, which covers Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. As of 2014, there were 100 parishes and missions in the archdiocese. There were 900,000 registered Catholics in the Archdiocese as of 2010.
The former Diocese of Atlanta was established by a division of the Diocese of Savannah-Atlanta on July 2, 1956. At that time, there were also two designated co-cathedrals, including St. John the Baptist in Savannah and Christ the King in Atlanta.
The Diocese of Savannah-Atlanta was originated through the Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina; and prior to that, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland. Catholic settlement began in Georgia in the 1700s, with the establishment of a Catholic mission in Georgia by Catholic settlers who had moved to Georgia from Baltimore.
The Diocese of Atlanta was elevated to the rank of archdiocese on February 10, 1962.
Reports of Sex Abuse
In December 2018, a former altar boy filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Atlanta alleged that the archdiocese shielded a priest who sexually abused him On April 1, 2019, the Archdiocese of Atlanta published a list of 23 Catholic clergy who served in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and were "credibly accused" of committing acts of sex abuse since the founding of the archdiocese in 1956.
Selected leadership history
In 1966, the archdiocese was home to the youngest bishop in the nation, Joseph Bernardin. Ordained an auxiliary bishop at the age of 38, Bernardin later became Archbishop of Cincinnati and ultimately the archbishop of Chicago and cardinal.
In 1988, Eugene Antonio Marino  was named Archbishop of Atlanta, becoming the first African American archbishop in the United States. He resigned from his position two years later after his affair – termed an "inappropriate relationship" by the Archdiocese – with a lay minister became public knowledge. After a period of reflection and renewal, he continued on in religious service in New York State until his death.
In July 2009, Pope Benedict XVI, recognizing Archbishop Gregory's need for assistance in governing the burgeoning archdiocese, named Monsignor Luis Rafael Zarama as the second auxiliary bishop of Atlanta. In April 2013, Monsignor David Talley was installed as an additional Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta.
On April 4, 2019, the Vatican appointed Archbishop Wilton Gregory to the Archbishop of Washington, DC. As such, there was no Archbishop of Atlanta, and the see was vacant, with Auxiliary Bishop Joel Konzenisa serving as the diocesan administrator since his election to that post by the College of Consultors on May 24, 2019, once Archbishop Gregory had been installed in Washington three days prior on May 21.
Metro Atlanta contains a large, and rapidly growing, Roman Catholic population. The number of Catholics grew from 30,840 members in 1960 to 292,300 members in 1998 and to 900,000 members in 2010, an increase of 207 percent. The population is estimated by the USCCB to top 1 million by 2011, with an overall increase of 2,500 people. The increase is fueled by Catholics moving to Atlanta from other parts of the U.S. and the world, and from newcomers to the church. About 11 percent of all metropolitan Atlanta residents are Catholic.
The following is a list of the Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops who have served as the diocesan bishop of Atlanta (and their tenures of service):
Bishop of Atlanta
- Francis Edward Hyland (1956–1962)
Archbishops of Atlanta
- Paul John Hallinan (1962–1968)
- Thomas Andrew Donnellan (1968–1987)
- Eugene Antonio Marino (1988–1990)
- James Patterson Lyke (1991–1992)
- John Francis Donoghue (1993–2004)
- Wilton Daniel Gregory (2004–2019), appointed Archbishop of Washington (elevated to Cardinal in 2020)
- Gregory John Hartmayer (2020–present)
Auxiliary Bishops of Atlanta
- Joseph Bernardin (1966–1968), appointed General Secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; later appointed Archbishop of Cincinnati and Archbishop of Chicago (elevated to Cardinal in 1983)
- Luis Rafael Zarama (2009–2017), appointed Bishop of Raleigh
- David Talley (2013–2016), appointed Bishop of Alexandria; later appointed Bishop of Memphis in 2019
- Bernard Shlesinger (2017–present)
- Joel Matthias Konzen (2018–present)
Other priests in this archdiocese who became bishops
- Eusebius J. Beltran (1960-1978), appointed Bishop of Tulsa; later appointed Archbishop of Oklahoma City in 1993
The archdiocese operates eighteen elementary and high schools. Additionally, there are six independent Catholic schools (as noted in the lists to follow) located in the Atlanta metropolitan area. While those six schools are independent, they fall within the jurisdiction of the archdiocese. The population of student enrollment in all of the Catholic schools in the archdiocese in 2011–2012 was approximately 12,000. The superintendent of the schools in the archdiocese is currently Hal Plummer.
- Holy Spirit Preparatory School, (Atlanta and Sandy Springs), Independent
- Notre Dame Academy, Duluth, Independent
- Pinecrest Academy, Cumming, Independent
- High schools
The Georgia Bulletin, the official newspaper of the archdiocese, was established in 1963 and is published weekly (except for the second and last weeks of June, July, August, as well as the last week of December).
- Ecclesiastical Province of Atlanta
- Historical list of the Catholic bishops of the United States
- List of Roman Catholic archdioceses (by country and continent)
- List of Roman Catholic Churches in the Archdiocese of Atlanta
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses (alphabetical) (including archdioceses)
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses (structured view) (including archdioceses)
- Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta
- The Archdiocese of Atlanta: A history, Strasbourg, France: Editions du Signe, Archdiocese of Atlanta, 2006.
- Parishes and missions, by name, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Smyrna, GA: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, 2014, Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- Poole, Shelia M. (December 9, 2010). "Project aims to bring Catholics back to church". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
- Boone, Christian (December 21, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: New lawsuit alleges sexual abuse by longtime Georgia priest". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
- The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, SLD, Metropolitan Archbishop of Atlanta Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Smyrna, GA: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, 2014, Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Monsignor Luis R. Zarama named auxiliary bishop for Archdiocese of Atlanta Archived 2014-01-02 at the Wayback Machine, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Smyrna, GA: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, 27 July 2009, Chivers, P.M., Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- The Most Reverend Luis Rafael Zarama, Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta (Episcopal Vicar Region I), Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Smyrna, GA: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, 2014, Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Pope appoints Atlanta's second auxiliary bishop, The Georgia Bulletin, Smyrna, GA: The Archdiocese of Atlanta, 17 January 2013, Nelson, A., Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- Bishop David P. Talley, Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta (Episcopal Vicar Region II) Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Smyrna, GA: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, 2014, Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- "Pope Francis names Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory as new Archbishop of Washington". Georgia Bulletin. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
- "Consultors select Bishop Joel Konzen, SM, as administrator". Georgia Bulletin. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
- "Pope names new Bishops for USA, Nigeria, Republic of Congo - Vatican News". www.vaticannews.va. March 5, 2020. Retrieved March 5, 2020.
- Nelson, Andrew. "Catholic Population Officially Leaps To 650,000". The Georgia Bulletin. Archdiocese of Atlanta. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2007.
- Nelson, Andrew (January 1, 2009). "Parishes Receive Data As Catholic Population Surges". The Georgia Bulletin. The Catholic Archdiosese of Atlanta. p. 10.
- The church in the south: Growing pains, St. Anthony Messenger, American Catholic.org/Catholic Extension.org, 2006, Beckwith, B., Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Smyrna, GA: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, 2014, Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- Catholic schools by the numbers, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Smyrna, GA: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, 2014, Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- "Catholic Newspapers". Hesburgh Libraries Website. University of Notre Dame. Retrieved September 7, 2016.