German Bishops' Conference

The German Bishops' Conference (German: Deutsche Bischofskonferenz) is the episcopal conference of the bishops of the Roman Catholic dioceses in Germany. Members include diocesan bishops, coadjutors, auxiliary bishops, and diocesan administrators.

The first meeting of the German bishops took place in Würzburg in 1848, and in 1867 the Fulda Conference of Bishops was established, which reorganized as German Bishops' Conference in 1966. The annual autumn conference of the German bishops still takes place in Fulda, while the meeting in spring is held at alternating places.

After the construction of the Berlin Wall the ordinaries in the East German Democratic Republic (GDR) were inhibited to participate in the Fulda Conference of Bishops. In 1974 the GDR formally suggested talks with the Holy See. As one of the outcomes the Berlin Conference of Bishops was established for the East German ordinaries on 26 July 1976. The Diocese of Berlin, also comprising West Berlin, was thereafter represented in the German Bishops' Conference and the Berlin Conference alike, in the former by its vicar general, in the latter by the bishop personally. The Catholic Church did not consider the Berlin Conference as a national Bishops' Conference, since the Holy See officially conceived the East German ordinaries as part of the German Bishops' Conference as papally confirmed by its statute on 26 September 1976. East Germany's diocesan structure was complicated. Since 1972 three sees had their seat in East Germany, the dioceses of Berlin and of Dresden-Meissen and the Apostolic Administration of Görlitz. The rest of East Germany belonged to dioceses seated in West Germany, which appointed commissaries for the East German parts of their dioceses. The Berlin Conference was disestablished in 1990.

Read more about German Bishops' Conference:  Chairmen of The Berlin Conference of Bishops (1976-1990), Ecclesiastical Provinces

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