Viva Arch Vegas? The Vatican will consider creating an Archdiocese of Nevada

The Vatican will consider a plan to elevate the diocese of Las Vegas to the status of a metropolitan see after U.S. bishops consulted on the plan during the fall plenary meeting in Baltimore.

The plan calls for Las Vegas to become an archdiocese and the dioceses of Reno and Salt Lake City to become suffragan dioceses, sources close to the U.S. Bishops’ Conference said. Pillar.

After consultations on the idea during this week’s USCCB executive session, the proposal will be considered by the Congregation for Bishops in the Vatican Curia, prior to Pope Francis’ final decision, the sources added.

The Diocese of Las Vegas was erected in 1995 when its territory in southern Nevada was split off from the Diocese of Reno. In 2020, the diocese had at least 600,000. Catholics, which accounted for nearly 30% of the region’s population.

More than 2.3 million people live in the Las Vegas Valley, more than three times the area’s population in 1990, shortly before the founding of the diocese. After a period of rapid population growth between 1990 and 2010, growth in the region has slowed significantly. But experts predict that this area will grow by more than 1 million people by 2060.

Population growth in the Diocese of Reno in northern Nevada and Utah, which is part of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, is expected to continue.

In Catholic law and theology, dioceses are particular churches—realities both juridical and theological in which “the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ is truly present and active.”

The dioceses are organized into metropolitan provinces, consisting of an archdiocese and several “suffragan” dioceses. The metropolitan archbishop has ceremonial precedence in his province and is responsible for coordinating cooperation between provincial dioceses, but does not formally oversee their bishops.

In recent years, the Holy See has promulgated rules that give the Metropolitan Archbishop a key role in investigating allegations of abuse or neglect by diocesan bishops. The metropolitan may also oversee a joint legislative session for all provincial dioceses called a provincial council – but such councils are rarely held in the United States or most other Western countries.

The dioceses of Las Vegas, Reno, and Salt Lake City are now part of the metropolitan province of San Francisco, which also includes dioceses in northern and central California, along with the Hawaiian Diocese of Honolulu.

Diocese of Las Vegas in question Pillar to the USCCB in response to questions.

Chieko Noguchi, a USCCB spokeswoman, declined to comment.

The move was not the only future change the bishops were scheduled to discuss at a November 14-17 meeting in Baltimore.

Last month, Bishop Jeffrey Monforton announced that bishops would be consulted on a plan for the Diocese of Steubenville to face an extinct connection with the neighboring Diocese of Columbus. But after weeks of opposition from the Steubenville priests, who had not been consulted on the plan prior to its announcement, Monforton demanded that the proposal be removed from the USCCB agenda.

Some observers predicted that population shifts and increasing secularization would cause a wave of extinct diocesan mergers in the coming years, with the approval of several western dioceses in the eyes of the metropolis.


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