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Aerial view of the cathedral in <a href="/content/Como" style="color:blue">Como</a>
Aerial view of the cathedral in Como

The Catholic Diocese of Como (Latin: Dioecesis Comensis) in northern Italy, has existed since the fourth century. It is a suffragan of the archdiocese of Milan. The bishops' seat is in Como Cathedral.[1]

Local legend credits the conversion of Como to the apostolate of Hermagoras of Aquileia (died c. 70).[2]

The diocese of Como was originally suffragan of Milan, as the consecration of its first bishop by Ambrose of Milan demonstrates.[3] By the mid 6th century the diocese was subject to Aquileia.[4] Pope Stephen V (885-891) twice ordered Patriarch Walpert of Aquileia to consecrate Liutard, the Bishop-elect of Como.[5] Until 1751 Como was, indeed, a suffragan of the patriarchate of Aquileia and followed the Aquileian Rite; the Patriarchate was suppressed by Pope Benedict XIV, who, on 18 April 1752, created the metropolitanate of Gorizia, and made Como subject to Goriza.[6] In 1789 Como was placed under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Milan by Pope Pius VI.[7]


From the 6th century to the 15th, the rite of Aquileia, commonly called the patriarchal rite, was used in the Church of Como.[8] It was only in 1598 that Pope Clement VIII substituted the Roman rite.[9]

In the tenth century the Bishops of Como were also its temporal lords. From the election of Bishop Raimundus in 1061, the episcopal elections were carried out by the Canons of the Cathedral Chapter and the Abbots of S. Carpoforo, S. Abondio, and S. Giuliano.[10]

The Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta[11] was begun in 1396, and was completed only in 1595; later the cupola and some small chapels were added (1730–44). The Cathedral was granted the honorary title and privileges of a minor basilica by Pope Pius XII, at the request of Bishop Felix Bonomini, in a decree of 18 January 1951.[12]

In 1695, the Chapter of the cathedral was composed of three dignities (the Archdeacon, the Archpriest, and the Provost) and twenty Canons.[13] In 1764, there were three dignities and seventeen Canons.[14] In 1846 there were twenty members of the Chapter, headed by the Archpriest, the Theologos, and the Penitentiary.[15] The Chapter of the Cathedral currently (2018) consists of ten Canons, headed by the Archpriest.[16]

In the city of Como there was also the Collegiate Church of S. Fedele, which was presided over by a Provost and seven Canons.[17]

A diocesan synod was an irregular but important meeting of the bishop of a diocese and his clergy. Its purpose was (1) to proclaim generally the various decrees already issued by the bishop; (2) to discuss and ratify measures on which the bishop chose to consult with his clergy; (3) to publish statutes and decrees of the diocesan synod, of the provincial synod, and of the Holy See.[18]

Bishop Gianantonio Volpi (1559–1588) held a diocesan synod on 16 March 1565. This was the first synod since the closing of the Council of Trent, which had mandated regular and frequent diocesan synods. He held a second synod on 3–5 September 1579.[19] A diocesan synod was held by Bishop Filippo Archinti (1595–1621) in 1598; and another synod on 16–18 May 1618.[20]

The Fifth Diocesan Synod was held by Bishop Lazzaro Carafino (1626–1665) on 18–20 September 1633.[21] The Sixth Diocesan Synod was held by Bishop Ambrogio Torriano (1680–1694) on 13–15 September 1672. It issued particularly strong regulations against the use of snuff by the clergy, following the decree of Pope Innocent X, and prescribed a fine of two aurei for any priest who used snuff before the Mass.[22] The Seventh Diocesan Synod was held on 10–12 September 1682 by Cardinal Carlo Cicero, Bishop of Como.[23]

Bishop Teodoro de Valfrè held a diocesan synod on 13–15 September 1904 in the Cathedral.[24] The Ninth Diocesan Synod was held by Bishop Alessandro Macchi (1930–1947) on 8–10 September 1942.[25] The Tenth Diocesan Synod was held by Bishop Felice Bonomini (1948–1974) in 1953. Bishop Oscar Cantoni has announced the Eleventh Diocesan Synod, that will take place in 2020.[26]

Bishops of Como

  • Felix of Como (c. 379 – c. 391)[27]
  • Provinus (Probinus, Prouinus)[28] (391–420)
  • Amantius of Como (420–450)[29]
  • Abundius (or Abundantius) (attested 450–489)[30]
  • Console (489–495)
  • Exuperantius (495–512)
  • Eusebius (512–525)
  • Eutychius (Eutichio) (525–539)[31]
  • Eupilius (approx. 539)
  • Flavianus I
  • Prosper
  • Joannes (c. 607)[32]
  • Agrippinus (607–617)[33]
  • Rubianus
  • Adalbert
  • Martiniano
  • Vittorino (approx. 628)[34]
  • John II
  • John III
  • Ottaviano
  • Benedict I
  • Flaviano II (approx. 712)
  • Adeodato (712–730)
  • Gausoaldo (approx. 730)
  • Angilbert I (approx. 750)
  • Lupo (approx. 750)
  • Teodolfo
  • Adelongo (approx. 776)
  • Peter I (776–818)
  • Leo I (attested 823–838)[35]
  • Perideo (840–843)
  • Amalrico (844–865)
  • Angilbert II (866–880)
  • Luitardus (Liutardo) (attested 888–905)[36]
  • Valperto I (attested 911–914)[37]
  • Valperto II (915)
  • Peter II (921)
  • Azzone (922–945)
  • Waldo (Ubaldus) (946–966)[38]
  • Adelgisius (attested 973–977)[39]
  • Peter III (attested 983–1005)[40]
  • Eberhardus (attested 1004–1006)[41]
  • Albericus (c. 1010 – c. 1028)[42]
  • Liudger (1030/32–1046)[43]
  • Benno (attested 1049–1061)[44]
  • Rainaldo (1061/62–1084)[45]
  • Aribertus (1085–1088)[46]
  • Guido Grimoldi (1098–1125)[48]
  • Ardizzo I (1125–1158)[50]
  • Enrico della Torre (1158–1162)[51]
  • Anselmo Raimundi (della Torre) (1163–1193)[52]
  • Ardizzone II (1193–1204)[53]
  • Guglielmo della Torre (1204–1226)[54]
  • Uberto di Sala (1228–1259)[55]
  • Leone degli Avvocati (1259–1261)[56]
  • Raimondo della Torre (1261–1273)[57]
  • Giovanni degli Avvocati (1274–1293)
  • Leone Lambertenghi (1294–1325)[58]
  • Giambattista Castelnuovo (1821–1831)[98]
  • Carlo Romanò (1834–1855)[99]
  • Giuseppe Marzorati (1858–1865)
  • Pietro Carsana (1871–1887)[100]
  • Luigi Nicora (1887–1890)
  • Andrea Carlo Ferrari (1891–1894)[101]
  • Teodoro Valfrè di Bonzo (1895–1905)[102]
  • Alfonso Archi (1905–1925)[103]
  • Adolfo Luigi Pagani (1926–1930)
  • Alessandro Macchi (1930–1947)[104]
  • Felice Bonomini (1947–1974)[105]
  • Teresio Ferraroni (1974–1989)[106]
  • Alessandro Maggiolini (1989–2006)[107]
  • Diego Coletti (2006–2016)[108]
  • Oscar Cantoni (2016 – )[109]


The 338 parishes of the diocese are spread across four provinces of the Lombardy region: the Province of Como, the Province of Lecco, the Province of Sondrio, and the Province of Varese.[110] There is one priest for every 1,001 Catholics.

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