Roman Catholic Diocese of Ghent

Coordinates: 51°03′10″N 3°43′43″E / 51.052761°N 3.728584°E / 51.052761; 3.728584
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Diocese of Ghent

Dioecesis Gandavensis

Bisdom Gent (Dutch)
Diocèse de Gand (French)
Bistum Gent (German)
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Ghent
Coat of arms
Ecclesiastical provinceMechelen-Brussels
MetropolitanArchdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels
Coordinates51°03′10″N 3°43′43″E / 51.052761°N 3.728584°E / 51.052761; 3.728584
Area2,995 km2 (1,156 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2021)
1,088,100 (70.7%)
DenominationCatholic Church
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
Established12 May 1559
CathedralSt. Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent
Current leadership
BishopLode Van Hecke, O.C.S.O.
Metropolitan ArchbishopJosef De Kesel
Bishops emeritusArthur Luysterman (1991–2003)
Lucas Van Looy, SDB (2004–2019)
The Diocese of Ghent, is almost coextensive with the province of East Flanders. It also includes the municipality of Zwijndrecht
The Diocese of Ghent, is almost coextensive with the province of East Flanders. It also includes the municipality of Zwijndrecht

The Diocese of Ghent (Latin: Dioecesis Gandavensis) is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in Belgium. It is a suffragan in the ecclesiastical province of the metropolitan Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels. The patron of the diocese is Saint Bavo of Ghent.


The diocese was erected in 1559 by papal bull Super universas to become independent of the Diocese of Tournai. Ghent had an important local administration and was the location of the Abbey of Saint Bavo, founded by Saint Amandus. However, this abbey was suppressed and the canons were removed, moving to the collegiate church of Saint John, and it changed its name to Saint Bavo. This collegiate church became the see of the current diocese. The diocese was created from the surrounding dioceses in Belgium.

Territorial structure[edit]

Originally, the diocese was much larger and contained the city of Hulst. Currently, the diocese is coextensive with the Belgian province of East Flanders, in addition to the municipality of Zwijndrecht, which is in the secular Province of Antwerp.


The diocese produced some important priests and clergy like Edward Poppe. The current bishop is Abbot Lode Van Hecke who was appointed by pope Francis in 2019. The diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Mechelen-Brussels.



The Bishop of Ghent is the ordinary of the Diocese of Ghent.

List of the bishops of the Diocese of Ghent, Belgium

Tenure Incumbent Device Reason for exit
1 1568–1576 Cornelius Jansenius (1510–1576)[1][2][3][4] State Died[5][6][7]
2 1588 Wilhelmus Damasus van der Linden (1525–1588) Quæ sursum quærite Died
3 1590–1609 Pieter Damant (1530–1609) Deum redama Died
4 1610–1612 Charles Maes (1559–1612) Deo duce Died
5 1613–1616 Franciscus van der Burch (1567–1644) Unitas libertatis ars Appointed Archbishop of Cambrai
6 1617–1620 Jacobus Boonen (1573–1655) Vince in bono Appointed Archbishop of Mechelen
7 1622–1657 Antoon Triest (1577–1657) Confidenter Died
8 1660–1665 Carolus van den Bosch (1597-1665) Crucierne crucier Died
9 1666–1673 Eugeen-Albert, count d'Allamont (1609–1673) Patiens esto Died
10 1677–1679 Frans van Horenbeke (1630–1679) Facere et docere Died
11 1679–1680 Ignace Schetz de Grobbendonk (1625–1680) In labore quies Died
12 1681–1694 Albert de Hornes (1640–1694) Lex tua meditatione mea est Died
13 1695–1730 Philips Erard van der Noot (1638–1730) Respice finem Died
14 1730–1741 Jean-Baptiste de Smet (1674–1741) Caelestia cude arma Died
15 1743–1770 Maximilien Antoine van der Noot [fr; nl] (1685–1770) Respice finem Died
16 1772–1778 Govaart-Geeraard van Eersel (1713–1778) Ordinate et provide Died
17 1779–1795 Ferdinand-Marie, prince von Lobkowitz (1726–1795) Ad haerere Deus bonum Died
18 1802–1807 Stefaan-Andreas de Paula Fallot de Beaumont (1750–1835) Appointed Bishop of Piacenza, Italy
19 1807–1821 Maurits-Jan-Magdalena, prince de Broglie (1766–1821) Died
20 1829–1838 Jan Frans Van de Velde (1779–1838) Auxilium a domino Died
21 1838–1864 Louis-Joseph Delebecque (1798–1864) Monstra te esse Matrem Died
22 1865–1888 Henricus Franciscus Bracq (1804–1888) In nomine Domini Died
23 1888–1889 Henri-Charles Lambrecht (1848–1889) Died
24 1890–1916 Antoon Stillemans (1832–1916) Vivat Jezus Died
25 1917–1927 Emilius Seghers (1855–1927) Died
26 1927–1947 Honoré Jozef Coppieters (1874–1947) Fide et Caritate Died
27 1947–1963 Karel Justinus Calewaert (1893–1963) Caritate veritatis Died
28 1963–1991 Léonce-Albert Van Peteghem (1916–2004) In Deo salutari Retired
29 1991–2003 Arthur Luysterman (born 1932) In terra pax Retired
30 2004–2019 Lucas Van Looy (born 1941) In nomine patris Retired
31 2019– Lode Van Hecke[8] (born 1950) Cum gaudio spiritus sancti

Other affiliated bishops[edit]

Coadjutor Bishops[edit]

Auxiliary Bishops[edit]

Other priests of this diocese who became bishops[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Spurgeon (1990). The Treasury of David. Hendrickson Publishers. ISBN 978-1-56563-945-4.
  2. ^ Spurgeon, Charles Haddon (1886). Psalm 53-78. Funk & Wagnalls.
  3. ^ Pereira, José; Fastiggi, Robert L. (2006). The Mystical Theology of the Catholic Reformation: An Overview of Baroque Spirituality. University Press of America. ISBN 978-0-7618-3513-4.
  4. ^ Gerace, Antonio (2019-07-15). Biblical Scholarship in Louvain in the 'Golden' Sixteenth Century. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. ISBN 978-3-647-59378-4.
  5. ^ J, Rev A. J. Maas S.; Press, Aeterna. The Gospel According to Saint Matthew With an Explanatory and Critical Commentary. Aeterna Press.
  6. ^ Americana, Encyclopaedia (1831). Encyclopædia Americana, ed. by F. Lieber assisted by E. Wigglesworth (and T.G. Bradford).
  7. ^ Munsell, Joel (2022-09-05). The Every Day Book of History and Chronology. DigiCat.
  8. ^ "Lode Van Hecke nieuwe bisschop van Gent". De Standaard. 27 November 2019.

External links[edit]