Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulle

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Diocese of Tulle

Dioecesis Tutelensis

Diocèse de Tullus
Cathédrale N-D de Tulle 01.jpg
Country France
Ecclesiastical province Poitiers
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Poitiers
Area 5,896 km2 (2,276 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
219,000 (90.6%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 11 July 1317
Cathedral Cathedral of Notre Dame and St Martin
Patron saint Saint Martin of Tours
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Sede vacante
Metropolitan Archbishop Pascal Wintzer
Emeritus Bishops Bernard Louis Marie Charrier Bishop Emeritus (2001-2013)
Website of the Diocese

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulle comprises the whole département of Corrèze. Originally established in 1317, the diocese was suppressed by the Concordat of 1802, which joined it to the see of Limoges. In 1817, the diocese was theoretically re-established by the Concordat of 1817, and re-erected de facto by papal Bulls dated 6 and 31 October 1822. It is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Poitiers.


According to legends which arose in later years around the St. Martial cycle, that saint, who had been sent by St. Peter to preach, is said to have restored to life at Tulle the son of the Roman governor, Nerva, and to have covered the neighbouring country with churches.

Some legends name St. Martin of Tours as founder of the Abbey of Tulle, others St. Calmin, Count of Auvergne (seventh century). Robbed of its possessions by a powerful family, it recovered them in 930 through the efforts of a member of the same family, Viscount Adhemar, who left a reputation for sanctity. St. Odo, Abbot of Cluny, reformed it in the tenth century.

Pope John XXII by a Bull dated 13 August 1317, raised it to episcopal rank; but the chapter remained subject to monastic rule and was not secularized until 1514. Among the bishops of Tulle were Hugues Roger, known as Cardinal de Tulle (1342–43), who was never consecrated, and lived with his brother Clement VI; Jean Fabri (1370–71), who became cardinal in 1371; Jules Mascaron, the preacher (1671–79), who was afterwards Bishop of Agen; Léonard Berteaud, preacher and theologian (1842–78).

St. Rodolphe of Turenne, Archbishop of Bourges (died in 866) founded, about 855, the Abbey of Beaulieu in the Diocese of Tulle. The Charterhouse of Glandier dates from 1219; the Benedictine Abbey of Uzerche was founded between 958 and 991; Meymac Priory, which became an abbey in 1146, was founded by Archambaud III, Viscount of Conborn.

Pope Urban II on his way to Limoges from Clermont (1095) passed near Tulle. St. Anthony of Padua dwelt for a time at Brive, towards the end of October, 1226; and the pilgrimage to the Grotto of Brive is the only existing one in France in honour of that saint.

Pierre Roger, who became pope under the name of Clement VI, was a native of Maumont (now part of the commune of Rosiers-d'Égletons) in the diocese. In 1352 the tiara was disputed between Jean Birel, general of the Carthusians, who had been prior of Glandier, and Etienne Aubert, who became pope under the name Innocent VI, and was a native of the hamlet of Les Monts (now part of the commune of Beyssac) in the Diocese of Tulle. In 1362 Hugues Roger, Cardinal of Tulle, brother of Clement VI, refused the papacy; in 1370 Pierre Roger de Beaufort, his nephew, became pope under the name of Gregory XI.

At Tulle and in Bas (Lower) Limousin, every year, on the vigil of St. John the Baptist, a feast is kept which is known as le tour de la lunade (the change of the moon); it is a curious example of the manner in which the Church was able to sanctify and Christianize many pagan customs. Legend places the institution of this feast in 1346 or 1348, about the time of the Black Death. It would seem to have been the result of a vow made in honour of St. John the Baptist. M. Maximin Deloche has shown however that the worship of the sun existed in Gaul down to the seventh century, according to the testimony of St. Eligius, and that the feast of St. John's Nativity, 24 June, was substituted for the pagan festival of the summer solstice, so that the tour de la lunade was an old pagan custom, sanctified by the Church, which changed it to an act of homage to St. John the Baptist.

Saints and pilgrimages

Among the saints specially honoured in, or connected with the diocese, besides those already mentioned, are: St. Fereola, martyr (date uncertain); St. Martin of Brive, disciple of St. Martin of Tours, and martyr (fifth century); St. Duminus, hermit (early sixth century); at Argentat, St. Sacerdos, who was Bishop of Limoges when he retired into solitude (sixth century); St. Vincentianus (St. Viance), hermit (seventh century); St. Liberalis, Bishop of Embrun, died in 940 at Brive, his native place; St. Reynier, provost of Beaulieu, died at the beginning of the tenth century; St. Stephen of Obazine, b. about 1085, founder of the monastery for men at Obazine, and of that for women at Coyroux; St. Berthold of Malefayde, first general of the Carmelites, and whose brother Aymeric was Catholic Patriarch of Antioch (twelfth century). The missionary Dumoulin Borie (1808–38), who was martyred in Tonquin, was born in the diocese.

The chief pilgrimages of the diocese are: Notre-Dame-de-Belpeuch, at Camps, dating from the ninth or tenth century; Notre-Dame-de-Chastre at Bar, dating from the seventeenth century; Notre-Dame-du-Pont-du-Salut, which goes back to the seventeenth century; Notre-Dame-du-Roc at Servières, dating from 1691; Notre-Dame-d'Eygurande, dating from 1720; Notre-Dame-de-La-Buissière-Lestard, which was a place of pilgrimage before the seventeenth century; Notre-Dame-de-La-Chabanne at Ussel, dates from 1140; Notre-Dame-de-Pennacorn at Neuvic, dating from the end of the fifteenth century.


  • Jules Mascaron † ( 1671 Appointed - 1679 Appointed, Bishop of Agen)
  • André-Daniel de Beaupoil de Saint-Aulaire † ( 1702 Appointed - 1720 Died)
  • Louis-Jacques Chapt de Rastignac † (29 Dec 1720 Appointed - 26 Oct 1723 Appointed, Archbishop of Tours)
  • Charles du Plessis d'Argentré † (26 Oct 1723 Appointed - 27 Oct 1740 Died)
  • Claude-Joseph-Judith-François-Xavier de Sagey † (13 Jan 1823 Appointed - 1824 Resigned)
  • Augustin de Mailhet de Vachères † (13 Oct 1824 Appointed - 16 May 1842 Died)
  • Jean-Baptiste-Pierre-Léonard Berteaud † (15 Jun 1842 Appointed - 3 Sep 1878 Retired)
  • Henri-Charles-Dominique Denéchau † (15 Oct 1878 Appointed - 18 Apr 1908 Died)
  • Albert Nègre † (14 Jul 1908 Appointed - 5 Aug 1913 Appointed, Archbishop of Tours)
  • Joseph-Marie-François-Xavier Métreau † (6 Aug 1913 Appointed - 24 Apr 1918 Died)
  • Jean Castel † (3 Aug 1918 Appointed - 8 Oct 1939 Died)
  • Aimable Chassaigne † (6 Feb 1940 Appointed - 23 Jan 1962 Retired)
  • Marcel-François Lefebvre, C.S.Sp., Archbishop (personal title) † (23 Jan 1962 Appointed - 11 Aug 1962 Resigned)
  • Henri Clément Victor Donze † (15 Nov 1962 Appointed - 12 Feb 1970 Appointed, Bishop of Tarbes et Lourdes)
  • Jean-Baptiste Brunon, P.S.S. † (4 Apr 1970 Appointed - 28 Apr 1984 Resigned)
  • Roger Marie Albert Froment † (20 Jun 1985 Appointed - 22 Oct 1996 Resigned)
  • Patrick Le Gal (12 Sep 1997 Appointed - 23 May 2000 Appointed, Bishop of France, Military)
  • Bernard Louis Marie Charrier (22 Jan 2001 Appointed - 12 Dec 2013 Retired )
  • Francis Bestion (December 2013 Appointed)

See also


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. Missing or empty |title= (help)CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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