Roman Catholic Diocese of Tonga
Diocese of Tonga
|Territory||Tonga and Niue|
|Ecclesiastical province||Immediately exempt to the Holy See|
|Area||947 km2 (366 sq mi)|
- Catholics (including non-members)
|(as of 2011)|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||12 June 1966|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Tonga (Tongan: Malia Tupu Imakulata)|
|Patron saint||The Immaculate Conception|
|Bishop||Soane Patita Paini Mafi, Bishop of Tonga, Cardinal-Priest of Santa Paola Romana|
|Bishops emeritus||Soane Lilo Foliaki, S.M.|
The Diocese of Tonga (Latin: Dioecesis Tongana) is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in Tonga. It was erected as part of the Vicariate Apostolic of Central Oceania in 1842, had subsequent name changes in 1937 and 1957 before being elevated to the Diocese of Tonga on June 21, 1966. Its cathedra is found in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Tongan: Malia Tupu 'Imākulata) in the capital Nuku'alofa. It is immediately exempt to the Holy See and not part of an ecclesiastical province.
Along with the rest of the country, in the early Twenty-First Century the tiny Catholic community of some 15,000 has been considered threatened with the loss of its home due to climate change.
- Pierre Bataillon, S. M. (1842–1863)
- Aloys Elloy, S. M. (1872–1878)
- Jean-Amand Lamaze, S. M. (1879–1906)
- Armand Olier, S. M. (1906–1911)
- Joseph-Félix Blanc, S. M. (1912–1952)
- John Hubert Macey Rodgers, S.M. (1953–1972), appointed Titular Bishop of Caput Cilla
- Patelisio Punou-Ki-Hihifo Finau, S. M. (1972–1993)
- Soane Lilo Foliaki, S. M. (1994–2008)
- Soane Patita Paini Mafi (2008– ), elevated to Cardinal in 2015
- Guillaume Douarre , S.M. (1842-1847), as Coadjutor vicar apostolic; did not succeed to see; appointed Vicar Apostolic of Melanesia (in fact Nouvelle-Calédonie, New Caledonia), Pacific (Oceania)
- Aloys Elloy, S.M. (1863-1877), as Coadjutor vicar apostolic
- Armand Olier, S.M. (1903-1906), as Coadjutor vicar apostolic
- Patelisio Punou-Ki-Hihifo Finau, S.M. (1971-1972)
- Soane Patita Paini Mafi (2007-2008); future Cardinal
Coat of arms
The coat of arms was designed by Marek Sobola, a heraldic artist from Žilina (Slovakia), who also made the diocesan seal and flag. These are based on the Tonga flag and a Fleur-de-lis, symbol of the Immaculate Conception in Christian iconography. The coat of arms was adopted officially on September 21, 2017.
- Cheney, David M. "Tonga (Diocese) [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
- "Annuncio di Concistoro per la creazione di nuovi Cardinali" (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 4 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- Matangi, Tonga online (2015-02-16). "Tongans celebrate first Cardinal". Matangi Tonga. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
- "Pope appoints 20 new cardinals". BBC News. 2015-02-14. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
- Sobola, Marek. "Erb Tongskej diecézy – Coat of arms of Diocese of Tonga". sobola.sk (in Slovak). Retrieved 2018-02-04.
"Diocese of Tonga". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 2015-08-01.