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Indianapolis becomes an Archdiocese

On this day in 1944, in the midst of World War-II. Pope Pius XII created the “Archdiocese” of Indianapolis. It would take another two months to implement it.

An apostolic decree of His Holiness Pope Pius XII, creating the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, was issued October 21, 1944. On December 19, 1944, by executorial decree of the papal delegate, the Most Reverend Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, apostolic delegate to the United States, the papal decree of Pope Pius XII was solemnly proclaimed in SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, elevating Indianapolis to the status of an archdiocese, the state of Indiana becoming the metropolitan area. The dioceses of Evansville and Lafayette-in-Indiana were created by the same decree and, along with the Diocese of Fort Wayne, made suffragan sees of Indianapolis. Upon establishment of the Diocese of Gary on February 25, 1957, it too became a suffragan see.

There is an interesting background to all of this, involving Archbishop Timothy McNicholas of Cincinnati and Bishop Elmer Ritter, but that’s is for another time.


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