STRASBURG, stras'burg, BISHOPRIC OF: A German diocese
first definitely mentioned in the sixth century, although both ancient
remains and the testimony of Irenæus (Hær., I,
x. 2) prove that Christianity had entered upper Germany during the
Roman period. The old diocese lay on both banks of the Rhine. On the
left bank it practically coincided with the modern Lower Alsace,
except that the southern boundary was somewhat further south, while in
the north the district beyond the Hagenau forest belonged to Speyer
and that beyond the Vosges to Metz. On the right bank the diocese
extended from the mouth of the Elz beyond Baden-Baden, stretching
inland to the Black Forest.
Strasburg eagerly embraced the Reformation and became one of the strongholds of Protestantism, the adherents of the ancient faith being exposed to bitter persecution. Even some of the canons renounced the Roman Catholic faith, and from 1592 to 1604 there was internecine strife as to whether a Protestant or a Roman Catholic should be bishop of the diocese. Protestant supremacy in Strasburg was finally ended by the Peace of Westphalia, and the see then became part of France, although the bishop continued to rank as a prince of the Empire on account of his territories on the right bank of the Rhine. During the French Revolution Roman Catholicism, like every form of religion, suffered heavily, but by the concordat of 1801 the diocese was reorganized, becoming coterminous with Alsace. Hitherto forming part of the archdiocese of Metz, Strasburg was made a suffragan see of Besançon in 1822. Henceforth it remained unchanged until 1870, when Alsace became German territory, and since 1874 the diocese has been under the immediate jurisdiction of the pope.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. D. Schopflin. Alsatia Illustrata, 2 vols., Colmar, 1751; idem. Alsatia . . . diplomatica, 2 vols., Mannheim, 1772-75; P. A. Grandidier, Hist. de l'église et des évêques de Strassbourg, 2 vols., Strasburg, 1776-78; Code historique et diplomatique de la ville de Strassbourg, ib. 1843; Urkunden und Akten der Stadt-Strassurg, 10 vols., ib. 1879 sqq.; H. Müller, Die Restauration des Katholicismus in Strassburg, Halle, 1882; J. Fritz, Das Territorium den Bisthums Strassburg um die Mitte des 14. Jahrhunderts, Köthen, 1885; A. Erichson, L'Église française de Strasbourg au 16. siècle, Paris, 1886; A. Baum, Magistrat und Reformation in Strassburg, Strasburg, 1887; W. Horning, Briefe von Strassburger Reformatoren, 1548-1554, ib. 1887; Kleine Strassburger Chronik, 1424-1615, ib. 1889; A. Seyboth, Strasbourg historique, ib. 1894; Die Bischöfe von Strassburg von 1598 bis 1890, ib. 1897; A. Meister, Der Strassburger Kapitelstreit 1538-92, ib. 1899; W. Kothe, Kirchliche Zustände Straasburgs in 14. Jahrhundert, Freiburg, 1903; F. F. Leitschub, Strassburg, Leipsic, 1903; E. von Borries, Geschichte der Stadt Strassburg, Strasburg, 1905; Regesten der Bischöfe von Strassburg, Innsbruck, 1907 sqq.; Hauck, KD, 4 vols., passim; Gams, Series episcoporum, pp 315-316, supplement 76-77.