Chronology of Catholic Dioceses:Notes on Easter Island (Isla de Pascua, Rapanui) 1864-2002

Easter Island was, from the time the church organized its activities in the Pacific, part of the Apostolic Prefecture of the South Sea Islands (1830), and then the new Apostolic Vicariate of Eastern Oceania (1833) which was later (1848) renamed Tahiti Islands. The Catholic mission to Easter Island, French missionaries of the Picups Congregation (SS.CC.) working out of Tahiti, started in 1864 but was abandoned by 1877

In 1888 Chile laid claim to Easter Island. The island formally remained part of the Apostolic Vicariate of the Tahiti Islands until 1911, when it was transferred to the Archdiocese of Chile. It seems that the (non-territorial) Military Ordinariate of Chile was in charge of the little pastoral care there was: There is no mention of any priests except the visitation of Bishop Rafael Edwards (Salas) who visited in 1916. Then, on 24 October 1934 Easter Island was transferred from Santiago and assigned to the Apostolic Vicariate of Araucania under the care of the Capuchin Fathers. On 5 January 2002, Isla de Pascua was transferred from Araucania to the Archdiocese of Valparaíso.

Thus, today's Archdiocese of Valparaíso has the distinction of comprising of jurisdictions which can trace their lineage in opposite directions around the would, all due to the consequences of the Tortillas line of 1494. The Isla de Pascua part of the Archdiocese is to be traced back across the Pacific and Indian Ocean and around Africa to Portugal, through the jurisdictions of Tahiti, South Seas Islands, Bourbon (Réunion), Malacca, and Goa, to Funchal on the island of Madeira in Portugal. The main, continental, part of the Archdiocese of Valparaíso can be traced back across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain, through Santiago de Chile, La Plata and Cuzco to Seville in Spain.

- CT (based on information from Gerald Lovell)

av Webmaster publisert 08.09.2004, sist endret 08.09.2004 - 12:11