Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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A diocese or territory over which a bishop rules. New sees are created and others divided, relocated, or suppressed by the Holy See. In early Christian times every large city was an episcopal see. Thus by the end of the first century there were one hundred dioceses around the Mediterranean world, centered in the hundred principal cities of the Roman Empire. Nowadays many sees are located in smaller towns and frequently changed to meet the needs of a changing Catholic population.