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Archdiocese of Popayán

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(POPAYANENSIS)

Popayán lies approximately between 1º 20' and 3º 2' north latitude, and 78º 4' and 80º 3' east longitude. Since the Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Consistory (7 July, 1910), the boundaries of the archdiocese are, on the north, the Diocese of Cali, along the Rivers Sonso and Rio Claro; on the west, the same diocese, along the mountain chain of the Cordillera Occidental; on the south, the Diocese of Pasto, along the Rivers Patía and Juanambú, and on the east, the Diocese of Garzón, along the Cordillera Central. The archdiocese comprises the entire Department of del Cauca, and portions of the Departments of Nariño and El Valle. The diocese was established by Paul III 1 Sept., 1546; the see, however, was not erected until 8 Sept., 1547, when the first bishop named to the see, Don Juan del Valle, performed the ceremony by Apostolic delegation at Aranda del Duero, in the Diocese of Osma, Spain. The diocese became a suffragan of Lima, and so remained until 1573, in which year Bogota became a metropolitan see and received Popayán among its suffragans. The Sacred Congregation of the Consistory, however, by its Decree of 20 June, 1900, made Popayán an archdiocese, with Pasto, Garzón, and Cali for suffragans, its first archbishop being Don Manuel José de Cayzedo. Among the Bishops of Popayán, special mention should be made of Agustin de la Coruña (1509-89), an Augustinian, who was a student under St. Thomas of Villanova. He suffered vexations, and even banishment, for his activity in defence of the Indians. Bishop Carlos Bermúdez (1827-86) restored the seminary, and suffered banishment through his firm defence of the rights and privileges of the Church. The Bishop Juan Buenaventura Ortiz (1840-94) wrote a history of the Diocese of Popayán (Historia de la Diócesis) and a treatise on religion for colleges (Religión para los Colegios).

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