The Diocese of Funchal was created on June 12th, 1514, by Papal Bull Pro excellenti præeminentia of Pope Leo X, after Funchal was granted city status by Manuel I, King of Portugal, in 1508.
The recently created diocese was placed under the auspices of the archdiocese of Lisbon.
Nineteen years later, on the 31st of January 1533, it was raised to the dignified status of archdiocese, making it for the following twenty two years the largest metropolitan archdiocese in the world, having jurisdiction over the dioceses of the Portuguese Colonial Empire in the Azores, Brazil, Africa and the Far East.
After the reorganisation experienced by the New World in 1551, the archdiocese of Funchal returned to the simple diocese status after the dismembering of the dioceses of Goa, Angra, Cape Verde, São Tomé and São Salvador da Bahia.
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