The Catholic Diocese of Stockholm was established in 1953. At that time the state of Sweden had just introduced the Freedom of Religion Act (1951) which provided for the individual to choose to belong to any Church or not. The number of Catholics in the country had increased as a result of the flow of refugees since World War II and it was considered in Rome that the time hade come to give the Catholic Church in Sweden the status of its own diocese. But it would take until 1998 until the diocese got a Swedish bishop, Anders Arborelius.
Despite the name, the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm includes the whole country of Sweden subsisting in 44 parishes scattered from Ystad in the south up to Luleå in the north. Mass is celebrated even in much more places than that, in own chapels and in buildings borrowed for the purpose.
The Catholic Church in Sweden has approximately 103 804 registered members, but the total number of faithful Catholics is much higher. We estimate the number to be about 150 000 people from a wide range of ethnical backgrounds and speaking several languages and dialects.
The Catholic Church also includes other rites other than the Roman or Latin one. Several Catholic churches from the Orient exist within the country.
The Catholic Church's modern history began in Sweden in 1783, when the Apostolic Substitute was established with a bishop or a priest in charge of pastoral care of Catholics who then lived in Sweden.
The history of the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm
In 2003 the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm celebrated its 50th anniversary. In the commemorative book, The Catholic Diocese of Stockholm 50 Years, professor Magnus Nyman wrote a initiated and personally, a historical exposé of the Catholic's situation in Sweden from S:t Ansgar up to our time.