A New Bishop for Ibiza, Spain

Announced Today by Vatican Press Office

Bishop Ibiza Spain
Vicente Ribas © Diocese of Ibiza

The Holy Father has appointed as bishop of the Diocese of Ibiza, Spain, the Reverend Vicente Ribas Prats, until now diocesan administrator of the same see.

Curriculum vitae

Msgr. Vicente Ribas Prats was born in Ibiza on May 12, 1968. On October 12, he was ordained a priest.

He has held the following offices: parish vicar of Santa Cruz in Ibiza (1996-2000); chaplain of the Colegio Sa Real and delegate for vocational pastoral care (2001-2020); parish priest of Santa Gertrudis and San Mateo, and parish administrator of San Miguel (2000-2006), and parish priest of the latter, member of the College of Consultors, archpriest of Santa Eulália Mártir (2006-2020), subsequently parish priest of the latter and again of San Mateo (2008-2020); canon of the Cathedral Chapter (from 2009); vicar general (2010-2020) and, from February 4, 2020, to date, diocesan.

Christianity reached the islands of Ibiza and Formentera in the first centuries of the Christian era. The cave of Santa Inés, in San Antonio de Portmany, the brief news of bishops Opilió and Vicent (5th and 6th centuries, respectively), and some archaeological remains confirm this.

Between the 8th-13th centuries, the islands were under Muslim domination. On August 8, 1235, they were conquered by the sacristan of the Cathedral of Gerona and Archbishop-elect of Tarragona, Guillem de Montgrí, associated with Nunó Sanç, Count of Rosselló, and the Infante Pere of Portugal. Christianity was restored and the only parish in Ibiza and Formentera, Santa María (1235-1782), dependent on the diocese of Tarragona, was erected.

On April 30, 1782, Pope Pius VI signed the bull by which the Diocese of Ibiza was instituted, for the islands of Ibiza and Formentera, based in the new city of Ibiza, a title that the old town had just received. The new Diocese was considered subject to the Archbishopric of Tarragona. In 1783, Manuel Abad y Lasierra, a Benedictine monk, was elected the first Bishop. He had to carry out everything that the bull of Pius VI manifested.
In 1851, a concordat signed between the Holy See and the Spanish Government decided, for economic reasons, that some Spanish dioceses should be suppressed, including that of Ibiza, which had to be added to that of Mallorca. As the Diocese of Mallorca belonged to the archbishopric of Valencia, the suppressed Diocese of Ibiza would thus become part of the aforementioned archbishopric. In 1852 the agreed suppression was carried out, but the total addition to Mallorca was never carried out, probably due to the opposite position maintained by its bishops.

First, Ibiza was ruled by ecclesiastical governors appointed by the Archbishop of Tarragona (1852-1855), and later by capitular vicars elected by the chapter of what was officially the collegiate church of Santa María, although it continued to be called the Cathedral (1855-1927).

In 1927 the constant requests of the Ibicencos and Formentereses, aided by the position of the Bishops of Mallorca and the Ibizan bishop of Sion, patriarch of the Indies and chaplain of the Queen, obtained that the suppressed diocese obtained the title of apostolic administration.

In 1928 the first apostolic administrator bishop arrived, Salvi Huix Miralpeix, who had to ordain the new apostolic administration. The first and only diocesan Synod of Ibiza and Formentera (1929) was held.

In 1949, thanks to the efforts of Bishop Antonio Cardona, second apostolic administrator bishop, the restoration of the diocese plenary jure was undertaken, by the hands of the Holy Father Pius XII, becoming the seventh titular bishop. Thus, the diocese of Ibiza was assigned to the archbishopric of Valencia.