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An apostolic vicariate is a form of territorial jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church established in missionary regions and countries where a diocese has not yet been established. It is essentially provisional, though it may last for a century or more. The hope is that the region will generate sufficient numbers of Catholics for the Church to create a diocese. In turn, the status of Apostolic vicariate is often a promotion for a former apostolic prefecture, while either may have started out as a mission sui iuris.

An apostolic vicariate is a form of territorial jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church established in missionary regions and countries where a diocese has not yet been established. It is essentially provisional, though it may last for a century or more. The hope is that the region will generate sufficient numbers of Catholics for the Church to create a diocese. In turn, the status of Apostolic vicariate is often a promotion for a former apostolic prefecture, while either may have started out as a mission sui iuris.