(WYTV) – The Catholic Diocese of Orlando, Florida covers most of central Florida. It was organized as a diocese in 1968. It covers nine counties, hundreds of cities, more than 400,000 Catholics — and the moon.
Yes, the moon has its own Catholic bishop, who is currently John Noonan.
The Catholic Church says the moon is a part of Florida — sort of.
An obscure church law — the 1917 Code of Canon Law — says when an expedition sets out to discover new territory, that new land then becomes part of the diocese that was home to the expedition.
The Diocese of Orlando covers Cape Canaveral and in 1969, an expedition called Apollo 11 set out from there and discovered new territory — the moon.
The bishop of Orlando at the time, Donald Borders, became bishop of the moon.
Bishop Borders later visited Pope Paul VI in Rome and casually mentioned, “You know, Holy Father, I am the bishop of the moon.”
The Pope said, “I’m sorry….what? You’re who?”
If taken seriously, the Diocese of Orlando is the largest Catholic diocese in the world and out of this world at 14.5 million square miles, moon included.