Pasto, Diocese of (Pastensis, Pastopolitana), a Colombian see, suffragan of Popayán, from which it was separated by the Bull of Pius IX, "In excelsa militantibus ecclesia", 10 April, 1859. Situated in the State of Cauca, it is bounded on the north by the Dioceses of Garzon and Popayán, and on the south by the Vicariate Apostolic of Napo, Ecuador. The present bishop, Mgr Adolfo Perea, b. 1853 in the Diocese of Popayán, elected 16 December, 1907, succeeded Mgr Ezequiel Moreno, O.S.A. (b. at Alfaro, Tarazona, 9 April, 1838, made titular Bishop of Pinara, 23 October, 1893, transferred to Pasto, 2 December, 1893). The diocese contains 315,640 Catholics, 41,000 pagan Indians, 68 parishes, 90 secular and 23 regular priests, 133 churches or chapels. The town of Pasto, containing about 12,000 inhabitants, is well built and is a busy trade centre between Colombia and Ecuador. It is situated at the eastern base of the volcano La Galera at an altitude of 8650 feet. Founded in 1539, it was captured by Bolivar during the War of Independence in 1822, and suffered severely from an earthquake in 1834. It contains many churches, a seminary, a Jesuit college, and an hospital under the care of the Sisters of Charity. On 23 December, 1904, the Prefecture Apostolic of Caquetá (q. v.) was separated from Pasto.
Groot, Hist. eclesiástica y civil de Nueva Granada (1869); Cieza de León, Crónica del Perú. I (Antwerp, 1554); Petre, The Republic of Columbia (London, 1906).
A. A. MacErlean.