Greek Byzantine Catholic Church
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|Greek Byzantine Catholic Church|
|Orientation||Eastern Catholic, Byzantine Rite|
|Leader||Bishop Manuel Nin
Apostolic Exarch of Greece
|Associations||Congregation for the Oriental Churches|
|Origin||June 11, 1911|
|Separated from||Greek Orthodox|
|Branched from||Catholic Church|
|Official website||Greek Catholic Exarchate|
|Part of a series on|
of the Catholic Church
|Listed by liturgical rite:|
|Byzantine or Constantinopolitan|
|Antiochian or West Syrian|
|Chaldean or East Syrian|
The Greek Byzantine Catholic Church (Greek: Ελληνόρρυθμη Καθολική Εκκλησία, Ellinórrythmi Katholikí Ekklisía) is a sui iuris Eastern Catholic particular church of the Catholic Church which uses the Byzantine liturgical rite in the Koine Greek and modern Greek languages. Its membership includes inhabitants of Greece and Turkey, as well as the Griko people of southern Italy.
After the failure of the attempts by the Council of Lyon in 1274 and by the Council of Florence in 1439 to repair the breach of the East-West Schism between Greek and Latin Christians, many individual Greeks, then under Ottoman rule, embraced communion with Rome, it was not until the 1880s that a sui juris church specifically for Greek Catholics who followed the Byzantine Rite was built in the village of Malgara in Thrace. Before the end of the nineteenth century two more such churches were built, one in Constantinople, the other in Chalcedon.
In 1826, the Catholic priest John Marangos began a mission among the Orthodox Christians of Constantinople, where he managed the construction of a small community. In 1878 he then moved on to Athens, where he died in 1885. Even there he had founded a church. In addition, he had won two small villages in Thrace for the Catholic faith.
After 1895, the Assumptionists began their mission in Constantinople, a seminary and two other small towns, founded in 1910; there were about 1,000 worshipers with 12 priests, 10 of which were Assumptionists.
In 1907, a native Greek priest, Isaias Papadopoulos, the priest who had built the church in Thrace, was appointed vicar general for the Greek Catholics within the Apostolic Delegation of Constantinople, and in 1911 he received episcopal consecration and was put in charge of the newly established ordinariate for Greek Byzantine Rite Catholics, which later became an exarchate. Thus was founded the particular Church of Byzantine Rite Greek Catholics. Much more numerous were the Greek Catholics of Latin Rite, who formed the majority of the population in some Aegean islands.
As a result of the conflict between Greece and Turkey after the First World War, the Greek Catholics of Malgara and of the neighbouring village of Daudeli moved to Yannitsa in Macedonia, and many of those who lived in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) emigrated or fled to Athens, among them the bishop who had succeeded to the position of Exarch and the religious institute of the Sisters of the Pammakaristos, founded in 1920.
In 1932, the territory of the Exarchate for Byzantine-Rite Greek Catholics was limited to that of the Greek state, and a separate Exarchate of Constantinople was established for those resident in Turkey. Due to continued emigration and anti-Greek nationalist incidents by Turks, among them the Istanbul Pogrom, the Greek Catholics of the latter exarchate have become reduced to extremely few. The last resident Greek-Catholic priest in Constantinople died in 1997 and has not since been replaced, and the only regular services in the Greek-Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity there are held by exiled Chaldean Catholics living in the city.
Byzantine Rite Catholic Greeks in Greece number approximately 5,000. Although not under the Jurisdiction of the Greek Byzantine Catholic Church there is a greek-catholic community in Cargèse of expatriated Greeks.
- George Calavassy, from 1932 to 1957
- Hyakinthos Gad, from 1957 to 1975
- Anargyros Printezis, from 1975 to 2008
- Dimitri (Dimitrios) Salachas, from 2008 to 2016
- Manuel Nin, from 2016
Related Institutions outside of Greece:
- Italo-Albanian Catholic Church (the Byzantine Catholic church of the Arbëreshë/Albanian minority in Italy)