Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy

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The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy (and Malta from 2005[citation needed] until the creation of the Exarchate of Malta in 2021),[1] officially the Sacred Orthodox Archdiocese of Italy and Exarchate of Southern Europe (Italian: Sacra Arcidiocesi Ortodossa d'Italia ed Esarcato per l'Europa Meridionale), is a diocese of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople with its see in Venice.[2] The diocese was created in 1991. The current archbishop and exarch is Polykarpos Stavropoulos.[3]


Cathedral church of Saint George of the Greeks in Venice
Archbishop Polykarpos Stavropoulos

The Italo-Byzantine Monastery of St Mary of Grottaferrata, 20 kilometers south of Rome, was founded by Saint Nilus the Younger in 1004.[4]

After the fall of Constantinople, many Greeks sought refuge in Italy and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople appointed a series of Metropolitans, who resided in Venice from 1537 to 1797. But it was not until 1539 that the Greek community of Venice was authorised to begin building the church of San Giorgio dei Greci which still stands in the centre of the city on the canal known as the Rio dei Greci [it].[5] The church was completed in 1573 and is the oldest of the churches of the Greek diaspora in western Europe.[6]

In 1557, Venice's Greek community had nominated Pachomios, bishop of Zante and Cephalonia, to act in their church as bishop, which he apparently did for one year only.[7] In 1577 a Greek Orthodox archbishop resided in Venice who was recognized him as the religious head of the Greek Orthodox community in Venice, though with the non-Venetian title of Archbishop of Philadelphia.[8]

Archbishops of Italy[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New Exarchate of Ecumenical Patriarchate in Malta | Orthodox Times (En)".
  2. ^ "Sacra Arcidiocesi Ortodossa d'Italia e Malta". www.ortodossia.it. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  3. ^ "Exclusive: This is the new Metropolitan of Italy | Orthodox Times (En)".
  4. ^ "History and Origins of the Exarchic Greek Abbey of St. Mary of Grottaferrata - Basilian Monks". www.abbaziagreca.it. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  5. ^ "Venice Art & Culture: San Giorgio dei Greci". www.facarospauls.com. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  6. ^ Nicol, Donald M. (1988). Byzantium and Venice: A Study in Diplomatic and Cultural Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-34157-4.
  7. ^ A Companion to Venetian History, 1400-1797 (first ed.). Eric R. Dursteler. July 11, 2013. p. 992. ISBN 978-90-04-25251-6. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  8. ^ Nili, Cohen; Heldrich, Andreas (October 10, 2002). The Three Religions: Interdisciplinary Conference of Tel Aviv University and Munich University. Venice. p. 200. ISBN 9783896759764. Retrieved April 24, 2018.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)


External links[edit]