Roman Catholicism in Greece

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The Catholic Church in Greece is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome.

Indigenous Catholic Greeks number about 50,000[1] and are a religious and not an ethnic minority. One very old but still common term used to refer to them is Φράγκοι, or "Franks", referring to the religion of Franks and other Western Europeans during the Middle Ages, as opposed to practitioners of the Orthodox faith, who were somewhat confusingly called Ρωμαιοι, or "Romans" (as they belonged to the Greek-cultured Eastern Roman Empire). Since the early 1990s however, the number of Catholic permanent residents of Greece, has continuously increased making the total number of Catholics in Greece more than 200,000.[1] These Catholics are immigrants from Eastern Europe, especially Poland, or from the Philippines. Many of the Germans and French that settled in the Greek Islands also follow the Roman Catholic faith.

In addition to the Catholics of the Latin Rite who represent the majority of the faithful, there are about 5,000 of the Greek Rite,[1] and a few hundred Armenian Catholics.

The majority of Catholics are resident in Athens, a city of about four million people, however Catholics can be found all over Greece. Most indigenous Catholics live in the Cyclades, where Syros and Tinos have some entirely Catholic villages and parishes. There are also Catholics in Corfu, Patras, Thessaloniki, Giannitsa, Kavala, Volos, and more distant islands like Rhodes, Kos, Crete, Naxos, Santorini, Samos, Chios, Cefalonia, Zante, etc.

Bishops' Conference[edit]

The Bishops' Conference of Greece (Hiera Synodos Katholikis Hierarkhias Hellados) has six members:

  • The Archbishop of Corfu and Apostolic Administrator of Thessaloniki
  • The Archbishop of Naxos and Tinos and Apostolic Administrator of Chios
  • The Archbishop of Athens and Apostolic Administrator of Rhodes
  • The Bishop of Syros and Santorini and Apostolic Administrator of Crete
  • The Exarch of the Greek Catholics of Byzantine Rite (based in Athens)
  • The Ordinary of the Armenian Catholics (based in Athens)

Papal representatives to Greece[edit]

Type Name Dates
Apostolic Nuncio Edward Joseph Adams 22 Feb 2011 -
Apostolic Nuncio Luigi Gatti 16 Jul 2009 - 22 Feb 2011
Apostolic Nuncio Patrick Coveney 25 January 2005 - 16 July 2009
Apostolic Nuncio Paul Fouad Tabet 2 January 1996 - 25 January 2005
Apostolic Pro-Nuncio Luciano Storero 28 June 1990 - 15 November 1995
Apostolic Pro-Nuncio Giovanni Mariani 25 April 1980 - 5 May 1990
Apostolic Delegate Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli 12 January 1935 - 23 December 1944
Apostolic Delegate Carlo Margotti 12 February 1931 - 25 July 1934
Apostolic Delegate Louis Petit 4 March 1912 - 24 June 1926
Apostolic Delegate Antonio Delenda 25 August 1900 - ? August 1911
Apostolic Delegate Giovanni Marango 9 June 1874 - ? 1900


Notable Greek Roman Catholics[edit]

Popes from Greece[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "Religious Freedom in Greece (September2002)" (RTF). Greek Helsinki Monitor Minority Rights Group - Greece. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 

External links[edit]