Greek Byzantine Catholic Church

Greek Byzantine Catholic Church

The Greek Byzantine Catholic Church is a "sui iuris" particular Church within the Catholic Church and uses the Byzantine liturgical rite in the Koine Greek and modern Greek languages. Its membership includes inhabitants of Greece and Turkey.


Although, 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 Catholicism, 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 Kadiköy, Turkey.

Much more numerous were the Greek Catholics of Latin Rite, who formed the majority of the population in some Aegean islands.

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 was given episcopal consecration and put in charge of the newly established ordinariate for Greek Catholics, which later became an exarchate. Thus was founded the particular Church of Byzantine Rite Greek Catholics.

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 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, 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 Chaldean Catholics.

Vocations to the Greek Byzantine Catholic Church are largely drawn from the Greek islands of Syros and Tinos, which both have sizable Catholic populations.

Bishop Dimitrios Salachas (titular bishop of Carcabia) is current Apostolic Exarch of the Byzantine Rite Catholics in Greece.

Byzantine Rite Catholic Greeks in Greece number approximately 5,000.cite web |url= |title=Religious Freedom in Greece (September2002) |accessdate=2007-09-15 |format=RTF |work=Greek Helsinki Monitor Minority Rights Group - Greece]

See also

*Byzantine Discalced Carmelites
*Church of Greece
*Eastern Catholic Churches
*Italo-Greek Catholic Church (the Byzantine Catholic church of the Greek minority in Italy)
*Roman Catholicism in Greece


* "Oriente Cattolico" (Vatican City: The Sacred Congregation for the Eastern Churches, 1974)
* "Annuario Pontificio".



External links

* [ Greek Catholic Exarchate]
* [ Video of a Greek Byzantine Catholic liturgy]
* [ Unofficial website of the Society of St John Chrisostom of the Holy Trinity Greek Catholic Church in Istanbul]
* [ A Greek Catholic church in Cargèse, Corsica]
* [ A Greek Catholic church in Rome]

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