Greek Byzantine Catholic Church
The Greek Byzantine Catholic Church (Greek: Ελληνόρρυθμη Καθολική Εκκλησία) is a sui iuris particular Church in full union with the Roman Catholic Church which 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 Great 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 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 World War I, the Greek Catholics of Malgara and of the neighbouring village of Daudeli moved to Giannitsa in Macedonia, and many of those who lived in Constantinople 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.
- http://www.greekhelsinki.gr/bhr/english/organizations/ghm_mrgg_religious_freedom_2002.rtf Religious Freedom in Greece (September 2002)
- Greek Catholic Exarchate
- Video of a Greek Byzantine Catholic liturgy
- Unofficial website of the Society of St John Chrysostom of the Holy Trinity Greek Catholic Church in Istanbul
- A Greek Catholic church in Cargèse, Corsica
- A Greek Catholic church in Rome
- Article on the Greek Catholic Exarchate by Ronald Roberson on the CNEWA website.