Albanian Greek Catholic Church

Last updated
Albanian Greek Catholic Church
Vlora katholische Kirche.jpg
Classification Eastern Catholic
Polity Episcopal
Governance Apostolic administration
Pope Francis
Apostolic Administrator Giovanni Peragine
Associations Congregation for the Oriental Churches
RegionSouthern Albania
Liturgy Byzantine Rite
Headquarters Fier
Congregations9
Members3,845[ citation needed ]
Ministers 12
Other name(s) Apostolic Administration of Southern Albania
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History of Albania

The Albanian Greek Catholic Church is an autonomous ( sui iuris in Latin) Byzantine Rite particular church in communion with Rome, whose members live in Albania and which comprises the Apostolic Administration of Southern Albania. It is not to be confused with the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church.

Sui iuris, also spelled as sui juris, is a Latin phrase that literally means "of one's own right". It is used in both civil law and canon law by the Catholic Church. The term church sui iuris is used in the Catholic Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (CCEO) to denote the autonomous churches in Catholic communion:

A church sui iuris is "a community of the Christian faithful, which is joined together by a hierarchy according to the norm of law and which is expressly or tacitly recognized as sui iuris by the supreme authority of the Church" (CCEO.27). The term sui iuris is an innovation of the CCEO, and it denotes the relative autonomy of the oriental Catholic Churches. This canonical term, pregnant with many juridical nuances, indicates the God-given mission of the Oriental Catholic Churches to keep up their patrimonial autonomous nature. And the autonomy of these churches is relative in the sense that it is under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff.

Byzantine Rite Whole of the worship life of the Eastern Catholic Churches

The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek/Byzantine Catholic churches, and in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite.

Albania country in Southeast Europe

Albania, officially the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and a maritime border with Greece and Italy to the west.

Contents

History

Catholic church in Vlora. Vlora katholische Kirche.jpg
Catholic church in Vlora.

The conversion to Christianity of Albania took place under Latin influence in the north, under Greek in the south, and Christianity was the first and the oldest monotheistic religion of Albanian people. After the fifteenth-century Ottoman conquest, some two thirds of the population accepted Islam. In 1967, Communist-ruled Albania was officially declared an atheist state.

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.

Islam is an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Allah), and that Muhammad is a messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided mankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, claimed to be the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples of Muhammad.

Peoples Socialist Republic of Albania 1944-1991 republic in Southeastern Europe, predecessor of modern Albania

Albania, officially as the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, was ruled by a Marxist-Leninist government from 1946 to 1992. From 1944 to 1946, it was known as the Democratic Government of Albania and from 1946 to 1976 as the People's Republic of Albania.

Though the Greek liturgical rite was used in many of its churches, Albania was part of the patriarchate of Rome until 731, when Byzantine Emperor Leo III, in reprisal for the opposition of Pope Gregory III to the emperor's iconoclast policy, attached the whole of Eastern Illyricum to the patriarchate of Constantinople.

Leo III the Isaurian emperor of Byzantine Empire

Leo III the Isaurian, also known as the Syrian, was Byzantine Emperor from 717 until his death in 741 who founded the Isaurian dynasty. He put an end to the Twenty Years' Anarchy, a period of great instability in the Byzantine Empire between 695 and 717, marked by the rapid succession of several emperors to the throne. He also successfully defended the Empire against the invading Umayyads and forbade the veneration of icons.

Pope Gregory III 90th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church

Pope Gregory III was Bishop of Rome from 11 February 731 to his death in 741. His pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was disturbed by Byzantine iconoclasm and the advance of the Lombards, in which he invoked the intervention of Charles Martel, although ultimately in vain. He was the fifth Syrian pope and the last pope born outside of Europe for 1,272 years, until the election of Pope Francis in 2013.

Byzantine Iconoclasm two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire when the use of religious images or icons was opposed by religious and imperial authorities

Byzantine Iconoclasm refers to two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire when the use of religious images or icons was opposed by religious and imperial authorities within the Orthodox Church and the temporal imperial hierarchy. The "First Iconoclasm", as it is sometimes called, existed between about 726 and 787. The "Second Iconoclasm" was between 814 and 842. According to the traditional view, Byzantine Iconoclasm was started by a ban on religious images by Emperor Leo III and continued under his successors. It was accompanied by widespread destruction of images and persecution of supporters of the veneration of images. The pope remained firmly in support of the use of images throughout the period, and the whole episode widened the growing divergence between the Byzantine and Carolingian traditions in what was still a unified church, as well as facilitating the reduction or removal of Byzantine political control over parts of Italy.

Catholics of the Roman Rite were long established in the north of the country. A Catholic mission worked in the south between 1660, when the Orthodox archbishop joined the Catholic Church, to 1765 when the effort was abandoned because of obstacles placed by the Ottoman rulers. In 1895 a group of villages in Mali Shpati, southeast of Elbasan in central Albania, decided to become Catholic and demanded a bishop of their own rite, a proposal to which the consular representatives of Russia and Montenegro raised objections with the civil authorities. At about the same time, another group of Greek-Catholics arose, centred on an archimandrite, George Germanos, who was a nephew of the Orthodox metropolitan in 1900, and concluded a definitive movement of Catholic unity formed in Elbasan. Numbers grew only to a small extent, but enough for southern Albania to become in 1939 a separate ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the care of an Apostolic Administrator. However, after less than seven years, the administrator was expelled, and contact seemed lost with the Byzantine faithful, who found themselves under strict Communist rule.

Elbasan Municipality in Albania

Elbasan is a city and a municipality in Elbasan County, central Albania. The third largest city in Albania, it is located on the Shkumbin River in the District of Elbasan and the County of Elbasan. The present municipality was formed at the 2015 local government reform by the merger of the former municipalities Bradashesh, Elbasan, Funarë, Gjergjan, Gjinar, Gracen, Labinot-Fushë, Labinot-Mal, Papër, Shirgjan, Shushicë, Tregan and Zavalinë, that became municipal units. The seat of the municipality is the city Elbasan. The total population is 141,714, in a total area of 872.03 km2. The population of the former municipality at the 2011 census was 78,703.

Archimandrite title

The title archimandrite, primarily used in the Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic churches, originally referred to a superior abbot (hegumenos) whom a bishop appointed to supervise several 'ordinary' abbots and monasteries, or to the abbot of some especially great and important monastery.

George Germanos was a former Albanian Orthodox Archimandrite converted to Eastern Catholicism and founder of the Albanian Greek Catholic Church.

Only in 1992 was it possible to appoint a new apostolic administrator. At first the post was given to the Holy See's diplomatic representative in Tirana, Archbishop Ivan Dias, who later became Archbishop of Mumbai and a cardinal. Archbishop Dias's successor as Apostolic Administrator of Southern Albania, not as Nuncio, is the Croatian-born Byzantine-Rite Franciscan bishop Hil Kabashi, who was appointed in 1996.

Tirana Capital of Albania

Tirana is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Albania.

Ivan Dias Catholic cardinal

Ivan Cornelius Dias was an Indian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 2006 to 2011, Archbishop of Bombay from 1996 to 2006, and before that a papal diplomat in the Balkans, East Asia, and West Africa. He was elevated to the rank of cardinal in 2001.

Mumbai Megacity and state capital in Maharashtra, India

Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. As of 2011 it is the most populous city in India with an estimated city proper population of 12.4 million. The larger Mumbai Metropolitan Region which includes nearby areas like Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Panvel, Virar, Pen, Ulhasnagar, Ambarnath, Dombivli, Karjat, Alibag, Vasai, Matheran and Khopoli is the second most populous metropolitan area in India and one of the most populous in the world, with a population of over 25 million. Mumbai Megalopolis, the area covering the golden triangle of Maharashtra which comprises Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune Metropolitan Region and Nashik Metropolitan Region has a population of around 50 million making Mumbai Megalopolis the most populated urban area in the world. Mumbai lies on the Konkan coast on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. In 2008, Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India. Mumbai is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, and the city's distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings.

The apostolic administratorship of Southern Albania has 3,200 Catholics in 9 parishes, with 11 churches, and is served by 4 diocesan and 10 religious priests, 10 male and 97 female religious, who administer 10 schools and 20 charitable institutions. The great majority of these are of the Roman Rite.

See also

Albanian Orthodox Church

The Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania is one of the newest autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches. It declared its autocephaly in 1922 through its Congress of 1922, and gained recognition from the Patriarch of Constantinople in 1937.

Eastern Catholic Churches Autonomous, self-governing particular Churches in full communion with the Pope

The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian particular churches sui iuris in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. Headed by patriarchs, metropolitans, and major archbishops, the Eastern Catholic Churches are governed in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, although each church also has its own canons and laws on top of this, and the preservation of their own traditions is explicitly encouraged. The total membership of the various churches accounts for about 18 million, according to the Annuario Pontificio, thus making up about 1.5 percent of the Catholic Church, with the rest of its more than 1.3 billion members belonging to the Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church.

Italo-Albanian Catholic Church

The Italo-Albanian Catholic Church, Italo-Albanian Byzantine Catholic Church or Italo-Albanian Church, is one of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches which, together with the Latin Church, compose the Catholic Church. It is a particular church that is autonomous (sui juris), using the Byzantine Rite and the ancient Greek language or the Albanian language for the liturgy, whose Italo-Albanian (Arbëreshë) members are concentrated in Southern Italy, and Sicily.

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The Apostolic Administration of Southern Albania is an apostolic administration of the Catholic Church in Albania, covering the southern regions of the country. It has jurisdiction over all Catholics on its territory, both of Latin and Byzantine rites. It is suffragan to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tiranë–Durrës. Its see is Pro-Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Louis in Vlorë.

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Catholic Church:

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