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Current Issue
December, 2017
Volume 43, Number 4
  
29 October 2015
Michael J.L. La Civita




Easter is celebrated in the Italo-Albanian Catholic village of Piana degli Albanesi, Sicily.
(photo: Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)


Not all Italian Catholics are Roman Catholics.

In the south of Italy, in the regions of Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria and Puglia, the island of Sicily, and even just outside the walls of Rome, there are Italians who follow the Christian rites and traditions of the Byzantine East.

These “Italo-Greeks” or “Italo-Albanians” form a small Catholic church that comprises two eparchies and a monastery, numbering fewer than 65,000 faithful. Although small, “the history of this 1,500-year-old church — with its highs and lows — offers insights into possible models for church unity between the Catholic West and the Orthodox East,” writes Chorbishop John D. Faris in his short history of the church.

To read the full account of this fascinating story of survival, click here.