[quote=twf]According to Catholic-Hierarchy.org (catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dathe.html) the Latin Archdiocese of Athens, in Orthodox Greece, jumped from 30 000 faithful to 100 000 faithful in one year. I somehow doubt 70 000 Orthodox were received into the Latin Rite of the Church over such a short period of time. Any thoughts?
(Also, why would the vast majority of Catholics in Greece be Latin? If they are living in a predominantly Orthodox land, wouldn’t it be easier to worship as Catholics in the Byzantine rite?)
The number probably reflects a wave of immigrants who have started to attend the already existing churches. Given the large circulation of immigrants in Eastern Europe in the last 15 years, a number of a few tens of thousands is not that high (the larger EU states like Germany, Italy, France and United Kingdom have had many hundreds of thousands of new arrivals!)
The Latin Catholics in Greece have a longer history (there are quite a few communities, including sizeable parts of the population of islands like Syros), sometimes dating back to the Venetian rule in the Aegean sea.
Byzantine Catholics, on the other hand, are more recent, very few (they numbered but 2,000 when their number was swelled up by Ukrainian immigrants from the UGCC), some of them former Orthodox, and very despised in a country that has always taken Uniatism with the utmost severity.