Catholic Archdiocese of Corfu, Zakynthos – Cefalonia
The Catholic Archdiocese of Corfu was founded in 1274 and was officially recognised by the Greek State both in the Protocol of London on 22nd January / 3rd February 1830 “to ensure the protection of religious freedom”, and in the article 4 of the Treaty of Annexation of the Ionian islands to Greece and the Treaty of London on 17th / 29th March 1864, in which “by special protection, it is guaranteed to the Catholic Church that both the privileges it already has will be sustained, and the citizens belonging to this doctrine will enjoy in the Ionian Islands the same religious freedom that has been established for them in Greece by the protocol of London”. .... “The principle of total civil and political equality among the subjects of the various doctrines, as this has been established in Greece, is also effective, by force of the same protocol, in the Ionian Islands”. The London Protocol was also sanctioned by the nr. 18 Resolution of the 5th National Conference of the Greeks in Nafplio on 28th February 1832. On 3rd June 1919, the Archdiocese of Corfu and the Dioceses of Zakynthos and Cefalonia were united under the title Archdiocese of Corfu, Zakynthos – Cefalonia, while, on 18th March 1926, Epirus was detached from the Diocese of Dirachio and attached to the Archdiocese of Corfu. On 28th July / 10th August 1920 the Treaty of Seurre was signed “for the protection of the minorities in Greece and the preservation of religious freedom”. Since as early as 1917, when the Canon Law of the Catholic Church (Codex Iuris Canonici) was codified, and was renewed in 1983, the Catholic Church has operated based on this with regards to its relations with the Greek political legislation. Since 1938, because of the Metaxa legislation, there have been disagreements about the foundation and operation of Catholic institutions and their legal status, matters that have been a thorn in the relationship between the Catholic Church and the State to 2014. On October 7, 2014 4301 Law of the Greek Government, as published on no. 223 of the Official Governmental Gazette, finally recognised the Catholic Archdioceses, Dioceses, Parishes and Convents in Greece as Religious Legal Entities.