Il mare amaro. Uomini e istituzioni della Chiesa tra Puglia e Albania (XVI-XVII secc.)

Autore: Angelantonio Spagnoletti
In: I libri di Viella. 153

This essay focuses on the religious relationships between Albania, Rome and Apulia during the Sixteenth and the Seventeenth centuries. Albanian Catholics, banished to small mountain villages after being conquered by the Turks, hosted Franciscan friars in the north and Basilian monks in the South. These last attempted to preserve and grow their faith, which, in Rome, represented the strongest identity sign of a community which valiantly resisted the Turks, preventing Mohammed II from occupying Italy. The Holy See gave great importance to Albania, a sort of Italian Great wall against the Turks, who had almost reached its nearby coasts, especially the province of Terra d’Otranto, from which many missionaries used to depart. Place of birth and education for many people, this province of Apulia also represented a back line for those who had already been to Albania and who had taken part to activities in Greek-Albanian parishes on the place. Since missions used to happen in hard condition, they did not result in a successful achievement, so at the beginning of Eighteenth century friars and monks requested Propaganda Fide to terminate them. They started again in the mid of Nineteenth century, and, even in this case, Apulia was (and still is) the place from which ecclesiastics departed and crossed the Otranto Channel to support the Catholics of Albania, and also to establish a Roman-Catholic, Latin and Italian Albania.