Southern Italians and Sicilians were Greek Orthodox up until the 11th century. Ethnically, the population was probably not 100 percent Greek, but the area was ruled by the Byzantine Empire, and the churches were administered by Greek clergy. There may have been some use of Western Rites as well in those areas. Later, after the schism, in the late 11th century, the Normans took over the area. Greek bishops were ejected, Latin bishops were installed. But, amongst the masses, Orthodoxy still continued, even as Latin Roman Catholic priests were installed in the parishes, which took a while, and Roman Catholicism became dominate. There is a story from the Council of Florence, where many southern Italian clergy agreed with St. Mark of Ephesus on the issue of purgatory, and said they had always believed as St. Mark explained things.