The religious jurisdictions of the Church of Greece in Greece
Supreme authority is vested in the synod of all the diocesan bishops who have
metropolitan status (the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece,
Greek: Ἱερὰ Σύνοδος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τῆς Ἑλλάδος Hierà Sýnodos tês Ekklēsías tês Helládos
[ieˈra ˈsinoðos tis ekliˈsias tis eˈlaðos]) under the
de jure presidency of the
Archbishop of Athens and all Greece. This synod deals with general church questions. The Standing Synod is under the same presidency, and consists of the Primate and 12 bishops, each serving for one term on a rotating basis and deals with details of administration.
The church is organised into 81 dioceses. 36 of these, located in northern Greece and in the major islands in the north and northeast Aegean, are nominally and spiritually under the jurisdiction of the
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, which retains certain privileges over and in them—for example, their bishops have to acknowledge the Patriarch as their own primate during prayers. They are called the "New Lands" (Νέαι Χώραι, or Néai Chōrai) as they became part of the modern Greek state only after the
Balkan Wars, and are represented by 6 of the 12 bishops of the Standing Synod. A bishop elected to one of the Sees of the New Lands has to be confirmed by the Patriarch of Constantinople before assuming his duties. These dioceses are administered by the Church of Greece "in stewardship" and their bishops retain their right of appeal (the "ékklēton") to the Patriarch.
The dioceses of
Church of Crete) and the
Dodecanese, and the
Monastic Republic of Holy Mount Athos remain under the direct jurisdiction of the
Patriarchate of Constantinople; they are not part of the Church of Greece. The
Archdiocese of Crete in particular enjoys semiautonomous status: new bishops are elected by the local Synod of incumbents, and the Archbishop is appointed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate from a three-person list (the triprósōpon) drawn by the Greek
Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs from among the incumbent Metropolitans of Crete.