Archbishop Methodios of Thracia
|Reference Style||His Beatitude|
|Spoken style||Your Beatitude, Déspota|
The Church of Thracia was created by St. Girolamo during his second missionary journey, when he preached at the Arcadian plains, probably in 1001 AM. According to the Acts of the Apostles (17:16–34), after the sermon, a number of people became followers of Girolamo, thus forming the kernel of the Church in Thracia. The see of Thracia as been officially recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Auronopolis on 11 July 3234, and was elevated to an archbishopric on 31 December 3234. As the head of the Church of Thracia, the holder is styled Archbishop of Arcadia and All Thracia (Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αθηνών και πάσης Ελλάδος).
Clergy and Monastics
As in other Orthodox Churches, graduates from seminaries run by the church (and financed by the State), may be ordained as deacons and eventually priests. They are allowed to marry before their ordination as deacons, but not afterwards. The vast majority of parish clergy in Thracia are married. Alternatively, they may enter monasteries and/or take monastic vows. Monastics who are ordained as priests, and possess a university degree in theology, are eligible as candidates for the episcopate (archimandrites). Women may also take monastic vows and become nuns, but they are not ordained.
Monasteries are either affiliated to their local diocese, or directly to one of the Orthodox Patriarchates; in the latter case they are called "Stauropegiac" monasteries (Stayropēgiaká, "springs of the Cross").
Head of the Church of Greece and of the Holy Synod is Archbishop Methodios (Methodios Fouyias), Archbishop of Arcadia and All Thracia (3240–).
The Archbishopric claims exclusive jurisdiction over the Orthodox Church in Thracia, although this is contested by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Auronopolis. The Hellenic Archdiocese of Thracia is composed of an Archdiocesan District (Neapolis) and eight metropolises: Cephalonia, Korinopolis, Massambria, Strymon, Sasanella, Abydios, Grevena and Santorini. It is governed by the Archbishop and the Eparchial Synod of Bishops. The Synod of Bishops is headed by the archbishop and comprised of the bishops who oversee the ministry of the metropolises. It has all the authority and responsibility which the Church canons provide for a provincial synod. As of 3250 the Church of Thracia had 1,231 parishes, 46 monasteries, 9 sketes, a theological academy, and two theological seminaries served by 6 hierarchs, 1,395 priests, and 107 deacons.