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Archbishop Makarios of Australia: “The Church saves us. We do not save the Church”

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The Sunday of Orthodoxy was celebrated with ecclesiastical splendour and brightness at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady, in Sydney. His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia officiated on Sunday morning at the Matins and then presided over the Divine Liturgy, after which the procession of the Holy Icons in commemoration of the final restoration of the Holy Icons along with the triumph of the Orthodox Church during the period of iconoclasm.

During his sermon, His Eminence emphasised the precious heritage that all of us Orthodox have and pointed out that what we take for granted today was not obtained without hard-work and struggles. He characteristically noted: “Just as we have a free country because some fought and sacrificed, in the same way we also have a free faith because some also fought and sacrificed. Some shed their blood for Orthodoxy. All those who witnessed for Christ, testified because Christ was not a lie, nor an idea. They bore witness to the truth and the living faith.”

His Eminence did not fail, then, to comment on a phenomenon of the current era, which concerns the existence of certain supposedly enlightened or traditional, honourable and adherents of the faith in their ill thinking, stressing that we enter the Church to be saved. “The Church saves us. We do not save the Church”, he underlined and continued: “Each believer must be connected to his parish, in which the priest must belong to the local Archdiocese and commemorate the canonical bishop”. “All the others are demonic schemes and do not lead to salvation, but to demonisation,” His Eminence pointed out.

It should be noted that also present for the feast day and participating in the liturgy were Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, and Abbott of the Holy Cell of Saint Anna in Karyes of Mount Athos, Archimandrite Antipas, whom His Eminence warmly welcomed to the fifth continent. Father Antipas will be in Australia for about a month, to receive the confessions of the faithful in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, was also present at the Divine Liturgy.

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