Archbishop 2

Five years since the election of Archbishop Makarios of Australia

Archbishop 2

Studying the history of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, whose centenary we are privileged to celebrate this year (1924-2024), one can enumerate countless blessings and benefactions bestowed by the loving Mother Church, our Ecumenical Patriarchate, upon the Greek Orthodox flock of the fifth continent.

Among the most recent, tangible and evolving and presently experienced daily, is the blessing we received exactly five years ago, on May 9, 2019. On that day, at the venerable Centre of Orthodoxy, the Hierarchy constituting the Holy and Sacred Synod convened under His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, to elect the sixth Primate of the ecclesiastical province of Australia.

And his name? Makarios!

By unanimous decision of the Synod, the mission to lead our Holy Archdiocese into the second century of its life and witness on the fifth continent was entrusted to the then Bishop of Christoupolis – a young and educated Hierarch of the Throne, highly qualified in theology and, above all, a genuine exponent of the Phanar ethos and spirit, being a spiritual child of His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew.

The faithful people of Australia fondly remember that blessed day, as the aforementioned divinely inspired decision of the Mother Church “swamped” with feelings of joy, but also with high expectations, the many souls of devout Christians who were anxious about the future of Orthodoxy in the Antipodes.

In the course of the intervening five-year period, the expectations have been justified and continue to be justified, as the journey of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia is a march forward – continuous and uninterrupted, at all levels and despite the obstacles. “We look to Christ and only move forward,” our Shepherd has declared many times, encouraging and inspiring all of us to walk with courage and self-confidence and to face difficulties with unwavering faith and trust in God. And perhaps this is the most precious asset we have as we cross the threshold of the second century of life of our local Church.

Therefore, on the occasion of today’s anniversary, we pray to the Risen Christ to grant health and strength to our Archbishop, His Eminence Makarios, so that our journey forward may continue smoothly and that we may bear witness of our Crucified and Resurrected Lord to Australian society. We also turn our thoughts to the Mother Church of Constantinople and express our infinite gratitude for her continuous benefactions to the plenitude of our Holy Archdiocese. Gratitude that we are eager to express in person to the First of Orthodoxy, our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, when he blesses us with his apostolic visit here in Australia next October.

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