With the Doxology service at the Holy Cathedral Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Sydney, on Saturday morning 23 September, the formal reception took place of the invited hierarchs from overseas, who will participate in the 12th Clergy-Laity Congress of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, representative of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Congress deliberations, presided over the Doxology service and in the presence of the Hierarchs from Greece: Their Eminences, Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Messenia; Metropolitan Athenagoras of Ilion, Acharnes and Petroupolis; Metropolitan Gerasimos of Petra and Cherronesos; and Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnos and Avlopotamos.
A warm brotherly welcome was extended to everyone by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, expressing the gratitude of the local Church for their presence and participation in the imminent Clergy-Laity Congress. “I welcome you on behalf of the God loving Bishops, the gracious Clergy and the most pious flock of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, and thank you for your presence here, for your difficult undertaking, and hope that your stay here will be blessed, for the glory of God and our holy Church. I wish you many years, blessed and healthy, so that all of you may continue to rightly preach the word of truth and bear witness to Christ with your word, but above all, with your life, as you all do in the blessed eparchies in which God has appointed you,” the Archbishop said in his introductory remarks.
In reply, the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain firstly expressed his gratitude for the warm hospitality he received upon his arrival in Australia, while he conveyed the love of the Mother Church to the Christ-loving plenitude of the Orthodox Church of the fifth continent. “I came from afar to be here, by your side, to be embraced by your love, but also to see your work up close – not so much to inform the Patriarchate as for you, here, to understand the love of the sacred Ecumenical centre and of our Mother Church”, he emphasised.
Furthermore, His Eminence Nikitas expressed the certainty that the Church of Australia, under the inspired guidance of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, is performing God-pleasing work and effectively responding to the multiple challenges of the times. And this because, “where there is love, there is Christ, Who blesses our works”, he characteristically pointed out.
It is noted that present at the Doxology at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos were Their Graces, Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis; Bishop Emilianos of Meloa; Bishop Silouan of Sinope; Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis; Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia; Bishop Evmenios of Miletoupolis and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis; the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese, the Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis, clergy and monks of monastic communities, as well as the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Mr Yannis Mallikourtis, members of the Archdiocesan Council and many faithful.