On Tuesday evening, 6 February 2024, members of the New South Wales Judiciary, led by the Chief Justice of the State, The Honourable Mr. Andrew Bell, as well as Barristers and Law Students, attended the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady in Sydney, in order to participate in the established Service marking the start of the New Law Term in NSW and to receive the blessing of the Orthodox Church.
The Doxology Service was officiated by His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, while Their Graces were also present, Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, as well as the Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne Christophoros Krikelis. Also present were Fr. Nabil Kachab, representative of the Antiochian Church, Mr. Yannis Mallikourtis, Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ms. Eleni Petinos, Member of Parliament and shadow Minister for Finance and Sport in NSW, and members of the Archdiocesan Council, including Mr. Nick Papas and Mr. Theo Penklis.
At the end of the Service, His Grace Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis addressed his personal wishes to the Justice officials who were present, while conveying to them the wishes, the blessings and the message of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
In his message, the Archbishop focused on the principles of compassion and justice, as reflected in the teaching of Christ. He quoted the most characteristic teachings of the Lord, which the Evangelist Matthew conveys to us: “Love your neighbour as yourself” and “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you;”. “These principles are at the heart of our legal system,” His Eminence pointed out, adding that “as ministers of Justice you have undertaken the sacred duty of upholding these principles, ensuring that justice is served and that the rights of every individual are protected.”
In addition, Archbishop Makarios recalled in his message that Christ emphasised mercy and forgiveness. “While the law provides us with a framework for adjudicating disputes and imposing punishment, it is important to seek understanding and reconciliation wherever possible,” he noted.
Finally, the Archbishop urged the judges and lawyers to start the New Law Term inspired and guided by Christian teaching, with absolute respect for the inherent dignity and worth of each person.