“The love, affection and blessing of the Mother Church will always be with you and we will continue to pray for you,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his address to Archbishop Makarios of Australia and his associates from the Archdiocese of Australia. Bishops Aimilianos of Meloe, Elpidios of Kyanea, Silouan of Sinope, were also present and, like everyone else, were deeply moved when they heard the speech of the Ecumenical Patriarch.
Archbishop Makarios of Australia and his entourage visited Constantinople, where they stayed from February 2 to February 6. In addition to the three recently ordained Bishops, the Archbishop was also accompanied by the Archbishop of Northcote Victoria, Archimandrite Evmenios Vasilopoulos, the Director of Finance of the Archdiocese, Archdeacon Athinagoras Karakonstantakis, the Director of the Archbishop’s Office, Deacon Christophoros Krikelis, Deacon Stefanos Tinikashvili, and the CEO of St Basil’s Homes, Father Nikolaos Stavropoulos.
When they arrived at the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Phanar, they were warmly welcomed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who on the one hand was interested in getting to know all the priests and clergy in person and on the other hand in getting better informed about the church life in Australia.
The Archbishops and clergymen from Australia had the opportunity to be guided around the city of Constantinople and to visit the historic monuments, such as the Church of Hagia Sophia, Halki, and Holy Theological School.