The Archdiocese of Australia celebrated the 30th anniversary of the election of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Ecumenical Throne with a glorious event worthy of the historical significance of the honored event.
The anniversary event, which took place at the Church of Saint Spyridon in Kingsford, Sydney, on Friday, October 22, included interesting speeches for the Ecumenical Patriarch as well as his contribution to Orthodoxy and the world during his 30-year ministry.
Dr. Filippos Kariatlis, Associate Dean of St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, presented the event the and the following spoke at the event: Bishop Prochoros of Charioupolis, Archimandrite Stephanos, Abbot of the Pantanassa Monastery, Michael Antoniadis, Professor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales, Marios Mpagkos, Professor of St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, and Vasiliki Papastavrou, representative of the Youth Department of the Archdiocese.
During the event, traditional songs were performed by the Sydney Christian Association choir, which, due to the pandemic’s limitations, were videotaped.
The elegant and inspiring presentation of an original song, dedicated to the Primate of Orthodoxy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, which was composed and performed by the members of the choir, was moving.
The event also featured a short tribute to the life and work of the Ecumenical Patriarch, containing heartfelt wishes from the local Church of Australia and its faithful for the 30th anniversary since his election.
In his closing remarks, Archbishop Makarios of Australia thanked and warmly congratulated all the speakers and participants of the anniversary event while referring in more detail to the children of the Christian Union choir, praising the patience with which they worked and their performance.
He also thanked the Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Panagia Pantanassa, Fr. Eusebius, for the spiritual guidance he provides to the young people of the Christian Association of Sydney.
The Archbishop then referred with great emotion and love to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, praising his contribution to Orthodoxy and to the whole world.
Referring to the experience of his personal relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarch and the blessing of having lived with him some of the most important and critical moments of his many years of ministry, he emphasized that “we must thank God that we have such a Patriarch. Because we will never find such a Patriarch again.”
Speaking of a gift from God to the world and the Orthodox Church, he noted that what is most valuable to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew “is not his degrees, his postgraduate studies, the seven languages he speaks, his discretion or his administration talent, but it is above all that it has a big heart and compassion, and can understand and embrace the problems of both people and the Church.” “I do not know how our Patriarch has managed to be 81 years old and still have a childish heart,” he added.
In closing, the Archbishop urged all to love and pray for the Ecumenical Patriarch, who is the shepherd and spiritual leader of the Christian faithful of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia and of all Orthodox Christians.
“If you love me, pray for Patriarch Bartholomew. If you want to give me a gift, love the Patriarch. If you want to rest me and thank me, to love the crucified, ruling and suffering Church of Constantinople,” he said.
It is noted that the anniversary event was attended by, among others, Bishops Iakovos of Militoupolis and Emilianos of Meloa, the elected Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis, and the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Christos Karras.