The eleventh Synaxis (Assembly) of Bishops of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia was held on the 22nd and 23rd November in Sydney, under the Presidency of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
At the Assembly, His Eminence conveyed the warm wishes and blessings of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the God-loving Bishops and informed them about the current issues and initiatives of the local Church. Subsequently, all the items of the agenda were considered and we announce to the reverend clergy and Christ-loving plenitude of Australia, the following:
a.) Since most of the clergy attend the nameday of His Eminence, it was unanimously decided to hold a pan-Australian Assembly of Priests, on 18th January 2022, on the eve of the feast of St Makarios, at the facilities of the Holy Parish of All Saints, Belmore, Sydney. The Assembly will give priests the opportunity to get to know each other and to raise issues of a clerical and administrative nature with the view of reaching a resolution and settlement. More information about the program and the speakers at the Assembly of Priests, as well as practical instructions for their stay, will soon be announced to our priests.
b.) The Clergy-Laity Meeting is scheduled to convene in May 2022, provided that the restrictions imposed for the pandemic are lifted and the borders of Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory are opened so that representatives from parishes there are able to participate in the Meeting.
c.) Based on the existing articles of the Constitution of the Holy Archdiocese (1959), the subsequent approved regulations from the Clergy-Laity Meetings and the Mother Church, as well as the current state legislation, the following have been appointed as members of the Ecclesiastical Courts:
1. First-level Ecclesiastical Court for the District of Sydney:
President: His Grace Bishop Christodoulos of Magnesia.
Regular members: The Chancellor, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Christophoros Krikelis and the Reverend Father Timothy Klintsaris
Alternate members: The Very Reverend Archimandrite Amphilohios Papantoniou and Reverend Father Stavros Ivanos.
2. First-level Ecclesiastical Court for the District of Melbourne:
President: His Grace Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis.
Regular Members: The Reverend Protopresbyters Father Elias Kentrotis and Father Demetrios Kantrinei
Alternate members: The Reverend Protopresbyter Father Chris Dimolianos and the Reverend Father George Adamakis.
3. First-level Ecclesiastical Court for the District of Adelaide:
President: His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope.
Regular members: The Reverend Presbyters Father Nicholas Pavlou and Father Christos Tsoraklidis.
Alternate members: The Reverend Presbyters Father Panayiotis Fotakis and Father Panayiotis Kouvoussis.
4. First-level Ecclesiastical Court for the District of Brisbane:
President: His Grace Bishop Emilianos of Meloa.
Regular members: The Reverend Protopresbyter Father Dimitri Tsakas and The Reverend Father Nicholas Brown.
Alternate members: The Reverend Presbyters Father Romanos Stergiou and Father Stavros Karvellas.
5. First-level Ecclesiastical Court for the District of Perth:
President: His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kyaneon.
Regular members: Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Father Emmanuel Stamatiou and Reverend Father Evangelos Battalis.
Alternate members: The Reverend Presbyters Father John Athanasiou and Father Eleftherios Gerovasilis.
6. First-level Ecclesiastical Court for the District of Northcote:
President: His Grace Bishop Evmenios of Kerasounta.
Regular members: Protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne Father Spyridon Bonias and Reverend Father Charalambos Bezos.
Alternate members: The Reverend Presbyters Father Vasilios Kourtessis and Father Demos Nicolaou.
7. First-level Ecclesiastical Court for the District of Canberra:
President: His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis.
Regular members: The Reverend Protopresbyters Father Petros Kipouros and Father Demetrios Katsis.
Alternate members: The Reverend Presbyters Father Panayiotis Nikolakos and Father Kyriakos Kyriacou.
Second-level Ecclesiastical Court of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia:
President: His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
Regular members: Their Graces Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis and Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis, The Very Reverend Archimandrite Father Eusebios Pantanassiotis and Reverend Protopresbyter Father Angelos Aliferakis.
d.) There are Ukrainian Communities within the canonical boundaries of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia that, until recently, belonged to the so-called “Patriarchate of Kiev”. Following the abolition of the “Patriarchate of Kiev” and the granting of Autocephaly by the Mother Church of Constantinople in the Ukraine, the Holy Archdiocese of Australia is looking into the existing situation and the conditions for integration of these communities into canonicity. Efforts are being made by our Shepherd, His Eminence, and the local God-loving Archiepiscopal Vicars, which, however, have not yet been successful. A Committee has been appointed to deal with this ecclesiastical issue, consisting of: His Grace Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis; the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, the Very Reverend Archimandrite Christophoros Krikelis; the Reverend Protopresbyter Father Gerasimos Koutsouras; and the Reverend Archdeacon Athinagoras Karakonstantakis. Father Savas Bizanias, who takes imperious initiatives communicating with some Ukrainian Communities in Australia, is acting anti-canonically as he does not have the authority to do so, neither from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, nor from the Autocephalous Church of the Ukraine and Metropolitan Epifanios nor, of course, from the Holy Archdiocese of Australia. The Communities interested in joining the Holy Archdiocese of Australia must communicate directly with the Holy Archdiocese.
e.) A committee has been established to examine the property of the Church that will be made up of expert and experienced officials and members of the Church, which will initially convene to register the property of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia at a national level and then submit proposals for its further utilisation. The basic stipulation of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios for any action of the said Committee is that “nothing of what we have received from our predecessors will be sold or disposed”.
f.) His Eminence and the members of the Holy Assembly pray that the faithful of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia celebrate the impending great feast of Christmas in a spirit of unity and love and to have the grace and blessing of the cave that received the God-child.