The 10th Episcopal Assembly of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia took place on the 6th of October in Sydney, under the Presidency of Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
During this, Archbishop Makarios conveyed to the Hierarchs and the Bishops-elect the wishes and blessings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew; moreover, He informed them about current issues and initiatives of the local Church, as well as his meetings and activities during his time in Greece and Constantinople. Following this, all items of the agenda were deliberated upon; the following matters are communicated to the gracious clergy and the Christ-loving faithful of Australia:
- The fire that broke out on the 30th of September 2021, at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos in Sydney, caused much grief to our Archbishop, our Bishops, and the entire plenitude of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia. We wholeheartedly thank all those who hastened to express their solicitude for the unfortunate event, first amongst whom was our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew who, immediately upon hearing the sad news, hastened to communicate with the Archbishop so as to be informed and to convey His good wishes for the speedy restoration of the historic and spiritual monument of Australia. The Holy Cathedral has been deemed, for the time being, unsuitable for all liturgical services by the competent services. For this reason, the Church of St Nicholas in Marrickville, Sydney will serve the needs of the Cathedral until its restoration. The ordinations of the new Bishops will take place there on the dates that have already been announced.
- It was decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary, of the election of our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the All-venerable Patriarchal Throne of Constantinople, all around Australia. Accordingly, on Friday the 22nd of October, the day of the election of the Patriarch, a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy—with three Hierarchs—will be celebrated at the Church of St Nicholas in Marrickville, presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, at the end of which the installation service for the new Chancellor of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia—the Very Reverend Archimandrite Christophoros Krikelis—will take place. A Clergy Meeting of the Sydney and Canberra Districts will follow in the adjacent areas of the same Church, during which the work and the contribution of the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Church and the world more broadly will be presented. In the evening of the same day at 7 pm, an anniversary function in honor of the Ecumenical Patriarch will take place at the Church of St Spyridon. At this, the following people will speak Bishop-elect Prochoros of Charioupolis, Archimandrite Stephanos, former Abbot of the Monastery of Pantanassa, Professor Michael Anthony from the School of Medicine of the University of New South Wales, Mario Baghos, Lecturer of St Andrew’s Theological College, and Vanessa Papastavros, the youth representative of our Holy Archdiocese. During the evening, the choir of the Greek Orthodox Christian Society of Sydney will present traditional songs. The event will close with a greeting by Archbishop Makarios, while those who wish to watch the event live via the internet will be able to do so.
- On the same day, namely, the 22nd of October, a solemn Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in all Archdiocesan Districts and Clergy Meetings will follow chaired by the respective God-loving Bishops.
More specifically, for the Archdiocesan Districts of Melbourne and Northcote, a hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at the Church of St Eustathios, conducted by His Eminence Metropolitan Ezekiel of Derbe.
For the Archdiocesan District of Adelaide, a hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at the Church of St George, conducted by His Grace Bishop Silouan of Sinope.
For the Archdiocesan District of Perth, a hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at the Church of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, conducted by Bishop Elpidios of Kyaneon.
For the Archdiocesan District of Brisbane, a hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at the Church of St George, whilst the priests from the Archdiocesan District of Canberra will participate in the functions of Sydney.
- The National Metropolitan Choir of Australia, which was to present its first official event on the 26th of November 2021 at the Sydney Town Hall, in honor of the 30th anniversary since the election of our Patriarch to the Patriarchal Throne, postpones its presentation, due to restrictive measures relating to the pandemic. The event will take place on the 25th of March 2022, according to the directives of the related Local Council.
- Repeatedly, the uncanonical and unbrotherly behavior of Metropolitan Joseph of Proikonnisos has occupied the pious plenitude of Australia. Most recently and with great sadness, we were informed by the competent authorities that Metropolitan Joseph, quite injudiciously, is the single witness in defense of an opponent of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia (Consolidated Trust), at the Supreme Court of New South Wales. This saddened and indeed scandalized the faithful people of God, even those who had known and appreciated the said Hierarch. Metropolitan Joseph, without knowing the case and without having asked for information by the Archbishop, as he should have, proceeded with an act which violates the holy and sacred Canons (14th Apostolic, the 2nd of the 2nd Ecumenical Council, the 20th of the Council of Trullo). For this reason, it was unanimously decided to prepare a canonical file to submit to His Holiness, so that it may be examined by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in order to defend the canonical order and protect the local Church in Australia.
- Archbishop Makarios and the members of the Assembly wish everyone good health and urge the faithful people of God to pray that humanity may be delivered from the pandemic while following at the same time the instructions of experts.