The Australian Orthodox Community welcomed with satisfaction the announcement of the country’s Prime Minister for the operation of the Churches during Holy Week, and Archbishop Makarios thanked the Prime Minister.
In particular, the Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, in his address spoke on the Orthodox Church in Australia and the Easter Holy Week services, emphasizing that “this is a special ritual that requires the presence of more than two or three people” and concluded noting that “the Australian Government will show understanding during this period for the Churches of the Orthodox Archdiocese.”
The reaction of Archbishop Makarios of Australia, who thanked the Prime Minister for the understanding and the willingness of the Authorities to understand that Holy Week is a special event for the Orthodox, was immediate.
It should be noted that Archbishop Makarios of Australia is in constant communication with the Federal and State Authorities of the country from the first moment that the pandemic broke out.
The announcement by the Prime Minister followed the Archbishop’s concerns regarding the broadcasts of the ceremonies via the internet. “I do not want them to see from the broadcasts that there are more people in the Temple (priest, deacon, right-wing chanter, left-wing chanter, young priest, ministers) and to consider us illegal. I don’t want police officers to come and knock on our doors during the procession”, said the Archbishop.
In addition, in this spirit, the Minister of Multiculturalism, Mr. Geoff Lee, responsible for religious affairs, also sent a congratulatory letter to the Archbishop for his strong leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Orthodox Church being the first Australian church to take steps to reduce the spread of coronavirus.