Metropolitan Andreas of Saranta Ekklisies arrived in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, October 14, to attend and speak at the first Pan-Australian Clergy Synaxis (October 18-19, 2022), representing Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Archbishop Makarios of Australia welcomed the Hierarch of the Ecumenical Throne at the airport. During the reception, the Archbishop was accompanied by Bishops Iakovos of Miletoupolis, Christodoulos of Magnesia and Bartholomew of Charioupolis, the Protosyncellus of the Holy Archdiocese, Archimandrite of the Ecumenical Throne, Christoforos Krikelis, the working clergy at the offices of the Holy Archdiocese and many other clergy. Also present were members of the Christian Youth Association, a delegation of the Greek Welfare Center, led by the Director of the Organization, Stelios Magdalopoulos, as well as many believers.
All then went to the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Theotokos, where Archbishop Makarios officially welcomed Metropolitan Andreas of Saranta Ekklisies, in the presence of clergy and all the staff of the Holy Archdiocese and the Theological School of the Apostle Andrew. The Archbishop warmly addressed the high guest, expressing the great joy and emotion of all for his visit to the fifth continent and for his participation in the upcoming Pan-Australian Clergy Synaxis. Referring with brotherly and praiseworthy speeches to the personality of Metropolitan Andreas, he first recalled his long and prosperous ministry at the Patriarchal Court, where he served in many staff positions, as well as his later hierarchical path, to point out that he now confesses, both inside and outside the Patriarchate, that “with his election as Metropolitan of Forty Churches, the spirit of the old Phanar Hierarchs is resurrected”. He, therefore, described as a great honor and blessing for the local Church of Australia the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarch chose one of the chosen Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne to represent Him in the great and historic event of the first Pan-Australian Holy Synaxis.
Finally, the Archbishop of Australia wished that God would bless the Archpriesthood of the Metropolitan of Forty Churches, as well as that his stay on the fifth continent would be a pleasant and beneficial spiritual experience for him.
Metropolitan Andreas spoke out with equally cordial words and was obviously moved, stressing that he accepted with great joy the proposal of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to participate as His representative in the Pan-Australian Priestly Synaxis. The first reason, he explained, is because he expects to gain valuable experiences from his acquaintance and fellowship with the crew of the great Ecclesiastical Province of the Ecumenical Throne, Australia.
The second reason, he pointed out, is the fact that “my dear Archbishop Makarios of Australia, with whom I have known for almost twenty years, we have lived together a great deal, I appreciated his gifts from the very first moment – his education, his reverence, his discernment in ecclesiastical matters – and I was very pleased when the Church made him, for the sake of God, on the throne of this province.” Concluding this reference, the Metropolitan of Forty Churches expressed his love, appreciation, and support for Archbishop Makarios, assuring that they will always be linked by fraternal friendship.
Finally, Metropolitan Andreas thanked and blessed all those who attended his warm welcome, at the airport and at the Cathedral, stating that “I came to such a distant place, but I feel like I am at the Ecumenical Patriarchate.” And this, as he added, happened because the Mother Church is like a tree, with roots, trunk, and branches, and every ecclesiastical province is its extension. “After all, what connects us is a sacred link, the link in Christ, and the love between us,” he concluded.