Archbishop Makarios of Australia presided over a Polyarchieratic Co-liturgy on Wednesday, September 27, at the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, in the suburb of Kogarah, Sydney.
This was an event of historic importance for the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia, on the one hand because it marked the culmination and completion of the historic 12th Clergy-Laity Congress, and on the other hand because the Apolytikion of Saint Paisios the Athonite, recently proclaimed the patron saint of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, which will be chanted at every Divine Liturgy, was chanted for the first time in all the churches of the local Church in Australia.
Federal Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, and the Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Ioannis Mallikourtis, Metropolitans from the Church of Greece, Metropolitans Chrysostomos of Messinia, Athinagoras of Ilion, Acharnes and Petroupolis, Gerasimos of Petra and Cheronissos, Prodromos of Rethymno and Avlopotamos, Bishop Iakovos of Militoupolis, Emilianos of Meloa, Silouanos of Sinope, Kyriakos of Sozopolis, Christodoulos of Magnesia, Evmenios of Kerasountos and Bartholomew of Charioupolis were also present.
Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, as representative of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Clergy Laity Assembly, preached the Divine Word. Archbishop Nikitas also expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Makarios of Australia, as well as to the Bishops, the Holy Clergy and the pious people of the Holy Archdiocese, for the great love with which they surrounded him and for the warm hospitality they offered him during his stay in Sydney.
The Archbishop welcomed the Federal Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, for whom he acknowledged that he has proven many times his respect and love for the Greek Diaspora and the Orthodox Church of Australia. “Your presence today among us is very important just like your occasional participation in major events of the Greek Diaspora and the Church. This shows that you recognize the long-standing presence and enormous contribution of Hellenism to the shaping of modern Australian society. They also confirm the harmonious coexistence of faith and governance in our Nation, but also the sincere expression of friendship on your part towards myself, a friendship that has been expressed since the first moment of my arrival in Australia. ” In conclusion, the Archbishop expressed his gratitude to the Australian Prime Minister for his continuous support to the Greek Orthodox community of the country. He said that the was confident that this would also be the case in the future and he ensured the continuation of the flourishing of Greek culture in Australia.
In his response, Albanese referred to Archbishop Makarios on the one hand, and to the local Church and the Greek community of the country on the other hand. He stressed that the Archbishop was an emblematic personality and a faithful friend of his, who performs exemplary work in Australia. He underlined that he was moved by the spirit of the Orthodox Church and inspired by it as a PM for the sake of all Australians.
Archbishop Makarios of Australia also performed a memorial service for the repose of the souls of all the hierarchs, priests and ministers of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, and all the previous members of the Archdiocesan Council and the Clergy-Laity Assemblies.