A large crowd gathered at Sydney international airport on Tuesday to greet Archbishop Makarios, the new Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church.
The Assistant Bishops of the Archdiocese, the Clergy, the Monastics, the pious faithful, together with the state and federal authorities, offered a warm welcome to the new Archbishop.
“I want to assure you that this day, this moment is precious and unique in my heart and my life,” Makarios said.
“I am aware that this day is vital for the future of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia…I come from afar, but I feel I am coming home because of our common ecclesiastical roots,” he added.
“From this day until my last breath I belong to Australia…I vow before the Australian flag,” he said to the assembled crowd.
Posted by Australian Byzantine Choir on Tuesday, June 18, 2019
The Ecumenical Patriarch was represented by Metropolitan Stephanos of Tallinn and All Estonia.
The enthronement of Archbishop Makarios of Austalia will take place on June 29 at the Holy Cathedral of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary (242 Cleveland Street, Redfern NSW 2016).
Earlier, Australia’s PM Scott Morrison paid tribute to Archbishop Makarios.
In a statement he said that the new Archbishop has contributed immensely to Greek Orthodox communities in Europe and his new mission now brings him across the world, ministering to a people who treasure their ancient faith in a new land.
“I am sure he will embrace his new role in service to the Australian Greek Orthodox community with the same force and fervor that has characterized his vocation so far,” the PM’s statement reads.
Makarios was elected unanimously by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church to succeed the late Archbishop Stylianos who passed away three months ago.
Having completed post-graduate studies at the Universities of Boston, Harvard and Monash, Archbishop Makarios received his doctorate at the School of Medicine of the University of Crete in bioethics. His dissertation was entitled “Cloning: Social, Ethical and Theological Components”.
Embracing his new home of Australia, Archbishop Makarios emphasized his desire not to exclude “the many Australian citizens who want to get to know the spirituality of Orthodoxy … I would like to make the Orthodox Church reach out to the Australian people”.