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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 May 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 MAY 2019 9 NEWS FEATURE Archbishop Makarios - Australia’s new Greek Orthodox hierarch Bishop Makarios of Christoupolis was unanimously voted in as the new Archbishop of Australia on 9 May, putting an end to weeks of speculation about the church leadership since the death of Archbishop Stylianos. The choice was welcomed Theologian Dr Vassilis Adrahtas. by church circles who look forward to his arrival at the church headquarters in Sydney. It is believed that Bishop Makarios will drive the church forward. His extensive studies in bioethics and understanding of the modern era and its implications for Orthodoxy are promising. Clerics honour Archbishop Stylianos at his funeral. by the Church and face the challenges of the second and third-generation Australianborn Greek Orthodox," he said. "Facing these challenges will necessitate changes that will transform the more or less migrant mentality of Church circles into a genuine witnessing of a universal Orthodoxy. Stylianos had worked towards that direction but there was no need to push hard. Now, and more in the short-term future, things are different. I think that Stylianos' most cherished creation, namely, St Andrew's Theological College will have to play a pivotal role in this respect." Dr Adrahtas believes that ramification of the election of the Archbishop in Australia will also have significant impact in the motherland. "The new situation will have to reopen communication and collaboration channels with Greece, both ecclesiastically and politically," he said. "This acquires perhaps a new dimension in light of the prospect of having the Greeks abroad electing MPs in the Greek Parliament. Also there is the huge problem of the fu- ture of the Hellenic language, which the new ecclesiastical establishment should consider in creative, collaborative and path-breaking ways with the rest of the stakeholders in the wider Greek Australian community." THE FUTURE OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH "The Synod is the acting governing body of the Patriarchate and is comprised by the Patriarch and 12 hierarchs," he said. "Early on Patriarch Bartholomew made it perfectly clear that there will be a major change in the administration of the Archdiocese. I believe this change will not involve the dismantling of the Archdiocese as an entity, but rather it will be pursued towards the reconfiguration of the Archdiocese according to certain canonical options." Furthermore Dr Adrahtas believes the Archdiocese will continue for three reasons. "The first one would be that it would be unwarranted to downgrade the Archdiocese to Metropoles given the tremendous advances that have taken place in the last 40 years," he said. "The second is that the Archdiocese model goes along with the Consolidated Trust of the Archdiocese, and the last thing the Patriarchate wants is to create problems that might affect the huge financial value of the Trust. And the final reason is that it is a vital need to retain the emblematic - at least and for the time being - unity of Orthodoxy in Australia under a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Throne." Thus Dr Adrahtas is confident the Patriarchate will decide to create the Metropoles it wants in Australia. "After all, this would be pastorally appropriate and ecclesiologically in the right direction since bishops wouldn't be just assistants any longer, but proper and 'real' bishops," he said. "And at the same time have in one of them a hierarch who shall be called and function as an Archbishop in all ways relevant to a regional archiepiscopal synod. In this manner, Australia will be administered not by one person, but by a synod, and the whole body of the Church could deal with Federal authorities through one spokesperson." Like his predecessor, he comes from the island of Crete. Born in 1973 in Herakleion, he studied at the Higher Ecclesiastical School of Athens and the Theological School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Postgraduate studies, however, have taken him around the world, including Melbourne, where he acquired a Master of Bioethics at Monash University. He also has a Master of Sacred Theology from the University of Boston and a Master of Arts in History and Science from Harvard. His doctoral dissertation received a grade of 'Excellent' from the Medical School of the University of Crete for his thesis on 'Cloning: Social, Ethical and Theological Components'. He has an interest in science and theology, and founded and currently runs the publishing series, 'All About Bioethics', under the auspices of the Church of Constantinople. Since 2003 he has been teaching at the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy of Herakleion, and has occasionally taught courses at various universities, including Greek colleges, medical schools and universities of Crete, Thessaly and Athens. In May 2015 he was elected First Dean of the Theological Seminar of the Autonomous Church of Estonia. A NEW ARCHISHOP IS ELECTED The Holy Synod favoured him from a shortlist of three candidates. The other two were Elpidios Karalis and Kyrillos Zisis. Neos Kosmos sources say that the new Archbishop was a reluctant participant for the role "following all he Ecumenical Patriarch with the new Archbishop, Makarios of Christoupolis. had heard about the church of Australia". Now that the election has taken place, there are still many open issues that need to be addressed. For instance, what will be the new organisational structure of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia? It is believed that the body will be divided into Metropolitan districts in June, however the number and size of these districts are still unknown. Neos Kosmos sources have pointed to everything from three to five different areas. The situation is still in a state of fluctuation, however it seems certain that Bishop Nikandros of Dorylaiou will be the Bishop of South Australia, and may also be responsible for the areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Other sources state that Western Australia and the Northern Territory will have their own representative. In such a case, Bishop Iakovos of Militoupoleos will take over and be based in Perth. It is still unknown whether the state of Victoria will be contained in one district or be split up, however Tasmania will also be included in the district of Victoria. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is currently pondering as to whether Ezekiel of Dervi will be appointed the head of the church in Victoria and Tasmania, or whether one or two younger representatives will be appointed. Some church circles maintain that Kyrillos Zisis, a candidate for the role of Archbishop, may be elevated to the role of metropolitan bishop. As archimandrite, he was in charge of the office of the late Archbishop Stylianos and was highly regarded for the way in which he carried out his duties. He is also a trained pharmacist, and knows Melbourne well. He is highly regarded in church circles.It is still unknown what will be done with Seraphim of Apollonias. Sources state that the Patriarchate could take him away from Australia while others point to him becoming the metropolitan bishop of Queensland. Conversations are continuing in Istanbul with church representatives from Australia. These are: Nikos Pappas (Papanastasiou) from NSW, Andreas Georgiou from Melbourne, Theo Bakalakis from Queensland, Charis Patsouris from Adelaide and Stan Palasis from Western Australia.Deliberations will continue before conclusions are drawn. DUTIES OF THE NEXT AUSTRALIAN ARCHBISHOP Orthodox theologian Dr Vasilis Adrahtas on what needs to be done by the new Archbishop: • Promote the wide range of services provided by the Church (aged and health care facilities, bilingual education) • Face the challenges of the second and third-generation Australian born Greek Orthodox • Transform the migrant mentality of Church circles into a genuine witnessing of a universal Orthodoxy. • Work towards Orthodox believers consolidating in practice the universality of their faith beyond national and ethnic attachments. At some point in the near future there must be one multi-ethnic and multi-lingual Orthodox Church in Australia through the lead of St Andrew's Theological College.
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