His Eminence Archbishop Makarios released a statement in the moments following the shooting of 16-year-old Alex Gatis in his own house on Monday.
Police were called to the boy’s home in Lockleys, a suburb in Adelaide’s inner-west, just after 9.30am where they found the victim shot in his chest and stomach after a gunman fired through the window.
The older brother of the schoolboy, 21-year-old Dimitri Gatis, was later charged with attempted murder for the crime. Alex was reportedly at his home on Malurus Ave when the incident took place.
The new Australian Archbishop wrote:
“I was informed with much pain of the shooting of our Greek-Australian 16-year-old young man Alex Gatis from Adelaide and hasten to express my sincere sadness regarding this tragic event; and at the same time my best wishes to our dearest Alex Gatis and his family for a speedy recovery and convey the paternal wishes and love of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
“Violence can never be blessed or justified under any condition and definitely does not express the ethos and spirit of our civilised country of Australia. Violence can also never be blessed by the Orthodox Church and our Ecumenical Patriarchate. I have made contact by telephone with His Grace Bishop Nikandros of Doryleon, Archepiscopal Vicar in Adelaide, and have asked him to visit Alex who is in a critical yet stable condition in hospital, so he may responsibly inform me of any progress with his health. I am certain that our Lord Jesus Christ and His Mother Mary will be of assistance.”