When Archbishop Makarios visited the Melbourne offices of Neos Kosmos last August, he promised radical changes which he said would be announced on his name day on 19 January.
A prelude of what is to come has been offered with reshuffling within the Church. An announcement by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia on Thursday 28 November stated that “the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, met in the Holy Patriarchal Church of St George. There, the Synod elected Archimandrite Evagrios Koutouzis as Bishop of Meloes; Archimandrite Elpithios Karalis as Bishop of Kyaneon; and Archimandrite Silouanos Fotineas as Bishop of Sinopes.
This latest taste comes following a number of other changes in the style and focus of the church’s leadership. For instance, the church’s interest in being vocal on matters that are dominating public debate, such as the anti-abortion rally at Martin Place that saw Archbishop Makarios take a vocal stand as well as an array of media releases on issues that aren’t considered ‘religious’ such as the shooting of an Adelaide boy by his brother.
Another example of the church’s extroversion was noted on Wednesday, 27 November, when during an official visit to the Greek Embassy at Canberra, Archbishop Makarios conveyed gratitude for the Greek government’s granting of voting rights to Greeks abroad on behalf of Greeks.
He spoke to the acting Greek Ambassador Ioannis Ferentinos on matters related to Greeks, new migrants, Greek education, language and the church.
“As a representative of the clergy and all the Greeks of Australia, I would like to express our gratitude and thanks towards Greek Parliament and the Prime Minister,” he said.