“You shall come and think of the Mother Church and pray for Her,” said the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in his speech after the Divine Liturgy over which he presided today. On Sunday, September 22, the Ecumenical Patriarch addressed the pilgrims from Australia who came to the Church of Saint Phocas in Mesachorion led by Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
The Ecumenical Patriarch praised the Archbishop of Australia, whom he described as a valuable and loyal associate, and congratulated him on his initiative to bring back the old tradition of pilgrimage visits from Australia to Constantinopole through the Holy Land and the Church of Saint Phocas. This initiative was firstly taken by late Archbishop Stylianos of Australia.
He also welcomed the Greek Deputy Interior Minister for Macedonia and Thrace, Theodoros Karaoglou, and the Protosyncellus of the Metropolice of Langadas, Liti and Rentina, Archimandrite Efsevios. Referring to Metropolitan Ioannis of Langadas, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew emphasised: “I congratulate personally and on behalf of the Mother Church on the bravery and courage on the Ukrainian church issue. Please, give him my delight, congratulations and best wishes.”
Following Ecumenical Patriarch’s speech, Archbishop Makarios of Australia took the floor.
Archbishop Makarios emphasised that “We live nowadays in a dark era as it concerns our Church. Our fellow-believers challenge the Patriarchate because some can’t accept that there is a First in the Orthodox Church. That is indeed a major problem.”
He also highlighted the fact that the problems that arοse were caused by “this false perception concerning the First in the Orthodox Church. They even propose to call for a Pan-Orthodox Synod to solve issues that have been examined by the Ecumenical Patriarchate for centuries.”
He added that “Us, the Hierarchs of the Ecumenical Throne, we have to make serious efforts to maintain the unity within the Mother Church of Constantinople.”