The Prime Minister of Australia, Hon Scott Morrison MP met with His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia for the first time today at the Prime Minister's Office in Sydney
The Prime Minister welcomed His Eminence on behalf of the people of Australia, stating “As I have made known to you by letter, Australia is very lucky to have you as Archbishop of the Orthodox Church. We have been following your journey to Australia and today we congratulate and welcome you to our shores. We thank you for being with us and offer our support as you begin your new life in Australia”.
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios thanked the Prime Minister for his kind words and added that he feels "very blessed to have God lead my footsteps towards this beautiful country of yours. I thank you deeply on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and Greek-Australian community for all that you have provided the Greeks of Australia till today. As Orthodox and as Greeks we will remain witnesses of peace, unity and love in this blessed continent called Australia”. His Eminence also gave the Australian PM a beautiful icon of Christ as a memento of this special occasion.
During the meeting, the two men discusses issues of common interest with emphasis on religious freedom, the re-opening of the School of Halki of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the special relationship Australia has fostered with Greece.
After His Eminence was elected as the new Archbishop of Australia, it must be noted that Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among the first to rush to congratulate him personally, while other Australian leaders and politicians congratulated the new Archbishop with statements posted on social media.