His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia, discussed a number of issues on Greek Television network ERT on Sunday, including the covid-19 pandemic and vaccines, as well as the events planned in Australia to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821.
Regarding COVID-19 vaccines, the Archbishop of Australia made it clear that citizens must take up this promising challenge in dealing with the pandemic, noting that he too will be vaccinated, even in public, to make a symbolic gesture of confidence in the vaccines and the procedure followed.
It is recalled last year, the Archbishops of the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches sent a letter to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlining their “ethical concerns” about a potential coronavirus vaccine. In the joint letter, they expressed their reservations and asked for assurances that the government would provide more vaccine options.
“The government has fortunately complied with this request,” Archbishop Makarios said, noting that from mid-February, when vaccinations begin in Australia, there will be other vaccines which have no moral concern. “I want to emphasise this and to be heard by our compatriots in Greece”, he added, “but also by the clergy and the monks and some bishops who raise concerns.”
Regarding the preventative measures in place and their impact on the liturgical life of the Church, the Archbishop replied that “We move forward with understanding and cooperation.”
The Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia also referred to the events for the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution and noted that preparations commenced last June with the establishment of the 20-member National Committee. The program with more than 250 events all over Australia, has also been released.
“I will say something that I do not want to sound excessive and I certainly do not want to underestimate our homeland, Greece, to which we are grateful here in Australia. I believe that the events to be held here will not be similar to those in another part of the world,” the Archbishop said.
He pointed out that the planned events would “embrace” Australia and added that the main goal was not only to address the Greek citizens of the country, but also “to give a testimony to Australian society.”
*Image by Nick Bourdaniotis/Bourdo Photography (Copyright)