The federal leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Anthony Albanese, visited the central offices of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia in Sydney, on Wednesday, 17th November.
Mr Albanese was greeted with great joy by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, the God-loving Bishops and the clergy working in the offices of the Holy Archdiocese. Indeed, His Eminence hosted a formal luncheon in honour of the prominent visitor.
During the luncheon, issues of common concern were discussed in a cordial atmosphere, resulting from the genuine friendship and mutual respect that characterises the relationship of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios and the Leader of the Australian Labor Party, from the beginning of their acquaintance after the arrival of the Archbishop on the fifth continent.
During the discussion, special mention was made of issues relating to the needs of the Greeks in Australia as well as the local Church. Furthermore, His Eminence presented to Mr Albanese the planned works incorporated in the renovations of the central offices of the Holy Archdiocese in Redfern and the buildings of the new Theological College. Moreover, the Archbishop conversed about the Ecumenical Patriarchate and for the need to reopen the Theological School of Halki, while also speaking at length about the 30th anniversary of the patriarchy of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Speaking with praise about the two-year term of the Archbishop, and noting he has brought a spirit of renewal to the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek community, Mr Albanese expressed his willingness for further and closer cooperation. He even promised that he would contribute in whatever way possible to the fulfilment of the ambitious plans of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia.
On his part, His Eminence wished him strength and success in his work and warmly thanked him for his visit to the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, for his kind words, and for all he has offered to Hellenism.
Present at the official luncheon were their Graces Bishop Iakovos of Miletoupolis, Emilianos of Meloa, Elpidios of Kyaneon, Silouan of Sinope, Kyriakos of Sozopolis, Christodoulos of Magnesis, Bishop-elects Evmenios of Kerasounta and Prochoros of Charioupolis, as well as the brother of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Mr Nikolaos Archontonis, and his wife Catherine.