Archbishop Makarios of Australia issues message on International Day Against Drug Abuse

Archbishop Makarios of Australia

As we travail the third year of the coronavirus pandemic, Archbishop Makarios released a statement on Sunday 26 June to remind Australians that the love of our neighbour and compassion are crucial to keeping our societies afloat.

The leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia stressed that to effectively tackling the deadly virus and the widespread consequences that accompany this health crisis we need solidarity.

“Not coincidentally, these values are at the core of our faith and the teachings of the Holy Gospel,” he said in an announcement issued to raise awareness on the International Day Against Drug Abuse.

“It is precisely these values that we must have as a guide in every aspect of our lives, especially when dealing with the serious social problems that plague modern societies. One such example, is the scourge of drug addiction,” he said.

Read the full statement below:
The United Nations wanting to raise global awareness of the dreadful consequences of drug addiction has established the 26th of June as International Day Against Drug Abuse. Unfortunately, despite the systematic efforts of recent decades and the important steps that have been taken, the issue remains vexed causing untold sorrow.

Perhaps the easiest solution is to address only our fellow human beings who are drug users, trapped in deceptive promises and dark impasses. Of course, we will do this and we will especially address the youth who are targets of this terrifying nightmare. But the most resounding message must be addressed to each and every one of us who, denying the alteration of reality that drugs promise, recognise only the “good change” that occurs in our lives through divine grace. Therefore, we owe it to ourselves not to be indifferent to our brethren who are at a critical crossroad and uncertain about their future. Let us not ignore those who have been trapped and are being tried. Let us not turn our backs on those walking towards us who have given away their drug addiction and are trying to recover. Let practical love for our neighbour, the love that Christ taught us with His own example, be the answer. Let us support each other and walk together towards the “good change”. This is my paternal petition on the occasion of today’s International Day.

Moreover, I would like to thank all those who are working tirelessly amidst adverse conditions exacerbated by the pandemic for the success of the sacred aim of our Holy Archdiocese, which is the operation of two detox centres in Melbourne and Sydney. With faith in God, we expect to be able to complete our plans very soon to deliver to the Greek community and the broader Australian society two shelters of refuge; shelters of real life that will be a strong fortress in the battle against drug addiction.

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