His conviction that history will call Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as “Great” was expressed by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia.
And he explained that this was because, during the almost 30 years of his service as Patriarch, His All Holiness acted and taught precisely as described in the Gospel. “He taught, not so much with his words as he did by his life,” His Eminence stressed among other things while at the same time making mention of a special and charismatic personality, who adorns our Ecumenical Throne.
Archbishop Makarios spoke these warm words about His All Holiness at the end of the Divine Liturgy, over which he presided at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of our Lady Theotokos in Sydney, on Thursday 11 June, the day that our Church honours the memory of Holy Glorious Apostle Bartholomew and on which the Ecumenical Patriarch celebrates his name-day. Praying together in the holy Altar were His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of Sevasteia and the Chancellor the holy Archdiocese, His Grace Bishop Emilianos of Meloa.
Addressing the faithful, His Eminence reminded them that the Patriarch as an institution has always been a symbol for all Orthodox Christians. “In the past, when our ancestors talked about the Patriarch, it was like they were talking about the flag,” he emphasised and added: “As they respected the flag of our nation, which had the cross on it, in the same way they respected the Patriarch, the Patriarch of our people. Referring with great emotion to His All Holiness Bartholomew, he pointed out that “all this respect over the centuries has passed through the DNA of the Hellenes and has become even greater, my beloved brethren, because this Patriarch, with whom God has blessed all Orthodoxy and all mankind is a very special personality; he is a charismatic person.”
Focusing on the day’s Gospel passage and the verse, “whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven,” the Archbishop said that this “is absolutely fitting for this great person who adorns our Ecumenical Throne; our Ecumenical Patriarch.” In conclusion, he urged the faithful to pray for the Ecumenical Patriarch as if they were praying for their father because, as he noted, “this man really carries on his shoulders the whole weight of the Orthodox Church.”
Before the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence raised Father Nicholas Bozikis to the rank of a spiritual father and spoke about a very blessed clergyman and a struggler who has much to show for the duration of his priestly course for the glory of God and the salvation of the people, but also for the glory of our holy Archdiocese. He pointed out, addressing Fr Nicholas that, “along with the wishes of those present, you will also have the wishes of our Ecumenical Patriarch, who will richly bless you from the Throne of the Patriarchate.”