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Press Office

Athens, 2 February 2022

Meeting of Secretary General of Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy Maximos Harakopoulos, MP, with Archbishop of Australia Makarios

"The role of the Church is crucial in maintaining Greek expatriates’ identity, also strengthening their relationship with the homeland. And this role manifests its fruit via the presence of pastors with the wisdom and energy that distinguishes the Most Reverend Archbishop of Australia Makarios. His work acquires special value as spiritually guiding a major part of the expatriate Hellenism residing and flourishing on this distant continent, which feels proud of its national origin". The above was stressed by IAO Secretary General, Dr Maximos Harakopoulos, Hellenic Parliament MP, after his meeting with the Archbishop of Australia Makarios, who is paying an official visit to Greece holding a series of meetings with state, political and ecclesiastical actors.

Maximos Harakopoulos also noted that "I had the opportunity to be informed in detail by the Archbishop about the Greek community’s current state of affairs, as well as the return to Church of Australia normalcy of communities having suffered from wrong choices and decisions. I was also pleased to hear about the efforts to teach the Greek language to younger generations, as well as clergy education and training at the Archdiocese Theological School .

On behalf of the IAO, I presented to His Excellency our recent activities - such as the international awareness campaign about Hagia Sophia, which was arbitrarily turned into a mosque, our initiatives for the protection of Christians in the Middle East and our contacts aiming at rapprochement and cooperation with representatives of other Christian denominations and religions, for the sake of peace and mutual understanding.

We both expressed the hope and will for closer cooperation, despite the distance that separates Australia from the Orthodox Inter-Parliamentary institution's seat. "We agreed that when circumstances permit and borders are open, we will  make an official visit to Australia."

The IAO Head offered to Makarios the English version of the volume "Hagia Sophia: The temples of the Wisdom of God around the world", while the Archbishop of Australia presented Mr Harakopoulos with a historical map of pre-revolutionary Greece. The newly elected Bishop of Magnesia Christodoulos also participated in the meeting.

 High resolution images

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