Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

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The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, headquarted in Sydney, is an eparchy of the Church of Constantinople. Its current primate is His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia.

Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Founder(s) Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis) IV of Constantinople
Autocephaly/Autonomy declared N/A
Autocephaly/Autonomy recognized N/A
Current primate Archbishop Stylianos
Headquarters Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Primary territory Australia, New Guinea
Possessions abroad N/A
Liturgical language(s) Greek, English
Musical tradition Byzantine Chant
Calendar Revised Julian
Population estimate 300,000
Official website Greek Archdiocese
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History

The first priest to serve in Australia was Archimandrite Dorotheos Bakaliaros around 1896. In 1898 the first Greek Orthodox parish was established, named after the Holy Trinity. Communities were originally supplied with priests from the Church of Jerusalem, and later the Church of Greece, and there was no attempt to organise the communities into a diocese.

In 1924, the parishes in Australia were transferred to the Church of Constantinople, who sent Christoforos to be the first metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand. He served until 1929 when he returned to Samos, his homeland. The next metropolitan was Timotheos, and he arrived in 26 January, 1932, serving until he was elected metropolitan of Rhodes in 1947. He was replaced by Theophylactos, who served until his death in a car crash on 2 August, 1958. Ezekiel, then assistant bishop of America, was elected metropolitan of Australia and New Zealand in February 1959, and arrived on 2 April 1959.

On 1 September of that year, the Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand was elevated to Archdiocese, and Ezekiel to Archbishop. Later, in 1970, the Holy Synod of the Church of Constantinople seperated New Zealand from Australia, leaving the Archdiocese of Australia and the Metropolitanate of New Zealand. In 1974 Ezekiel was promoted to the Metropolis of Pisidia, and the current Archbishop, Stylianos, was elected on 13 February 1974 and enthroned on 26 April, 1975.

Recent History

In recent years, there has been great tension between the Archdiocese and the current Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I concerning the elevation of one of the auxillary bishops of Australia, Joseph, to the metropolitanate of New Zealand. While some letters were exchanged and published through the Archdiocese-owned Greek newspaper, The Vema, the elevation of Metropolitan Joseph remains in effect and unchanged.

Organization

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is treated as one single archdiocese with five archdiocesan districts: New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory; Victoria and Tasmania; South Australia and the Northern Territory; Queensland and New Guinea; and Western Australia. To assist the archbishop, he has an amount of assistant bishops - currently three, but in previous times as many as five. There are 118 parishes and communities across Australia, and approximately 300,000 faithful in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.

The Archdiocese also includes 6 monasteries. The largest male monastery is the Holy Monastery of Pantanassa in New South Wales, and the largest female monastery is the Holy Monastery of Gorgoepikoos in Victoria. In 1982, the archdiocese began the St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College in Sydney, where Archbishop Stylianos currently serves as dean and Bishop Seraphim as sub-dean. As the lone theological college in Australasia, it often accepts students of other jurisdictions.

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is also a founding member of SCCOCA.

The Episcopacy

Diocesan bishops

  • Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia
  • Bishop Ezekiel of Dervis. Responsible for the Second Archdiocesan District of Victoria and Tasmania (45 parishes and communities).
  • Bishop Seraphim (Ginis) of Apollonias. Responsible for the First Archdiocesan District of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (35 parishes and communities).
  • Bishop Nikandros (Palyvos) of Dorileou. Responsible for the Third Archdiocesan District of South Australia and the Northern Territory (20 parishes and communities), and the Fifth Archdiocesan District of Western Australia (6 parishes and communities).
    • The Archdiocesan Vicar for the Fourth Archdiocesan District of Queensland and New Guinea (12 parishes and communities) is Fr Dimitri Tsakas, Economos, and one of the parish priests of St George, Brisbane.

Primates in Australia

External links