Bishop Emilianos of Meloa resigns from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia

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Vicar General of the Archdiocesan District of Brisbane, Bishop Emilianos of Meloa formally resigned from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (GOAA) on Monday, June 3.

Bishop Emilianos tendered his resignation during a meeting of Bishops from across Australia, which was held in Sydney under the presidency of Archbishop Makarios of Australia.

Bishop Emilianos tendered his resignation during a meeting of Bishops from across Australia.

This resignation comes amid tension between the GOAA and Bishop Emilianos since March 2023.

The Bishop first submitted a letter of resignation to Archbishop Makarios on March 10, 2023, outlining four reasons behind his decision, whilst suggesting there were more.

  1. According to Bishop Emilianos, Archbishop Makarios provided selective information to the Bishops regarding important matters concerning the Orthodox Church. One specific instance mentioned was when the Bishops were asked during a zoom call to endorse a letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch, urging the approval of the new Constitution of the GOAA. The Bishops were not given prior knowledge or clarification on the proposed amendments. Bishop Emilianos pointed out that these changes could have an impact on the Bishops and suggested that they should have been consulted before making any decisions.
  2. The Bishop stated that Archbishop Makarios implemented a policy that restricts Bishops from operating Facebook pages. Additionally, it is suggested that when clergy members oppose his instructions, the Archbishop allegedly reassigns them to a new post away from their home.
  3. Bishop Emilianos observed that Bishop Kyriakos of Sozopolis was transferred from Sydney to Melbourne and reportedly may not have received the expected support from the Archbishop. In his letter, he expressed his concerns about what he perceived as “not fatherly behavior.”
  4. Bishop Emilianos expressed his concern about the uncertainty faced by the Bishops, using Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis’ financial situation as an example. He claimed that when Bishop Bartholomew served as the former Archiepiscopal Vicar of Canberra, he incurred travel expenses of approximately $35,000 per year, which were allegedly agreed to be reimbursed by the GOAA but were not. Bishop Emilianos further highlighted the significant travel expenses incurred by the Archbishop on frequent business class trips abroad, which were claimed to amount to over $500,000.

Despite Bishop Emilianos claiming to speak on behalf of all Bishops across Australia, none co-signed the letter in support.

Following his resignation letter on March 10, Bishop Emilianos sent follow-up correspondence to Archbishop Makarios, apologising for his actions.

Whilst the Archbishop allowed him to continue his ministry at the time, Bishop Emilianos left Australia and travelled to America in November 2023 by invitation of the Pan-Kalymnian Federation of America. During his trip, he met with Archbishop Elpidophoros of America at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The Bishop later returned to Brisbane, Australia in early 2024, but was replaced as Vicar General of the Archdiocesan District of Brisbane by Bishop Bartholomew.

His resignation on Monday, June 3 was accepted by Archbishop Makarios, with the Greek Orthodox leader expressing at the meeting his gratitude to Bishop Emilianos for his contribution to the GOAA and conveying his well wishes for the future.

News of Bishop Emilianos’ resignation has saddened Australia’s Greek Orthodox community. He held many roles in the GOAA, having been Chancellor at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of our Lady in Redfern, and also Chairman of the GO Youth, GO Family and Friends and GO Teens initiatives in New South Wales.

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