‘Blessed to live in this multicultural society’: Archbishop Makarios on Australia Day

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His Eminence Archbishop Makarios has issued a message to the Greek Australian community to mark Australia Day today.

In his message, His Eminence describes how happy he is to have arrived in Australia back in June 2019 and adds that it is a “genuine blessing to live in an open, democratic, multicultural society.”

“I have already declared it, but I repeat it and absolutely mean it. With each passing day, I come to the greater and deeper realisation that it is a genuine blessing to live in an open, democratic, multicultural society in one of the most illustrious examples of mutual respect and understanding,” His Eminence writes in his message.

Full Statement in English below:

“Since my arrival to Australia in June 2019, I have not, for a moment, stopped praising and thanking God who led my steps to this blessed land.

I have already declared it, but I repeat it and absolutely mean it. With each passing day, I come to the greater and deeper realization that it is a genuine blessing to live in an open, democratic, multicultural society in one of the most illustrious examples of mutual respect and understanding. And today, I believe, is an occasion to celebrate this important aspect of Australian society, recognizing the diachronic contribution of all its members – from the indigenous, and first settlers of Australia, through to the immigrants of recent decades, including from our own Greek community who have made this place in the Antipodes their second homeland.

At the same time, it offers us the opportunity to look back boldly, to reflect and learn valuable lessons. After all, mistakes and injustices are not absent from any people in history. The essence, however, lies in their recognition, acceptance and in the concern for their restoration.

With this understanding, today we can celebrate Australia’s National Day with the certainty that we are travelling on the correct path. With pride in what we have already achieved, we inspire and renew our commitment for greater love, more justice, more unity and coexistence.

Happy Australia Day!”

Full Statement in Greek below:

“Από της αφίξεώς μου στην Αυστραλία, τον Ιούνιο του 2019, δεν έχω πάψει στιγμή να δοξάζω και να ευγνωμονώ τον Θεό που οδήγησε τα βήματά μου σε ετούτη την ευλογημένη γη.

Το έχω δηλώσει, το επαναλαμβάνω και το εννοώ απόλυτα. Και κάθε ημέρα που περνάει το συνειδητοποιώ ολοένα και βαθύτερα: Συνιστά πράγματι ευλογία να ζει κανείς σε μια κοινωνία ανοιχτή, δημοκρατική, πολυπολιτισμική, σε ένα από τα φωτεινότερα παραδείγματα αλληλοσεβασμού και αλληλοκατανόησης. Και η σημερινή ημέρα ενδείκνυται, εκτιμώ, για να εορτάσουμε αυτήν τη σημαντική κατάκτηση της αυστραλιανής κοινωνίας, αναγνωρίζοντας τη διαχρονική συνεισφορά όλων των μελών της – από τους αυτόχθονες, Πρώτους Κατοίκους της Αυστραλίας, μέχρι και τους μετανάστες των τελευταίων δεκαετιών, συμπεριλαμβανομένων των ομογενών μας Ελλήνων οι οποίοι εδώ στους Αντίποδες έχουν αποκτήσει τη δεύτερη πατρίδα τους.

Ταυτόχρονα, προσφέρεται ως ευκαιρία για να γυρίσουμε το βλέμμα μας με θάρρος προς το παρελθόν, να προβληματιστούμε και να αντλήσουμε πολύτιμα διδάγματα. Εξάλλου, τα λάθη και οι αδικίες δεν απουσιάζουν από κανενός λαού την ιστορία. Η ουσία, όμως, βρίσκεται στην αναγνώρισή τους, στην παραδοχή και στη διαρκή μέριμνα για την αποκατάστασή τους.

Υπό αυτήν την έννοια, σήμερα μπορούμε να εορτάζουμε την Εθνική Ημέρα της Αυστραλίας με τη βεβαιότητα ότι οδεύουμε στο σωστό μονοπάτι. Με υπερηφάνεια για όσα έχουμε ήδη πετύχει, εμπνεόμαστε και ανανεώνουμε τη δέσμευσή μας για περισσότερη αγάπη, περισσότερη δικαιοσύνη, περισσότερη ενότητα και συμπόρευση.

Happy Australia Day!”

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