SYDNEY – His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia issued a special encyclical letter to all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Australia regarding the new wave of the pandemic calling this “a critical time.”
The Archbishop wrote the following:
“It is a fact that in recent weeks, the nightmare of the pandemic has resumed in Australia, plaguing, in particular, the state of New South Wales and its capital, Sydney. For this reason, state authorities have enacted strict measures to curb the spread of the deadly virus. The thoughts of all of us, at this critical time, are with the dozens of people who have contracted the virus and are being treated in various hospitals. I ask that you please pray for the speedy recovery of those who are ill, and that their relatives and friends be given strength as they live through moments of apprehension and mental anguish. Let us also pray for the repose of the soul of the first victim, for this year, with coronavirus.
At the same time, it is our duty to reflect upon the economic and social consequences of the current crisis and to seek solutions for our fellow human beings who are being severely affected by the current constraints. I urge all Greeks, and every person of good will, to mobilise all their reserves of love and compassion in order to create a strong net of protection for those who are suffering and in need. Our local Church is firmly at the forefront of this struggle. The Greek Welfare Centre of our Holy Archdiocese, under the direction of the distinguished Mr. Steve Magdas has, for many years, been performing remarkably and now, in light of recent developments, the staff and volunteers are constantly intensifying their efforts to meet increased needs. Anyone who requires help is encouraged to contact the Greek Welfare Centre on (02) 9516 2188 or those who are in charge of local parishes. Furthermore, I fervently plead with all our brethren, if they are aware of anyone, be it a relative or a person from their wider social environment, who needs any kind of support, to immediately inform the Greek Welfare Centre, or their local parish, or the offices of our Holy Archdiocese. We have a duty not to leave anyone alone in this crisis but to face and overcome it with a spirit of solidarity and unity.
In addition, I take this opportunity to ask you, once again, to strictly follow the instructions and guidelines of the health experts and relevant government authorities in order to tackle the pandemic as effectively as possible and to free us from the unbearable constraints as quickly as possible. I also urge, with paternal love and responsibility, if you have not already done so, to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to achieve the best possible control of the pandemic. Unfortunately, Australia has one of the lowest rates of people who are vaccinated among the population compared to other countries in the world. We must not forget that vaccination constitutes an act of self-protection, but, primarily, it is an act of love and solidarity for our family, community, and the wider society to which we belong.
I join my prayers with those of the God-loving Bishops of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, wishing you all good health and strength, and praying that our benevolent God strengthens everyone and quickly frees humanity from this terrible ordeal of the pandemic.”