22 October 2004




The public disclosure earlier this week (in the Adelaide Advertiser on 19/10/04 ) of the letter from Archbishop Stylianos, the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia to Archbishop Joseph of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of New Zealand, has caused significant alarm amongst the Greek Orthodox community in Australia .

I am a member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and I make this statement reluctantly.

I have spoken to many other members of the Archdiocese since the publication of the article. I believe my views reflect those of an overwhelming majority of them - I have yet to speak to a fellow member who has agreed with the Archbishop’s comments - and it is important that the Archbishop’s letter should be the subject of public comment.

The purported ‘order’ that Archbishop Joseph leave Australia – who has visited Adelaide for personal reasons – is unprecedented and raises serious questions about the judgement of Archbishop Stylianos. It has undermined his authority amongst parishioners.

Many of us have found Archbishop Stylianos’ letter to be deeply offensive and lacking in Christian charity. I and many others believe Archbishop Stylianos’ letter is subjecting the Church to ridicule in the wider community.

For Archbishop Stylianos to have reacted in this way and behave like an Immigration Minister with unchecked powers in ordering the ‘deportation’ of Archbishop Joseph, who is beloved and respected in Australia from his time as a Bishop in Adelaide and Melbourne, has angered and baffled many in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.

Archbishop Stylianos has further divided the Greek community at a time when its unity should be a priority.

I only hope that Archbishop Stylianos will take immediate positive steps to heal the hurt he has caused to so many of his parishioners.


Written and authorised by Nick Xenophon, 653 Lower North East Road, Paradise, SA 5075