The Holy Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia welcomes the conduct of the ABC which has now published an apology to Archbishop Makarios with respect to the false and defamatory allegations it published in April of this year to the detriment of His Eminence, the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Diaspora of Australia.
The ABC has amended each publication with an editorial clarification and also posted a statement on the Corrections & Clarifications page on Thursday, 9 September at https://www.abc.net.au/news/corrections/2021-09-09/archbishop-makarios-of-australia/13534314.
With feelings of vindication on the one hand, and with a spirit of understanding and forgiveness on the other hand, His Eminence Makarios accepts the apology provided by the ABC. The publication of the apology together with an agreement by the ABC to pay the legal costs incurred by the Archbishop has now resolved the dispute.
The Holy Archdiocese would like to thank Ms Sue Chrysanthou, Senior Counsel, and Mr George Antonopoulos, a Principal Solicitor, both of Greek background, who undertook the legal work on the case and settled the dispute without the need to commence any legal proceedings.
The Archbishop wishes good health and prosperity to the staff of the ABC to effectively serve their journalistic function and thanks all involved for the resolution of this matter.
The ABC had suggested the correlation between both the dire situation which the pandemic caused in 2020 at St Basil’s Homes in Melbourne, and the news agency’s details regarding the financial management of previous years, with the person and mindset of His Eminence, Archbishop of Australia which was not true or the case.
It is now clear that what was promoted and published by the ABC agency has been corrected and clarified, since a structural element of its content – from its title even to its final claims – was the unmistakeable correlation of matters unrelated between the events and circumstances, with the reproduction and invocation of rumours and anonymous information which was false.
Such rumours and information for the most part correspond with all that the well-known group of opponents of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia, of its institutions, and of Archbishop Makarios personally, channel to the Press in Australia and Greece.
This group has, for months now, been engaged in a slander campaign against the local Church and its Archbishop, in a systematic and organised way, because its members have either lost acquisitions or are now deprived of illicit privileges which they had in the past.
It is comforting that the ABC agency has finally accepted that the information, which it unfortunately accepted and reproduced, lacks truth and credibility and substance; hence it took care to correct the matter and apologise.
Given the opportunity, the Holy Archdiocese of Australia and His Eminence Archbishop Makarios express warm thanks and gratitude to all the clergy and laity, the Presidents of the Parishes, Communities, Associations, and Organisations, and the Principles of the Schools and Institutions, whose members exceed 800,000 Australian citizens, for their written testimonies to the Prime Minister of the country; the Leader of the Opposition; the Minister of Press in charge and naturally the Director of the ABC.
The intense mobilisation in support of the local Church and of the Archbishop shows the unity that exists within the Greek community of Australia while giving the message that voices from the past cannot shake the work and the vision of the Hellenes of the Fifth Continent.