Archbishop Makarios of Australia issues message on International Day Against Drug Abuse

As we navigate the third year of the coronavirus pandemic, Bishop Makarios issued a statement on Sunday June 26 to remind Australians that love of our neighbor and compassion are essential to keeping our societies afloat.

The leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia stressed that to effectively tackle the deadly virus and the widespread consequences that come with this health crisis, we need solidarity.

“It is no coincidence that these values ​​are at the heart of our faith and the teachings of the Holy Gospel,” he said in an advertisement published to raise awareness on the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse. .

“It is precisely these values ​​that we must have as a guide in all aspects of our lives, especially in the face of the serious social problems that afflict modern societies. One such example is the scourge of drug addiction,” he said.

Read the full statement below:
The United Nations, wishing to raise awareness of the terrible consequences of drug addiction, proclaimed June 26 as the International Day Against Drug Addiction. Unfortunately, despite the systematic efforts of the past decades and the significant steps that have been taken, the issue remains controversial, causing untold pain.

Perhaps the simplest solution is to address only our fellow human beings who are drug addicts, trapped in deceptive promises and dark dead ends. Of course, we will, and we will speak above all to the young people who are the targets of this terrifying nightmare. But the most resounding message must be addressed to each one of us who, denying the alteration of reality that drugs promise, recognize only the “good change” that is taking place in our lives by divine grace. Therefore, we must not be indifferent to our brothers who are at a critical crossroads and uncertain about their future. Let’s not ignore those who have been trapped and are being judged. Let’s not turn our backs on those who walk towards us who have given up their drug addiction and are trying to recover. Let practical love for our neighbour, the love that Christ taught us by his own example, be the answer. Let’s support each other and walk together towards the “good change”. This is my paternal petition on the occasion of today’s international day.

Furthermore, I would like to thank all those who work tirelessly under adverse conditions exacerbated by the pandemic for the success of the sacred goal of our Holy Archdiocese, which is the operation of two drug treatment centers in Melbourne and Sydney. With faith in God, we expect to be able to complete our plans very soon to deliver to the Greek community and wider Australian society, two shelters of refuge; real-life refuges that will be a strong fortress in the fight against drug addiction.

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