As you would have no doubt heard and been informed, Medical Science has in recent years developed worldwide the practice of “organ and tissue transplants” in the human body.
This is the honourable effort of Science to replace tissue or organs that have deteriorated, through the offering of caring donors, such that the recipients of this ‘gift’ are able to live, whereas they previously had no hope whatsoever.
We are all called, therefore, to support the practice of such transplants, and to encourage one another to become donors, thereby greatly assisting our suffering fellow human beings, especially as it is possible that we may be recipients in the future, depending on circumstances.
Our Church and our Archdiocese encourages the faithful to express their relevant interest, particularly now when the Australian Government has officially undertaken a strong ‘crusade’ for donors of organs and tissue. Other Christian Churches and denominations have also mobilised, together with the followers of other religions. It is not permissible for us Orthodox to be lacking in such a praiseworthy humanitarian initiative, given that we have the word of God as our guide and motto, which states: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
As a result, it would be good for us, whenever the circumstance for a transplant arises in our immediate environment, to seek the advice of specialist Doctors about what can be done, so that we are not indifferent or unmoved in the face of such a serious matter. It requires not only a sense of human solidarity, but also of respect towards both the donor and the recipient.
Thanking you warmly for your collaboration, I wish you all a peaceful and redemptive Holy Pascha.
In Sydney 17th April, 2013
With deep fatherly love,
Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia