On Tuesday 16 February 2016, at the Cathedral of the “Annunciation of our Lady”, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos conducted the Service for the Opening of the Law Term 2016 in NSW.
Dignitaries present were:
His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia
His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand
His Grace Bishop Seraphim of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
The Hon. Tom Bathurst AC, Chief Justice of NSW, from the Supreme Court of NSW
Justice Margaret Beazley AO, President of the Court of Appeal
Justice Arthur Emmett, Judge of Appeal
Justice Julie Ward, Judge of Appeal
Justice Stephen Campbell
Justice Michael Pembroke.
Present from the Federal Court was Mr Tony Tesoriero, Deputy District Registrar, and from the Land and Environment Court Justice Brian Preston, Chief Judge. From the District Court present were Judge John Hatzistergos and Judge Paul Lakatos, from the Law Society of NSW Elizabeth Espinosa, Council Member representing Mr Gary Ulman (President).
Also present were Dr Stavros Kyrimis, Consul-General of Greece and Mr Paul Floricel Mocanu, Consul
General of Romania and Mr Jack Passaris, of the Ethnic Communities Council of NSW, and many others.
In his address, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos stated the following:
Your Honour, the Chief Justice Mr Tom Bathurst,
Other distinguished Justices, Judges, Members of the
Judiciary and various Servants of the Law Profession,
Reverend Clergy, sisters and brothers,
We are all delighted to have the privilege of gathering once again in this Holy Cathedral of our Archdiocese, not only to pray together, but at the same time listen, in dedicated obedience, to the word of God as it is expressed in the Gospel of our common Lord, on the occasion of the commencement of our new Legal Term.
It is indeed most indicative of the dangers and dilemmas that the law profession as a whole may face – including the judiciary also – while serving the needs of society. Particularly in our time when all institutions are experiencing a decline towards an erroneous mentality or tactics, we should read again and again the passage of the Gospel which we just heard.
It is not without significance that the protagonist who asks our Lord the questions, in order to test Him, was a lawyer. A lawyer, as we know, is a professional person who believes in most cases that he (or she) knows better than others how to resolve problems or reply to questions.
Eloquence and knowledge go hand in hand, as if one person can embrace the whole truth and reality.
And yet, as long as this self-confidence of the lawyer deals with secular and temporary matters and conditions, one of course would not blame such a servant of Law.
The problem arises from the moment that the lawyer of today’s reading had not only the ambition to settle temporary difficulties, but rather the demand to receive as a reward no more and no less than the inheritance of eternal life!
It is very comforting and, at the same time, edifying for all of us to see here the patience with which the
Lord answers the questions of such a lawyer. Instead of giving him theoretical explanations, Christ immediately draws (the) attention to the concrete human person, who so often becomes the victim of a cruel society.
In so doing, he gives the most striking response to the hypocrisy of all those who pretend not to know who their neighbour is, although (out of experience at least), each of us should know that we all are exposed to the same needs.
More importantly, it is at least for us Christians very important to note that the Lord does not demand from us only to ‘know’, but at the same time to ‘do’ accordingly whatever is necessary in each case.
“To know how” becomes sometime an obstacle in our social co-existence in today’s society if we do not exercise the power of knowledge to both relieve and assist our neighbour to come out of his agony and pain, as the Good Samaritan has done.
Sisters and brothers, we could not expect more lessons and admonitions from today’s reading. I thank you indeed for your attention and presence this evening, and let us hope that our common Lord will not cease to strengthen and guide us how to face the conditions in which we are called to live also in the New Year.
We especially pray at this time for the Chief Justice, the Attorney-General, all Judges and members of the judiciary, their families, as well as all servants of Law, that they might have a truly blessed new Law Term.
Source: The Greek-Australian Vema: March 2016