Anba Angaelos, Archbishop of London, Papal Legate to the United Kingdom, and Papal Legate to the Diocese of Sydney and Affiliated Regions announced 3 April that he is ending his service in the Diocese of Sydney and Affiliated Regions, after 18 months of overseeing its affairs.
The announcement was made in a video message posted on the Facebook page of the Diocese of Sydney. Anba Angaelos thanked Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark, for “his trust and for the opportunity to serve this blessed diocese, with its wonderful clergy and laity.” In his message, Anba Angaelos also thanked Bishop Daniel of Sydney for his “fraternal sentiments” and thanked the “wonderful priests of the diocese for their faithful service and love, and support throughout this time”. He also thanked the members of the Board of Trustees whom he described as “faithful and dedicated”, members of the various committees with which he has worked, the college’s faculty, board, administrative staff and students, and “every member of the diocese, young and old, for every call, conversation, thought, suggestion and contribution that has positively affected and impacted the diocese over this past period.”
Anba Angaelos went on to say: “During this time various processes and mechanisms have been implemented that now serve the diocese, which has constitutionally moved from a sole-trusteeship to one that functions with a Board of Trustees, at every level. To reflect this new arrangement, I have written to the Attorney General, directly following the New South Wales parliamentary elections and his appointment, to initiate the process of amending the Property Act governing the diocese.
“With this accomplished, and confident that what has been established will serve as a firm foundation for next steps along the process, and because of the requirements of my own diocese and ministry, I have asked of His Holiness that I be excused from this responsibility, which has been a blessing to me.
“In the same way that I received this blessed ministry, I now return it into the hands of His Holiness the Pope for his wisdom and direction, guiding those who will continue to build on what has been implemented. Until any other provisions are made, the Clergy Council and Board of Trustees will be under the direct care of His Holiness, from whom they will receive guidance and direction for the service of the diocese.”
The Archbishop, however, expressed an intention to continue his youth ministry in Sydney. “Although this will bring to an end my service as Papal Legate to your beloved diocese, I look forward to continuing my pastoral visits for youth ministry that I have so enjoyed over the past two decades.”
Anba Angaelos had been appointed Papal Legate to Sydney and Affiliated Regions in September 2021.
In response to Anba Angaelos’s message, the Clergy Council of the Diocese of Sydney and Affiliated Regions and the Board of Trustees, each issued a statement, thanking Archbishop Angaelos for his care and service throughout the past 18 months as Papal Legate, and praying for him. The Board of Trustees expressed their “deepest of thanks and gratitude to His Eminence for his dedication, sacrifice and wisdom over the last 18 months in his role as Papal Legate.”
The statement of the Board of Trustees read: “As a collective group of servants, we have been blessed to serve under the experience and blessed shepherd-hood of His Eminence during a most challenging time for our Diocese. It has not been an easy task; however, the burden was made lighter by His Eminence’s spirit of peace and wisdom which continued to sustain us. His leadership, encouragement and support blessed us in the most mammoth of tasks.
“Our own collective spirit has been enriched and strengthened as we traversed the rebirth of our Diocese and shall remember these days serving with His Eminence as a time of deep prayer, fellowship in Christ and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
For its part, the Clergy Council wrote that “His Eminence’s spiritual leadership, coupled with his profound wisdom and generous spirit, has significantly enhanced the various services of the entire Diocese.”
Received, thank you.
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