Our College Dean, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, reposes in the Lord

Our College Dean, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, reposes in the Lord


Archbishop Stylianos (Harkianakis) of Australia, Founding Dean, St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College (1935 – 2019).

With deep sadness, but with unfailing hope in the Resurrection, we announce the repose in the Lord of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia, of thrice blessed memory, Founding Dean of St Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Theological College, during the late afternoon of 25 March, the Great Feast Day of the Annunciation of the Theotokos.

Born in Rethymnon, Crete in 1935, His Eminence went on to study theology at the Theological School of Halki. Upon graduating and being ordained to the priesthood in 1958, he commenced postgraduate studies in Systematic Theology and Philosophy of Religion in Bonn, former West Germany from 1958-1966. As a thirty-year old Archimandrite he submitted his doctoral dissertation entitled The Infallibility of the Church in Orthodox Theology [in Greek] (Athens, 1965) at the Theological Faculty of the University of Athens. Upon his return from Germany in 1966 he was appointed Abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of Vladates (Thessalonika) where he established, with other scholars, the Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies. Completing his post-doctoral dissertation, The Constitution 'De Ecclesiae' of the Second Vatican Council (Thessalonika, 1969), he became Associate Professor at the University of Thessalonika. He lectured as visiting Professor at the University of Regensburg, West Germany in 1973. He was unanimously elected titular Metropolitan of Miletoupolis and Exarch (Representative) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Mount Athos in 1970. Five years later he was again unanimously elected Archbishop of Australia, arriving in Australia in 1975.

He widely published in Systematic Theology and Ecclesiology for academic journals all around the world and represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Assemblies of the World Council of Churches and in bilateral dialogues. He was unanimously elected Chairman of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church since its commencement in 1980 and served up until 2003. His Eminence was also a recognised poet with over fifty collections published. For his outstanding contribution in European cultural achievements he gained the International Award Gottfried von Herder in 1973. He also received an honorary doctorate from Lublin University in Poland and the Sydney College of Divinity.

He was truly a great theological scholar, an unmatched visionary in the establishment and development of St Andrew’s, and a devoted spiritual leader of the faithful entrusted to him and for the broader Australian community.

In the midst of our common sadness, we are comforted knowing that he has run the good race to the end and is now at peace with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.