Stylianos Harkianakis

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His Eminence
Stylianos Harkianakis
Archbishop of Australia
Installed 1975
Term ended Incumbent
Predecessor Archbishop Ezekiel
Personal details
Birth name Stylianos Harkianakis
Born (1935-12-29) 29 December 1935 (age 82)
Rethymno, Crete, Greece

Stylianos Harkianakis (Greek: Στυλιανός Χαρκιανάκης) is the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Australia and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. He serves as inaugural and permanent Chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia and Dean of Saint Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College. He is a theologian specialising in ecclesiology and also an award-winning poet.


Harkianakis was born in Rethymno, on the island of Crete, Greece on 29 December 1935. He studied theology at the Theological School of Halki, on the island of Halki and graduated in 1958. He was ordained a deacon in 1957 and a priest in 1958. He completed postgraduate studies in systematic theology and the philosophy of religion at the University of Bonn in West Germany, from 1958 to 1966. His lecturers included Cardinal (then Reverend Father) Joseph Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI. He wrote his thesis on the concept that the Orthodox Church possessed infallibility when it acted together in conciliarity (e.g. the Ecumenical Councils). At that time, the idea of infallibility was thought to be an exclusively Roman Catholic idea, entirely alien to the Orthodox Church.

In 1965, whilst still completing his postgraduate studies, Harkianakis was appointed Professor of Theology at the University of Athens. In 1966, he was appointed abbot of the Holy Patriarchal Monastery of Vlatodon, in Thessaloniki. He was a founding member, then became vice-president and later president, of the Patriarchal Institute of Patristic Studies within the monastery. From 1969 to 1975, he lectured in systematic theology at the University of Thessaloniki.

In 1970, Harkianakis was elected the Titular Metropolitan of Militoupolis (whilst remaining in the Holy Monastery of Vlatadon) as exarch in matters concerning Northern Greece and Mt. Athos.[1]

Archbishop of Australia

In 1975, Harkianakis was elected Archbishop of Australia and Exarch of Oceania. In this role, he engaged in many dialogues between Orthodoxy and other Christian groups, most prominently as co-chairman of the theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church, but also as co-chairman of the dialogue with the Anglican churches.

Harkianakis has taught Orthodox theology and spirituality at Sydney University since 1975. In 1986 he became the inaugural dean of St Andrew's Theological College where he also serves as Lecturer in Systematic Theology.


In 1973, Harkianakis was awarded the International Award Gottfried von Herder. A noted poet with an extensive bibliography, he was given the Award for Poetry from the Academy of Athens in 1980. In 1985 he received an honorary doctorate from Lublin University, Poland. One of his poems, "After Ephialtes", was set to music by Costas Tsicaderis.


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2008-10-13.


  • Harkianakis, Stylianos (2008). The Infallibility of the Church in Orthodox Theology. Sydney: St Andrew's Orthodox Press.
Eastern Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Archbishop Ezekiel
Archbishop of Australia
Succeeded by
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