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Wednesday, 27 September 1972
Page: 1297

Senator GEORGES asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice:

(1)   Under which powers and for what reasons has the Attorney-General's Department declined to proclaim and recognise the Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church in Australia.

(2)   Why has it taken the Attorney-General's Department so long to establish the viability of the Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church in Australia.

Senator GREENWOOD (VictoriaAttorneyGeneral) The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) The power to proclaim a religious body lo be a recognised denomination for the purposes of the Marriage Act 1961-1966 is vested in the Governor-General by section 26 of that Act. In July 1971 the then Attorney-General, as the Minister responsible for the administration of the Act, informed the Autocephalic Greek Orthodox Church of America and Australia that he was not prepared to recommend that it be recognised because he had reservations about its long-term stability. The Church has recently re-applied for recognition under the Act and I have the matter under consideration.

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