EP on Sixty Minutes

Last night, His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch was on the CBS program 60 Minutes. If you scroll down you will find a link to the video from last night. The program was well done and very informative.

Today many people are complaining about, what I would consider, minor inaccuracies in the reporting of the story. First off the story was not a catechism lesson but a story about how the Greek minority in Turkey does not have the same rights and freedoms as other do.

The EP is considered the Spiritual Head of all of the Orthodox Christians in the world. The Orthodox Church, unlike Rome, does not have one head of the church. Each of the National Churches, ie Greek, Russian, Romanian, have Patriarchs and they are all equal to one another. The EP is the first among equals. What does that mean? When they have a meeting he sits at the head of the table. It really is that simple. He does not speak for all Orthodox as no one speaks for all Orthodox. Each Patriarch speaks for their particular part of the Church. Very confusing I know.

The other thing that has people talking is the part of the program when it was stated that Constantinople (Modern day Istanbul) is the cradle of Christianity. That is not exactly true. Actually according to Scripture the first place they were called Christians was Antioch. Constantine moved the capital of his empire to Constantinople from Rome after Rome became unbearable. The 2nd Ecumenical Council placed Constantinople in the second place of honor after Rome in what is called Dyptics.

So all in all it was a great interview. I do not always agree with the EP especially his view on life and his traveling around the world for ecological reasons but I have a new found respect for him because of the suffering of the Church there. If he spoke more on those topics and less on political ones he might be known more as the Spiritual Patriarch and less as the Green Patriarch.

Below is the list of the Patriarchates in their order of precedence

The Church of Rome (Not in Communion)

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Patriarchate of Alexandria
Patriarchate of Antioch
Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Patriarchate of Moscow
Patriarchate of Serbia
Patriarchate of Romania
Patriarchate of Bulgaria
Patriarchate of Georgia
Church of Cyprus
Church of Greece
Church of Poland
Church of Albania
Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
Orthodox Church in America (although listed with the others, at this time Moscow is the only church that recognizes the Autoecphaly of the OCA)

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