New York, NY - His All Holiness Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians who constitute the second largest Christian Church in the world, will be featured on the CBS News program 60 Minutes reported by Bob Simon, scheduled to air on Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 7 p.m. EST. The segment will focus on the Orthodox Church, the most ancient Christian church, and its development from its earliest years to modern times in what is now the Republic of Turkey.
His All Holiness was named 11th among the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine and was awarded the US Congressional Gold Medal for his efforts to promote human rights and religious tolerance. He has also been recognized by the United Nations as a Laureate Champion of the Earth for his pioneering work to protect the environment. Affectionately known as "the Green Patriarch," Patriarch Bartholomew has called upon leaders of all denominations to join him in this effort, noting simply that "If life is sacred, so is the entire web that sustains it."
His All Holiness recently concluded an extended visit to the U.S., where he participated in an environmental symposium in Mississippi, ministered to the five million Orthodox faithful in America, and met with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama, among many others. He is the author of Encountering the Mystery (Doubleday) and In the World, Yet Not of the World (Fordham).
Commenting on the upcoming broadcast, Archbishop Demetrios of America said:
"The appearance of the Ecumenical Patriarch on a program such as 60 Minutes is an extraordinary opportunity for the American public to become aware of our Orthodox Christian Faith. Millions of people who would otherwise have limited knowledge of the Orthodox Church will have the chance to see and hear the highest ecclesiastical personage of our Church in their living rooms. It is also a tremendous opportunity for our own Orthodox Faithful in the United States to see His All Holiness in a way that will surely touch their hearts and minds with love and deep respect."
60 Minutes is the pre-eminent investigative television news show in the United States and has run on CBS since 1968. It has been among the top-rated TV programs for much of its life and has garnered numerous awards over the years. The show will also be broadcast over the Internet on the 60 Minutes website: www.60minutes.com
More information about His All Holiness's work for religious freedom, human rights, environmental conservation, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as texts of his addresses may be found at: www.patriarchate.org
Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America