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Time Magazine Names Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Among World’s Top 100 Most Influential People

In its fifth annual list of the world’s most influential people, Time Magazine has recognized His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew among those in the category of Leaders and Revolutionaries. He joins a prominent list of people which include the Dalai Lama, President George W. Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin, presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain.

In fact, Time ranked His All Holiness as its 11th among the magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Archbishop Rowan Williams, head of the Anglican Church, offers an overview of His All Holiness’ extraordinary accomplishments and his devotion toward environmental awareness.

The article, which appears in Time’s May 12th issue, can be read in its entirety below.

Time Magazine: 100 World’s Most Influential People

Leaders & Revolutionaries

Bartholomew I

by Archbishop Rowan Williams

Read this article on,28804,1733748_1733757_1735535,00.html

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople enjoys a resonant historical title but, unlike the Pope in the Roman Catholic context, has little direct executive power in the world of Eastern Orthodoxy. Patriarchs have had to earn their authority on the world stage, and, in fact, not many Patriarchs in recent centuries have done much more than maintain the form of their historic dignities.

Patriarch Bartholomew, however, has turned the relative political weakness of the office into a strength, grasping the fact that it allows him to stake out a clear moral and spiritual vision that is not tangled up in negotiation and balances of power. And this vision is dominated by his concern for the environment.

In a way that is profoundly loyal to the traditions of worship and reflection in the Eastern Orthodox Church, he has insisted that ecological questions are essentially spiritual ones. He has stressed that a world in which God the Creator uses the material stuff of the universe to communicate who he is and what he wants is one that demands reverence from human beings. Probably more than any other religious leader from any faith, Patriarch Bartholomew, 68, has kept open this spiritual dimension of environmentalism.

The title Ecumenical Patriarch historically refers to the Patriarch’s pastoral responsibility for “the whole inhabited world.” This brave and visionary pastor has given a completely new sense to the ancient honorific; his work puts squarely on our agenda the question of how we express spiritual responsibility for the world we live in.

Williams is Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Anglican Church


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