Religion: The Patriarch

Istanbul's million and a half Moslems, Christians and Jews go about their business among ancient ruins, aqueducts, walls and cisterns that are dead relics of Byzantium's glory. But Istanbul's strongest link with the past is very much alive: looming (6 ft.-4 in.), white-bearded Athenagoras I, 67, the 268th Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church.

Last week Athenagoras observed his fifth anniversary in a job in which his predecessor went mad.* His power in matters of faith, order and polity is far more limited than that of the Pope; yet he is looked upon...