Religion: New Patriarch

In Damascus this week, at the Cathedral of Mariameyeh (the Virgin Mary), a short, portly man with rosy cheeks and a long white beard, in vestments of gold and silver brocade, received a golden staff topped with twin serpents—and thus became the 173rd Patriarch of Antioch and of All the East, the post revered by Eastern Orthodoxy as the oldest seat in Christendom.-Behind his election loomed a battle between Communism and the West.

The Patriarch of Antioch is shepherd of about 1,000,000 souls throughout the world—110,000 of them in the U.S., 40,000 in Canada and 250,000 in Latin America. The Antioch patriarchate...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!