Mount Athos Featured in "60 Minutes" Segment on Pascha Evening

The “Monks of Mount Athos” will be broadcast Sunday, April 24, 2011 on the CBS Television Network at 7:00 PM EST. Harry Radliffe and Michael Karzis are the producers of the segment.

Christos Anesti! Kalo Pascha! Kali Anastasi!

I stopped in to 60 Minutes by accident and was blown away by the coverage of the monastery. I hope that many people saw it.

I saw it and was very surprised by the quality and sensitivity to the sacred atmosphere and meaning of the place. I thought it was an excellent and beautiful report.

It was very good, I was glad that spiritual warfare was mentioned…truly dedicated holy men.

I too saw it and thought it was one of the better “60 Minutes” reports. I wonder how many non-Orthodox Christians even know about the existence of Mount Athos.

Aleithos Anesti!

Well done, including the “Extras”.

The same reporter Bob Simon of 60 Minutes did an important feature last year on His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with an “Extra” about Cappadocia. His All Holiness spoke with courage in the segment.

I saw it, It was excellent. Whats gotten into 60 minutes. In the past few weeks they had this story, the story on the Vatican artifacts and another story on Archbishop Dolan. Too boot they were all very positive stories. To those who missed this story you can see it again on 60 minutes website.

What a wonderful segment!

I loved this segment! I am so happy millions of folks in the USA had an opportunity to learn something and to realize that Christianity takes different forms and that Byzantine Christianity is a fascinating and vital part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I wish they would do more pieces like this.

I’m one of them. They are Greek Orthodox, correct?

They are Eastern Orthodox in the Greek tradition, as I understand it. Their piety and asceticism is not unknown to the Latin Rite either; just look at some Benedictine and Trappist groups. Monasticism is alive and well in both the East and West, it seems to me–although the threats to monasticism seem (to me) to be greater than ever.

I did not know about. I’m Roman Catholic. Very interesting and nicely done. I was surprised when my Russian Orthodox friend didn’t know about Fatima. Interesting to me because the nuns had us praying the rosary and going to novenas for its conversion from the time I was eight. She knew nothing. I told her the RCC has been praying for the conversion of Russia since the appariation in 1917.

And your friend’s reaction was … ?

Fatima has no meaning or relevance for the Russian Orthodox. The vast majority of them would regard apparitions such as Fatima as suspect. Indeed I share some of their concers with regards to Marian apparitions and do not believe in the vast majority of them either. And the conversion of Russia has been achieved. Many Russian Orthodox would actual be offended or insulted at the notion that we were praying for them to abandon their faith as Orthosdox believers.

I watched this and was surprised at how respectful the reporters were to the monks and their views and traditions.

Then I drooled over the sacred icons (art).

I think when one is discussing these things that it is important to keep in mind that the Catholic Church does not view Marion veneration, i.e., Fatima, Lourdes, etc., as a binding dogmatic belief of the Catholic faith, but a private devotion. Indeed, although the monks on “the holy mountain” of Mount Athos are revered and their role is viewed as beneficial to the Orthodox, what they do is not mandated by any catechism of Orthodoxy as far as what I am aware. It is part of the rich Orthodox (and Catholic as well) Tradition and plays an important role in the faith of the Church. I think the apparitions of the Blessed Mother do the same in the Latin Church amongst the laity and religious alike. Anyone who has attended a DV in either a Greek or Russian Orthodox Church knows that the Mother of God is similarly venerated and looked to for intercessory prayer and help.

My family is half Russian Orthodox and half Catholic…

You are fortunate to be brought up in such a rich and ancient Christian tradition. You would appear to be one who has much to share and to assist those with questions and sincere hearts about how to reunify Christ’s torn fabric. Shalom.

I’m Irish Catholic, I married into a Russian Orthodox family. The Orthodox generally find Fatima and the call for conversion to be irksome. Many regard it as a call for prosleytising and it encourages the traditional suspicions each Church holds about the other to be reinforced when we on the Catholic side keep insisting (as some of our laity do) that it is not completed even though we have been told by our hierachy that it is. The Orthodox in Russia would point out they were Christian for many centuries prior the revolution of 1917. Also given the fact the Russian Orthodox Church has had to slowly rebuild and restructure itself after the fall of the USSR makes them naturally suspicious of calls for them to be converted. That doesn’t help the tenous position the Russian Catholic Church finds itself in, whereby they encounter significant prejudice at times and awkward bureacratic barriers are placed in their way.

Some of the Orthodox view some Marian apparitions as possibly demonic, partly this arises from missapprehnsions about their role in Catholic theology. Some do not realise they are optional and no Catholic is required to believe in them. Many Catholics themselves I feel are unaware of that and at times Fatima or Lourdes or other apparitions are valued over highly. It is forgotten that these are (as you say) private revelations and of secondary importance and never take precedence over Church teachings.

As a point for some fun after that. I’ve seen this interview. It’s obvious the researchers did little checking or researching as at one point someone asks about ‘the college of cardinals.’ Another amusing point, no women are permitted on Mount Athos.

I like how you differentiate between official (hierarchial) positions of the Catholic Church on the Russian Orthodox and the laity, as that is always an important distinction. I also am well aware of many of the difficulties the Russian Orthodox (as well as the Bulgarian, Antiochian and other Eastern Churches) have had over the years. I once attended a DV at a local Greek Orthodox Church a couple of years ago and it happened to be on the day of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. His Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, was in Rome and attending a Mass with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The laity hissed and groaned about the two being together and the priest had to calm people down and remind them that it everyone’s call (including Orthodox and Catholic alike) to move and pray towards reunification and healing in Christ’s Body. As you point out, sometimes the folks in the pews go too far with some things and actually run afoul of orthodox teaching (that’s with a small “o”). :slight_smile:

At any rate, I feel healing is going on and the East and West have gotten over more humps than they have in the last thousand years. This is good progress and we must hope and pray that it continues. May the Holy Spirit work within all to move us where we need to go. Amen.

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