Rescuing A Fallen Brother

President Clinton has recruited a number of spiritual advisors for counseling and weekly prayer sessions, reports CBS News Correspondent Harry Smith.

Among the men that have been chosen to lead Mr. Clinton from temptation is Tony Campolo, a preacher who openly wept during the president's prayer breakfast last Friday.

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Rev. Tony Campolo has been praying with and ministering to Bill Clinton for several years. He delivered a stirring sermon the morning of Clinton's second inauguration.

An Italian-American brought up in Philadelphia's mostly black Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Campolo first met Mr. Clinton at a conference on urban problems. The president asked him to come to the White House for Bible study.

"When you walk into the Oval Office," Campolo says, "your first three four minutes are of 'I'm with the President of the United States.' After that you realize he's just another sinner saved by grace."

Last year, CBS News visited Campolo in his old Philadelphia neighborhood to talk about his work and about his relationship with President Clinton.

"I try to see the president as I would any other member of my congregation," Campolo said. "When I meet the members of my congregation I never shake hands with them. I always hug them. When I walk in the Oval Office I never shake hands with the president, I always hug him. Because he needs to be hugged."

During his current crisis, the president called on Campolo for counseling and asked to be held accountable for his behavior.

Campolo has never shied away from confronting the chief executive. When he is on the pulpit and President Clinton is down in the pews in front of him, Campolo does not hold back.

"My job is not to make him comfortable, but to make him uncomfortable. My responsibility is to prick his conscience, to make him aware of all the responsibilities he has as a leader," he says.

Campolo is on call 24-hours a day for the president. Refusing new interviews, Campolo said in a statement he said his role now is to rescue a fallen brother.

Reported By Harry Smith.
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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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