Rule No. 1 when confronting misconduct is to take responsibility for your own actions and not pass the blame off to someone else. Did those hierarchs who implemented the New Calendar in their jurisdictions scandalize some of the more traditionalist-minded in our churches and make them want to break off into schism? Absolutely, and for this they will need to give an account before God for their insensitivity. But those who did break off into their schisms chose to break off into schism; nobody forced them to do so. They therefore have no one to blame but themselves for their decision, a decision for which they themselves will ultimately be called to account.
St. Nikodemus doesn't know his history, as this account directly contradicts Pope St. Cyril, who states that Alexandria was chosen solely for the job of calculating Pascha because of the accuracy of its astronomers.
Christ is risen!
yes, imagine doing exactly what the Fathers say. Quite a novel concept.
The date of pascha is on the solar calendar: the paschal full moon has to come after the equinox. We should keep the equinox, i.e. when day and night are equal.
You mean using the first sunday after the first (real) full moon after the (real) equinox like the council calls for?
From St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, The Pedalion (Rudder), p.9, footnote
“For let [the Latins] know that the Ecumenical Synods held after the First Synod, and the rest of the Fathers, wise as they were, could see, of course, that the equinox had deviated a great deal [from where it was previously]; nevertheless, they did not wish to change its position from March 21, where the First Synod found it, because they preferred agreement and union of the Church to accuracy in the matter of the equinox, which causes no confusion in fixing the date of our Pascha, nor any harm to piety.”
Please read more carefully before you claim to have a better understanding than St. Nikodemos. He did not contradict St. Cyril, nor did he claim that Alexandria’s method for calculating Pascha was considered inaccurate at Nicea and yet accepted anyway. What St. Nikodemos said was that the Fathers and Councils after Nicea knew that the equinox was deviating from March 21st, and yet they intentionally chose to retain the old method because of its importance in maintaining unity throughout the Church in the celebration of the Feasts. The Alexandrian method was chosen initially for its superior astronomical accuracy, but the purpose of instituting one method of calculation for the whole Church was to maintain unity in worship, particularly in the celebration of Pascha. The entire cycle of services was based on the Julian and great liturgical disorder arises by shifting the Julian by 13 days. The problem with the calendar change is not that it “makes the Orthodox too much like the Roman Catholics”, but rather that the change was made by individual local churches, without the consensus and agreement of the rest of the Church, and despite the fact that certain local churches (like Jerusalem) already said they would never adopt this innovation. This unilateral activity is schismatic in character, though the rest of the Church did not cut off from itself those who adopted this innovation, so the innovators remained part of the Church. Understandably, some became scandalized by the innovation and departed into Old Calendarist schisms. Those who departed into schisms were not canonically justified in doing so, but the innovators are to blame for causing “the little ones” (in faith) to stumble by introducing the scandalous innovation. Those who introduced the innovation will have to answer to God for the harm and confusion that has resulted, and for them it may have been better if a mill stone had been put around their necks and they were cast into the sea. What some do not realize is that souls have been lost by this careless innovation, and it is unbecoming of a Christian to either justify this senseless innovation or to show indifference to the loss of souls which has resulted.
Many souls will be lost for their decision to schism, and it is unbecoming of a Christian to either justify this Church-rending action or show indifference to their own sin and the loss of souls that has resulted.
Peter is absolutely correct about the effects of schism. Now I know that some will say, so what if some 'weak in faith' souls are lost as a consequence. That is easy for one to say and it borders upon the attitude of the Pharisee in scripture.
I will share a story my father liked to tell, having lived through a bitter schism in the Church and parish which his parents struggled to build when they came to America early in the 20th century and later, having been honored to serve as pastor and pastor emeritus of St. Michael'sOrthodox Church (ACROD) in Binghamton, NY for over 45 years.
In the 1920's, St. Michael's was one of the largest Ruthenian Greek Catholic congregations in the country. There were over 3,000 families registered on its metrical books with an average of over 100 baptisms per year from the 1914 through 1938 era.
As a result of the ham handed imposition of celibacy by Rome through the dreaded dictak of 'cum date fuerit', St. Michael's was rendered asunder in a bitter fight between those who put their faith in their pastor and bishop praying that the Holy Father would come to his senses if only he knew what THEY were doing in his name. (same sort of misplaced belief Russian peasants placed in the Tsar prior 1905) and those who knew that the only way to preserve the fullness of their ancestral faith was to leave Rome and return to Orthodoxy. Almost ten years of bitter, family splitting litigation followed.
When the dust settled during the war, the metrical books of the parish, now Orthodox, tell the tale and show the price of schism. Of the nearly 3000 families that existed prior to the fight, fewer than 1200 remained. About 800 left to build a Byzantine Catholic parish down the street. Of the rest, some joined the Slovak Catholic Church on the other block and most lost their faith and were scattered to the winds. The vitriol, anger and harsh words that were exchanged by all involved were too much for many to bear. They lost faith.
Wherever there has been schism, records will reflect similar shifts. There is a price to be paid.
Now, I am not suggesting that there is never a time or a place to take a stand, even if that stand leads to schism. Of course not, but taking such a stand, or creating the atmosphere which causes some to take that stand are not actions to be lightly undertaken. All involved will have to account to God in the end. We can only pray that we chose wisely.