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Author Topic: Old vs. New Calendar?  (Read 214484 times) Average Rating: 0
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ialmisry
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« Reply #1575 on: October 09, 2011, 11:17:11 AM »

Quote
the calendar is like an icon. Of itself it is material, but the Church has made it spiritual. It is impious to deface an icon, and it is impious to disrupt the calendar through ill-conceived reforms.

In what way is a calendar an icon? Is a calendar a visual expression of the incarnation of God? Is a calendar a window to heaven? A spiritual depiction of holiness? Do we pray to the calendar like we do to the Cross, do we hold feasts of it?

Honestly, Jonathan, you'll have to find a better defense than that if you expect us to take you seriously.

Here's a healthy antidote to "hemerologiolatry":

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2009/06/onion-dome-where-calendar-is-everything.html

So I guess it is sacrilege to restore icons once their paint is pealing and fading, and are darkened by the soot of smoke.

As for reforms, equinox. It means equal day and night.  Vernal.  It means spring.  Words mean what they say.
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« Reply #1576 on: October 09, 2011, 02:02:33 PM »

Quote
the calendar is like an icon. Of itself it is material, but the Church has made it spiritual. It is impious to deface an icon, and it is impious to disrupt the calendar through ill-conceived reforms.

In what way is a calendar an icon? Is a calendar a visual expression of the incarnation of God? Is a calendar a window to heaven? A spiritual depiction of holiness? Do we pray to the calendar like we do to the Cross, do we hold feasts of it?

Honestly, Jonathan, you'll have to find a better defense than that if you expect us to take you seriously.

Here's a healthy antidote to "hemerologiolatry":

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2009/06/onion-dome-where-calendar-is-everything.html


It depends what you mean by pray "to" an icon. I assume you don't mean we idolize an icon; rather we treat it, as you say, as a "window to heaven", a spiritual tool made of material stuff that the Church provides us in order to gain access to heaven through prayer. In a similar way, we don't worship the calendar or idolize it, but it's an important spiritual tool, formed from an originally (partly) secular time-measuring system, that the Church provides us in order that we may participate in the cycle of heavenly feasts. I am no more an "hemerologiolatrist" than you are an idolater when you use an icon.
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« Reply #1577 on: October 09, 2011, 02:06:51 PM »

Quote
the calendar is like an icon. Of itself it is material, but the Church has made it spiritual. It is impious to deface an icon, and it is impious to disrupt the calendar through ill-conceived reforms.

In what way is a calendar an icon? Is a calendar a visual expression of the incarnation of God? Is a calendar a window to heaven? A spiritual depiction of holiness? Do we pray to the calendar like we do to the Cross, do we hold feasts of it?

Honestly, Jonathan, you'll have to find a better defense than that if you expect us to take you seriously.

Here's a healthy antidote to "hemerologiolatry":

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2009/06/onion-dome-where-calendar-is-everything.html

So I guess it is sacrilege to restore icons once their paint is pealing and fading, and are darkened by the soot of smoke.

As for reforms, equinox. It means equal day and night.  Vernal.  It means spring.  Words mean what they say.

But the calendar's "paint" was not peeling. When an icon fades it becomes useless, since the whole point is to provide the worshiper with a sacred image to focus on during prayer. Without the image there is no icon. The purpose of the calendar is to provide an internally regular cycle of festal celebrations and commemorations in order for the Church on earth to participate properly in the worship of heaven. We don't worship the solar cycle like pagans, we worship the Uncreated. So whether or not the ecclesiastical vernal equinox corresponds to the astronomical one (in the northern hemisphere!), the patristic calendar continues to function just as well as it did originally, as it was designed to do, in fact.
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« Reply #1578 on: October 09, 2011, 02:34:38 PM »

The disunity brought to the Church by the New Calendar was avoidable.  It was unnecessary.  It wiped feasts out as if they counted for nothing in 1924 and forever impacts on the Apostles Fast in the NC Churches.  It separates worshipers even within the OCA.  All in the name of pseudo-scientific relevatism - the logic of which sustains those who want to reduce the fasts because it clashes with our McDonalds loving Western way of life, or who want married bishops or to allow priests, deacons and subdeacons to marry after ordination - or divorce.  The logical extension of this modernism if unchecked - and I acknowledge that there is grace and wisdom and holiness in the New Calendarist Churches - is that you end up with the Episcopalians and liberal Roman Catholics with the ordination of women and gay marriage being accepted as politically correct, psychologically balanced and ethically fine. 
The New Calendar does not wipe out fasts and feasts. It is the inter-mixing of the two calendars that does that. Please take some time to think about that. Your apparent misunderstanding detracts from your credibility.

No calendar - even ones with capitalized names like Old Calendar, New Calendar, Revised Julian Calendar, etc. - establishes seasons. You need to read Genesis chapter one (especially verse 14). A calendar is merely a tool that should direct us accurately to what God established at creation. The early Fathers in choosing the Julian Calendar as a tool to create unity in their day did indeed make the best choice that was available to them at the time.

It is not calendar revisions that create disunity, but rather those people (on both sides) who have made the calendar an end in itself.
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« Reply #1579 on: October 09, 2011, 02:36:19 PM »

Getting back to Met Cyprian's article, it occurred to me that the passage from the 1593 encyclical I quoted above from Fr Basil's work looks exactly the same as the "seventh anathema" of the disputed sigillion. Unfortunately, Fr Basil's source for this encyclical is a work from the 1940s, called "The Change of the Calendar", by a certain Bishop Polycarp of Diaulia (an Old Calendar bishop who was consecrated by the original 3-bishop synod in 1935). I can't find this source to check up on the original document. But it looks like there may be more going on than meets the eye. Is the language of the 1593 encyclical so similar to the disputed 1583 sigillion because it borrowed the text from the sigillion, proving its authenticity? Or is the 1593 encyclical one of the unnamed source documents that Fr Iakovos used to compose his bogus sigillion in 1858?

I mistakenly said that Met Cyprian misused quotation by trying to represent the 1593 synodal act as addressing the Paschalion only. This act (actually, the eighth canon of the synod according to Fr Basil Sakkas) does indeed make explicit reference only to the Western Paschalion. The mention of both Paschalion and Menologion comes from this encyclical, a separate document, which Met Cyprian nowhere mentions.

The website orthodoxinfo.com reproduces a letter written by a monk of Holy Transfiguration Monastery that seems to allude to these forgery claims:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/cal_letter.aspx

"Another indication that nothing—including the new calendar was adopted at Constantinople is that Archbishop Chrysostom Papadopoulos of Athens had to lie in order to convince the Synod of Greece concerning some anathemas that had been hurled against the new calendar by Jeremias II of Constantinople in 1583, (the Constantinopolitan Councils of 1587 and 1593 also condemned the Gregorian Calendar). Papadopoulos told the Synod that the anathemas were a forgery (some years before his election as Archbishop, Papadopoulos had written an excellent essay concerning the impossibility of changing the church calendar—in it he quoted the anathemas of Jeremias). The essay is found in Pyrsos Encyclopedia, printed in Athens. In fact, even as Archbishop, just one year before the Church of Greece changed to the new calendar, he wrote the following in a related report: "No Orthodox Autocephalous Church can separate itself from the rest and accept the new calendar without becoming schismatic in the eyes of the others." ("Report to the Committee of the Department of Religion" Jan., 16, 1923) Some years later it was established beyond a shadow of a doubt that the anathemas of Jeremias were authentic, and that the Archbishop was, in fact, lying only in order to quiet the troubled consciences of some of the bishops. If the new calendar had in fact been adopted in Constantinople in 1923, Papadopoulos could have used this as a reason for changing. That he did not is clear proof that the Council held by Meletios Metaxakis made no adoptions."

Now one of the sources Met Cyprian uses for his argument is a work by the same Abp Chrysostom Papadopoulos (see first note on page 5), which together with the dates of his scholarly sources makes me pretty sure he is simply rehashing the old polemics of the State Church at the beginning of the schism. Unfortunately, I don't know where to find the alleged refutation of this forgery claim that the HTM monk alludes to. Fr Basil's work nowhere mentions any dispute over the authenticity of the sigillion. Perhaps he wasn't aware of the dispute, but that seems unlikely, since I am quite sure the New Calendarists would continue to use this argument if available. Perhaps he was being dishonest and leaving the reader unaware as to the disputed nature of this document, but perhaps also he didn't mention the dispute because it had been settled long ago in favor of the authenticity of the sigillion. But I think the HTM monk makes a strong point when he points out that Abp Chrysostom only began to claim forgery after he inaugurated the reform.
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« Reply #1580 on: October 09, 2011, 02:49:37 PM »

One more point: while I still think it's important to remember that the 1923 congress had only nominal Pan-Orthodox status (Met Philaret of ROCOR in his introduction to Fr Basil's work disputes its authority), it's also important to remember that the calendar reform in Greece went ahead without even the formal support of this congress, as the HTM monk's letter shows, and which an earlier poster pointed out. The essential point is that pretty much at every stage the reform proceeded without the support of the whole Church.
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« Reply #1581 on: October 09, 2011, 04:05:39 PM »

Okay, now for the dissection:

Your worldly logic re the calendar theories used to justify the Gregorian Calendar/New Calendar is irrelevant.  The first Orthodox patriarch to accept the New Calendar was Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis -  utterly discredited who should have been excommunicated for being a Mason.
Genetic fallacy - You're suggesting that the New Calendar is bad purely because the first Orthodox hierarch to accept it was a shady character. This line of argument, however, ignores the merits or lack thereof in the New Calendar itself.

Your New Calendarism has changed the culture of Eastern Orthodoxy.  You fail to answer the charge that New Calendarism lends itself to erroneous ecumenism with heterodox.
What is "New Calendarism"? How does it lead to erroneous ecumenism with the heterodox? False ecumenism and what you call "New Calendarism" may indeed share many of the same adherents in common, but I don't see how it's necessary to embrace both or neither. It's possible to follow the New Calendar and NOT be an ecumenist, and it's possible to be an ecumenist while still following the Old Calendar. To associate the two to create some appeal to guilt by association is a logical fallacy.

Patriarch Athenagoras accepted the validity of papist orders.  Patriarch Bartholemew continues in the same vein.  Patriarch Meletios of Constantinople/Alexandria courted Anglicans, and accepted the validity of Anglican orders.  I would like a response to these please.
Evidence, please?

Whether the world is round and spinning or flat matters nought to our salvation.  The disunity brought to the Church by the New Calendar was avoidable.  It was unnecessary.  It wiped feasts out as if they counted for nothing in 1924 and forever impacts on the Apostles Fast in the NC Churches.
You do realize that the impact on the Apostles Fast is not the fault of the New Calendar per se? It's the fault of our incomplete adoption of the New Calendar. If we were to go all the way and adopt even the New Calendar Paschalion, then we wouldn't have this problem of the Apostles Fast being rendered non-existent in some years. 

It separates worshipers even within the OCA.
Again, it's not the New Calendar itself that does that. It's the fact that some in the Church adopted the New Calendar while others did not. Besides, I think this lack of uniformity nowhere near as divisive as you make it out to be.

All in the name of pseudo-scientific relevatism - the logic of which sustains those who want to reduce the fasts because it clashes with our McDonalds loving Western way of life, or who want married bishops or to allow priests, deacons and subdeacons to marry after ordination - or divorce.
Again, just because Patriarch Meletios advocated all these things in addition to the New Calendar doesn't make the New Calendar itself just as bad--the idea that it does is just another association fallacy. Many of those churches that adopted the New Calendar did so without embracing any of the other junk Patriarch Meletios endorsed, which goes to show that the New Calendar can be considered on its own merits and need not be seen as merely one part of a much bigger, inseparable package.

The logical extension of this modernism if unchecked - and I acknowledge that there is grace and wisdom and holiness in the New Calendarist Churches - is that you end up with the Episcopalians and liberal Roman Catholics with the ordination of women and gay marriage being accepted as politically correct, psychologically balanced and ethically fine. 
I've already addressed the slippery slope fallacy in the above. Now I'm just going to reiterate that the New Calendar need not be associated with modernism, as you so do.
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« Reply #1582 on: October 09, 2011, 07:45:20 PM »

I wonder if Sbdcn David is going to come back any time soon to defend his most recent post. Or is it just going to be another drive-by?
Michael you can argue numbers of New Calendarists vs. Old if you like.  Maybe if you counted bishops given that the Constantinople Patriarchate has so many titular sees of places long lost to Christianity you might win that way.
define long.  Most of those abandoned sees were full until last century.  But they were suppressed by Muslims.  Those suppressed in Russia were suppressed by those that PoM had baptized itself.

The EP also has several millions in its home territory.

I am not really interested in the semantics of the calendar - the so-called science of your Gregorian knowledge

it's called astronomy. Btw, do you still believe the sun revolves around the earth?

or the merits of the place of the winter solstice in the New Calendarist Nativity.
The vernal equinox is the most important.

Nothing good has come of the New Calendar.
or the Old Calendar.

Especially in Greece, thousands of holy Orthodox have felt so strongly about this, that they have left the official Church. It has supported the appalling ecumenism of Patriarch Athenagoras and his successors.  The holiest monastic communities in the world - Mt Athos have roundly rejected it.
I vote for St. Katherine's on Mt. Sinai. 

It has divided the Church for what? To please the heterodox?
Only in your head.
Why did the late Patriarch Meletios - an entirely discredited chainsmoking

is there a canon on smoking annulling a consecration?
Mason reject the Old Calendar and do so much to push the New? Because the Old did not fit with the ideology that he espoused, with the culture that he wanted for the Church of liturgical reform, shortening the fasts etc. 

The science of the calendar is irrelevant to the salvific mission of the Church, a mission to share the Gospel with the non-believers, to bring the heterodox to the Church.  Disunity hinders that mission just as ecumenism and modernism does.
sharing your belief that the earth is flat with non-believers isn't helping the salvific mission of the Church.

Your worldly logic re the calendar theories used to justify the Gregorian Calendar/New Calendar is irrelevant.  The first Orthodox patriarch to accept the New Calendar was Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis -  utterly discredited who should have been excommunicated for being a Mason.
 
But he wasn't, nor has he been postumously. And, as has been pointed out, he wasn't even a patriarch when it was adopted.  So no, he wasn't the first patriarch to accept the New Calendar.

Your New Calendarism has changed the culture of Eastern Orthodoxy.  You fail to answer the charge that New Calendarism lends itself to erroneous ecumenism with heterodox.
As you fail to answer the charge that Old Calendarism leads to Bolshevism.  Except for Trotsky, nearly all the the Bolsheviks were baptized and raised in the Old Calendar, and the culture of Russian Orthodoxy during the Synodal Period.

Patriarch Athenagoras accepted the validity of papist orders. 
I have plenty of issues with EP Atheneagouras of blessed memory (not everything he did was wrong), but I can't blame that on his use of the New Calendar, as it has nothing to do with it.

Patriarch Bartholemew continues in the same vein.
Ditto.

Patriarch Meletios of Constantinople/Alexandria courted Anglicans,
So did St. Tikhon.

and accepted the validity of Anglican orders.  I would like a response to these please.
You have had several.  That you do not like them doesn't change them.

Whether the world is round and spinning or flat matters nought to our salvation.  The disunity brought to the Church by the New Calendar was avoidable.
 
Yes, everyone could have taken "equinox" for what it means.

It was unnecessary.


It wiped feasts out as if they counted for nothing in 1924 and forever impacts on the Apostles Fast in the NC Churches. 
and the whole universe stood still. Roll Eyes

Those feasts were not on there for centuries, and the Apostles Fast in any case varies no matter what calendar you use. Your soul will live.

It separates worshipers even within the OCA.
Only if they let it.  Of course, they can all adopt the New Calendar, and then there wouldn't be an issue at all.

All in the name of pseudo-scientific relevatism -
It is neither pseudo, nor relative.  It is scientific, and you calling it "pseudo" and "relativism" only makes you look foolish, which would be fine, except you want to make the Church look foolish as well.

the logic of which sustains those who want to reduce the fasts because it clashes with our McDonalds loving Western way of life,

I don't think Met/Arb/EP/Pope Meletius (your boogie man for this issue) came from the West, nor even spent any appreciatable part of his life in it.  Nor do I think he ever went to McDonalds.

or who want married bishops
Nothing wrong with something which is Biblical.

or to allow priests, deacons and subdeacons to marry after ordination - or divorce.
you left out widowhood (the usual circumstances in these cases).  How you feel about ordination after divorce?

The logical extension of this modernism if unchecked
The modernism in your head defies logic, and needs to be put in check.

- and I acknowledge that there is grace and wisdom and holiness in the New Calendarist Churches - is that you end up with the Episcopalians and liberal Roman Catholics with the ordination of women and gay marriage being accepted as politically correct, psychologically balanced and ethically fine. 
Yeah, Romania is overrun with Episcopalians and liberal Roman Catholics, ordaining women all over the place and gay marriage rates soaring.  Nearly a century of the New Calendar will do that to you. Roll Eyes

Now on a serious note: what really makes me not take your type serious is that I never hear a criticism of the aberration of ecclesiology that came with the "Holy Governing Synod" scheme: something definitely imported from the West, and yet it's never questioned by those who think the sky fell in when the calendar was set back on course.
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« Reply #1583 on: October 09, 2011, 07:45:21 PM »

Quote
the calendar is like an icon. Of itself it is material, but the Church has made it spiritual. It is impious to deface an icon, and it is impious to disrupt the calendar through ill-conceived reforms.

In what way is a calendar an icon? Is a calendar a visual expression of the incarnation of God? Is a calendar a window to heaven? A spiritual depiction of holiness? Do we pray to the calendar like we do to the Cross, do we hold feasts of it?

Honestly, Jonathan, you'll have to find a better defense than that if you expect us to take you seriously.

Here's a healthy antidote to "hemerologiolatry":

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2009/06/onion-dome-where-calendar-is-everything.html


It depends what you mean by pray "to" an icon. I assume you don't mean we idolize an icon; rather we treat it, as you say, as a "window to heaven", a spiritual tool made of material stuff that the Church provides us in order to gain access to heaven through prayer. In a similar way, we don't worship the calendar or idolize it, but it's an important spiritual tool, formed from an originally (partly) secular time-measuring system,
Not partly, fully, at least for our purposes: Caesar's pagan astronomers were not any more Christian that the allegedly atheist ones of the Vatican (btw, do we have any proof on that, their atheism it is, or is it a slur that some just like to repeat?).  Even the Hebrew lunar calendar was organized by pagans (which is why it has pagan Babylonian names).

that the Church provides us in order that we may participate in the cycle of heavenly feasts.
No, paper feasts, as its equinox exists only on paper and not in the heavens.

I am no more an "hemerologiolatrist" than you are an idolater when you use an icon.
Don't know, we clean our icons when they get obscured.
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« Reply #1584 on: October 09, 2011, 07:45:21 PM »

Quote
the calendar is like an icon. Of itself it is material, but the Church has made it spiritual. It is impious to deface an icon, and it is impious to disrupt the calendar through ill-conceived reforms.

In what way is a calendar an icon? Is a calendar a visual expression of the incarnation of God? Is a calendar a window to heaven? A spiritual depiction of holiness? Do we pray to the calendar like we do to the Cross, do we hold feasts of it?

Honestly, Jonathan, you'll have to find a better defense than that if you expect us to take you seriously.

Here's a healthy antidote to "hemerologiolatry":

http://byztex.blogspot.com/2009/06/onion-dome-where-calendar-is-everything.html

So I guess it is sacrilege to restore icons once their paint is pealing and fading, and are darkened by the soot of smoke.

As for reforms, equinox. It means equal day and night.  Vernal.  It means spring.  Words mean what they say.

But the calendar's "paint" was not peeling.
It's equinox is two weeks off.  Throw in a Paschal moon, and it is even further off.

When an icon fades it becomes useless, since the whole point is to provide the worshiper with a sacred image to focus on during prayer. Without the image there is no icon. The purpose of the calendar is to provide an internally regular cycle
no, it is to sanctify time.  But what is not assumed is unredeemed, so it can't be redeeming time if it never touches it.

of festal celebrations and commemorations in order for the Church on earth to participate properly in the worship of heaven.
We don't worship heaven.  Just follow the signs the Lord of Heaven have put there.  Well, some of us do.

We don't worship the solar cycle like pagans,
No, you just worship deified emperors.  Julius set it so, so it must always be followed so.

Taking the Fathers at their word "equinox" isn't worshipping the solar cycle. Just following them in their use of it.

we worship the Uncreated.
So you claim, worshipping a calender created by Caesar.

So whether or not the ecclesiastical vernal equinox corresponds to the astronomical one (in the northern hemisphere!),
That is where Christ was born, lived, died and rose, and the Fathers set the calendar.  Maybe there can be an Austrian Joseph Smith Jr. if you feel left out.

the patristic calendar continues to function just as well as it did originally, as it was designed to do, in fact.
Yes, the New Calendar works fine.  It would work better if fully implemented.
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« Reply #1585 on: October 09, 2011, 07:50:53 PM »

That is where Christ was born, lived, died and rose, and the Fathers set the calendar.  Maybe there can be an Austrian Joseph Smith Jr. if you feel left out.
Australian? Unless our use of the New Calendar has flipped the world over, Austria, the birthplace of Mozart, Freud and Schwarzenegger, is still in the Northern Hemisphere. Wink
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« Reply #1586 on: October 09, 2011, 08:51:35 PM »

PtA I think expresses the new calendarist case better in one sentence than Isa can do in five paragraphs of name-calling and immature posturing. Is it possible to believe that the spirit of Nicea was somehow lost throughout the Church, only to be rediscovered by today's reformers? I think it's impossible to believe this, since it implies that the Holy Spirit somehow ceased to guide the Fathers of later times, in complete contradiction of the promise of Christ that the gates of Hell would never prevail. This is why I'm Orthodox, because I can't accept the RC concept of doctrinal development, the idea that the Holy Spirit revealed dogmas over time to the various Popes, and I can't accept the Protestant idea of the Invisible Church, the notion that the continuity of the Apostolic doctrine was somehow lost, only to be rediscovered by each believer as he interprets Scripture in his own way! And this is why I'm True Orthodox, because I can't believe that progress-obsessed reformers know better what was in the minds of the early Fathers than tradition-minded people who submit their own proud intellects to what the Church has handed down.
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« Reply #1587 on: October 09, 2011, 10:03:44 PM »

PtA I think expresses the new calendarist case better in one sentence than Isa can do in five paragraphs of name-calling and immature posturing. Is it possible to believe that the spirit of Nicea was somehow lost throughout the Church, only to be rediscovered by today's reformers? I think it's impossible to believe this, since it implies that the Holy Spirit somehow ceased to guide the Fathers of later times, in complete contradiction of the promise of Christ that the gates of Hell would never prevail. This is why I'm Orthodox, because I can't accept the RC concept of doctrinal development, the idea that the Holy Spirit revealed dogmas over time to the various Popes, and I can't accept the Protestant idea of the Invisible Church, the notion that the continuity of the Apostolic doctrine was somehow lost, only to be rediscovered by each believer as he interprets Scripture in his own way! And this is why I'm True Orthodox, because I can't believe that progress-obsessed reformers know better what was in the minds of the early Fathers than tradition-minded people who submit their own proud intellects to what the Church has handed down.

ISTM that the issue of the Calendar and the Paschal celebration is exactly one of those things that the Holy Spirit chooses to act in differing ways that are each appropriate to their times and places. You are quite right that dogma and doctrine never changes or develops, practice OTOH does. 

In the earliest period of the Church it was important that the practice of the Church be somewhat varied, and that each local Church follow the traditions handed down by the Apostles who influenced those communities. So, St Polycarp and the Roman Bishops each celebrated the Pascha on different days in their own jurisdictions and followed the practice of the local community when visiting.

When Christianity came out of the catacombs and into the public eye unity of practice became more important, especially for Churches residing in the Empire. So we have the Nicene declaration appealed to by advocates of the New Calendar regarding the timing of the Paschal celebration with the Vernal Equinox.

It should be pointed out- while it was forbidden to celebrate the Pascha with the Jewish Passover it was still important to the mind of the Church that the Pascha still be linked with the Passover. This was in line with the belief that the same God who created the sun, moon, and stars so that we might mark seasons and times and who Himself linked the Passover celebration to a specific celestial event was also the One who became Incarnate as Man and made Himself the Passover Lamb.

Later it was important that we not revise the Calendar with Rome- at the time of the councils of Constantinople referred to by advocates of the Old Calendar the Gregorian calendar had no widespread secular adoption- it was merely Roman Catholic countries which had adopted it, and any adoption on our part might have seemed as some form of admission that we were under Rome's authority.

Adopting a new calendar is not abandoning the Orthodox faith any more than setting a common celebration for the Pascha was abandoning the faith of St Polycarp. The Holy Spirit is not teaching anything new- the Calendar is not part of the Creed and no dogma nor doctrine has been settled in regards to the calendar, nor does it need to. The Calendar serves us- so that we might know the seasons for planting, as God has taught us. The issues brought about by calendar revision can easily be resolved if it is done properly and in the right spirit, and differences in calendar need not bring about schism any more than the early differences between the Churches of St Paul's traditions and St John's.
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« Reply #1588 on: October 09, 2011, 10:20:20 PM »

PtA I think expresses the new calendarist case better in one sentence than Isa can do in five paragraphs of name-calling and immature posturing. Is it possible to believe that the spirit of Nicea was somehow lost throughout the Church, only to be rediscovered by today's reformers? I think it's impossible to believe this, since it implies that the Holy Spirit somehow ceased to guide the Fathers of later times, in complete contradiction of the promise of Christ that the gates of Hell would never prevail. This is why I'm Orthodox, because I can't accept the RC concept of doctrinal development, the idea that the Holy Spirit revealed dogmas over time to the various Popes, and I can't accept the Protestant idea of the Invisible Church, the notion that the continuity of the Apostolic doctrine was somehow lost, only to be rediscovered by each believer as he interprets Scripture in his own way! And this is why I'm True Orthodox, because I can't believe that progress-obsessed reformers know better what was in the minds of the early Fathers than tradition-minded people who submit their own proud intellects to what the Church has handed down.
How are you so confident that the traditions that have been passed on to you are representative of the universal consensus of the Church throughout all ages?
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« Reply #1589 on: October 09, 2011, 10:23:30 PM »

PtA I think expresses the new calendarist case better in one sentence than Isa can do in five paragraphs of name-calling and immature posturing. Is it possible to believe that the spirit of Nicea was somehow lost throughout the Church, only to be rediscovered by today's reformers? I think it's impossible to believe this, since it implies that the Holy Spirit somehow ceased to guide the Fathers of later times, in complete contradiction of the promise of Christ that the gates of Hell would never prevail. This is why I'm Orthodox, because I can't accept the RC concept of doctrinal development, the idea that the Holy Spirit revealed dogmas over time to the various Popes, and I can't accept the Protestant idea of the Invisible Church, the notion that the continuity of the Apostolic doctrine was somehow lost, only to be rediscovered by each believer as he interprets Scripture in his own way! And this is why I'm True Orthodox, because I can't believe that progress-obsessed reformers know better what was in the minds of the early Fathers than tradition-minded people who submit their own proud intellects to what the Church has handed down.
just we aren't brain dead: the Fathers said they picked Alexandria because of the accuracy of its astronomers.  That was the Tradition they handed down.

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« Reply #1590 on: October 09, 2011, 11:42:30 PM »

PtA I think expresses the new calendarist case better in one sentence than Isa can do in five paragraphs of name-calling and immature posturing. Is it possible to believe that the spirit of Nicea was somehow lost throughout the Church, only to be rediscovered by today's reformers? I think it's impossible to believe this, since it implies that the Holy Spirit somehow ceased to guide the Fathers of later times, in complete contradiction of the promise of Christ that the gates of Hell would never prevail. This is why I'm Orthodox, because I can't accept the RC concept of doctrinal development, the idea that the Holy Spirit revealed dogmas over time to the various Popes, and I can't accept the Protestant idea of the Invisible Church, the notion that the continuity of the Apostolic doctrine was somehow lost, only to be rediscovered by each believer as he interprets Scripture in his own way! And this is why I'm True Orthodox, because I can't believe that progress-obsessed reformers know better what was in the minds of the early Fathers than tradition-minded people who submit their own proud intellects to what the Church has handed down.
How are you so confident that the traditions that have been passed on to you are representative of the universal consensus of the Church throughout all ages?

When it comes to the calendar, it's rather simple. The Church as a whole never felt the need to change the calendar. When the calendar was changed, it was not the whole Church acting together, but small rogue parts of it. Sure there were debates about changing the calendar before, but that only shows that debate itself is not stifled. It's not unthinkable to change the calendar, it's just not advisable unless there's a real spiritual need, and there was no need that was apparent to the whole Church and which the whole Church needed to act on. The reasons that Abp Chrysostom and others gave, which included the somewhat reasonable one of astronomical accuracy, and the unacceptable one of conforming the calendar to Western observances, in neither case trumps the need for unity of observance across the Orthodox world. And in the context both of the Popes' unceasing efforts to subdue the Eastern Church, and the more recent threat of Ecumenism and false quest for unity of Orthodox and Protestants (and later Catholics), the implications of adopting the new calendar are inescapable. You can pretend all you want that the new calendar is only about astronomical accuracy (though the Church's indifference to this question for most of Her history shows up the relative unimportance of this concern), but when you start celebrating all the major fixed feasts on the same day as the Western heretics, and not with your Orthodox predecessors or even your living brethren in the Slavic world, that's a pretty clear sign something's wrong.
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« Reply #1591 on: October 10, 2011, 12:40:52 AM »

PtA I think expresses the new calendarist case better in one sentence than Isa can do in five paragraphs of name-calling and immature posturing. Is it possible to believe that the spirit of Nicea was somehow lost throughout the Church, only to be rediscovered by today's reformers? I think it's impossible to believe this, since it implies that the Holy Spirit somehow ceased to guide the Fathers of later times, in complete contradiction of the promise of Christ that the gates of Hell would never prevail. This is why I'm Orthodox, because I can't accept the RC concept of doctrinal development, the idea that the Holy Spirit revealed dogmas over time to the various Popes, and I can't accept the Protestant idea of the Invisible Church, the notion that the continuity of the Apostolic doctrine was somehow lost, only to be rediscovered by each believer as he interprets Scripture in his own way! And this is why I'm True Orthodox, because I can't believe that progress-obsessed reformers know better what was in the minds of the early Fathers than tradition-minded people who submit their own proud intellects to what the Church has handed down.
How are you so confident that the traditions that have been passed on to you are representative of the universal consensus of the Church throughout all ages?

When it comes to the calendar, it's rather simple. The Church as a whole never felt the need to change the calendar. When the calendar was changed, it was not the whole Church acting together, but small rogue parts of it. Sure there were debates about changing the calendar before, but that only shows that debate itself is not stifled. It's not unthinkable to change the calendar, it's just not advisable unless there's a real spiritual need, and there was no need that was apparent to the whole Church and which the whole Church needed to act on. The reasons that Abp Chrysostom and others gave, which included the somewhat reasonable one of astronomical accuracy, and the unacceptable one of conforming the calendar to Western observances, in neither case trumps the need for unity of observance across the Orthodox world.
But why is uniformity of observance across the world so vitally important?

And in the context both of the Popes' unceasing efforts to subdue the Eastern Church, and the more recent threat of Ecumenism and false quest for unity of Orthodox and Protestants (and later Catholics), the implications of adopting the new calendar are inescapable.
Are they really?

You can pretend all you want that the new calendar is only about astronomical accuracy (though the Church's indifference to this question for most of Her history shows up the relative unimportance of this concern),
I notice that you never addressed my stated perception that this may in fact be because those in the Church never even knew there was a problem until someone in the West noticed that the vernal equinox was occurring on March 10. Had we in the East known, then maybe your argument of indifference might actually mean something, but you can't be indifferent about something of which you're totally ignorant.

but when you start celebrating all the major fixed feasts on the same day as the Western heretics, and not with your Orthodox predecessors or even your living brethren in the Slavic world, that's a pretty clear sign something's wrong.
Is it really? Just because the Protestants and Catholics are heretics doesn't mean they're wrong on EVERYTHING! I agree that the ways the New Calendar was adopted without the consensus of the Church were neither well conceived nor well executed, but I don't see the issue as a matter of dogmatic importance such that our current lack of uniformity justifies a break in communion.
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« Reply #1592 on: October 10, 2011, 12:58:35 AM »

I'm feeling pretty traditional tonight, so I'm going to vote for the Old Calendar.
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« Reply #1593 on: October 10, 2011, 01:00:50 AM »

Well, for the importance of uniformity you could, I suppose, refer to the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, unless you only want to appeal to them to justify the calendar change.

For the inescapable connection between the calendar change and ecumenism, you could try this highly scientific experiment. Let our hypothesis be that Local Churches which adopt the new calendar are more likely to join the World Council of Churches. We can add another hypothesis, namely that Local Churches that do not adopt the new calendar, but which remain in communion with the new calendarist churches, are also more likely to join the World Council of Churches. I'd be interested to see your findings.

Sorry I missed your point about somebody in the West noticing the discrepancy between the calendar and solar equinoxes. Looking at Fr Basil's book, however, I see a mention of a proposed calendar change as early as 1324, exactly 600 years before the reform in Greece. Now it seems to me that if the Church really cared as much about astronomical accuracy as you like to think, She would have executed the reform long before that time.

No the Western heretics are not wrong in everything. But they're still wrong, and that makes changing the calendar just to conform to them a bad idea.
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« Reply #1594 on: October 10, 2011, 02:09:43 AM »

Well, for the importance of uniformity you could, I suppose, refer to the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, unless you only want to appeal to them to justify the calendar change.
And I suppose for the importance of not breaking communion over the lack of uniformity one could look at the Church's rebuke of Pope St. Victor in A.D. 190.

For the inescapable connection between the calendar change and ecumenism, you could try this highly scientific experiment. Let our hypothesis be that Local Churches which adopt the new calendar are more likely to join the World Council of Churches. We can add another hypothesis, namely that Local Churches that do not adopt the new calendar, but which remain in communion with the new calendarist churches, are also more likely to join the World Council of Churches. I'd be interested to see your findings.
You are aware that correlation does not prove causation? Besides, since when has membership in the World Council of Churches been de facto participation in false ecumenism?

Sorry I missed your point about somebody in the West noticing the discrepancy between the calendar and solar equinoxes. Looking at Fr Basil's book, however, I see a mention of a proposed calendar change as early as 1324, exactly 600 years before the reform in Greece. Now it seems to me that if the Church really cared as much about astronomical accuracy as you like to think, She would have executed the reform long before that time.
1. Why do you trust Fr. Basil Sakkas' history of the calendar question?
2. The Church DID consider astronomical accuracy important enough to reform the calendar, or at least to make such accuracy the bedrock for the reforms She made... almost a whole millennium before 1324!

No the Western heretics are not wrong in everything. But they're still wrong, and that makes changing the calendar just to conform to them a bad idea.
From what I've read of the 1923 deliberations over calendar reform, I would be dishonest to not recognize that conformity with the West was not a motivation behind the calendar change, but I think it equally dishonest to call it the only motivation. Besides, you're only addressing the formulation of the Revised Julian Calendar and its introduction to the Church. What about the various churches that eventually adopted the New Calendar? Did they adopt the Calendar merely to conform with the West?
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« Reply #1595 on: October 10, 2011, 02:40:25 AM »

Well, for the importance of uniformity you could, I suppose, refer to the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, unless you only want to appeal to them to justify the calendar change.

For the inescapable connection between the calendar change and ecumenism, you could try this highly scientific experiment. Let our hypothesis be that Local Churches which adopt the new calendar are more likely to join the World Council of Churches. We can add another hypothesis, namely that Local Churches that do not adopt the new calendar, but which remain in communion with the new calendarist churches, are also more likely to join the World Council of Churches. I'd be interested to see your findings.
I have a better, higher scientific experiment (not hard, as yours isn't scientific at all).  When the Vatican tried to subdue the Orthodox Church at Lyons and Florence, and the Protestants inovated all sorts of things, were they on the Old or New Calendar?

Sorry I missed your point about somebody in the West noticing the discrepancy between the calendar and solar equinoxes. Looking at Fr Basil's book, however, I see a mention of a proposed calendar change as early as 1324, exactly 600 years before the reform in Greece. Now it seems to me that if the Church really cared as much about astronomical accuracy as you like to think, She would have executed the reform long before that time.
Most of the Church was a tad busy in 1324 and thereafter with trying to survive.  Btw, you don't say what the change proposed was.

No the Western heretics are not wrong in everything. But they're still wrong, and that makes changing the calendar just to conform to them a bad idea.
Since the New Calendar isn't the one the Protestants use, you have no point.
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« Reply #1596 on: October 10, 2011, 06:21:13 AM »

Quote
The EP also has several millions in its home territory.
In Turkey? The EP's own American GOA says otherwise:
Quote
The Ecumenical Patriarchate today has a relatively small number of faithful under its direct jurisdiction. Following the virtual disappearance of Orthodox communities within Turkey, it still tends the spiritual needs of the Greek Diaspora.
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8880

Quote
Is there a canon on smoking annulling a consecration?

No there is not as well you know.  Smoking is more palatable than Freemasonry.  Smoking points to the fact that Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis was a small 'l' liberal at best and a modernist at worst. Freemasonry raises many questions about belief and theology, given the Gnostic beliefs attributable to most Masonic lodges.

The science of the calendar is irrelevant to the salvific mission of the Church, a mission to share the Gospel with the non-believers, to bring the heterodox to the Church.  Disunity hinders that mission just as ecumenism and modernism does.
[/quote]sharing your belief that the earth is flat with non-believers isn't helping the salvific mission of the Church.
[/quote] Did I say that? What was achieved except disunity with the Orthodox who kept the Calendar that the New Calendarists rejected?  Calendarist innovation

Quote
As you fail to answer the charge that Old Calendarism leads to Bolshevism.  Except for Trotsky, nearly all the the Bolsheviks were baptized and raised in the Old Calendar, and the culture of Russian Orthodoxy during the Synodal Period.
Is this comedy?  The martyrs of the Bolshevik yoke were 100% adherents of the Church Calendar - not the New Calendar.  For the Bolsheviks the switch to the New Calendar was calculated to weaken the Orthodox culture of Russia, just as they also did by abolishing the public holidays for all the major Feasts of Our Lord and Our Lady.

Patriarch Meletios of Constantinople/Alexandria courted Anglicans,
Quote
So did St. Tikhon.

Yes St. Tikhon did court them but he did not do so on the basis of recognizing Anglican holy orders.

All in the name of pseudo-scientific relevatism -
Quote
It is neither pseudo, nor relative.  It is scientific, and you calling it "pseudo" and "relativism" only makes you look foolish, which would be fine, except you want to make the Church look foolish as well.
 Evolution is a theory.  The New Calendar logic is a theory. It is not immutable fact.  

or who want married bishops
Quote
Nothing wrong with something which is Biblical.
 Does this mean you think the holy Tradition is wrong in mandating a celibate monastic episcopate?  Sounds remarkably like sola scriptura in this.

or to allow priests, deacons and subdeacons to marry after ordination - or divorce.
Quote
you left out widowhood (the usual circumstances in these cases).  How you feel about ordination after divorce?
 It is canonically impermissible as you know.  Personally, I have empathy for those whose sense of vocation arises after divorce. Sometimes as you know economia is used.  

I asked a very senior diocesan priest in relation to a ROCOR WR query re ordination to the subdiaconate of a married heterodox man, following conversion and was told a clear "no" - that it was simply not permitted to be ordained after marriage - even heterodox marriage, even for a subdeacon.  I think this is as it should  be.


- and I acknowledge that there is grace and wisdom and holiness in the New Calendarist Churches - is that you end up with the Episcopalians and liberal Roman Catholics with the ordination of women and gay marriage being accepted as politically correct, psychologically balanced and ethically fine. 

Quote
Yeah, Romania is overrun with Episcopalians and liberal Roman Catholics, ordaining women all over the place and gay marriage rates soaring.  Nearly a century of the New Calendar will do that to you. Roll Eyes

I am not saying this is happening in Romania.  Look at the relationship between religious innovation to liberalisation - rejection of authority, rejection of Tradition, and relativism.  If you think the Church in the secular world is not at risk from this you are wrong.  The calendar issue does not in itself cause this of course - but the mindset of accommodation to secularism does pose a real risk and I know that this is felt in the Slavic Old calendar countries with abortion, crime etc - but much of that has to do with the impact of decades of atheistic communism.

Quote
Now on a serious note: what really makes me not take your type serious is that I never hear a criticism of the aberration of ecclesiology that came with the "Holy Governing Synod" scheme: something definitely imported from the West, and yet it's never questioned by those who think the sky fell in when the calendar was set back on course.

I have never said that I do not think the Holy Governing Synod was better than the Patriarchate.  The bottom line is that patriarchate was restored and the error was corrected - something that New Calendarists would be wise to do also.  I also think the accommodation of the Moscow Patriarchate in some things to the Bolsheviks was wrong - although how I would personally react under such pressure, God alone knows.  The Moscow Patriarchate repented for the people of Russia - and the Church for the  sin of regicide of a God-Annointed Orthodox Sovereign and this opened the door to reconciliation with the Russian Church Abroad.  

Perhaps reflection about the harm done to the Church by this 1920's renovationist action of a minority is something that can be corrected by a return to the Julian Calendar.  
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« Reply #1597 on: October 10, 2011, 06:43:34 AM »

or to allow priests, deacons and subdeacons to marry after ordination - or divorce.

you left out widowhood (the usual circumstances in these cases).  How you feel about ordination after divorce?

It is canonically impermissible as you know.  Personally, I have empathy for those whose sense of vocation arises after divorce. Sometimes as you know economia is used.  

I asked a very senior diocesan priest in relation to a ROCOR WR query re ordination to the subdiaconate of a married heterodox man, following conversion and was told a clear "no" - that it was simply not permitted to be ordained after marriage - even heterodox marriage, even for a subdeacon.  I think this is as it should  be.

[Sorry, the tags got mixed up. I hope this makes sense.]

Did you mean to say that ordination after divorce is not permissible, or that ordination after a second marriage is not allowed? It is understood that ordination after one is married is okay since we do have a married priesthood.

I have known some divorced New Calendar and Old Calendar Priests who are still serving as Priests. Was economia granted for them to continue in the ministry? Are Old Calendarists handling these matters in the same way as New Calendarists?
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« Reply #1598 on: October 10, 2011, 11:37:37 AM »

Quote
The EP also has several millions in its home territory.
In Turkey? The EP's own American GOA says otherwise:
Quote
The Ecumenical Patriarchate today has a relatively small number of faithful under its direct jurisdiction. Following the virtual disappearance of Orthodox communities within Turkey, it still tends the spiritual needs of the Greek Diaspora.
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8880
In Northern Greece, Crete and other Islands.

In Turkey, a century ago there were millions of Orthodox Christians in what is now the Turkish Republic.

Do you take pleasure in genocide in general, or is Turkey a particular source of your joy?

Quote
Is there a canon on smoking annulling a consecration?

No there is not as well you know.
Then why did you bring it up?
Smoking is more palatable than Freemasonry.
 
I don't have any use for either.

Smoking points to the fact that Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis was a small 'l' liberal at best and a modernist at worst. Freemasonry raises many questions about belief and theology, given the Gnostic beliefs attributable to most Masonic lodges.
Well, you seem to have all the inside information. Shocked

Quote
Quote
The science of the calendar is irrelevant to the salvific mission of the Church, a mission to share the Gospel with the non-believers, to bring the heterodox to the Church.  Disunity hinders that mission just as ecumenism and modernism does.
sharing your belief that the earth is flat with non-believers isn't helping the salvific mission of the Church.
Did I say that? What was achieved except disunity with the Orthodox who kept the Calendar that the New Calendarists rejected?  Calendarist innovation
Ludditism never works.

Quote
As you fail to answer the charge that Old Calendarism leads to Bolshevism.  Except for Trotsky, nearly all the the Bolsheviks were baptized and raised in the Old Calendar, and the culture of Russian Orthodoxy during the Synodal Period.
Is this comedy?  The martyrs of the Bolshevik yoke were 100% adherents of the Church Julian Calendar - not the New Calendar.
Fixed that for you.

No, I've seen correspondence of Pat. St. Tikhon and the Imperial Passion-Bearers, for instance, and they have both dates, the Julian and the real date.

For the Bolsheviks the switch to the New Calendar was calculated to weaken the Orthodox culture of Russia, just as they also did by abolishing the public holidays for all the major Feasts of Our Lord and Our Lady.
What month did the October Revolution happen (7 November 1917)?

Btw, the Bolsheviks had their own Revised Gregorian calendar.

Patriarch Meletios of Constantinople/Alexandria courted Anglicans,
Quote
So did St. Tikhon.
Yes St. Tikhon did court them but he did not do so on the basis of recognizing Anglican holy orders.[/quote]
Not entirely true.

All in the name of pseudo-scientific relevatism -
Quote
It is neither pseudo, nor relative.  It is scientific, and you calling it "pseudo" and "relativism" only makes you look foolish, which would be fine, except you want to make the Church look foolish as well.
 Evolution is a theory.  The New Calendar logic is a theory. It is not immutable fact.[/quote] All you need is an accurate clock in March, and the ability to see the sun in the sky.  Beyond the abilities of some it seems.

or who want married bishops
Quote
Nothing wrong with something which is Biblical.
 Does this mean you think the holy Tradition is wrong in mandating a celibate monastic episcopate?  Sounds remarkably like sola scriptura in this.[/quote]
Only to those who have ears and do not hear.  I'm not foolish enough to believe that St. Innocent of Alaska, for instance, in the space of a few weeks changed into a different man just because his wife fell asleep in the Lord.

Tradition doesn't mean we flush Scripture down the toilet.  Some overcompensating for Protestantism?

or to allow priests, deacons and subdeacons to marry after ordination - or divorce.
Quote
you left out widowhood (the usual circumstances in these cases).  How you feel about ordination after divorce?
 It is canonically impermissible as you know.[/quote][/quote]
So is more than one bishop in a city, and a patriarch exercising jurisdiction outside his jurisdiction (that was one of the problems we had/have with the Vatican, remember?).

Personally, I have empathy for those whose sense of vocation arises after divorce. Sometimes as you know economia is used.  

I asked a very senior diocesan priest in relation to a ROCOR WR query re ordination to the subdiaconate of a married heterodox man, following conversion and was told a clear "no" - that it was simply not permitted to be ordained after marriage - even heterodox marriage, even for a subdeacon.  I think this is as it should  be.
I think you mean married after ordination.

I won't argue against "as it should be," but your "very senior diocean priest" is wrong:even in the 4th century, it was common.  The Antiochian Archdiocese now insists that a marriage be (re)blessed before ordination of a convert.  As it should be.

- and I acknowledge that there is grace and wisdom and holiness in the New Calendarist Churches - is that you end up with the Episcopalians and liberal Roman Catholics with the ordination of women and gay marriage being accepted as politically correct, psychologically balanced and ethically fine. 

Quote
Yeah, Romania is overrun with Episcopalians and liberal Roman Catholics, ordaining women all over the place and gay marriage rates soaring.  Nearly a century of the New Calendar will do that to you. Roll Eyes

I am not saying this is happening in Romania.
Then why isnt it? Romania has been on the New Calendar nearly as long as it has been in use.  IIRC, Romania also used the New Paschalion for a while as well.

Look at the relationship between religious innovation to liberalisation - rejection of authority, rejection of Tradition, and relativism.
Look at Romania.

 If you think the Church in the secular world is not at risk from this you are wrong.  The calendar issue does not in itself cause this of course - but the mindset of accommodation to secularism
so accuracy and common sense are just accomodation to secularism?  I see the Fathers exercising plenty of both, with no thought of secularism.

does pose a real risk and I know that this is felt in the Slavic Old calendar countries with abortion, crime etc - but much of that has to do with the impact of decades of atheistic communism.
I'd rather they adopted the New Calendar, even the Gregorian, rather than adopt their views on abortion.  Btw Communist Romania, on the New Calendar, outlawed abortion.

Quote
Now on a serious note: what really makes me not take your type serious is that I never hear a criticism of the aberration of ecclesiology that came with the "Holy Governing Synod" scheme: something definitely imported from the West, and yet it's never questioned by those who think the sky fell in when the calendar was set back on course.

I have never said that I do not think the Holy Governing Synod was better than the Patriarchate.
 
I have never seen you call it the aberration and abomination that it was either.

The bottom line is that patriarchate was restored and the error was corrected - something that New Calendarists would be wise to do also.
I agree, the revised Paschalion should be adopted.

I also think the accommodation of the Moscow Patriarchate in some things to the Bolsheviks was wrong - although how I would personally react under such pressure, God alone knows.
How about the accommodation of the Moscow Patriarchate in some things to the Czars?

The Moscow Patriarchate repented for the people of Russia - and the Church for the  sin of regicide of a God-Annointed Orthodox Sovereign and this opened the door to reconciliation with the Russian Church Abroad.
Is it technically regicide when the king has abdicated?

Did someone repent of killing Czar Peter III?

Perhaps reflection about the harm done to the Church by this 1920's renovationist action of a minority is something that can be corrected by a return to the Julian Calendar.  
given that there is no connection between the two, no.
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« Reply #1599 on: October 10, 2011, 05:08:30 PM »

Well, for the importance of uniformity you could, I suppose, refer to the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, unless you only want to appeal to them to justify the calendar change.
And I suppose for the importance of not breaking communion over the lack of uniformity one could look at the Church's rebuke of Pope St. Victor in A.D. 190.

For the inescapable connection between the calendar change and ecumenism, you could try this highly scientific experiment. Let our hypothesis be that Local Churches which adopt the new calendar are more likely to join the World Council of Churches. We can add another hypothesis, namely that Local Churches that do not adopt the new calendar, but which remain in communion with the new calendarist churches, are also more likely to join the World Council of Churches. I'd be interested to see your findings.
You are aware that correlation does not prove causation? Besides, since when has membership in the World Council of Churches been de facto participation in false ecumenism?

Sorry I missed your point about somebody in the West noticing the discrepancy between the calendar and solar equinoxes. Looking at Fr Basil's book, however, I see a mention of a proposed calendar change as early as 1324, exactly 600 years before the reform in Greece. Now it seems to me that if the Church really cared as much about astronomical accuracy as you like to think, She would have executed the reform long before that time.
1. Why do you trust Fr. Basil Sakkas' history of the calendar question?
2. The Church DID consider astronomical accuracy important enough to reform the calendar, or at least to make such accuracy the bedrock for the reforms She made... almost a whole millennium before 1324!

No the Western heretics are not wrong in everything. But they're still wrong, and that makes changing the calendar just to conform to them a bad idea.
From what I've read of the 1923 deliberations over calendar reform, I would be dishonest to not recognize that conformity with the West was not a motivation behind the calendar change, but I think it equally dishonest to call it the only motivation. Besides, you're only addressing the formulation of the Revised Julian Calendar and its introduction to the Church. What about the various churches that eventually adopted the New Calendar? Did they adopt the Calendar merely to conform with the West?

That's a good example about Pope St Victor. But from what I remember about that controversy, the different opinions of Pope Victor and St Irenaeus and the rest of the Church represented an earlier stage of that controversy. Later on there's pretty good evidence that the Church ended up treating variations in Paschal observances as anathema, viz. St Hippolytus' testimony that the Quartodecimans were heretics, and then certain canons were passed condemning Quartodecimanism as a heresy. It seems you like to pick certain examples out of context, just as you do when you refer to Nicea for the idea that astronomical accuracy is important, but conveniently ignore their even more significant concern with establishing unity in festal celebrations across the Church.

I consider membership of the WCC as ipso facto participation in heresy, not only because of the heretical ecclesiological opinions found in the founding documents of the WCC, like the Toronto statement, but also later on, when the Orthodox members started to sign off on the various heretical statements of different WCC assemblies (starting I think with the 1968 assembly). But we've gone over these issues before. I think the correlation is very suggestive of a causal relationship: the new calendar was introduced amid discussions of using the reform as one tool in the program of reuniting with the Westerners, and lo and behold, the same churches that adopted the new calendar were the first to enter into full participation in Ecumenism through the WCC. The remaining Old Calendar churches that stayed in communion with them followed suit, once their communist masters decided that the WCC could be used as a tool for their foreign policy (previously they denounced the WCC as an imperialist front). If you wanted to persuade me that the New Calendar had nothing to do with ecumenism, it would help your case if it were the Old Calendarist churches that ended up preaching Ecumenism.

By the way, if you want a good clip of Patriarch Bartholomew solemnly declaring ex cathedra (Wink) that the RC and EO are "sister churches", check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XiHOUg1UqM&feature=share

I don't understand why you think that the whole history of the Church since the First Ecumenical Council just doesn't count. Sure, astronomical accuracy was a concern in the 4th century, and this is no doubt the concern behind those like Nicephorus Gregoras in the 14th century when they proposed reform. But there's obviously much more to the question than just accuracy, if you bother to consider the fact that the Church decided not to change in the 14th century, even before there was any association of the reformed calendar with either Papism or Ecumenism.
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« Reply #1600 on: October 10, 2011, 07:18:00 PM »

Well, for the importance of uniformity you could, I suppose, refer to the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, unless you only want to appeal to them to justify the calendar change.
And I suppose for the importance of not breaking communion over the lack of uniformity one could look at the Church's rebuke of Pope St. Victor in A.D. 190.

For the inescapable connection between the calendar change and ecumenism, you could try this highly scientific experiment. Let our hypothesis be that Local Churches which adopt the new calendar are more likely to join the World Council of Churches. We can add another hypothesis, namely that Local Churches that do not adopt the new calendar, but which remain in communion with the new calendarist churches, are also more likely to join the World Council of Churches. I'd be interested to see your findings.
You are aware that correlation does not prove causation? Besides, since when has membership in the World Council of Churches been de facto participation in false ecumenism?

Sorry I missed your point about somebody in the West noticing the discrepancy between the calendar and solar equinoxes. Looking at Fr Basil's book, however, I see a mention of a proposed calendar change as early as 1324, exactly 600 years before the reform in Greece. Now it seems to me that if the Church really cared as much about astronomical accuracy as you like to think, She would have executed the reform long before that time.
1. Why do you trust Fr. Basil Sakkas' history of the calendar question?
2. The Church DID consider astronomical accuracy important enough to reform the calendar, or at least to make such accuracy the bedrock for the reforms She made... almost a whole millennium before 1324!

No the Western heretics are not wrong in everything. But they're still wrong, and that makes changing the calendar just to conform to them a bad idea.
From what I've read of the 1923 deliberations over calendar reform, I would be dishonest to not recognize that conformity with the West was not a motivation behind the calendar change, but I think it equally dishonest to call it the only motivation. Besides, you're only addressing the formulation of the Revised Julian Calendar and its introduction to the Church. What about the various churches that eventually adopted the New Calendar? Did they adopt the Calendar merely to conform with the West?

That's a good example about Pope St Victor. But from what I remember about that controversy, the different opinions of Pope Victor and St Irenaeus and the rest of the Church represented an earlier stage of that controversy. Later on there's pretty good evidence that the Church ended up treating variations in Paschal observances as anathema, viz. St Hippolytus' testimony that the Quartodecimans were heretics, and then certain canons were passed condemning Quartodecimanism as a heresy. It seems you like to pick certain examples out of context, just as you do when you refer to Nicea for the idea that astronomical accuracy is important, but conveniently ignore their even more significant concern with establishing unity in festal celebrations across the Church.
No, not really. I do acknowledge that the Church has, since 190, condemned the Quartodeciman heresy and excommunicated all those who adhere to it. However, my point is that it took a council of universal authority to make this proclamation (Nicea I). We have not yet had a universal council to proclaim the New Calendar anathema, so I think we're more in the position the Church was in 190. This means, to me then, that your Old Calendarist churches have acted prematurely to break communion with the New Calendarists and therefore merit the same rebuke that St. Irenaeus and many other bishops gave Pope St. Victor.

I consider membership of the WCC as ipso facto participation in heresy, not only because of the heretical ecclesiological opinions found in the founding documents of the WCC, like the Toronto statement, but also later on, when the Orthodox members started to sign off on the various heretical statements of different WCC assemblies (starting I think with the 1968 assembly). But we've gone over these issues before. I think the correlation is very suggestive of a causal relationship: the new calendar was introduced amid discussions of using the reform as one tool in the program of reuniting with the Westerners, and lo and behold, the same churches that adopted the new calendar were the first to enter into full participation in Ecumenism through the WCC. The remaining Old Calendar churches that stayed in communion with them followed suit, once their communist masters decided that the WCC could be used as a tool for their foreign policy (previously they denounced the WCC as an imperialist front). If you wanted to persuade me that the New Calendar had nothing to do with ecumenism, it would help your case if it were the Old Calendarist churches that ended up preaching Ecumenism.

By the way, if you want a good clip of Patriarch Bartholomew solemnly declaring ex cathedra (Wink) that the RC and EO are "sister churches", check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XiHOUg1UqM&feature=share

I don't understand why you think that the whole history of the Church since the First Ecumenical Council just doesn't count.
Did I ever say that, or are you just putting words in my mouth?

Sure, astronomical accuracy was a concern in the 4th century, and this is no doubt the concern behind those like Nicephorus Gregoras in the 14th century when they proposed reform. But there's obviously much more to the question than just accuracy, if you bother to consider the fact that the Church decided not to change in the 14th century, even before there was any association of the reformed calendar with either Papism or Ecumenism.
And there's probably much more to the rejection of the calendar reforms proposed by Nicephorus Gregoras than just an indifference to astronomical accuracy, but how can we know this merely by reading a polemical work by Fr. Basil Sakkas? Not knowing exactly why Gregoras's proposed reform was rejected, your claim of indifference can only be recognized as conjecture.
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« Reply #1601 on: October 10, 2011, 07:37:40 PM »

I don't think your argument that it requires a universal council to determine these things holds water. St Hippolytus described the Quartodecimans as heretics in the 3rd century, well before Nicea, and there's plenty of evidence throughout Church history that the Fathers and local councils had authority to condemn heresy before an Ecumenical or Pan-Orthodox council was convened to address the question. Local Councils such as that of 1935 which condemned the State Church for changing the calendar unilaterally were within their rights.

In any case, the Church had already condemned the new calendar in Pan-Orthodox synods before 1924. That this was considered to be the position of the Church is shown by, for instance, Abp Chrysostom's own admission as late as 1923 (see my earlier post), so that the accusations of forgery (which only apply to the 1583 decision in any case, not those of 1587 or 1593) lose force.

The Church never changed the calendar. That is proof that the Church has not up to this point cared about changing the calendar for any reason, whether accuracy, Papism or Ecumenism. That shows that the desire of some individual Local Church to change the calendar without the agreement of the whole Church is without foundation and violates the unity of the Church. Note that I am not saying no one in the Church ever cared about astronomical accuracy. What I am saying is that there is no evidence that the Church as a whole considered accuracy so important that She needed to change the calendar. The only evidence that would satisfy me is if the Church actually did change the calendar, but She didn't.
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« Reply #1602 on: October 10, 2011, 08:41:28 PM »

Well, for the importance of uniformity you could, I suppose, refer to the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, unless you only want to appeal to them to justify the calendar change.
And I suppose for the importance of not breaking communion over the lack of uniformity one could look at the Church's rebuke of Pope St. Victor in A.D. 190.

For the inescapable connection between the calendar change and ecumenism, you could try this highly scientific experiment. Let our hypothesis be that Local Churches which adopt the new calendar are more likely to join the World Council of Churches. We can add another hypothesis, namely that Local Churches that do not adopt the new calendar, but which remain in communion with the new calendarist churches, are also more likely to join the World Council of Churches. I'd be interested to see your findings.
You are aware that correlation does not prove causation? Besides, since when has membership in the World Council of Churches been de facto participation in false ecumenism?

Sorry I missed your point about somebody in the West noticing the discrepancy between the calendar and solar equinoxes. Looking at Fr Basil's book, however, I see a mention of a proposed calendar change as early as 1324, exactly 600 years before the reform in Greece. Now it seems to me that if the Church really cared as much about astronomical accuracy as you like to think, She would have executed the reform long before that time.
1. Why do you trust Fr. Basil Sakkas' history of the calendar question?
2. The Church DID consider astronomical accuracy important enough to reform the calendar, or at least to make such accuracy the bedrock for the reforms She made... almost a whole millennium before 1324!

No the Western heretics are not wrong in everything. But they're still wrong, and that makes changing the calendar just to conform to them a bad idea.
From what I've read of the 1923 deliberations over calendar reform, I would be dishonest to not recognize that conformity with the West was not a motivation behind the calendar change, but I think it equally dishonest to call it the only motivation. Besides, you're only addressing the formulation of the Revised Julian Calendar and its introduction to the Church. What about the various churches that eventually adopted the New Calendar? Did they adopt the Calendar merely to conform with the West?

That's a good example about Pope St Victor. But from what I remember about that controversy, the different opinions of Pope Victor and St Irenaeus and the rest of the Church represented an earlier stage of that controversy. Later on there's pretty good evidence that the Church ended up treating variations in Paschal observances as anathema, viz. St Hippolytus' testimony that the Quartodecimans were heretics, and then certain canons were passed condemning Quartodecimanism as a heresy.
We can fix that. We will just declare whatever day the Paschal Moon falls Sunday. I mean, if it doesn't matter if it has any relationship to the real earth rotating on its axis towards the real sun while orbiting it, why not?  If we can declare the equinox on a day when real night and real day are not equal, why can't we just make any day Sunday on a as needed basis?

It seems you like to pick certain examples out of context, just as you do when you refer to Nicea for the idea that astronomical accuracy is important, but conveniently ignore their even more significant concern with establishing unity in festal celebrations across the Church.
Divorcing unity from accuracy is how for centuries after Nicea, not all Churches were still not on the same date.  You insist on unity on error.  Not the mind of the Fathers.

I consider membership of the WCC as ipso facto participation in heresy,

That's nice: Who are you?

not only because of the heretical ecclesiological opinions found in the founding documents of the WCC, like the Toronto statement, but also later on, when the Orthodox members started to sign off on the various heretical statements of different WCC assemblies (starting I think with the 1968 assembly). But we've gone over these issues before.

Really?  I don't recall....
I think the correlation is very suggestive of a causal relationship:
LOL.  Yes, your ideas of cause and effect are suggestive.  Not at all factual, but suggestive.

the new calendar was introduced amid discussions of using the reform as one tool in the program of reuniting with the Westerners, and lo and behold, the same churches that adopted the new calendar were the first to enter into full participation in Ecumenism through the WCC.
Jerusalem was (on the Old Calendar last I checked) a member of the WCC from the very beginning, while Romania (on the New Calendar since its introduction practically) didn't join until Russia did.

The remaining Old Calendar churches that stayed in communion with them followed suit, once their communist masters decided that the WCC could be used as a tool for their foreign policy (previously they denounced the WCC as an imperialist front). If you wanted to persuade me that the New Calendar had nothing to do with ecumenism, it would help your case if it were the Old Calendarist churches that ended up preaching Ecumenism.
You would help your case if the various Old Calendarist Churches were at least in communion with each other.

By the way, if you want a good clip of Patriarch Bartholomew solemnly declaring ex cathedra (Wink) that the RC and EO are "sister churches", check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XiHOUg1UqM&feature=share

I don't understand why you think that the whole history of the Church since the First Ecumenical Council just doesn't count.
LOL.  You seem to think the Church stopped after the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Or perhaps 1917.

Sure, astronomical accuracy was a concern in the 4th century, and this is no doubt the concern behind those like Nicephorus Gregoras in the 14th century when they proposed reform. But there's obviously much more to the question than just accuracy, if you bother to consider the fact that the Church decided not to change in the 14th century,
you have the text of that "decision"?

even before there was any association of the reformed calendar with either Papism or Ecumenism.
and yet you insist that it is associated with the Vatican and "Ecumenism."
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« Reply #1603 on: October 10, 2011, 08:41:28 PM »

Well, for the importance of uniformity you could, I suppose, refer to the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, unless you only want to appeal to them to justify the calendar change.
And I suppose for the importance of not breaking communion over the lack of uniformity one could look at the Church's rebuke of Pope St. Victor in A.D. 190.

For the inescapable connection between the calendar change and ecumenism, you could try this highly scientific experiment. Let our hypothesis be that Local Churches which adopt the new calendar are more likely to join the World Council of Churches. We can add another hypothesis, namely that Local Churches that do not adopt the new calendar, but which remain in communion with the new calendarist churches, are also more likely to join the World Council of Churches. I'd be interested to see your findings.
You are aware that correlation does not prove causation? Besides, since when has membership in the World Council of Churches been de facto participation in false ecumenism?

Sorry I missed your point about somebody in the West noticing the discrepancy between the calendar and solar equinoxes. Looking at Fr Basil's book, however, I see a mention of a proposed calendar change as early as 1324, exactly 600 years before the reform in Greece. Now it seems to me that if the Church really cared as much about astronomical accuracy as you like to think, She would have executed the reform long before that time.
1. Why do you trust Fr. Basil Sakkas' history of the calendar question?
2. The Church DID consider astronomical accuracy important enough to reform the calendar, or at least to make such accuracy the bedrock for the reforms She made... almost a whole millennium before 1324!

No the Western heretics are not wrong in everything. But they're still wrong, and that makes changing the calendar just to conform to them a bad idea.
From what I've read of the 1923 deliberations over calendar reform, I would be dishonest to not recognize that conformity with the West was not a motivation behind the calendar change, but I think it equally dishonest to call it the only motivation. Besides, you're only addressing the formulation of the Revised Julian Calendar and its introduction to the Church. What about the various churches that eventually adopted the New Calendar? Did they adopt the Calendar merely to conform with the West?

That's a good example about Pope St Victor. But from what I remember about that controversy, the different opinions of Pope Victor and St Irenaeus and the rest of the Church represented an earlier stage of that controversy. Later on there's pretty good evidence that the Church ended up treating variations in Paschal observances as anathema, viz. St Hippolytus' testimony that the Quartodecimans were heretics, and then certain canons were passed condemning Quartodecimanism as a heresy. It seems you like to pick certain examples out of context, just as you do when you refer to Nicea for the idea that astronomical accuracy is important, but conveniently ignore their even more significant concern with establishing unity in festal celebrations across the Church.
No, not really. I do acknowledge that the Church has, since 190, condemned the Quartodeciman heresy and excommunicated all those who adhere to it. However, my point is that it took a council of universal authority to make this proclamation (Nicea I). We have not yet had a universal council to proclaim the New Calendar anathema, so I think we're more in the position the Church was in 190. This means, to me then, that your Old Calendarist churches have acted prematurely to break communion with the New Calendarists and therefore merit the same rebuke that St. Irenaeus and many other bishops gave Pope St. Victor.

I consider membership of the WCC as ipso facto participation in heresy, not only because of the heretical ecclesiological opinions found in the founding documents of the WCC, like the Toronto statement, but also later on, when the Orthodox members started to sign off on the various heretical statements of different WCC assemblies (starting I think with the 1968 assembly). But we've gone over these issues before. I think the correlation is very suggestive of a causal relationship: the new calendar was introduced amid discussions of using the reform as one tool in the program of reuniting with the Westerners, and lo and behold, the same churches that adopted the new calendar were the first to enter into full participation in Ecumenism through the WCC. The remaining Old Calendar churches that stayed in communion with them followed suit, once their communist masters decided that the WCC could be used as a tool for their foreign policy (previously they denounced the WCC as an imperialist front). If you wanted to persuade me that the New Calendar had nothing to do with ecumenism, it would help your case if it were the Old Calendarist churches that ended up preaching Ecumenism.

By the way, if you want a good clip of Patriarch Bartholomew solemnly declaring ex cathedra (Wink) that the RC and EO are "sister churches", check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XiHOUg1UqM&feature=share

I don't understand why you think that the whole history of the Church since the First Ecumenical Council just doesn't count.
Did I ever say that, or are you just putting words in my mouth?

Sure, astronomical accuracy was a concern in the 4th century, and this is no doubt the concern behind those like Nicephorus Gregoras in the 14th century when they proposed reform. But there's obviously much more to the question than just accuracy, if you bother to consider the fact that the Church decided not to change in the 14th century, even before there was any association of the reformed calendar with either Papism or Ecumenism.
And there's probably much more to the rejection of the calendar reforms proposed by Nicephorus Gregoras than just an indifference to astronomical accuracy, but how can we know this merely by reading a polemical work by Fr. Basil Sakkas? Not knowing exactly why Gregoras's proposed reform was rejected, your claim of indifference can only be recognized as conjecture.
For one thing, his patron, Andronicus II Palaeologus, was dethroned shortly (two years at most) after Nicephoros presented his treatise on the reform, Paschalium Correctum (which is still intact, and can be read: maybe it would clear things up in this matter).
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« Reply #1604 on: October 10, 2011, 08:41:29 PM »

I don't think your argument that it requires a universal council to determine these things holds water. St Hippolytus described the Quartodecimans as heretics in the 3rd century, well before Nicea, and there's plenty of evidence throughout Church history that the Fathers and local councils had authority to condemn heresy before an Ecumenical or Pan-Orthodox council was convened to address the question. Local Councils such as that of 1935 which condemned the State Church for changing the calendar unilaterally were within their rights.
Odd how you inist on that right, and yet you deny it to the Churches who have adopted the New Calendar, and those on the Old Calendar in communion with them.

In any case, the Church had already condemned the new calendar in Pan-Orthodox synods before 1924. That this was considered to be the position of the Church is shown by, for instance, Abp Chrysostom's own admission as late as 1923 (see my earlier post), so that the accusations of forgery (which only apply to the 1583 decision in any case, not those of 1587 or 1593) lose force.
Any signature of the Russian Metropolitan?  Bulgarian patriarch/Archbishop?  Serbian Patriarch? on these "Pan-Orthodox Synods"?

The Church never changed the calendar.
Of course she has.  That is how you got the bee in your bonnet.

That is proof that the Church has not up to this point cared about changing the calendar for any reason, whether accuracy, Papism or Ecumenism.
So you keep on asserting, without any proof. Amazing you don't trust the very words of the Fathers explaining their actions, but claim to know what the Church's silence means.

That shows that the desire of some individual Local Church to change the calendar without the agreement of the whole Church is without foundation and violates the unity of the Church.

Facts only, please.  You are way over your assertion quota.

Note that I am not saying no one in the Church ever cared about astronomical accuracy. What I am saying is that there is no evidence that the Church as a whole considered accuracy so important that She needed to change the calendar.
Nicea I
The only evidence that would satisfy me is if the Church actually did change the calendar, but She didn't.
then you have nothing to argue then, do you?
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« Reply #1605 on: October 11, 2011, 12:25:36 PM »

I just wanted to chime in here with a few comments after seeing some of the recent additions to this thread, though I don’t have the time to directly respond to everything stated.   Of interest to me in this discussion is not the astronomical question of “which calendar is scientifically better”, but rather with the claims of the Old Calendarists who say, among other things, that those who have adopted the New Calendar are “under anathema” and outside of the Church.  I’m sure most here agree that the unilateral adoption of the New Calendar by individual local churches, and the subsequent liturgical disunity which resulted, has not been good for the Church.  I’m sure most here would also lament the fact that this change resulted in the formation of schismatic Old Calendarist groups in some local churches, regardless of how unjustifiable such schisms are canonically.  I personally think that the Old Calendar is “better” in that prior to the 20th century all Orthodox churches celebrated Pascha and all of the major feasts together on it, whereas today they only celebrate Pascha together.  Who does not lament this fact?  I think all local Orthodox churches should return to the Old Calendar unless and until such a time that a change can be made together by all local churches to a calendar which respects and maintains the current relationship between the Paschalion and Menologion while also adhering to the decisions of the First Ecumenical Council regarding the common celebration of Pascha.  With that said, I would like to briefly touch upon a few of the Old Calendarist assertions that have resurfaced in recent postings:

1.    The calendar change was primarily driven by Patriarch Meletios
2.   Patriarch Meletios was a notorious Freemason and Ecumenist, and the primary reason for the calendar change was to foster unity with the heterodox
3.   The calendar change hastened Ecumenism
4.   Patriarch Meletios and others who adopted the New Calendar cared more about unity with the heterodox than with the other Orthodox
5.   Those who adopted the New Calendar “fell under” the anathemas of the 1583, 1587, and 1593 Pan-Orthodox Councils
6.   Before the 1923 Pan-Orthodox Congress, Abp Chrysostom of Athens said that a local church could not adopt the New Calendar without being seen as schismatic by the rest, and then proceeded after the 1923 Congress to adopt the New Calendar, thereby becoming schismatic

I find the above points all to be problematic for the following reasons:

1.  The calendar change was primarily driven by Patriarch Meletios

The State Church of Greece was actually the first Synod to propose changing the calendar and this proposal was made prior to the 1923 Congress.  At the Congress, the Metropolitan Iakovos of Dyrrachion, a member of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, reported on this decision of the Holy Synod as follows:

The Synod of Hierarchs of the Church of Greece decides:

“The conclusion of the report of His Beatitude the President is accepted, according to which thirteen days are added to the Julian calendar, absolutely without changing the Paschalion and the Heortologion of the Orthodox Church.  However, if it might come to pass that the Pan-Orthodox Congress which shall be gathered in Constantinople concerning this question might make a decision on another solution for the celebration of Pascha, entirely consistent with the relevant decision of the First Ecumenical Council, the tradition, and the canons of the Church, the Church of Greece will accept it.”


We have over 200 pages of text in English containing the Acts and Decisions of this Congress.  Subcommittees were set up to discuss all aspects of the calendar change, such as the dogmatic and canonical implications of changing the calendar, how local churches might respond to the calendar change, and to examine different proposals for a future calendar that would correct the errors of both the Julian and Gregorian calendars.  If you read these texts, there is much discussion and Patriarch Meletios comes across as a fair and very balanced moderator, rather than as a dictator giving orders.  All participants are allowed to express their views on the subject of the calendar change, and no representatives express objection to the temporary shifting of the Julian by 13 days.  The only objection raised, which was agreed to by all, is that they should not adopt the Gregorian calendar because it is also inaccurate and because Rome would exploit this decision to the harm of the Orthodox.


2.  Patriarch Meletios was a notorious Freemason and Ecumenist, and the primary reason for the calendar change was to foster unity with the heterodox

Patriarch Meletios was a Freemason and an Ecumenist, but unity with the heterodox cannot be said to be the main driver behind the calendar change.  Regarding his ecumenism, his efforts were mostly directed towards the Anglicans.  In the 200+ pages of Acts and Decisions from this Congress, several times the subject of unity with other Christians is mentioned, but always strictly in the context of celebrating Pascha and the Nativity of our Lord on the same dates as other Christians.  I find little in this discussion that is objectionable in itself, and no plan was laid out in the Congress about uniting with others without agreement in matters of faith.  Also, while celebrating Nativity and Pascha at the same time as other Christians was one reason stated for changing the calendar, two other reasons were given that were perhaps much more significant: 1) the fact that all Orthodox lands adopted the Gregorian calendar as its civil calendar and the felt need for the Church calendar to coincide with the civil calendar (the Church was the largest civil organization in Greece), and 2) the concern that Orthodox immigrants in Western lands were not attending services on the Nativity of our Lord and other feast days because the Orthodox feast days did not correspond with Western holidays.  Both points may not be sufficient justifications for the calendar change, but it is important to point out that these were the reasons stated in the 1923 Congress for shifting the Julian by 13 days, and not simply syncretistic ecumenism. 
Furthermore, it is important to recognize the widespread immigration that was occurring at that time, as well as the working conditions that immigrants often found themselves in.  Some of us have little problem celebrating the Nativity of our Lord and other feasts on the Old Calendar because we have stable jobs with vacation time and good benefits, and many of us are able to take vacation and personal time whenever we want to attend special services.  If you are such a situation, it is important to realize that the same was usually not true of the working conditions of newly arrived immigrants in America or other non-Orthodox lands. Orthodox immigrants may also be more vulnerable to proselytism by the heterodox if the Orthodox are not able to get off work for the Orthodox feast days but are able to attend heterodox services on recognized holidays.   

Regarding Patriarch Meletios’ overtures towards the Anglicans, this is important to understand in the context of Patriarch Tikhon’s similar overtures in earlier times, and the general “special relationship” that the Orthodox and Anglicans shared for several centuries prior.  For instance, there were cases in the 1800s of the Serbian Patriarchate allowing Anglicans to receive communion in Orthodox churches without need for conversion.  While such cases are objectionable, probably rare, and certainly were not performed with the acceptance of the entire Orthodox Church, it is nevertheless important to realize that Patriarch Meletios was not alone in such overtures.  Even as late as 1951, the Anglican Bishop of Southwark was invited to stand fully vested in the altar during the consecration of ROCOR’s Metropolitan Vitaly (Ustinov) in London.  Of course, that such things were done does not mean that such things were justified, but I couldn’t imagine such a thing happening today.  In 1922, Patriarch Meletios issues an encyclical acknowledging Anglican orders, but to his credit he sent the encyclical to the other autocephalous Orthodox churches for a response.  The Patriarch of Jerusalem agreed with the encyclical and the Church of Cyprus responded stating:

”inasmuch as clergy entering the bosom of the Orthodox Church from these churches [Roman Catholic, Armenian, Old Catholic] are received without re-ordination, we declare our judgment that the same should hold good in the case of Anglicans; while intercommunion by which any person would be able indiscriminately to receive the Sacraments at the hands of an Anglican, even though he adhere to Orthodox dogma, is reserved until such time as dogmatic union between the two Churches, Orthodox and Anglican, is brought about.”

Patriarch Meletios’ encyclical, then, is seen as acknowledging Anglican orders upon the reception of Anglican clergy into the Orthodox Church, and not as recognition of their orders per se.  Today, there is no such optimism regarding the Anglicans and Orthodox. 


3.  The calendar change hastened Ecumenism

If this was the intent, it was a miserable failure.  We are quickly approaching 90 years since the adoption of the New Calendar, and we have yet to see a heretical union between the Orthodox Church and any heterodox body.  Syncretistic ecumenism reached a peak in the 1960s through the overtures towards Rome of Patriarch Athenagoras (more than 40 years after the calendar change), but the Ecumenism under subsequent Constantinople patriarchs have neither matched nor exceeded that of Patriarch Athenagoras.  Celebrating feasts at the “same time” as heterodox has only very rarely led to any kind of joint or ecumenical service comprising Orthodox and heterodox clergy.  The rare “Ecumenical Vespers” has lamentably occurred, but such instances seem very rare and amount to very little in the way of “Ecumenical progress”.  Most Orthodox people probably have never heard of an “Ecumenical Vespers”, and those self-proclaimed “True Orthodox” and “Anti-Ecumenism” news websites that are set up precisely to expose such things have a hard time digging up more than a handful of such events every year in the entire Orthodox world.  Since the fall of Communism, and the greater involvement of the Russian Church in the ecumenical movement to counter the influence of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, if anything the pace towards some kind of false union has been greatly decreased, if not abandoned altogether (if there ever was much of a movement towards a false union in the first place).  I could not imagine an Anglican bishop standing fully vested in the altar with ROCOR bishops today as took place at the consecration of ROCOR’s Bishop Vitaly (Ustinov) in 1951, for instance. 


4.  Patriarch Meletios and others who adopted the New Calendar cared more about unity with the heterodox than with the other Orthodox

If you read the Acts and Decisions from the 1923 Congress you will see that this is the exact opposite of the truth.  If he did not care about the unity of the Orthodox Church, why did he labor so much towards convening a future Pan-Orthodox Council to resolve various serious matters of Pan-Orthodox concern?  Why did he consult with the other Orthodox churches before changing the calendar?  While the adoption of the New Calendar did have unfortunate results, it is very clear that Patriarch Meletios cared more about the unity of the Orthodox Church than did the Old Calendarists.  Whereas Patriarch Meletios first consulted with the other Orthodox churches before changing the calendar, the Old Calendarists responded to the calendar change in Greece by unilaterally condemning the entire Church of Greece as schismatic and devoid of the grace of the Holy Spirit in its mysteries without even consulting with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem or any other local church which had remained on the Old Calendar at that time.  Also, it is important to note that the shifting of the Julian by 13 days was seen as a temporary measure to harmonize the church and civil calendars until such a time that the Patriarch of Constantinople could work towards the universal adoption of a more perfect calendar.  So, with this in view, any liturgical disunity among Orthodox which resulted from different calendars was to be overcome eventually.  This view was mistaken, but it is nevertheless important to understand.  When Met Anastassy of ROCOR asked in Session Four of the 1923 Congress what would happen of some local Orthodox churches did not adopt the recommended calendar change, Patriarch Meletios responded by stating that such a decision would be unfortunate but should not result in the breaking of communion between churches.  Patriarch Meletios further emphasized in his response to Met Anastassy that ideally a decision regarding the calendar change would be made together, unanimously, by all local Orthodox churches rather than unilaterally.  Unfortunately, decisions to change the calendar were made unilaterally after the Congress rather than unanimously as Patriarch Meletios had hoped.   


5.  Those who adopted the New Calendar “fell under” the anathemas of the 1583, 1587, and 1593 Pan-Orthodox Councils

The 16th century councils were called in response to the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar by Rome, and Rome’s insistence that the Orthodox Church and the whole world likewise adopt the Gregorian.  In a previous post I dealt with the codex of the 1583 Pan-Orthodox Council and the forged “Sigillion” of the monk Jacob of New Skete (codex 772), namely the false insertion of the anathema against the Gregorian Menologion and the monk Jacob’s (Iakovos’) creation of the illegitimate Sigillion in general.  Various documents and letters from the time of the 16th century councils indicate that the primary objection to the Gregorian Calendar was the change of the Paschalion which contradicted the First Ecumenical Council.  In the previous post on this subject, however, I also mentioned (as did Met Cyprian of Oreoi in his article) that even if the Gregorian Paschalion and Menologion were individually anathematized by these councils, this would still not have any applicability to the adoption of the New Calendar by some local churches for the reason that the Gregorian Menologion and the New Calendar Menologion are not the same.  While Old Calendarists may ridicule this assertion since the Gregorian and Revised Julian calendars currently agree (except for the Paschalion), and the difference between them only amounts to about 24 seconds, this difference was not a small point for those who participated in the 1923 Pan-Orthodox Congress.  In several instances in the Congress, Patriarch Meletios and the other participants clearly stated that they would not give any consideration to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar precisely because 1) Rome would use this fact for its own propaganda and the exploitation of the Orthodox, and 2) both the Gregorian and the Julian calendars were inaccurate scientifically.  Regarding Rome, the concern of the 1923 Congress was that if they adopted the Gregorian calendar Rome would use this fact to assert its authority and attempt to subjugate Orthodox through the Unia.  Regarding the inaccuracy of the Gregorian, Patriarch Meletios wanted to propose to the League of Nations an altogether new calendar and Paschalian that all Christians could agree with scientifically and canonically.  While we can say this ambition was misguided, it was very clear that Patriarch Meletios’ proposal was intended both to foster unity with the non-Orthodox, but *also* to enhance the prominence of the Orthodox Church before all Christians.  He wanted the Orthodox Church to be seen by all Christians as the leader of all Christians and the criterion and foundation of unity.  The participants in the 1923 Congress agreed to *not* adopt the Gregorian but to rather temporarily shift the Julian by 13 days to bring the Church and civil calendars into harmony until such a time that the Orthodox Church can lead the formulation and adoption of an altogether new calendar that the whole world would wish to adopt. 

Interestingly, neither the 1920 Patriarchal Encyclical, nor the 16th century Pan-Orthodox Councils were mentioned or referred to in all of the Acts and Decisions of the 1923 Congress.  The only explanation I have for not referring to the 16th century Pan-Orthodox Councils is that these dealt with the Gregorian Calendar and none of the Orthodox churches were even considering adopting the Gregorian calendar at the 1923 Congress, and perhaps the 16th century councils were not considered to be “Pan-Orthodox” by all participants in the Congress.


6.  Before the 1923 Pan-Orthodox Congress, Abp Chrysostom of Athens said that a local church could not adopt the New Calendar without being seen as schismatic by the rest, and then proceeded after the 1923 Congress to adopt the New Calendar, thereby becoming schismatic

In a letter from a monk of Holy Transfiguration Monastery concerning the calendar change, which Jonathan referenced above, the assertion was made that Abp Chrysostom of Athens initially said that one local church could not adopt the New Calendar without being seen as schismatic by the rest, and this is used to assert that the Church of Greece then became schismatic after adopting the New Calendar.  Abp Chrysostom’s initial remarks, however, were made to the Synod of the Church in Greece to the effect that if the State Church of Greece unilaterally changed the calendar without consulting other local churches, other local churches would view the State Church of Greece as having committed a schismatic act.  This is not at all the same as saying the Church of Greece would actually *become* schismatic by adopting a new calendar.  As was mentioned before, the Synod of the Church of Greece was the first Synod to make a proposal regarding the calendar change.  In preparation for the 1923 Congress, Patriarch Meletios sent out a letter to the other Patriarchs to invite representatives from these churches to the Congress and to understand the views of the other local churches regarding this proposal to change the calendar.  While some of the patriarchates did not participate in the Congress, and some (particularly Jerusalem) said they would not be changing the calendar regardless of what was decided at the Congress, nevertheless all of the Patriarchates stated that the shifting of the Julian calendar by 13 days by any local Orthodox church would not create an impediment to communion with the other Orthodox churches.  The 1923 Congress did not claim to have the authority of a Pan-Orthodox Council and therefore made no decisions of a binding nature.  Rather, they formed a “consultation” representing several local churches which made a series of proposals to be considered and adopted by the various local churches at their discretion.  It seems that most of the proposals from the Congress were not adopted by most local churches, but the adoption of the New Calendar by the Church of Greece cannot be said to be entirely unilateral since this decision was only enacted after confirming through the 1923 Congress that other local churches would not break off communion with them for shifting the calendar by 13 days.  This was still unfortunately somewhat unilateral, however, since the Church of Greece did wait to see how the other churches would respond to the recommendations of the Congress. 

Another interesting aspect to this issue is that in 1935 (11 years after the calendar change), when three hierarchs broke off from the Church of Greece to lead the Old Calendarists, they specifically stated that they refused to follow the New Calendar because they did not want to be viewed by the other patriarchates (Jerusalem, Antioch, Serbia, etc.) as schismatic.  As I have mentioned before, ironically when one of these Old Calendarist hierarchs (Met Chrysostom of Florina) went to the Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1937 hoping that the Patriarch would support the cause of the Old Calendarists, the Patriarch would not acknowledge Met Chrysostom as a bishop since the Church of Greece deposed him for going into schism from his Synod.  So, the Church of Greece, after adopting the New Calendar, remained in communion with the Old Calendar Patriarchates, whereas the Old Calendarists actually became viewed as schismatics by the Old Calendar patriarchates.

The above comments, while long, are not intended to be entirely comprehensive, but I thought it might be beneficial to give some attention to the 1923 Congress and certain misconceptions associated with it and the subsequent calendar change.  To reiterate, the manner in which the New Calendar was adopted unilaterally by individual Orthodox churches was very problematic and created unnecessary conflict and disunity, though prior to such changes the churches agreed that communion would not be interrupted by such a change.  I would personally like to see all Orthodox churches come to agreement on one liturgical calendar which maintains intact the complex cycles of the Old Calendar Paschalian and Menologion, which respects and adheres to the decisions of the First Ecumenical Council regarding the celebration of Pascha, and which allows Orthodox Christians to celebrate the same Feast more than once a year.  The Gregorian is problematic, as is the Revised Julian, so either a return to the Old Calendar (the logical choice) or the development of an entirely new calendar is needed.
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« Reply #1606 on: October 11, 2011, 01:10:17 PM »

I know Im still new to the game, and have plenty of time to become jaded on this point; but I think it is the highest level of absurdity to think that Christ will cast you away from Him for believing one calendar over another.

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« Reply #1607 on: October 11, 2011, 01:42:45 PM »

I just wanted to chime in here with a few comments after seeing some of the recent additions to this thread, though I don’t have the time to directly respond to everything stated.   Of interest to me in this discussion is not the astronomical question of “which calendar is scientifically better”, but rather with the claims of the Old Calendarists who say, among other things, that those who have adopted the New Calendar are “under anathema” and outside of the Church.  I’m sure most here agree that the unilateral adoption of the New Calendar by individual local churches, and the subsequent liturgical disunity which resulted, has not been good for the Church.  I’m sure most here would also lament the fact that this change resulted in the formation of schismatic Old Calendarist groups in some local churches, regardless of how unjustifiable such schisms are canonically.  I personally think that the Old Calendar is “better” in that prior to the 20th century all Orthodox churches celebrated Pascha and all of the major feasts together on it, whereas today they only celebrate Pascha together.  Who does not lament this fact?  I think all local Orthodox churches should return to the Old Calendar unless and until such a time that a change can be made together by all local churches to a calendar which respects and maintains the current relationship between the Paschalion and Menologion while also adhering to the decisions of the First Ecumenical Council regarding the common celebration of Pascha.  With that said, I would like to briefly touch upon a few of the Old Calendarist assertions that have resurfaced in recent postings:

1.    The calendar change was primarily driven by Patriarch Meletios
2.   Patriarch Meletios was a notorious Freemason and Ecumenist, and the primary reason for the calendar change was to foster unity with the heterodox
3.   The calendar change hastened Ecumenism
4.   Patriarch Meletios and others who adopted the New Calendar cared more about unity with the heterodox than with the other Orthodox
5.   Those who adopted the New Calendar “fell under” the anathemas of the 1583, 1587, and 1593 Pan-Orthodox Councils
6.   Before the 1923 Pan-Orthodox Congress, Abp Chrysostom of Athens said that a local church could not adopt the New Calendar without being seen as schismatic by the rest, and then proceeded after the 1923 Congress to adopt the New Calendar, thereby becoming schismatic

I find the above points all to be problematic for the following reasons:

...

Thank you, jah777, for your very thorough and balanced response to this debate.
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« Reply #1608 on: October 11, 2011, 02:17:12 PM »

Local Councils such as that of 1935 which condemned the State Church for changing the calendar unilaterally were within their rights.

Not at all, Jonathan.  The “Local Council of 1935” consisted of 3 bishops (Met Chrysostom of Florina, Met Germanus of Demetrias, and Metropolitan Chrysostom of Zakynthos).   Can you think of another authoritative local council that consisted of only three bishops in the entire history of the Church?  Furthermore, one of those bishops (Met Chrysostom of Zakynthos) immediately returned to the New Calendar Church of Greece in 1935 after a brief period of exile.  In 1937, just two years after this great “local council”, Met Chrysostom of Florina and Met Germanus of Demetrias said that the great “Council of 1935” was wrong and that they had no authority to declare the whole Church of Greece to be in schism.  In 1938, Mets Chrysostom and Germanus then requested that the New Calendar Church of Greece receive them both back as hierarchs of the Church of Greece.  Their petitions were rejected, but when a schism developed between Met Chrysostom and Germanus, and then Met Germanus reposed, he was buried by the New Calendar Church of Greece in 1944 in honor of his 1938 petition.  Met Chrysostom eventually died alone, unable to get the Church of Greece to receive him back as a bishop, and unwilling to consecrate more bishops to perpetuate the schism he created.  To think that the Holy Spirit was guiding the failed and cacadox (in Met Chrysostom of Florina’s later words) so-called “council” is ludicrous.  May God protect us all from whatever spirit was guiding this council. 
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« Reply #1609 on: October 12, 2011, 12:39:33 AM »

jah777's Reply No. 1605 clarifies so much of the misinformation that is believed by many on both sides of the calendar issue in the Orthodox Church.  It is a long comment, but those who are interested in this topic should make note of it and make time to read and study it.
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« Reply #1610 on: November 01, 2011, 09:58:52 AM »

There is much of merit in the post that you refer to - that Patriarch Meletios followed the Greek State Church etc.  In relation to the issue of the alleged benefits of the astronomical 'accuracy' of the new calendar I find this an interesting commentary:

 HOWEVER:
Quote
THE ISSUE OF ACCURACY:THE OLD CALENDAR IS SUPPOSED TO BE ASTRONOMICALLY INACCURATE, AND THE NEW CALENDAR FIXES THIS
Observations: All calendars are inherently astronomically inaccurate. The Holy Fathers who established the Church Calendar knew perfectly well that assigning the vernal equinox to a fixed date was astronomically inaccurate. Yet, they went ahead and did this.

The so-called "Revised Julian Calendar" is fundamentally flawed. By maintaining the traditional Paschalion while changing the fixed calendar, the Typicon goes out the window. The Apostles’ Fast is severely shortened, or even ends before it begins in certain years. Over the centuries, according to the "Revised Julian Calendar," the date of Pascha will gradually slip forward into the fixed year, so that Pascha (and all the moveable feasts) will eventually coincide with the Feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul, with the Transfiguration, with the Dormition, and even with the Nativity (the last will happen in about thirty-five thousand years, so you may say, "What’s the big deal?"; but it will occur).

In fact, astronomers cannot use the Gregorian calendar for their calculations, since it is "missing" the ten days that were "skipped" in 1583. Computer programmers, moreover, always make their calculations of the distance between dates by using the "Julian date." Copernicus, among other astronomers, was also adamantly opposed to the Gregorian Calendar reform. Let us incidentally note, in this vein, that the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences at the beginning of this century found no scientific or astronomical reasons for adopting the Gregorian Calendar. [For more on this see A Scientific Examination of the Orthodox Church Calendar, by Hieromonk Cassian.]

Finally, as I will point out subsequently, astronomical accuracy was absolutely not one of the reasons that the calendar change was introduced by Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis in 1924.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/calendar_faq.aspx
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« Reply #1611 on: November 01, 2011, 10:33:07 AM »

There is much of merit in the post that you refer to - that Patriarch Meletios followed the Greek State Church etc.  In relation to the issue of the alleged benefits of the astronomical 'accuracy' of the new calendar I find this an interesting commentary:

 HOWEVER:
Quote
THE ISSUE OF ACCURACY:THE OLD CALENDAR IS SUPPOSED TO BE ASTRONOMICALLY INACCURATE, AND THE NEW CALENDAR FIXES THIS
Observations: All calendars are inherently astronomically inaccurate. The Holy Fathers who established the Church Calendar knew perfectly well that assigning the vernal equinox to a fixed date was astronomically inaccurate. Yet, they went ahead and did this.

The so-called "Revised Julian Calendar" is fundamentally flawed. By maintaining the traditional Paschalion while changing the fixed calendar, the Typicon goes out the window. The Apostles’ Fast is severely shortened, or even ends before it begins in certain years. Over the centuries, according to the "Revised Julian Calendar," the date of Pascha will gradually slip forward into the fixed year, so that Pascha (and all the moveable feasts) will eventually coincide with the Feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul, with the Transfiguration, with the Dormition, and even with the Nativity (the last will happen in about thirty-five thousand years, so you may say, "What’s the big deal?"; but it will occur).

In fact, astronomers cannot use the Gregorian calendar for their calculations, since it is "missing" the ten days that were "skipped" in 1583. Computer programmers, moreover, always make their calculations of the distance between dates by using the "Julian date." Copernicus, among other astronomers, was also adamantly opposed to the Gregorian Calendar reform. Let us incidentally note, in this vein, that the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences at the beginning of this century found no scientific or astronomical reasons for adopting the Gregorian Calendar. [For more on this see A Scientific Examination of the Orthodox Church Calendar, by Hieromonk Cassian.]

Finally, as I will point out subsequently, astronomical accuracy was absolutely not one of the reasons that the calendar change was introduced by Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis in 1924.
http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/calendar_faq.aspx

Perhaps I did not emphasize this enough in my comments on the 1923 Congress, but if you read the Acts and Decisions of the Congress it is clear that the Orthodox participants did not want to adopt the Gregorian calendar precisely because 1) if they did adopt the Gregorian then Rome would exploit this fact to the detriment of Orthodoxy, and 2) the Gregorian calendar was also inaccurate .  Shifting the Julian by 13 days to coincide with the Gregorian calendar used by the governments in Greece and the other Orthodox countries was considered a temporary measure until such a time that the Patriarch of Constantinople could propose to the League of Nations an altogether new calendar that was more accurate than the traditional Julian, the Gregorian, and the Revised Julian calendars, and which would be agreeable to all Christians and all nations without violating the canons or the decisions of the First Ecumenical Council.  Now, the desire of the Patriarch of Constantinople to lead the entire Christian world in adopting an altogether new calendar (thereby, in his mind, promoting Orthodoxy as more superior than Rome who created the faulty Gregorian calendar) did not materialize and in hindsight was misguided.  The ambitious search for the “perfect” and “most accurate” calendar was naïve, and in the manner in which the Revised Julian was introduced was problematic and had unfortunate consequences for both the typicon and ecclesiastical peace and unity.  However, it cannot be argued from the documentation we have of the 1923 Congress that the Revised Julian was recommended for its accuracy.         
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« Reply #1612 on: November 01, 2011, 10:57:13 AM »

"Again and again," I write this on "OC.net," PATRIARCH MELETIOS IV DID NOT INTRODUCE THE REVISED JULIAN CALENDAR IN 1924.  He convened the Pan-Orthodox Congress of 1923; he resigned the Ecumenical Throne later that year, in the Fall as I recall.  At the urging of the government of Greece, as expressed by the Primate of the Church of Greece, the Ecumenical Patriarchate implemented the Revised Julian Calendar during the Spring, following His All Holiness' resignation; the Church of Greece followed suit, concurrently.  The Pan Orthodox Congress made recommendations to the Holy Orthodox Churches; it did not have the competence to implement any changes for the church and so stated during its deliberations.
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« Reply #1613 on: November 01, 2011, 11:00:15 AM »

Thank you, jah777, for your very thorough and balanced response to this debate.
jah777's Reply No. 1605 clarifies so much of the misinformation that is believed by many on both sides of the calendar issue in the Orthodox Church.  It is a long comment, but those who are interested in this topic should make note of it and make time to read and study it.
Just want to add my "AMEN!"
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« Reply #1614 on: November 01, 2011, 11:03:52 AM »

There is much of merit in the post that you refer to - that Patriarch Meletios followed the Greek State Church etc.  In relation to the issue of the alleged benefits of the astronomical 'accuracy' of the new calendar I find this an interesting commentary:

 HOWEVER:
Quote
THE ISSUE OF ACCURACY:THE OLD CALENDAR IS SUPPOSED TO BE ASTRONOMICALLY INACCURATE, AND THE NEW CALENDAR FIXES THIS
Observations: All calendars are inherently astronomically inaccurate. The Holy Fathers who established the Church Calendar knew perfectly well that assigning the vernal equinox to a fixed date was astronomically inaccurate. Yet, they went ahead and did this.
I see this repeated a lot, but I have never seen it squared with the designation by the Fathers of Alexandria calculating the Paschalion, because of the accuracy of its astronomers.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 11:04:11 AM by ialmisry » Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #1615 on: November 01, 2011, 06:57:51 PM »

There is much of merit in the post that you refer to - that Patriarch Meletios followed the Greek State Church etc.  In relation to the issue of the alleged benefits of the astronomical 'accuracy' of the new calendar I find this an interesting commentary:

 HOWEVER:
Quote
THE ISSUE OF ACCURACY:THE OLD CALENDAR IS SUPPOSED TO BE ASTRONOMICALLY INACCURATE, AND THE NEW CALENDAR FIXES THIS
Observations: All calendars are inherently astronomically inaccurate. The Holy Fathers who established the Church Calendar knew perfectly well that assigning the vernal equinox to a fixed date was astronomically inaccurate. Yet, they went ahead and did this.

The so-called "Revised Julian Calendar" is fundamentally flawed. By maintaining the traditional Paschalion while changing the fixed calendar, the Typicon goes out the window. The Apostles’ Fast is severely shortened, or even ends before it begins in certain years. Over the centuries, according to the "Revised Julian Calendar," the date of Pascha will gradually slip forward into the fixed year, so that Pascha (and all the moveable feasts) will eventually coincide with the Feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul, with the Transfiguration, with the Dormition, and even with the Nativity (the last will happen in about thirty-five thousand years, so you may say, "What’s the big deal?"; but it will occur).
This old canard again. Roll Eyes This isn't the fault of the Revised Julian Calendar per se. This is the fault of our decision to adopt the Revised Julian Menologion while continuing to hold to the Old Julian Paschalion. Adopt the Revised Julian Menologion AND Paschalion, and this problem goes away. Hey, we would even get our Kyriopascha back!

Quote
In fact, astronomers cannot use the Gregorian calendar for their calculations, since it is "missing" the ten days that were "skipped" in 1583. Computer programmers, moreover, always make their calculations of the distance between dates by using the "Julian date."
I can assure you, though, from my background in computer programming that this is certainly NOT because of a desire for accuracy. Additionally, the "Julian date" really has little to do with the Julian Calendar.

Quote
Copernicus, among other astronomers, was also adamantly opposed to the Gregorian Calendar reform. Let us incidentally note, in this vein, that the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences at the beginning of this century found no scientific or astronomical reasons for adopting the Gregorian Calendar. [For more on this see A Scientific Examination of the Orthodox Church Calendar, by Hieromonk Cassian.]
You do realize that we never adopted the Gregorian Calendar? It doesn't matter that you see no difference between the Revised Julian and Gregorian calendars. The simple fact is that there IS a difference and the fact that you so quickly dismiss this difference as insignificant simply shows how quick your side is to dismiss the other side's arguments in favor of your own polemic.

Quote
Finally, as I will point out subsequently, astronomical accuracy was absolutely not one of the reasons that the calendar change was introduced by Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis in 1924.
BS! As our very balanced jah777 pointed out in his critique.
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« Reply #1616 on: November 01, 2011, 08:25:51 PM »

Perhaps I did not emphasize this enough in my comments on the 1923 Congress, but if you read the Acts and Decisions of the Congress it is clear that the Orthodox participants did not want to adopt the Gregorian calendar precisely because 1) if they did adopt the Gregorian then Rome would exploit this fact to the detriment of Orthodoxy,....       
how would Rome exploit the adoption of the Gregorian calendar to the detriment of Orthodoxy? The Protestant world and the Chinese, Buddhist and Hindu world use the Gregorian calendar. How has Rome exploited this to the detriment of the Chinese or others?
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« Reply #1617 on: November 01, 2011, 08:43:16 PM »

Perhaps I did not emphasize this enough in my comments on the 1923 Congress, but if you read the Acts and Decisions of the Congress it is clear that the Orthodox participants did not want to adopt the Gregorian calendar precisely because 1) if they did adopt the Gregorian then Rome would exploit this fact to the detriment of Orthodoxy,....      
how would Rome exploit the adoption of the Gregorian calendar to the detriment of Orthodoxy? The Protestant world and the Chinese, Buddhist and Hindu world use the Gregorian calendar. How has Rome exploited this to the detriment of the Chinese or others?
The Chinese, Buddhist, and Hindu worlds aren't even Christian, so I don't think your question about them is even relevant to our calendar discussion. As to the Protestants, you would actually have to establish that they even care about the calendar as Orthodox traditionally have.
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« Reply #1618 on: November 02, 2011, 12:29:17 AM »

The Holy Fathers who established the Church Calendar knew perfectly well that assigning the vernal equinox to a fixed date was astronomically inaccurate. Yet, they went ahead and did this.

This is not only false, but it is so easily confirmable as false that for anyone who has spent any time in studying the history of the calendar to continue to assert it demonstrates a distinct lack of interest in the truth.

The Fathers of Nicea did not assign the vernal equinox to a fixed date. They simply said 'the vernal equinox'. And we know as a matter of historical record that when they went home from Nicea the day they used to calculate Pascha was the day the vernal equinox was actually occurring in the 4th century and not the 'official' date of the equinox according to the Julian calendar (March 25th, which was already off by a few days at the time of Nicea--and the Fathers used the real date not the official date).

The idea that the Fathers of Nicea and the centuries following didn't care about astronomical accuracy is belied by the fact that there is an entire sub-genre in Patristic literature of writings on how to calculate Pascha. St. Jerome wrote one, St. Bede one, St. Columbanus wrote St. Gregory a letter arguing about why St. Jerome's calculations should be favored over those of Dionysius Exiguus. The works don't get translated much (if at all) because few people in the modern age are interested in 5th century astronomy, but any half-schooled student of early medieval literature can point you to multiple examples. In the centuries following Nicea, Rome used *3* different paschalions before finally settling on using Alexandria's--and every one of those changes was explicitly done because Rome was trying to find the most accurate computation.

Analysis and revision of the Paschalion stopped not because the Fathers didn't care about astronomical accuracy but because the Church in Alexandria broke apart over Chalcedon and then fell under the Muslim yoke--in other words, they had more important things to worry about than maintaining their astronomical knowledge and so everybody kept using what Rome and Alexandria were using in the 6th century.

Quote
In fact, astronomers cannot use the Gregorian calendar for their calculations, since it is "missing" the ten days that were "skipped" in 1583. Computer programmers, moreover, always make their calculations of the distance between dates by using the "Julian date."

Another falsehood since PetertheAleut is too kind. The 'Julian date' doesn't have 'little' to do with the 'Julian calendar'. It has *nothing* to do with it, as anyone who bothered to check even a basic reference book would know. The 'Julian date' is a way of calculating time that completely ignores months, years, leap-years, and everything else that distinguishes the Julian, Gregorian, or any other calendar. The Julian date is a straight count of days since Jan 1, 4713 BC so that if an astronomer wants to know how long its been since a certain event he doesn't have to keep track of how many leap years (by whatever calendar one is using) might have fallen in between, doesn't have to think 'May 15' and there's 31 days in May so, that's 16 days for that month and then x number of days in June-December for the remainder of that year. He can just know 10,001 days or whatever.

And by the way, the inventor of the 'Julian date'? It was Joseph Scaliger, a Roman Catholic who died in 1609.
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« Reply #1619 on: November 02, 2011, 12:32:50 AM »

The Chinese, Buddhist, and Hindu worlds aren't even Christian, so I don't think your question about them is even relevant to our calendar discussion. As to the Protestants, you would actually have to establish that they even care about the calendar as Orthodox traditionally have.

Actually, while modern Protestants don't much care, their initial reaction to the Gregorian Calendar reform was much the same as the Orthodox. Initially only Roman Catholic countries adopted the reform. Protestant Europe didn't switch until the 18th century--and in England there were riots about their 'missing days' when it happened.
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