Would you care to provide Patristic proof-texts supporting your claim that it is legitimate and consistent with Church doctrine to break with inherited traditions, such as the patristic calendar? I don't mean historical evidence that at certain times in the past different local churches happened to observe festivals on different dates. I also don't mean minor variations that creep in owing to forgetfulness. I mean when one part of the Church decides to break with the common tradition in full consciousness of the fact that it is a common tradition, as happened in Greece in 1924.
Nice try. In other words, "I haven't/can't respond to your challenge to find a single Father who thought calendrical differences were worth commenting on, but having failed to even attempt to demonstrate my argument, let's just assume I'm right that the Julian calendar=Patristic calendar and then can you disprove that." If you went into schism because your bishop decided to start using lotus-scented incense, I couldn't 'prove' that the Fathers were okay with lotus-scented incense, any more than you could 'prove' they disapproved of it, because the fact is the Fathers didn't think the particular floral scent was something to get into controversies about. Have you stopped beating your wife yet?
I'll reiterate the two critical points you seem to be doing your best to avoid:
1) I re-entered the current ressurection of this thread when first Subdeacon David and then even more explicitly you made false statements about the decisions of the First Ecumenical Council. You've thrown out a lot of ink since then but you've never faced up to the fact that you (apparently intentionally) distorted the decisions of the Great and Holy Council of Nicea to fit your personal agenda. You have a credibility problem--the same one that the Latins had when they accused the Orthodox of deleting the filoque.
2) You are the one who has to demonstrate this issue justifies schism. If one simply looks at it at high level, there's no question how the Church reacts to multiple calendars whether its the 3rd century or the 20th--it doesn't care and goes on with its business. You attempt to get around this by claiming that in doing so, all the autocephalous churches have fallen into error and only your tiny group remains faithful to 'the Tradition'. I try not to get too far into the majority vs. minority thing because I'm fully aware of "Athanasius against the world," or St. Maximus against the Monothelite Eastern Patriarchs, or St. Mark of Ephesus against the false union.
But when St. Athanasius or St. Maximus or St. Mark broke with the 'mainstream' of the Church, they had *reams* of "proof-texts" (as you call them) to justify their action. They started with the Gospels (or in some case the Pentateuch), worked their way through the Pauline epistles, and then hit the Fathers down to their own time to demonstrate the unbroken Apostolic Tradition which demanded that they take the action they did. St. Mark didn't sit back and go 'well, we've been doing this for the last couple of centuries, so that alone proves not communing Latins is the right thing to do."
So go ahead and disdain proof-texts and the example of the actual pillars of Orthodoxy. It goes right along with your willingness to twist the Holy Councils until they say what you want them to say.
Witega, did I say textual evidence was unimportant? No. I said it's not necessary
. Are you now arguing that it's necessary, against the clear witness of St Basil? Even if we didn't know about Pan-Orthodox councils condemning the Papal calendar, we would still know that the calendar was part of Tradition simply because of universal observance.
However, the councils of the 16th century did condemn the Papal calendar. The idea that these councils addressed only the Paschalion and didn't care about the rest is a modern invention. Have you even produced one bit of evidence that the Church did not reject the Western calendar in its entirety? No. All you can do is point out that they usually stress the innovation in the date of Easter, which of course is the most egregious element of the Gregorian innovation. But nowhere do they say "we condemn the Western Paschalion but accept the Western Menologion". Do they say that anywhere? That would constitute evidence in your favor. Otherwise you are arguing from silence at best. And e.g. Pat Dositheus' words certainly suggest that the objection was to the whole Gregorian edifice.
By the way, here is another quote from the same Patriarch (again from Fr Basil):
In the 1670’s, Dositheus, the Patriarch of Jerusalem (in his work
Concerning Unleavened Bread, p. 539) said: “By the grace of Christ,
from the time of the First Council to this present moment, the sacred
Pascha is always celebrated the Sunday after the Passover of of the
Law, and we have never experienced any confusion which might bring
us to the necessity of making some correction. This was set forth very
well by the Holy Fathers and it shall eternally remain faultless.Wrongly have the contemporary astronomers of Old Rome removed
ten days from the month of October. More-over, their new calendar
provokes much confusion and many causes for disorder.
Note he says the new calendar
has provoked confusion and disorder. He does not say "only the Paschalion is wrong". As you would expect, he emphasizes most of the all the Paschal innovation, but he does not neglect to note the havoc wrought by the rest of the innovated calendar.
Also, I don't think you've addressed the issue of whether the history of multiple calendars involves involuntary or voluntary disagreement with the universal practice. At the beginning of the controversy in the pre-Nicean Church over how to determine Easter, we find some zealots like Pope Victor of Rome condemning those who do not follow what was believed to be Catholic and Apostolic practice. But St Irenaeus encourages calm in this situation, mostly because he respected the argument of the Quartodecimans that their practice was Apostolic. See what Eusebius of Caesarea wrote:
"But this did not please all the bishops. And they besought him to consider the things of peace, and of neighborly unity and love. Words of theirs are extant, sharply rebuking Victor.
Among them was Irenæus, who, sending letters in the name of the brethren in Gaul over whom he presided, maintained that the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord should be observed only on the Lord’s day. He fittingly admonishes Victor that he should not cut off whole churches of God which observed the tradition of an ancient custom."
St Irenaeus didn't say "their custom is an innovation, but I nevertheless tolerate it". He said that although he believed that the Apostolic tradition was to observe Pascha on Sunday, nevertheless he respected the fact that their custom was also apparently ancient, and that it wasn't at that time completely clear which tradition was the more ancient. Under the circumstances of doubt, tolerance was encouraged, i.e. only when it is certain which tradition is authentic should there be no question of tolerance of discrepancy.
By the time of St Hippolytus, however, we see that the arguments of the Quartodecimans were rejected, and the First Ecumenical Council made it clear that the Church considered the observance of Pascha on Sunday as the Apostolic tradition. You note that even after that date, parts of the Church continued to observe Pascha according to discrepant calculations, and the Church gave them time to come round. So the Church is patient with the wayward, but not indefinitely. The Celtic churches that obstinately refused to follow Rome were eventually cut off as schismatics until they repented.
How are the True Orthodox not also patient? After 1924 all they did was continue to observe the traditional calendar, for which the State Church rewarded them with persecution. There wasn't even talk about whether the State Church had lost grace, since that was not the most important issue. The three bishops who later joined the True Orthodox themselves waited to see if the State Church would reverse its decision. Only after it became clear they had no intention of doing so did they abandon the New Calendar Church. Even then at first they did not accuse the State Church of having fallen from Grace (if you read their "Declaration of Faith"). Only when they were defrocked and a fresh persecution began did they realize that the State Church was no longer a part of the True Church, since the True Church does not persecute those who attempt to hold fast to tradition.
I respect PtA's request for some patristic quotes regarding how the Church sanctifies everything She uses. I'm continuing to look around for something that addresses this explicitly, but really I think it's a red herring, because we have e.g. the 1848 Patriarchal encyclical that calls on the faithful to reject all innovations. The encyclical doesn't say "the faithful must reject new dogmas but they may accept new practices regardless of tradition". That alone I submit puts the onus of proof on the innovators to prove that their innovation is consistent with Tradition. And when St Basil talks about the necessity of preserving unwritten customs, he doesn't just say dogmas, but he mentions e.g. the sign of the Cross. That is not a dogma, but we are not permitted to stop using it merely because it has no written authority backing it.