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Author Topic: Old vs. New Calendar?  (Read 202106 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasios
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« Reply #180 on: December 14, 2004, 04:52:14 PM »

Another problem, Strelets, is that while you are arguing for economy, some at SVS they argue against economy and say straightforwardly that heterodox sacraments have grace per se.

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« Reply #181 on: December 14, 2004, 04:53:05 PM »

I think as soon as I finish these exams I will prepare my bibliography and post it because one might get the impression here that either the Greek Old Calendarist practice of today or the OCA practice of today somehow represents the norm. Neither do.

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« Reply #182 on: December 14, 2004, 05:16:03 PM »

Anastasios --

---"I think as soon as I finish these exams I will prepare my bibliography and post it because one might get the impression here that either the Greek Old Calendarist practice of today or the OCA practice of today somehow represents the norm. Neither do."

So what you are saying is that the Orthodox norm through the centuries is that the reception of converts varies (between Baptism and Chrismation) but that they do not acknowledge Grace in "mysteries" outside of the Orthodox communion. This has been my understanding

---"some at SVS they argue against economy and say straightforwardly that heterodox sacraments have grace per se."

What do they base their argument on? Can they quote Church Fathers, Church history or do they think that because many Orthodox did not baptise that this meant that heterdox baptisms were Grace-filled?

Gregory
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« Reply #183 on: December 14, 2004, 05:29:34 PM »

Anastasios --

---"I think as soon as I finish these exams I will prepare my bibliography and post it because one might get the impression here that either the Greek Old Calendarist practice of today or the OCA practice of today somehow represents the norm. Neither do."

So what you are saying is that the Orthodox norm through the centuries is that the reception of converts varies (between Baptism and Chrismation) but that they do not acknowledge Grace in "mysteries" outside of the Orthodox communion. This has been my understanding

Yes, that would be the crux of what I am saying, although I would also add the caveat that I also think that it is unwise to meerly look at history to provide one with an answer as to what should be done today (in other words just because so and so did x, y, or z, does not mean we should do it now).

Quote
---"some at SVS they argue against economy and say straightforwardly that heterodox sacraments have grace per se."

What do they base their argument on? Can they quote Church Fathers, Church history or do they think that because many Orthodox did not baptise that this meant that heterdox baptisms were Grace-filled?

Gregory

Many would argue as you suggested, that because people were not baptized, it meant that their baptism outside the Church was valid.  In order to support this theory, the teaching of economy as commonly understood and taught by the vast majority of Orthodox in the world is denied.  To see this play out and to see why those advocating this approach argue the way they do (and I am not disparaging them; they are my teachers, they are good men, they have thought this through well, I just don't happen to agree with this aspect of what is being said), see Professor John Erickson's article "On the Cusp of Modernity" which is in the SVS Quarterly from around 1997 or so, which deals with St Nikodemus the Haghiorite.

Anastasios
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« Reply #184 on: December 14, 2004, 05:36:06 PM »

Thanks, Anastasios. I'd be interested in reading your clarifications on what you'd consider the "norm", or perhaps it's your understanding that there is no norm? In that hypothetical, then I'd wonder why one would strongly defend not applying oeconomia since the premise would indicate it doesn't matter. Interesting. I'm also curious about the arguments you've heard for the existence of Grace in heterodox baptisms, as that's a new one for me as well.

What troubles me most is the rebaptising of Orthodox Christians, whether they were received by chrismation or not. I'd be interested in what your studies have found regarding this issue.
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« Reply #185 on: December 14, 2004, 05:49:49 PM »

Strelets,

I am going to get back to this on Thursday. Now that we have bookmarked threads back, I shouldn't forget. Smiley

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« Reply #186 on: December 15, 2004, 11:00:15 AM »

Sterlets,

Instead of quoting, I'll just refer to points one through six.

1. Worldwide, I suspect the trouble is in more than 1%. Consider my jurisdiction, which is a part of so-called "world Orthodoxy" but remains on the Old Calendar. This creates barriers to intercommunion. Trust me, when visiting priests come it poses real problems. That said, even if it were only 1% that were led astray because my bishop wanted the convenience of the NC . . . well, I'll just say I'm not sure that if I made that decision I'd be comfortable with justifying that to God. A single soul is precious. Is the use of the NC so precious?

2. I'm pretty sure that it doesn't pose a problem today, which was how I termed my statement. It was also my understanding that there was little opposition to this date shift in the East. If there was some, then I would discuss what did happen.

3. First, liturgy is theology. They cannot be divided. That was the source of the tension. It wasn't simply that a bunch of old coots didn't want to do things differently so they told their bishop to take a hike. The question remains as to how accurate the Old Believer claims are, which is a different subject. Personally, I think the changes could have been made more gently. Your position seems to be that the shepherd can do what he wants as long as most of the sheep don't stray. My point is that the shepherd has a responsibility to his entire flock.

4. I am not suggesting that the people are always able to disobey their bishops. There are times when it has been done, the obvious case being the rejection of the Council of Florence, which I must point out. Just because something was decided in a synod does not make it always absolute.

I'm also not suggesting that acting schismatically over the calendar is not acting, well, schismatically. I am arguing that if a person does something completely unnecessary that he knows will incite a brother to sin, then that person may be as guilty of the sin committed by inciting it for no real purpose.

5. Now, here I need to quote.
Quote
Is it the Church's fault to teach adultery is a sin when it offends a few members, and these few in turn join a sect where they can indulge in their own idea of morality?

That is certainly not what I'm arguing. In this example, you have someone who is sinning and whose sin the Church condemns. That is as it should be. I am arguing that if you know a fellow who has a weakness for committing adultery you shouldn't walk up to him and point out the girls who look like they may be interested in a "relationship". That is also a sin.

Unless, of course, you are arguing that those who were not schismatic before the calendar controversy were already sinning by using the OC. I certainly don't think you are making that argument.

6. I'm not suspect of those who break communion with their bishops simply because of the calendar issue. They are wrong to do so. If my church went to the NC tomorrow, I would be obliged to follow it. That does not mean, however, that I am unable to celebrate certain feasts at home on the OC.

My point is that, yes, some are more inclined to be schismatic and, yes, sometimes their requests may seem silly to some. But with a little tact and foresite this entire controversy could have been avoided. Now that the parties are entrenched, reconciliation between many of these Orthodox (if you accept them as Orthodox) jurisdictions will be much more difficult. I am not willing to point out the sins of the schismatics without at least considering whether or not other jurisdictions are completely without fault for forcing the issue in the first place.
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« Reply #187 on: December 15, 2004, 12:54:30 PM »

Thanks for your thoughtful repy, cizinec. I'll clarify my "1%" comment. This was directed to those few who broke communion with the main body of Orthodoxy over the calendar, clerical dress, etc. This wouldn't include the Serbian, Moscow, or Jerusalem Patriarchates who maintain communion with the new calendar jurisdictions and haven't elevated the matter to dogma. At one time, I crunched the available numbers on memberships and those few genuine or true orthodox organizations (at least those who don't hide their numbers, for understandable reasons) do make up well under 1% of those who identify themselves as Orthodox. Of course, it's a logical fallacy to suggest numerical strength is an indicator of truth value, but it puts the situation into perspective. That's why I'm not too worried about the offense factor.
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« Reply #188 on: December 16, 2004, 06:06:33 PM »

Consider my jurisdiction, which is a part of so-called "world Orthodoxy" but remains on the Old Calendar.  This creates barriers to intercommunion.  Trust me, when visiting priests come it poses real problems.

Cizinec

Can you please elaborate on this?  How does your juridiction being (I imagine canonical) on the Julian calendar create "barriers to intercommunion"?

Tony
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« Reply #189 on: December 16, 2004, 09:33:25 PM »

Just picked up on this thread and will come back with some quotes no less from a priest of the Greek church who went into the subject in great detail, having upset no less than the Vatican on account of his chosen method of receiving RCs by baptism.

The method of reception varied according to circumstances of the times and the character of the heresy or seperation, as I recall. Hence no one fixed and consistent method. Also the question of the relative freedom or captivity of the local church also directly influenced methodology, e.g. economy might have been used rather than local churches actual wish for strictness because of the occupying civil or military power simply not being willing to tolerate such an action.

The calendar question. Oh dear, dear. The problem of the calendar is surely not one of convenience but of liturgical unity. Any mixing of the fixed calendar and the traditional Pascalion causes problems. Many areas where the two exist but there are no 'difficulties' between adherents to either appear to cope. I think some wish to play this angle up so as to force a move away from the inconvenient Church calendar to the civil calendar. But I suggest this will not solve things. In Europe we see moves to harmonise festivals and fix a date for 'Easter'. It would be more convenient. Baloney. You chase convenience and you'll find the goal posts will shift again and again. Meantime somewhere Orthodoxy will have quietly been abandoned and an impostor substituted, save where those remain who are faithful to Faith and Tradition, not convenience and administrative tidiness.

There is no such thing as the Old calendar. The Church calendar is alive, well and in use. To accept the label 'Old' is a big mistake. But again it is convenient. Sorry I forgot the party line........................
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« Reply #190 on: December 16, 2004, 11:03:22 PM »

Short Annotated Bibliography on Works Related to the Reception of Converts

This is a very short—and very inadequate—effort on my part to simply “get this information out.” Please feel free to point out any errors on my part. ~Anastasios


Major works:

Barnes, Patrick. The Non-Orthodox: The Orthodox Teaching on Christians Outside of the Church.
—This book is helpful in clearing away the idea that baptizing a convert is a novelty. It also synthesizes much of the works of Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna on the reception of converts. Argues that it is normative to baptize converts. Book is now out of print but available through interlibrary loan.

Dragas, Fr. George. “The Manner of Reception of Roman Catholic Converts into the Orthodox Church.” <http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english/Dragas_RomanCatholic.html>
—Provides a very extensive bibliography and addresses points and sources from the “Greek” tradition that are oftentimes simply ignored by those coming from the “Russian” tradition. See the very extensive bibliography at the end.

Metallinos, George D., I Confess One Baptism ... Interpretation and Application of Canon VII of the Second Ecumenical Council by the +Ü++llyvades and Constantine Oikonomos, translated by Hieromonk Seraphim, St. +íaul's Monastery, Holy Mountain 1994.
—This book was very negatively reviewed by Professor John Erickson in St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, on the basis that this book argues one author’s viewpoint as if it were indicative of the entire patristic tradition. However, having read the book myself twice, I do not agree with this assessment at all. Its weakness is that it does not address the “Russian” practice of receiving converts by chrismation for the past 400 years. This book very strongly argues that Roman Catholics and Protestants must be baptized upon converting.

(Pagodin), Archimandrite Ambrosius. “On the reception into the Orthodox Church”<http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/reception_church_a_pagodin.htm>
—This is a very good article which is considered by many to be the “panacea” to those advocating reception by baptism. Provides excellent history of the reception of converts and abundant bibliographic material. However, its analysis of St Basils’s First Canonical Epistle seems to be a stretch to me.

Other important articles and those with a less broad scope than the above works:

(L'Huillier), Bishop Peter. "The Reception of Roman Catholics into Orthodoxy: Historical Variations and Norms," Saint Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, 24:2 (1980) 75-82.

Erickson, John +ù., "The Problem of Sacramental Economy," in his The Challenge of Our Past, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, New York 1991, pp. 115-132.
—Professor Erickson here argues that economy is not the traditional Orthodox view and that one can find sacramental grace in some form outside of Orthodoxy.

Erickson, John +ù., "The Reception of +¥on-Orthodox into the Orthodox Church: Contemporary Practice," Saint Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, 41 (1997) 1-17.

Erickson, John +ù., "+ƒn the Cusp of Modernity: The Canonical Hermeneutic of St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite (1748-1809), St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, 42:1 (1998) 45-66.
—In this article, Professor Erickson attempts to show St Nikodemos to be an innovator, albeit unwittingly. This article provoked some violent reaction from Greeks—even Fr. Dragas, who wrote in footnote #63 of his work listed above: “Prof. John Erickson of St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary, a member of the North-American Orthodox R++man Catholic Theological Commission, has propounded this view. See his essay "+Æ’n the Cusp of Modernity: The canonical hermeneutic of St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite (1748- 1809), St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly, 42: 1(1998) 45-66 which was presented to the Dialogue. Dr.Erickson finds St. Nikodemos a sort of 'modernist innovator,' at least as far as his edition of the Canon Law of the Orthodox Church (the Pedalion or Rudder) goes. His 'innovation' is the distinction between akribeia and oikonomia which, in Erickson's view, is not warranted in the patristic tradition of Orthodoxy. Indeed for Erickson this modern and false distinction, which has been mistakenly employed by Greek canonists, is unknown to the Russians who follow the tradition of the Fathers. For us the implications of Erickson's view are far reaching, if one considers that both St. Nikodemos and his Pedalion have been sanctioned by the +ù++ly and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. For a completely different assessment of St. Nikodemos' legacy, especially in relation to his Pedalion, see the essay of the Greek Canonist Professor Vlassios Phidas of Athens University, "+á+++¦+¼+++¦++++ +¦+¦+¦ +¦+¦+¦++++-â+¦+¦-â-ä+¦+¦+« -â+++++¦+»+¦++-â++," +Æ’-ü++-î+¦++++++ +£+¦-ü-ä-Ã -ü+»+¦, 45 (1995) 78-84.”

Grabbe, Fr. George. “Strictness and Economy: Resolution of the ROCA Synod of Bishops on the Reception of Converts.” <http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/strictness.aspx>
—Explains the reason why ROCOR began to baptize all converts in 1971 (even though it had allowed such baptisms before, and even St. John Maximovitch had baptized converts).

(Gonzales), Archbishop Chrysostomos (of Etna). “A Letter to a Priest Concerning Corrective Baptism.” <http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/corrective_baptism.aspx>
—His explanation as to why he thinks it is a good idea to “fix” people’s receptions if they were not baptized. Not entirely convincing even to me due to its lack of historical perspective, although His Emminence does make some interesting arguments based on pastoral issues.

Florovsky, Fr. Georges. “The Limits of the Church” <http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/limits_church.htm>
—Here Father Georges speculates on whether there are sacraments outside of the visible Church. Note that it is claimed that later on in life, he rejected what he said here, and a careful reading of his later works would seem to indicate this to be true.

(Krapovitsky), Metropolitan Anthony. “The Basis on Which Economy May Be Used in the Reception of Converts” <http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/khrap_econ.aspx>
—Straightforward exposition of economy. One error is that he says economy can only be used when one was previously baptized with triple immersion, which seems to contradict his position, considering that he allowed Lutherans and Catholics—not baptized in this manner—to be received by economy.

Note:
Many of the traditional-side articles came from this website, which has several other sources that I was unable to comment upon due to not having read them or not wanting to overburden the reader: <http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_baptism.aspx>

As I come across other articles I will attempt to expand this bibliography, which is incomplete.

Anastasios




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« Reply #191 on: December 17, 2004, 01:30:59 AM »

thank you for posting that, Anastasios Smiley i plan to explore these works over the next few months - it's very helpful Smiley
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« Reply #192 on: December 17, 2004, 01:33:02 AM »

I just remembered an article I will be adding into the pro-chrismation section from the Diocese of the West website, probably tomorrow.

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« Reply #193 on: December 17, 2004, 09:55:12 AM »

Anastasios,

Thank you for taking the time to put this together! There is a lot here to reflect upon.

Much appreciated,
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« Reply #194 on: December 17, 2004, 10:07:23 AM »

Father George Metallinos' book, 'I Confess One Baptism', was the work I had in mind referring too. Picked it up in Greece. Unpopular among some, undoubtedly. Why? Because among other things Father George showed the trait of pro-Uniate and pro-western tendencies have always been with us and gave us the strong evidence for rejecting such tendencies, whether from within or without. He is especially relevant because he caused a great stir by receiving three students by baptism with the written consent of the (State) Church of Greece. He then went on to witness effectively why it was proper to do so.

A treasure of a book. I will come back to it later.

Thank you, too, Anastasios, for the trouble of sharing this valuable list with us.
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« Reply #195 on: December 17, 2004, 12:04:22 PM »

Because among other things Father George showed the trait of pro-Uniate and pro-western tendencies have always been with us and gave us the strong evidence for rejecting such tendencies, whether from within or without.

Pro-Uniate tendencie in the Greek Church!  Shocked Wow!  :- I gotta read that. Nothing nastier than a Uniate!  Wink

 Kiss
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« Reply #196 on: December 17, 2004, 01:20:18 PM »



Pro-Uniate tendencie in the Greek Church! Shocked  Wow! :-  I gotta read that.  Nothing nastier than a Uniate! Wink

 Kiss

Tony, you must have finished your exams Smiley

Anastasios
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« Reply #197 on: December 17, 2004, 03:57:42 PM »



Tony, you must have finished your exams Smiley

Anastasios

Anastasios, yes I did Grin Of course, I had to comment on those nasty Uniates Angry
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« Reply #198 on: December 17, 2004, 05:21:33 PM »

Father George Metallinos' book, 'I Confess One Baptism', was the work I had in mind referring too. Picked it up in Greece. Unpopular among some, undoubtedly. Why? Because among other things Father George showed the trait of pro-Uniate and pro-western tendencies have always been with us and gave us the strong evidence for rejecting such tendencies, whether from within or without. He is especially relevant because he caused a great stir by receiving three students by baptism with the written consent of the (State) Church of Greece. He then went on to witness effectively why it was proper to do so.

A treasure of a book. I will come back to it later.

Thank you, too, Anastasios, for the trouble of sharing this valuable list with us.
When will these "Uniate" tendencies materialize???
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« Reply #199 on: December 17, 2004, 08:45:49 PM »

CatholicEagle,

Do you really need to ask? If you are genuinely asking rather than being either witty or sarcastic perhaps Professor Father George Metallinos book might answer your question far better than any I might offer. It might also inform. Perish the thought............. Wink
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« Reply #200 on: December 19, 2004, 02:43:21 AM »

Quote
(Pagodin), Archimandrite Ambrosius. “On the reception into the Orthodox Church”<http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/reception_church_a_pagodin.htm>
—This is a very good article which is considered by many to be the “panacea” to those advocating reception by baptism.

I think you meant reception of some heterodox through chrismation, yes? Regarding the orthodoxinfo site, I've made my feelings known already. It's highly polemical and uncharitable to the extreme in its characterization of Christians within the normal (Smiley) Orthodox Church, and sometimes mischaracterizes what's written by others who disagree. For example, in the article A Letter to a Priest Concerning Corrective Baptism linked above, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna (member of the schismatic Holy Synod in Resistance and who provides much of the material on the site in question) uses such language as "poorly educated" to describe members of the OCA or calling our bishops "errant", or "unenlightened and inarticulate OCA source", or the theologians of contemporary Orthodoxy (i.e. outside the Matthewite or Florinite or Stalagmite Churches) are "mediocre of mind and contentious of spirit." Anywho, this site is far from being an objective source, especially considering its owner belongs to a schismatic organization. And being in schism is worse, in the view of many of our bishops, than being heretical.

I won't dwell on the reception of heterodox Christians too much because Archimandrite Ambrosius does a superb job of soberly explaining the historical circumstances, the temporary anomalies, in the Greek jurisdictions that prompted them in the 18th century to adopt a policy of re-baptising Catholics, a temporary policy (accepted by no one outside those Greek Churches) that's long since been dumped by the EP, Antiochian, and Alexanderian Churches. (Whether the JP is officially promoting it is something for which I've been unable to get a response from a high-level representative. I'm aware there are ROCOR-turned-JP parishes in the US doing it, but I don't know if this is sanctioned from the top.) For this reason, one needs to be clear when referring to "Greek" history on the reception of heterodox converts when the councils invoked as the rationale for baptising all heterodox, regardless of the nature of their previous heterodox baptisms, are located in these 18th century local councils. In addition, the Greek churches today have a list of heterodox baptisms for which they receive the convert through chrismation, a list which includes most of the mainline Protestant denominations and the RCC. The entire SCOBA maintains a similar policy. One can summarily dismiss their rulings and opinions as modernist or other name-calling without dealing with their arguments (as is frequently done on the orthodoxinfo site), but for a priest in these jurisdictions to go against the standards set by one's synod and bishop on this matter again becomes a serious matter of disobedience.

A couple of observations on the pro-rebaptism material I've read over the last year and a half...

1) They overlook the reasons historically that prompted rebaptism for some heterodox converts (not a blanket requirement for all!). These reasons were rooted in incorrect form and/or the flawed Trinitarian belief of the heterodox, not the simple fact that the convert was heterodox. The proper form has traditionally been by triple immersion; however, the Church has not condemned baptisms by pouring water. It has always recognized such baptisms in time of need, and you can see this form of baptism recorded as far back as the Didache. And this was without requiring a so-called "corrective" baptism afterwards.
2) The sources completely ignore what the modern, vagabond groups with the "Genuine" or "True" prefix are doing - rebaptising Orthodox who've already been received into the Church through chrismation.

Whether or not one believes the heterodox baptism should be "corrected" by another baptism goes by the wayside once the Orthodox Church has exercised its sacramental power through chrismation to make that heterodox baptism whole, complete, or fixed if you will. To take those Orthodox Christians and perform another baptism is indeed a rebaptism, and makes a mockery of the One Baptism clause in the Nicene Creed, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit's Grace which imparted itself through the convert's reception during chrismation. By rebaptising Orthodox Christians, they are essentially saying the individual's previous jurisdiction was not filled with Grace, which in reality it is the schismatic organization that has put itself outside of the Grace of the Church. There's no precedent, no norm for this practice. There couldn't have been, as these "Genuine" O groups, usually built around a central personality, didn't exist before the 20th century. And like the Donatians and other supposedly more pure Christian breakaway sects, they'll disappear as a trivial footnote in Church history. That's why I wrote earlier, it's best to stick with the Church's practice on the matter, accept that one's chrismation has made the previous heterodox baptism full, and remain obedient to one's bishop.

Father Averky from the Jordanville monastery wrote (http://www.monachos.net/mb/messages/4225/11224.html?1053660275):

Again, not wanting to offend, and having to keep with my own adjuration, if your priest or bishop has decided to grant the economy of reception by Chrismation rather than full trtiple immersion, then there simply is no question. The bishop, who has the fullness of grace, has the right to make such a decison as to the reception of converts. Further, if it has become general policy of a particular church, then there also is no question. There might be those of us who wish to keep more to the classical Tradition of the Church, but in the situation of the decision by a bishop or a synod bishops of another local Church, we have no right to judge one way or another. And, when converts who have been received by chrismation by another church wish to join our church, there is no question - they are members of the Orthodox Church. It is only extreme fanatics who will also deny that there is even grace in new calendar churches who will raise the question of the validity of reception. What is important, is that once we are in the Orthodox Church, that we adhere to her teachings, and strive to gain salvation. Don't let the issue bother you - any of you. Strive to say your souls, and with all your hearts love God and your neighbor as yourself.

One quick note - the economia of allowing chrismation from the Tradition of the Orthodox Church does not say that the sacraments of the heterodox are 'valid,' but that the chrismation as an economy makes up for that which is lacking. Here is where there is an important difference in the understanding of economy. By strict teaching of the Orthodox church, the Holy Spirit resides only in Holy Ortrhodoxy, but God is not limited either in His love or in His mercy.
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« Reply #201 on: December 19, 2004, 06:18:27 PM »

I have read Protopresbyter George Metallinos book and have it here. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Athens and priest of the (State) Church of Greece. His book was published by the Sacred Monastery of St Paul, Athos. He went into this matter in great detail. The material he has researched is not provided by or comes from what might, by some, be viewed as the usual suspects. He came to the view he holds following careful research and acted with the blessing of the Church of Greece in baptizing three converts, according to 'acrivia' (strictness or precision), rather than 'economia'.

As to who throws accusations of who is 'errant', Saint Justin Popovich, of the Serbian church made such a point again and again. "Poorly educated' is an accusation very often flung about concerning clergy of the Church calendar in Greece, and far, far worse. And this has been done in my hearing, I might add.

What should matter here is the issue. What is the teaching of the Church in these matters. And why and how are 'acrivia' and 'economia' used?

The Vatican has a long history of complaining about, as they see it, (re)baptism. Father George's book gives some detail of such cases, including the famous case of the Scots deacon, Palmer, who was received according to 'acrivia'. Father George even accessed the British Public Records Office to access released 'secret' records made at the time. One Latin bishop referring at the time to an "impudent schismatic bishop". Strong words belong apparently everywhere but often fail to shed what is most needed, light on an important matter.
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« Reply #202 on: December 19, 2004, 06:32:03 PM »

I am not minded to enter this thread presently. Let me say as a frequent visitor to Greece and one who stays with Greeks while there I have often heard of certain clergy referred to as "poorly educated'. Those referred to are invariably of the Church calendar, and this is one of the more polite terms used. Again others are of a different mind and avoid this horrid tendency.

But this is all secondary, indeed it strikes me as something one offers when wishing to dent the credibility of someone you disagree with. So are the issues not enough for the framework of meaningful debate? I write this without wishing to being an advocate for bishop of the Church calendar referred to.

St Basil, incidentally writes of heretics, schismatic and conventicles. Some might argue about whether the Cyprianites are conventicles, but perhaps I am merely being mischievous? Good night, it is freezing here and I too cold to think either for long or clearly.
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« Reply #203 on: December 21, 2004, 03:01:24 PM »

Strelets I had planned on posting this earlier but forgot. The problem with comparing the Nikonian changes and the Old Believer schism is that the changes were made because errors were perceived as having crept into church practice in Russia's early years as an Orthodox nation. The changes were intended to align Russian practices with the rest of the Orthodox world. Why did the Church calendar change? because a few Ecumenist bishops and Greek govt. officials wanted it to be. To me these two events do not correlate at all. The first being to align and strengthen the unity of the Orthodox Church and the second being done to undermine the Church and align it as another denomination among many in the West.

This is a problem that needs resolution. Why should it seem okay to any Orthodox that while some of us celebrate the Nativity others are still fasting? Why should I be able to celebrate the Nativity in one cathedral and then thirteen days later celebrate the feast in another cathedral? Why should we do away with Kyriopascha? These are important questions and they do need answers. It seems obvious to me that everyone should be on the Julian calendar and not in the WCC. Neither have done anything but harm Church unity and strength. We are not some church we are the Church and we should act like it.

Also I think it's wrong to suggest the Greek Synod in Resistance is conventicle. They have legitimate concerns, recognize the validity of the sacraments of world Orthodoxy and want a resolution to problem created by a few heretics in the 1920's. Besides there are plenty of other small groups that don't recognize anybody but the themselves as Orthodox who we don't have to argue about as being conventicle since it's obvious they are. The ROAC is one group with a lot of money who has a single renegade Archbishop since they split with their Russian parishes and Metropolitan this past summer.
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« Reply #204 on: December 21, 2004, 03:33:09 PM »

Why did the Churcg calendar change? because a few Ecumenist bishops and Greek govt. officials wanted it to be.

You know, one of these days you guys could break down and admit that the driving force in all of this is that the Old calendar is thirteen days wrong about the solar calendar.
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« Reply #205 on: December 21, 2004, 03:47:02 PM »

From history we learn that's clearly not why it was changed. We don't need a calendar to tell us when the seasons are. Who cares if the solstice falls on December 8 or the 21? I recently read one of Innocent (Clark) Carlton's books in which he admits that Metaxaxis used unscrupulous means to get what he wanted, an Ecumenical Church in which all denominations are unified regardless of doctrine. The driving force was Ecumenism and a revolutionary new Greek govt. period.
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« Reply #206 on: December 21, 2004, 09:55:02 PM »

That anyone, anyone might believe that the adoption of the so-called New calendar was to do with the Church calendar being presently 13 days adrift I find incredible.

If we want accuracy in relation to the solar calendar then both are inaccurate.

What is clear should we look at the history of innovation is that is leads not to a coming together but seperation and division. The Filoque, Ecumenism, calendar change.

Some of course might argue that there is a tendency within Orthodoxy to seek to 'fix' the Orthodox Church within a rigid mold set in the first 10 centuries. That is not something I recognise. Things do move, provided they are in accord with Scripture and Tradition.That the world may struggle with us should not concern us, given we are "unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness". And elsewhere "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."
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« Reply #207 on: December 22, 2004, 12:10:39 AM »

That anyone, anyone might believe that the adoption of the so-called New calendar was to do with the Church calendar being presently 13 days adrift I find incredible.

Come now. If the Julian calendar were not inaccurate there would be no Gregorian calendar, because there would be no impetus to fix an error that nobody perceived. Regardless of how you trace the politics in the middle, it all starts with the error.

Quote
If we want accuracy in relation to the solar calendar then both are inaccurate.

As a mathematician I simply won't stand for such language. Accuracy is a relative measure; the Julain is much less accurate thant the Gregorian, and the defect in the Julian causes an accumulating error which, over time, is quite noticeable.

Quote
What is clear should we look at the history of innovation is that is leads not to a coming together but seperation and division. The Filoque, Ecumenism, calendar change.

I'm sorry-- the fault for everyone here. There's too many crankodox who fossilize tradition in the interest of spiting the Romans. "No compromise" can just as well mean "My way!"
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« Reply #208 on: December 22, 2004, 12:19:28 AM »

Well Keble, what if scientists someday discover that actually, a week is six days and a year 60 weeks, and so they decide to change the number of days (or say it was like in Revolutionary France where there were 10 day weeks). Would the Church then change the seven day cycle? No way.  So if scientists discovered that the Julian is less accurate than the Gregorian, so what? The Church's cyle of indictions, the correlation between the solar and lunar year, etc., all works well for the Church on the Julian Calendar and only sprouts problems when using the Gregorian.  The Orthodox Church needs to chuck the Gregorian Calendar and stop trying to be "in step with the times."

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« Reply #209 on: December 22, 2004, 09:44:07 AM »

Well Keble, what if scientists someday discover that actually, a week is six days and a year 60 weeks, and so they decide to change the number of days (or say it was like in Revolutionary France where there were 10 day weeks).

As far as the French were concerned, they just did this by fiat, not by any discovery. So we can put "Thermidor" out of our minds from the start.

A week is, roughly, one phase of the moon. A year is, as closely as the astronomers can manage over the course of four years, one trip around the sun. Therefore, for the astronomers to shorten the week and the year, the actual astronomical motion would have to be different. That's what science is about, after all: accurate modeling of the natural world. Now, five-and-a-quarter days off the year would produce some significant global warming, and with the moon moving closer and more quickly, the combination of rising oceans and more extreme tides would take care of Manhattan, if nothing else.

Perhaps a little more to the point: you've changed from talking about an error in the approximation to astronomical motion to a cataclismic change in that motion itself. At that point the church will have other, more important things to worry about-- such as perhaps the second coming.

The notion that the astronomers are that wrong about celestial motion is impossible to entertain in an era where looping space probes around multiple planets and moons and even asteroids and comets is a routine technique. When it comes to that motion, the scientists have all the authority and the church has absolutely none.

So rewind this back to the beginning: the Jewish calendar. Back before the diaspora, it was determined entirely through astronomy-- highly amateur, observational astronomy, to be sure, but for the purposes sufficient. And now, the scientists can model this astronomy with such precision as to predict accurately what those amateur astronomers would see for centuries into the future. If the Jews go back to astronomy-- and they have nothing to stop them from doing so-- then the anti-quarterdecimian canons may no longer be fulfilled by either paschalion. I'm not sure of this because I haven't worked it out and haven't sought out someone who had; it's possible that it might never happen. (Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure that under the current rules it is possible for Passover to begin on a Sunday anyway. I'll have to ask at work.) But now we've arrived at Aleppo yet again.

Now, I agree entirely that mixing the Gregorian fixed and the Julian moveable calendar doesn't make sense. The reason it is done that way is that the Nicene canons say it can be done-- there's no pan-Orthodox requirement in them to observe the fixed days at the same time.
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« Reply #210 on: December 22, 2004, 11:01:57 AM »

Quote
When it comes to that motion, the scientists have all the authority and the church has absolutely none.
 
Keble the problem in that we are not arguing whether the Church has authority to say whether astronomers are right about celestial motion, which I agree they are, or not. We are arguing that the Church is not obligated to change the calendar to keep in step with the times which may mean being slightly inaccurate by scientific standards. The bigger issue is why was the Church calendar changed in various jurisdictions during the early 1920's? was it done with the welfare of the Orthodox Church in mind? should we continue to use the Gregorian calendar in these jurisdictions when it causes division within the Church? is the Julian Calendar in fact better suited for the Orthodox Church? considering the way we date Pascha?
Though I admit scientific accuracy is a concern, which I am not as familiar with, the bigger issue is whether the Gregorian calendar was adopted uncanonically and the whether the growth of Ecumenism in the Church is connected to it. I have read ROCOR priests who have said the calendar issue wasn't that big of an issue until the 1960's when Vatican II started and there was a wave of Ecumenism amongst the Orthodox, particularly with the awful Thyateira Confession by Metropolitan Athenagoras. Up till 1968 the GOA was in communion with ROCOR. Because of the rising Ecumenism within the Orthodox Church there was a feeling on the part of those such as ROCOR and the Old Calendarists that firm measures be taken such as Resistance or walling-off. Metropolitan Philaret of ROCOR, who I pray will be canonized soon, took such measures.
As I see it the calendar issue cannot be fully considered without considering the Ecumenism that created it.
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« Reply #211 on: December 22, 2004, 02:52:40 PM »

From a secular standpoint, it seems to me the Gregorian calendar is much more accurate than the Julian, judged simply by whether solstices and equinoxes (equinoxi?) fall on the same days over the course of many centuries. I read an excellent little book on this point called -- surprise -- Calendar a few years ago. (Sorry, can't recall the author's name.)

From the standpoint of religious life, although my OCA parish is New Calendar, I am inclined to agree with my dear Romanian godmother, who grew up Old Calendar in the Old Country and thinks the Old Calendar makes more sense liturgically; that is, the feasts and fasts fall much more "naturally" over the course of the year.

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« Reply #212 on: December 22, 2004, 03:15:14 PM »

Keble the problem in that we are not arguing whether the Church has authority to say whether astronomers are right about celestial motion, which I agree they are, or not. We are arguing that the Church is not obligated to change the calendar to keep in step with the times which may mean being slightly inaccurate by scientific standards.

It's the choice of words which I find interesting here, especially that phrase "keep in step with the times". After all, that's exactly what calendars are about: keeping in step with time itself. There's also that word "scientific", whose usage is curiously deprecatory. And "slight"? almost two weeks is "slight"? When it gets to three weeks, will it still be slight? How about four weeks? Your language conveys the impression that the difference is only detectable by sophisticated, careful observation; but the rankest amateur can tell the difference.

I'm arguing that the church did obligate itself to do so, because God obligated the Jews to do so, and the church's calendar was tied to the Jewish calendar in Nicaea.

Quote
The bigger issue is why was the Church calendar changed in various jurisdictions during the early 1920's? was it done with the welfare of the Orthodox Church in mind?

If you are going to ask the question this way, then every injunction to be suspicious of one's motives should be heeded. Nobody can deny that ecumenism plays a part in this. But is it really in the interest of Orthodox churches to willfully refuse cooperation with the western churches? This isn't an abstract question, but a practical inquiry with reference to the actual consequences in the world. Cooperate, and risk acknowledging that the Western churches have some claim to the name "Christian"; refuse, and risk reinforcing the image of your church as perverse in its arrogance.

Quote
As I see it the calendar issue cannot be fully considered without considering the Ecumenism that created it.

The problem with this statement is that it isn't ecumenism which created the problem. If the Julian calendar/Dionysian paschalion were sufficiently accurate, there would be no issue, because East and West would use the same dates. The reason why they don't is because it isn't sufficiently accurate.

I suppose the best solution would be for the Eastern churches to unilaterally adopt the Aleppo paschalion without consultation from Rome. Then the West could follow suit and everyone's pride could remain unsullied.
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« Reply #213 on: December 22, 2004, 03:26:18 PM »

May I ask the question, were the scientists & astronomers granted/given this knowledge of the heavens by God ?

If so, are you guestioning God's gift ?

Interesting thought...

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« Reply #214 on: December 22, 2004, 05:03:48 PM »

TonyS asked what problems were created by being in communion with two calendars.

May I point out another poster's message, "Why should it seem okay to any Orthodox that while some of us celebrate the Nativity others are still fasting? Why should I be able to celebrate the Nativity in one cathedral and then thirteen days later celebrate the feast in another cathedral?"

It is strange and disruptive to go to a parish to hear a gospel on what is, in your spiritual cycle, the wrong day. How can I go to a New Calendar church before our Christmas when they are serving non-fasting foods? It's strange and uncomfortable.


Keble,

I don't know if you read any of my posts. I'm not even sure if you're Orthodox. If you are not, as you list yourself as "other", this is a liturgical question within the Orthodox Church. If you have no stake in that question, I politely ask you to agree to disagree with the liturgical use of the Julian Calendar and move on.

If you are Orthodox, may I emphasize points that others have made. This is a liturgical question. In Orthodoxy, liturgy is theology. Because some have been enticed away from the Church because of this question, I also believe it is a spiritual and pastoral issue. If your adamant stance that you are more scientifically correct causes your brother to stumble, then you can face God with your argument that you are scientifically correct. I'm not God, so I can't say whether or not that will fly. I have a guess that the answer is probably no. Since that is my guess, it costs me nothing to adhere to the Julian, Old, Church, or whatever moniker Calendar and it does not offend my brothers and sisters, I'll stick with it.

But if you're going to come at me with an argument to break something in my faith, you'll have to do better than science, which has been telling me there is no God.
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« Reply #215 on: December 22, 2004, 05:26:20 PM »

It's dawned on me that I may have said three things they may be misunderstood.

1. I am not claiming to know the status of all jurisdictions outside of so-called "World Orthodoxy".

2. I do not make a judgement on whether or not God thinks the use of the "New Calendar" is okay or whether or not its implementation was for good reason. I'm fairly certain they didn't rest on the "science" argument and that they did it for real pastoral reasons.

3. My statement that liturgy is theology is not to say that the use of the New Calendar is heretical. It is to say that, in Orthodoxy, changing things liturgically is a big deal and it should not be taken lightly. If the reason for change isn't extremely compelling, it's usually a good idea to walk away because of creating unforeseen problems.
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« Reply #216 on: December 22, 2004, 06:00:14 PM »

Keble, if I recall correctly I have always dealt with you courteously and, although you are a mathematician, I am not a student in a class of which you are the teacher. So whence comes your statement, "I won't stand......."?

If you care to go back to the introduction of the 'new' calendar into Orthodoxy the reasons were this move were taken were not concerned with astronomical accuracy. The way it was done was without was without regard whatsoever for the conciliar way such matters should have been dealt. It caused a division which exists even to the present day. At the time, 1924, there was no opposition to a change in the Political (or civil) calendar. Thus any impediment to commerce or trade, whatever was removed.

 However the Church calendar is a matter for and within the (Orthodox) Church. Those outside, may or may not have a view, but it is a matter for us and us alone to attend to. As Archimandrite Gabriel, Igumen of the Sacred Monastery of Dionysiou, asserted "This innovation overturned the centuries-old established Church Order. There resulted inadmissible irregularities in the Church". And again, "...the introduction of the New calendar has overturned the all-praiseworthy Order of our Church, according to which serious matters are to be resolved Synodically and by common decision of all the Orthodox Christian Churches".

In his same article Archimandrite Gabriel asserts, "The argument given for the change was that our National holiday -- that is, the Declaration of the War of Indepence of 1821 -- and the feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos might be celebrated on the same day"! The liturgical rupture, the 'divisions', the beatings, forcible shavings and stripping of clergy and monastics, the forced entries into churches during Divine Service by gendarmes, for this that a civil anniversary should coincide with a church festival?

Politics was at the beginning of all of this and not the matters which should have concerned the architect of this innovation. Politics have been wretchedly present all throught with the break up of the Romaic Ethnarchy, led by those who either hated the Church or were determined to do away with anything that was not modern, and impose what they saw as European. As per my last post, "Unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness". The calendar is but one innovation with divisive consequences, others include the fracturing of the Romaic Ethnarchy into a myriad different local (national) churches with all that that has brought............



Archimandrite Gabriel, quoted in Appendix A, The Calendar Innovation, Victories of Orthodoxy, Constantine Cavarnos, Institute of Byzantine and Orthodox Studies, Belmont, Mass. 1st Edition, 1997.
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« Reply #217 on: December 23, 2004, 12:59:32 PM »

This is the kind of thing that I was talking about:

Just In Time for New Year's: A Proposal for a Better Calendar;
No more "30 days hath September, April, June and November"

December 2004

Wouldn't it be convenient if your birthday, Christmas, and the Fourth of
July--not to mention most other major holidays--all fell on the same
day of the week, year after year? Wouldn't it make life--or at least
planning--easier, for instance, to know that Dec. 17 would always fall
on a Saturday or that January 1--New Year's Day--would always be celebrated
on a Sunday?

Richard Conn Henry, professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of
Physics and Astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University, thinks it would. He has
designed--using computer programs and complex mathematical formulas--a
new calendar that would make it happen.

Under Henry's plan, each new 12-month period is identical to the one
that came before. Each month has either 30 or 31 days. January, for
instance, would have 30 days, as would February, April, May, July, August,
October, and November. March, June, September, and December would all have 31
days.

Henry, a physicist who also directs the Maryland Space Grant
Consortium, says his new calendar would have "profound economic and practical
benefits" if adopted worldwide. He is waging a Web-based campaign to make this
happen by Jan. 1, 2006. Henry points out that this transition date is ideal,
because New Year's Day 2006 falls on a Sunday on both the old and
proposed calendars, facilitating a seamless transition.

"Just ask yourself how much time and effort are expended each year in
redesigning the calendar of every single organization worldwide to
accommodate the coming year's calendar, and it becomes obvious that my
calendar would make life much simpler and would have noteworthy
benefits economically, especially for businesses and other institutions," Henry
said.

"With my plan, we can have a stable calendar that is absolutely
identical from year to year and which allows the permanent, rational planning of
annual activities, from school to work holidays."

Called the "Calendar-and-Time Plan" (C&T) because it also advocates the
worldwide adoption of a 24-hour, universal time scale (more on that
later), Henry's innovation promises to improve on what he sees as the "defects"
of the dozen or so rival reform calendars that have been proffered by
various individuals and institutions in the past 100 years.

"Calendar reform has always failed before, and for a simple reason: All
major proposals involved breaking the seven-day cycle of the week,
which has always been--and probably will always be--completely unacceptable to
humankind because it goes against the Fourth Commandment of the Bible
about keeping the Sabbath Day," Henry said. "C&T never breaks that biblical
cycle."

What's more, the C&T calendar is "far more convenient" than is the
current Gregorian calendar, which has been in place for more than 400
years--ever since Pope Gregory, in 1582, modified a calendar that was instituted by
Julius Caesar in 46 BC.

To bring Caesar's calendar into sync with the seasons (one of the main
reasons for reforming it), the pope and his scholars removed 11 days
from the calendar during that October, so that Oct. 4 was followed
immediately by Oct. 15. The need for that kind of adjustment derived from the same
problem that makes designing an effective calendar a challenge today: the fact
that there is an uneven number of days in an Earth year: 365.2422 days, to
be exact.

Our current calendar tackles this challenge by instituting "leap years"
every four years. Henry thinks he has found a better solution: drop
leap year entirely and institute, instead, a one-week "mini-month" between
June and July every five or six years. In honor of his personal hero, Sir
Isaac Newton, Henry has dubbed this seven-day period "Newton." His computer
calculation ensures that "Newton Week" brings the new calendar in sync
with seasonal changes as the Earth circles the sun.

Newton Weeks would bring with them benefits not enjoyed under the
Gregorian calendar, Henry said.

"If I had my way, everyone would get Newton Week off as a paid vacation
and could spend the time doing physics, or other activities of their
choice," he said, only half jokingly . "You can't say the same of leap years."

Newton Week would pop up irregularly: 2009, 2015, 2020 and 2026, for
instance, would all need a Newton Week to keep the calendar as close to
the cycle of the seasons as possible. As a result, the new calendar is
never more than five days off the seasons. In fact, after Jan.1, 2006, the
C&T calendar would be identical to the current calendar 15 percent of the
time, and only one day different 29 percent of the time.

Henry has established what he calls the "International Association for
2006," an online organization aimed at rallying support for his plan.
He serves as president of the organization, and Jess Cully, a calendar
reform enthusiast from Portsmouth, England, is now vice president for that
country.

In addition to advocating the adoption of the new calendar, Henry also
urges everyone to simultaneously switch to what is called "Universal Time"
(formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time). Doing so would synchronize the
date and time the same worldwide, streamlining such things as international
business and exchange.

"We would quickly get used to the fact that sunrise and sunset
henceforth occur at what seem to us unusual hours by the clock," Henry said. "My
late mother, for example, successfully switched from Fahrenheit temperature
to Celsius, telling me on one occasion, 'It's a very hot day--30 degrees!'
That shows me that people are adaptable if benefits are there. The C&T
benefit is much greater than that resulting from the change from Fahrenheit to
Celsius."

# # #

https://hopkinsnet.jhu.edu/servlet/page?_pageid=1794&_dad=portal30p&_schema=PORTAL30P

Henry's calendar reform web site: 
http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/calendar.html
« Last Edit: December 23, 2004, 01:01:55 PM by Anastasios » Logged

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« Reply #218 on: December 23, 2004, 03:04:17 PM »

wow.
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hmmmm...
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« Reply #219 on: December 23, 2004, 03:18:25 PM »

wow.

wow is right.  this guy's a typical scientist...very little grounding in the real world. 

the whole concept of the "newton" totally makes his proposal ridiculous, imho. 

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« Reply #220 on: December 23, 2004, 06:18:34 PM »

Quote
the whole concept of the "newton" totally makes his proposal ridiculous, imho.

lol well it certainly was the most amusing part of the article...that's like me coming up w/ some calendar based on the passage of time in Middle Earth and naming the extra week "Tolkien Week"...lol it's amazing what devotees will do Smiley

Disclaimer: while I am a LOTR geek, the above is an exaggeration of how much I know about Middle Earth, to say the least, and such knowledge about Middle Earth does not exist, to my knowledge Grin
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« Reply #221 on: December 23, 2004, 06:29:06 PM »

I like fig newtons.

JB
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« Reply #222 on: December 23, 2004, 08:34:27 PM »

And this move to try and 'rationalise' the calendar is not confined to a single scientist. Within the European Union some European parliamentarians and civil servants are putting forward a case for the setting of a 'fixed' date for Easter. Additionally Greece is, I believe, under pressure to bring her Pascha holiday into line with the Latin celebration date. In the name of trade and commerce you understand............

So for those who would prefer to think of my and others defence of the Church calendar as pathetic and obdurate I think it is you who maybe need to reflect on whether the calendar you are seemingly so attached to - given your pressure on us to confirm to it - is safe? I see no point in trying to accomodate the world given that it can never be satisfied.

A calendar which allows us to keep the integrity of all the fasts, and which has served us well for generation after generation should not only serve but be returned to by those who abandoned it for the Political calendar. Just as Archbishop Chrystomos ll of Athens promised he would do for the state Church of Greece but was prevented from by his removal by the Colonels coup d'etat in 1967.
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« Reply #223 on: December 24, 2004, 05:36:43 AM »

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The time is long overdue for an Orthodox supporter of the new calendar to speak here.

I frankly find some of the things being said in this thread to be somewhat uncharitable. Which is ironic, because I sympathise with Greek old calendarists and some others, as I think the way that the new calendar was forced upon the Greek Church and some other Orthodox was unChristian. More on these things later....

Sabbas, IMHO, to speak of "Ecumenist" bishops in the 1920's is simply not accurate in the modern sense of this movement. This is because this idea of "hey, all Christians are the same" did not rear its ugly head until the 1950's at the earliest, and possibly not unitl the 1960's. The root of the problem goes deeper than this. If we are honest, we should speak of a Church that was corrupt and degenerate. "Ecumensim" seems to be blamed for a lot of things on this thread. I guess whether or not accustations against it are true depends on what you mean by "Ecumenism". I think that various bishops and others do go too far in caving in to a relatavist standpoint. I'm glad that people point this out, this is as it should be. I also think that one can go too far the other way, and shut us Orthodox all up in a walled-in city and never let the world inside. Maybe it is becoming more of a "Noah's Ark" kind of time, and we should be shutting ourselve off more. Certainly, some people who call themselves "Christian"are anything but that nowadays. Don't get me wrong, I know that some of the posters here reach out to the heterodox in a very Christian way with a missionary attitude that is really fantastic. And really, that's all we can do, in all humililty and love tell people that we think that Orthodoxy is the Church, period. But we really do have to ask ourselves if we are in a "Noah's Ark" time, we really need to debate this. Because one of the reasons why the Church chose December 25 for the celebration of the Nativity was precisely because it was the pagan feast of the invincible sun. The Church wanted to wrest this feast day from the pagans by establishing it on the same day. What does our troparian say? "Thy natvity, O Christ our God, has SHONE to the world, the light of wisdom.......to know thee, the SUN of righteousness..." So, are those of us who want the Nativity (and everything else) celebrated at the old time saying that we do not want to try and wrest the feast once again from the pagan world? Well, perhaps this is right. But it has to be debated. One of the Church's tasks has always been to baptize whatever is good in a culture that it establishes Herself in, and to sanctify it. If this world that considers itself "post-Christian" is too hard-hearted to accept this, or if this weird horrible monster of secularism is too strong, we may have to shift gears. But again, these issues have to be discussed and prayed about.

I will say again, that I do not like the way the new calendar was forced on some people. But now that it exists, I do not have issue with it, and I don't even think about it. If the Church decided that we should all move again to the other calendar, that would be fine with me. Until that time, I use this new calendar, I like it, and I will not apologize for it. I was in an old calendar parish for two years, and I did not find that liturgical time flowed any differently or better there than in a new calendar parish. I do not wish to impose the new calendar on anyone who doesn't want to use it. Eventually, the Church will have to come to a consensus, because we should not be celebrating things at different times. And yes, the Orthodox Church will decide, and not those outside of Her. The Church will decide, and not by posting things on this forum will any of these issues be decided. This is a public forum, and I think it's just fine if Keble posts his opinions here, as long as he is courteous about it. Anastasios's excellent point about science notwithstanding, I thought that Keble contributed some interesting grist to the mill. Perhaps it is true that he hasn't expressed himself as delicately as he should have. But since when did the free excahnge of ideas become forbidden to us?

I would never support a movement to make our Pascha fall at the same time as Western Easter.

Quite honestly, I dislike quite a bit the whole idea of celebrating Kyriopascha, because it seems to me that it takes away from the fact that we should be focussing only on the Lord's resurrection at Pascha. IMHO, celebrating Kyriopascha inevitably detracts from one of the two feasts being celebrated. The occasssional time when the Annunciation falls in Holy Week on the old calendar I also consider very problematic, for similar reasons.

I must say that I have yet to read anything that has convinced me that the older calendar is absolutely the way to go. I still have to find the books that Anastasios recommended, borrow and read them. When I do, I will carefully consider their arguments. I read an apology for the old calendar some years ago and found it to be completely lacking in any coherent argument. If we really should shut ourselves off more, in one sense, from this corrupt world, then this might be one reason why the older calendar should be returned to with gusto. It seems to me that, judiging from the wirtings of the Fathers, the fourth century was also a time of great immorality, and the Church did not shut Herself off then. This time may or may not be different.

In Christ,

Bob
« Last Edit: December 24, 2004, 02:26:44 PM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

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« Reply #224 on: December 24, 2004, 01:16:49 PM »

Good points, Bob. The vast majority of us recognize our bishops have the authority to determine this matter and choose to employ the obedience, humility and charity - as best as possible - that we've inherited from our Fathers.

Have a blessed Nativity all.
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