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Author Topic: Old vs. New Calendar?  (Read 218805 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jonathan Gress
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« Reply #1035 on: December 02, 2009, 02:59:38 PM »

Well ecumenism is NOT the only objection to the new calendar, which you would have understood if you had read my post carefully. The calendar division in Orthodoxy creates a real break in unity when we do not celebrate the feasts together. We object BOTH to ecumenism, which your church professes (if your jurisdiction is a member of SCOBA), AND to the calendar innovation. The two are intimately related, as you would see if you only bothered to read the documents I had linked to, but they are also independently damaging to Orthodoxy.

The Old Believers indeed have argued that the revisions of Patriarch Nikon are dogmatically significant: that is what justifies their schism in their eyes. I don't believe they are right, though. They have not demonstrated that the Nikonite rites are intrinsically un-Orthodox. Remember that Pat Nikon revised the Russian typicon only to make it conform to the Greek typicon. The old ritualist argument depends on the assertion that the Greeks had already fallen away from Orthodoxy. This is only true insofar as the majority of the Greek hierarchy had assented to the false council of Florence, but that is different from the question of what rites the Greeks used. Greeks who had not assented to Florence, such as Gennadius Scholarius, used the same rites as those who betrayed Orthodoxy. Nikon was in fact repairing a division in practice among the Orthodox, precisely the OPPOSITE of what the new calendarists have done in introducing a division in Orthodoxy through the calendar innovation.

I didn't say there is no distinction at all. I said there was not a CLEAR distinction. If there was a clear distinction, on what grounds, exactly, does the Church ANATHEMATIZE those who do not follow the common festal calendar (as per the First Ecumenical Council) or those who follow the Papal Paschalion and Menologion (as per the sigillion of 1583)? You are the one displaying shocking ignorance of the Church's teaching.
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« Reply #1036 on: December 02, 2009, 03:08:47 PM »

The link to Fr Basil's text is broken, so I am attaching the file.
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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #1037 on: December 02, 2009, 03:57:46 PM »

You are the one displaying shocking ignorance of the Church's teaching.

I should tell you that Witega has habitually displayed an outstanding knowledge of the Church's teaching.
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« Reply #1038 on: December 02, 2009, 04:39:54 PM »

I'm sure witega elsewhere shows an outstanding knowledge, but to overlook the fact that the Church HAS anathematized people simply for following the wrong calendar must be either put down to ignorance or a deliberate suppression of the evidence. Take your pick.
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« Reply #1039 on: December 02, 2009, 05:47:11 PM »

I'm sure witega elsewhere shows an outstanding knowledge, but to overlook the fact that the Church HAS anathematized people simply for following the wrong calendar must be either put down to ignorance or a deliberate suppression of the evidence. Take your pick.

There is a difference between regurgitating factoids and understanding.
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« Reply #1040 on: December 02, 2009, 05:51:44 PM »

I'm sure witega elsewhere shows an outstanding knowledge, but to overlook the fact that the Church HAS anathematized people simply for following the wrong calendar must be either put down to ignorance or a deliberate suppression of the evidence. Take your pick.

There is a difference between regurgitating factoids and understanding.

What exactly is that supposed to mean?
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« Reply #1041 on: December 02, 2009, 06:21:33 PM »

I'm sure witega elsewhere shows an outstanding knowledge, but to overlook the fact that the Church HAS anathematized people simply for following the wrong calendar must be either put down to ignorance or a deliberate suppression of the evidence. Take your pick.

There is a difference between regurgitating factoids and understanding.

What exactly is that supposed to mean?

It means that there are many historical events, but that not everyone of them is of equal import. I know that anathemas have occurred; the important point is to understand why they were issued and in what context. What I am saying is that it is easy to find an anathema issued by some Church body in our history. That is just a factoid. The anathema could have been issued in error; could have applied only to certain local/historical circumstances; or may have been part of a canon that is no longer applicable. So, it is important to go further than just say someone does not understand church (fill in the blank) because he does not accept a factoid.
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« Reply #1042 on: December 02, 2009, 06:42:14 PM »

I'm sure witega elsewhere shows an outstanding knowledge, but to overlook the fact that the Church HAS anathematized people simply for following the wrong calendar must be either put down to ignorance or a deliberate suppression of the evidence. Take your pick.

There is a difference between regurgitating factoids and understanding.

What exactly is that supposed to mean?

It means that there are many historical events, but that not everyone of them is of equal import. I know that anathemas have occurred; the important point is to understand why they were issued and in what context. What I am saying that it is easy to find an anathema issued by some council in our history. That is just a factoid. The anathema could have been issued in error; could have applied only to certain local/historical circumstances; or may have been part of a canon that is no longer applicable. So, it is important to go further than merely saying someone does not understand church (fill in the blank) because he does not accept a factoid.

First, one ad hominem deserves another. Witega, who really ought to be speaking for himself, accused me of dismissing the witness of the Fathers, after having completely misunderstood my argument. I never said there is no distinction between theory and practice: there is only no sharp distinction. The two blend seamlessly into each other. So I responded in kind, accusing him of ignoring, deliberately or not, the fact that the Church has treated questions of practice as dogmatically significant, as for instance when they anathematize those who refuse to follow the common calendar.

Although he didn't quite spell it out, it seems obvious from the tone of his reply that he was interpreting Athanasius' words to mean the Church sharply distinguished between the dogma of Nicea and the common festal calendar, implying, I suppose, that the former is immutable while the latter is negotiable. If Athanasius really was making a distinction between the two, I don't see why we should be drawing that conclusion. Athanasius may simply have meant that there is a hierarchy of dogma and practice, with the dogmas of the Creed holder a higher place than the common observance of Easter. With that I have no quarrel, although without a citation I have no idea what the context of Athanasius' remarks were. But the common calendar certainly has enough dogmatic significance to warrant anathemas against those who reject it, meaning that the observance of the common calendar is necessary for salvation.

Context is indeed important. Which is precisely why the claim that the calendar innovation has nothing to do with ecumenism is utterly bogus, as anyone who bothers to read the encyclical of 1920 can tell you.
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« Reply #1043 on: December 02, 2009, 07:18:51 PM »

I am going to say this once again, if only to illustrate why it is dangerous to hurl accusations of heresy and to denounce each other for what to me is a minor matter--that of the calendar.

IMO, the calendar reformists are the only "non-heretical" Christians because they are trying to right a wrong (to revise a deficient, inaccurate and unnatural calendar) in order to implement the decision of the Early Fathers. The Early Fathers said the determination of the date of Easter will be based on the Vernal Equinox and later said the Vernal Equinox is March 22nd. Today, the Vernal Equinox falls on plus/minus one day on this date only on two calendars: the Gregorian and the Revised Julian. Today, the vast majority of the Orthodox celebrate the major feasts on days that are different than what they were in the early Church: Nativity is celebrated in January instead of December 25, etc... Today, some Orthodox Churches are brave enough to have shown fidelity to the teachings and praxis of the Early Fathers, and to accept in Christian forbearance the insults hurled upon them by some folks. And, even though these NC Orthodox Churches could anathemize the OC Churches that are in error, they have refrained from doing so. Why? Charity is certainly a reason, but the most important reason is that this issue has nothing to do with our salvation or the message of the Gospel. This is a minor thing, a distraction at best, except for the tragedy that some folks (a very small minority, thank God) have taken to condemning their brethren who disagree with them.
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« Reply #1044 on: December 02, 2009, 07:40:39 PM »

Tangent on ecumenism split off and merged into this thread:  Discussion on Ecumenism
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« Reply #1045 on: December 02, 2009, 10:58:32 PM »

I am going to say this once again, if only to illustrate why it is dangerous to hurl accusations of heresy and to denounce each other for what to me is a minor matter--that of the calendar.

IMO, the calendar reformists are the only "non-heretical" Christians because they are trying to right a wrong (to revise a deficient, inaccurate and unnatural calendar) in order to implement the decision of the Early Fathers. The Early Fathers said the determination of the date of Easter will be based on the Vernal Equinox and later said the Vernal Equinox is March 22nd. Today, the Vernal Equinox falls on plus/minus one day on this date only on two calendars: the Gregorian and the Revised Julian. Today, the vast majority of the Orthodox celebrate the major feasts on days that are different than what they were in the early Church: Nativity is celebrated in January instead of December 25, etc... Today, some Orthodox Churches are brave enough to have shown fidelity to the teachings and praxis of the Early Fathers, and to accept in Christian forbearance the insults hurled upon them by some folks. And, even though these NC Orthodox Churches could anathemize the OC Churches that are in error, they have refrained from doing so. Why? Charity is certainly a reason, but the most important reason is that this issue has nothing to do with our salvation or the message of the Gospel. This is a minor thing, a distraction at best, except for the tragedy that some folks (a very small minority, thank God) have taken to condemning their brethren who disagree with them.

The fact that the Orthodox calendar is perhaps astronomically inaccurate is neither here nor there. As Fr Basil explains, the Church has been aware of the inaccuracy for many centuries, but the innovation was only promulgated under the impulse of ecumenism. What matters is that we maintain the same, traditional calendar, not that our ecclesiastical equinox corresponds exactly to the solar equinox. Can you explain to me just what the theological justification for 'accuracy' is?

You display a quite remarkable ignorance of the history of persecution of the Old Calendarists by the New Calendarists, including the current persecution of the Zealot Fathers of Athos in Esphigmenou monastery. I suggest you start to educate yourself by reading the following account:

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

For what is going on now on Athos you may consult the following:

www.esphigmenou.com

The Old Calendarists have NEVER persecuted the innovators. At most we perhaps hurt their feelings by pointing out to them their heresy. There is simply no comparison between us and them.
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« Reply #1046 on: December 03, 2009, 12:45:57 AM »

Quote
The Old Calendarists have NEVER persecuted the innovators.

Gee, and the old calendarists are such a powerful majority. What restraint they show!
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« Reply #1047 on: December 03, 2009, 01:12:49 AM »

I am going to say this once again, if only to illustrate why it is dangerous to hurl accusations of heresy and to denounce each other for what to me is a minor matter--that of the calendar.

IMO, the calendar reformists are the only "non-heretical" Christians because they are trying to right a wrong (to revise a deficient, inaccurate and unnatural calendar) in order to implement the decision of the Early Fathers. The Early Fathers said the determination of the date of Easter will be based on the Vernal Equinox and later said the Vernal Equinox is March 22nd. Today, the Vernal Equinox falls on plus/minus one day on this date only on two calendars: the Gregorian and the Revised Julian. Today, the vast majority of the Orthodox celebrate the major feasts on days that are different than what they were in the early Church: Nativity is celebrated in January instead of December 25, etc... Today, some Orthodox Churches are brave enough to have shown fidelity to the teachings and praxis of the Early Fathers, and to accept in Christian forbearance the insults hurled upon them by some folks. And, even though these NC Orthodox Churches could anathemize the OC Churches that are in error, they have refrained from doing so. Why? Charity is certainly a reason, but the most important reason is that this issue has nothing to do with our salvation or the message of the Gospel. This is a minor thing, a distraction at best, except for the tragedy that some folks (a very small minority, thank God) have taken to condemning their brethren who disagree with them.

The fact that the Orthodox calendar is perhaps astronomically inaccurate is neither here nor there. As Fr Basil explains, the Church has been aware of the inaccuracy for many centuries, but the innovation was only promulgated under the impulse of ecumenism. What matters is that we maintain the same, traditional calendar, not that our ecclesiastical equinox corresponds exactly to the solar equinox. Can you explain to me just what the theological justification for 'accuracy' is?

You display a quite remarkable ignorance of the history of persecution of the Old Calendarists by the New Calendarists, including the current persecution of the Zealot Fathers of Athos in Esphigmenou monastery. I suggest you start to educate yourself by reading the following account:

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

For what is going on now on Athos you may consult the following:

www.esphigmenou.com

The Old Calendarists have NEVER persecuted the innovators. At most we perhaps hurt their feelings by pointing out to them their heresy. There is simply no comparison between us and them.
I think that even the discussions we've had on this forum will indicate that the Esphigmenou monks you're defending are not being persecuted for their stands vis-a-vis calendar reform or ecumenism, since most of the monastics on the Holy Mountain follow the Old Calendar and have spoken out against ecumenism.  It appears that the Esphigmenou monks have been prosecuted for trespassing because they've declared themselves separate from the rest of the Athonite community yet refuse to leave the mountain as they should have done years ago.  However, this is all the subject of a separate discussion.  If you wish to revive it, I'll go make sure we resurrect the already existing thread and move this tangent there.
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« Reply #1048 on: December 03, 2009, 04:51:42 AM »

Is it even possible to petition our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to go back to the Old Calendar (kinda like the BOC has initiated)?  Just curious.  Smiley
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« Reply #1049 on: December 03, 2009, 04:57:29 AM »

Quote
I didn't say there is no distinction at all. I said there was not a CLEAR distinction.

So you acknowledge that the Church does make a distinction? You seem to think that emphasizing the adjective will allow you to acknowledge the distinction in theory while ignoring it in practice, but perhaps I'm misunderstanding. So to be clear, does the Church distinguish between doctrine and practice or not?

Because if it doesn't, then we have a significant problem. The Fathers of the Seventh Council (to pick only one example) claimed "To make our confession short, we keep unchanged all the ecclesiastical traditions handed down to us, whether in writing or verbally"--yet only 90 years earlier, the Quinsext council (which the Fathers would go on to explicitly affirm) had changed the Pauline practice of married bishops. And Nicea itself changed the practice handed down from St. John as to when the Churches of Asia Minor should celebrate Pascha.

So either the Fathers were wrong or there are traditions handed down that it is important to keep unchanged, and other practices handed down which CAN BE CHANGED by relevant authority. Your answer on the Old Believers failed to address this. Yes, Nikon was bringing the Russian church in line with Greek practice--but that only pushes the question back in time. In the 10th century, the Greeks had introduced Orthodox faith and practice to the Russians. 600 years later there were significant differences in practice. *Somebody* had changed practice--had either one changed doctrine? (acknowleding that the Florentine schismatics are irrelevant to the question)

Quote
If there was a clear distinction, on what grounds, exactly, does the Church ANATHEMATIZE those who do not follow the common festal calendar (as per the First Ecumenical Council) or those who follow the Papal Paschalion and Menologion (as per the sigillion of 1583)? You are the one displaying shocking ignorance of the Church's teaching.

Per the First Ecumenical Council, no grounds. Since they didn't anathametize anyone with regards to the calendar. The synodal letter can be found here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.vii.ix.html, and St. Constantine's letter can be found here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.vii.x.html. Neither mentions *any* penalty for ignoring the conciliar decision. Canon VII of the Apostolic canons does state "If any bishop, presbyter, or deacon, shall celebrate the holy day of Easter before the vernal equinox, with the Jews, let him be deposed."--but deposition is the punishment one can expect for non-doctrinal disobedience. It's most certainly not an 'anathema' since a deposed clergyman is not even excommunicated (Apostolic Canon 25 and St. Basil's Canon 3)

As for the sigillion of 1583, it states its own 'grounds': "That whoever does not follow the customs of the Church as the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils decreed, and Holy Pascha, and the Menologion with which they did well in making it a law that we should follow it..." However the Menologion is mentioned nowhere in any decree or canon of the Seven Holy Ecumenical Councils and the Church of Rome had a very different Menologion the entire time it was part of the Church. Given that the stated justification is demonstrably in error, it rather follows that the judgment based on the error is also in error.

(Not to mention that the Fathers of Nicea used the astronomical equinox (3/21 in the 4th century) not the calendrical equinox (3/25 on the Julian calendar used by the government) in the Paschalion they followed, so the Fathers of 1583 weren't using the Pascha Nicea actually established anymore than we do today)

Quote
Can you explain to me just what the theological justification for 'accuracy' is?

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« Reply #1050 on: December 03, 2009, 10:00:17 AM »

Is it even possible to petition our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to go back to the Old Calendar (kinda like the BOC has initiated)?  Just curious.  Smiley

Why not?
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« Reply #1051 on: December 03, 2009, 11:45:26 AM »

@ witega:

I can concede some of your argument but I have to refute other parts. You are right that the First Ecumenical Council did not decree penalties for not following the common Paschalion: I had confused the apostolic canon with the canons for that council. The canon has as much authority as it did before, however. Certainly you ought to have a hard time justifying your communion with the Finnish Church which has disobeyed this canon as well as falling under the anathema decreed by the 1583 sigillion.

The 1583 sigillion, which I think is clearly referring to the Papal calendar innovation, DOES in fact treat the innovation as of dogmatic importance. I see that the only way you can defy this testimony is to impugn its authority, which I think is highly presumptuous. I haven't presumed to challenge the authority of your witnesses; I have merely pointed out that they aren't the whole story. By ignoring witnesses like the 1583 sigillion, you are the one dismissing the Church's witness. You know better than three patriarchs, do you? Only the witnesses that you can claim in your favor count, do they? In any case, I don't think it's a valid argument to say that because there is no written canon concerning the menologion, for instance, it is not a law that we Orthodox should follow the traditional menologion (and paschalion), and that the sigillion is in error. Is it not a law for us to make the sign of the cross, even though there is no written canon decreeing it, as St Basil reminds us? The Church has always operated on both written and unwritten laws; you know that perfectly well.

Yes, practices do change. However, I challenge you to show me a case where one part of the church deliberately changed practice in full knowledge that another part of the church practiced something differently, thereby consciously introducing disunity into the church, and that this error was never corrected. Regarding the menologion of the old Roman church, is not true that they developed their calendar completely independently of the Eastern church?  Practices change because different parts of the church for much of her history have not been in communication with each other. Yet I find that wherever such differences in practice have come to notice, there have been efforts to overcome the disunity in practice. Examples are the efforts to unify the celebration of Pascha at the First Ecumenical Council, and the efforts to unify the different ritual practices by Patriarch Nikon. With the calendar innovation of 1923, on the other hand, we see that in full knowledge of the discord and strife that would be introduced into the universal church, the churches of Constantinople and Greece unilaterally changed their calendar to conform to that of the Western heterodox.

The operative word in 'relevant authority' is 'relevant'. The Church of Constantinople did NOT have the authority to change the calendar apart from the rest of the Church. I can prove this simply by the title that the EP uses to describe the 'council' that changed the calendar: they call it 'Pan-Orthodox'. Why do they call it that, since it was manifestly not Pan-Orthodox? Because the EP knows that only a Pan-Orthodox council would have the authority to change the calendar. Hence they pretend to give the council the necessary authority which it does not have.

I completely fail to see how the final biblical verse counts as a justification for introducing discord into the Church for the sake of 'astronomical accuracy'.
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« Reply #1052 on: December 03, 2009, 12:30:08 PM »

I am going to say this once again, if only to illustrate why it is dangerous to hurl accusations of heresy and to denounce each other for what to me is a minor matter--that of the calendar.

IMO, the calendar reformists are the only "non-heretical" Christians because they are trying to right a wrong (to revise a deficient, inaccurate and unnatural calendar) in order to implement the decision of the Early Fathers. The Early Fathers said the determination of the date of Easter will be based on the Vernal Equinox and later said the Vernal Equinox is March 22nd. Today, the Vernal Equinox falls on plus/minus one day on this date only on two calendars: the Gregorian and the Revised Julian. Today, the vast majority of the Orthodox celebrate the major feasts on days that are different than what they were in the early Church: Nativity is celebrated in January instead of December 25, etc... Today, some Orthodox Churches are brave enough to have shown fidelity to the teachings and praxis of the Early Fathers, and to accept in Christian forbearance the insults hurled upon them by some folks. And, even though these NC Orthodox Churches could anathemize the OC Churches that are in error, they have refrained from doing so. Why? Charity is certainly a reason, but the most important reason is that this issue has nothing to do with our salvation or the message of the Gospel. This is a minor thing, a distraction at best, except for the tragedy that some folks (a very small minority, thank God) have taken to condemning their brethren who disagree with them.

The fact that the Orthodox calendar is perhaps astronomically inaccurate is neither here nor there. As Fr Basil explains, the Church has been aware of the inaccuracy for many centuries, but the innovation was only promulgated under the impulse of ecumenism. What matters is that we maintain the same, traditional calendar, not that our ecclesiastical equinox corresponds exactly to the solar equinox. Can you explain to me just what the theological justification for 'accuracy' is?

You display a quite remarkable ignorance of the history of persecution of the Old Calendarists by the New Calendarists, including the current persecution of the Zealot Fathers of Athos in Esphigmenou monastery. I suggest you start to educate yourself by reading the following account:

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

For what is going on now on Athos you may consult the following:

www.esphigmenou.com

The Old Calendarists have NEVER persecuted the innovators. At most we perhaps hurt their feelings by pointing out to them their heresy. There is simply no comparison between us and them.
I think that even the discussions we've had on this forum will indicate that the Esphigmenou monks you're defending are not being persecuted for their stands vis-a-vis calendar reform or ecumenism, since most of the monastics on the Holy Mountain follow the Old Calendar and have spoken out against ecumenism.  It appears that the Esphigmenou monks have been prosecuted for trespassing because they've declared themselves separate from the rest of the Athonite community yet refuse to leave the mountain as they should have done years ago.  However, this is all the subject of a separate discussion.  If you wish to revive it, I'll go make sure we resurrect the already existing thread and move this tangent there.

Sorry if you thought it was a tangent. I consider it relevant because the Zealot Fathers refuse to commemorate the Patriarch in protest at the calendar innovation, the lifting of the anathemas against the Pope and other heretical and schismatic acts. So the persecution of the Zealot Fathers really should be treated together with the persecution of Old Calendarists. They stopped participating in prayer with the other monasteries after 1971 because that was the year the other monasteries resumed commemorating the Patriarch, after they had all ceased commemoration when the Patriarch lifted the anathemas against the Pope. Since the common prayer services involved commemoration, obviously the Fathers of Esphigmenou could not in good conscience continue to participate.

If you would like to move this to another thread, feel free.
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« Reply #1053 on: December 03, 2009, 05:40:52 PM »

I am going to say this once again, if only to illustrate why it is dangerous to hurl accusations of heresy and to denounce each other for what to me is a minor matter--that of the calendar.

IMO, the calendar reformists are the only "non-heretical" Christians because they are trying to right a wrong (to revise a deficient, inaccurate and unnatural calendar) in order to implement the decision of the Early Fathers. The Early Fathers said the determination of the date of Easter will be based on the Vernal Equinox and later said the Vernal Equinox is March 22nd. Today, the Vernal Equinox falls on plus/minus one day on this date only on two calendars: the Gregorian and the Revised Julian. Today, the vast majority of the Orthodox celebrate the major feasts on days that are different than what they were in the early Church: Nativity is celebrated in January instead of December 25, etc... Today, some Orthodox Churches are brave enough to have shown fidelity to the teachings and praxis of the Early Fathers, and to accept in Christian forbearance the insults hurled upon them by some folks. And, even though these NC Orthodox Churches could anathemize the OC Churches that are in error, they have refrained from doing so. Why? Charity is certainly a reason, but the most important reason is that this issue has nothing to do with our salvation or the message of the Gospel. This is a minor thing, a distraction at best, except for the tragedy that some folks (a very small minority, thank God) have taken to condemning their brethren who disagree with them.

The fact that the Orthodox calendar is perhaps astronomically inaccurate is neither here nor there. As Fr Basil explains, the Church has been aware of the inaccuracy for many centuries, but the innovation was only promulgated under the impulse of ecumenism. What matters is that we maintain the same, traditional calendar, not that our ecclesiastical equinox corresponds exactly to the solar equinox. Can you explain to me just what the theological justification for 'accuracy' is?

You display a quite remarkable ignorance of the history of persecution of the Old Calendarists by the New Calendarists, including the current persecution of the Zealot Fathers of Athos in Esphigmenou monastery. I suggest you start to educate yourself by reading the following account:

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

For what is going on now on Athos you may consult the following:

www.esphigmenou.com

The Old Calendarists have NEVER persecuted the innovators. At most we perhaps hurt their feelings by pointing out to them their heresy. There is simply no comparison between us and them.
I think that even the discussions we've had on this forum will indicate that the Esphigmenou monks you're defending are not being persecuted for their stands vis-a-vis calendar reform or ecumenism, since most of the monastics on the Holy Mountain follow the Old Calendar and have spoken out against ecumenism.  It appears that the Esphigmenou monks have been prosecuted for trespassing because they've declared themselves separate from the rest of the Athonite community yet refuse to leave the mountain as they should have done years ago.  However, this is all the subject of a separate discussion.  If you wish to revive it, I'll go make sure we resurrect the already existing thread and move this tangent there.

Sorry if you thought it was a tangent. I consider it relevant because the Zealot Fathers refuse to commemorate the Patriarch in protest at the calendar innovation, the lifting of the anathemas against the Pope and other heretical and schismatic acts. So the persecution of the Zealot Fathers really should be treated together with the persecution of Old Calendarists. They stopped participating in prayer with the other monasteries after 1971 because that was the year the other monasteries resumed commemorating the Patriarch, after they had all ceased commemoration when the Patriarch lifted the anathemas against the Pope. Since the common prayer services involved commemoration, obviously the Fathers of Esphigmenou could not in good conscience continue to participate.

If you would like to move this to another thread, feel free.
That's all fine and good, if the issue really goes no farther than this.  However, the EP has jurisdiction over the Holy Mountain, and he told the Esphigmenou monks you defend to get off the mountain for their refusal to be a part of the Athonite community of monasteries.  You may question the canonical propriety of the EP's decision if you want, but it was a legal decision to make in his role as landlord of the Holy Mountain.  By stubbornly refusing to honor the EP's decision to evict them from Mount Athos, the Esphigmenou monks you defend have incurred upon themselves the guilt of criminal trespass.

Therefore (to keep this thread on topic), I will say that the case of the Esphigmenou monastery is probably not a good example of New Calendarist persecution of Old Calendarists, since there are other legal factors in play here.  You would do well, then, to stop arguing this example in support of your persecution claims and bring forward something whose admissibility in an argument you don't have to work so hard to defend.
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« Reply #1054 on: December 03, 2009, 07:29:29 PM »

That's all fine and good, if the issue really goes no farther than this.  However, the EP has jurisdiction over the Holy Mountain, and he told the Esphigmenou monks you defend to get off the mountain for their refusal to be a part of the Athonite community of monasteries.  You may question the canonical propriety of the EP's decision if you want, but it was a legal decision to make in his role as landlord of the Holy Mountain.

In what way is he the "landlord"?

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 By stubbornly refusing to honor the EP's decision to evict them from Mount Athos, the Esphigmenou monks you defend have incurred upon themselves the guilt of criminal trespass.

This is not the case. European law provides for rights resulting from long-term occupation of a property.   It is actually not an easy matter to evict a tenant who does not want to go.   in some cases it is even difficult to legally evict squatters.  Such people are not guilty of criminal trespass.  

We see that people of good will, although disagreeing with Esphigmenou's position, will still stand up for the monks' rights.  For example, the monks of the Serbian Orthodox Church at Chilandar are willing to ignore the Patriarch (whom they commemorate at every monastic Service) and smuggle food and medications into Esphigmenou.  We see the goodwill from the Russian Patriarch who, not withstanding the ecclesiologically odd position of Esphigmenou, wrote a sharp letter to Constantinople advising the Patriarch not to go down the path of violence.  
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« Reply #1055 on: December 03, 2009, 08:37:08 PM »

If you wish to discuss Esphigmenou outside of the context of this discussion, please follow this link:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19402.0.html

I will not answer any questions about Esphigmenou here, since I feel that most, if not all, of your questions have already been addressed on the other thread.
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« Reply #1056 on: December 03, 2009, 10:15:29 PM »

Is it even possible to petition our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to go back to the Old Calendar (kinda like the BOC has initiated)?  Just curious.  Smiley

Dear Patriarchs,
We the undersigned respectfully request the full return to the use of the grossly inaccurate Julian Calendar which calculates the date of Pascha correctly 0.5432% of the time according to the criteria of the First Ecumenical Council. This inaccurate calendar instituted by a Pagan Emperor which adds far too many Leap Years we believe is the best one for the Church to follow because.....well, just because.
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« Reply #1057 on: December 03, 2009, 10:25:49 PM »

^^ laugh

Priceless.
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« Reply #1058 on: December 03, 2009, 11:05:06 PM »

Do all of the Ukrainian Orthodox parishes in the USA use the Julian calendar?
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« Reply #1059 on: December 04, 2009, 03:37:17 AM »

I had confused the apostolic canon with the canons for that council. The canon has as much authority as it did before, however. Certainly you ought to have a hard time justifying your communion with the Finnish Church which has disobeyed this canon as well as falling under the anathema decreed by the 1583 sigillion

More on the sigillion below, but as to the Apostolic Canon--the canon mandates deposition, not excommunication (and as I pointed out, the same canons specifically state a sentence of deposition *cannot* be accompanied by a sentence of excommunication) for clergy--and there is no mandated penalty for laity.

Furthermore, deposition requires a canonical court to actually impose the sentence; it doesn't happen automatically (that would be Donatism). The canon immediately before the one regarding Pascha (canon VI) states "Let not a bishop, presbyter, or deacon undertake worldly business; otherwise let him be deposed". I don't know which Old Calendrist group you belong to, but every Old Calendrist priest I have met in America has had a secular job (i.e., undertaken worldly business). Their bishops have decided, given the particular circumstances (these men could not live or feed their families based purely on Church income), not to enforce the canon. Should the EP exercise its authority and demand that the Finnish bishops correct their practice or face deposition? Maybe. But that's an episcopal decision, not one to be made by an individual layman.

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The 1583 sigillion, which I think is clearly referring to the Papal calendar innovation, DOES in fact treat the innovation as of dogmatic importance. I see that the only way you can defy this testimony is to impugn its authority, which I think is highly presumptuous. I haven't presumed to challenge the authority of your witnesses; I have merely pointed out that they aren't the whole story. By ignoring witnesses like the 1583 sigillion, you are the one dismissing the Church's witness.

I have no idea how you can characterize my response as 'impugning', 'presumptious', or 'ignoring'. The fact that I did respond clearly shows that I wasn't ignoring it. And I didn't question (i.e., impugn) or even discuss their motives or question their understanding or reasoning abilities. I addressed a matter of *verifiable* fact. The sigillion states that the 'Seven Ecumenical Councils' made it a law that we should follow the Menologion. Like your claim that Nicea had anathematized those that didn't accept its Paschalion, this is simply incorrect, and anyone who is willing to take the time to review the collected Acts and Canons of the Councils can verify that.

I don't know why the authors of the sigillion got the fact wrong. But they did. And rather than ignoring that fact and worrying about my presumptiousness, perhaps you should address what authority an anathema based on incorrect facts holds--for example, if the Synod of your Church were to gather and declare, "Because Jonathan Gress follows the error of Arius, let him be anathematized", are you actually anathematized or not?

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Yes, practices do change.

Okay, so we agree that practices do change, which presumably means that we agree that practices can change without altering the Faith? And since the calendar *has* been changed, that means it can be changed--even if we disagree about 'competent authority' could make the change and what would be valid reasons?

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However, I challenge you to show me a case where one part of the church deliberately changed practice in full knowledge that another part of the church practiced something differently, thereby consciously introducing disunity into the church, and that this error was never corrected.

You're in the Greek tradition right? Ever been to confession with a Russian priest? If not, I encourage you to get hold of a priest's service book for each of the traditions and check the formula of absolution. The Russian one was introduced by St. Peter Moghila, with full awareness that it was a local change, and 350 years later there's been no move in either tradition to bring them back in line.

Meanwhile, I challenge you to show me a case where a group has schismed away from their local church over any issue that 'can be changed' (i.e., anything that is not explicitly doctrine/heresy) and it turned out that that group was right, rather than becoming just another schismatic sect or repenting their rebellion and returning?

Quote
I completely fail to see how the final biblical verse counts as a justification for introducing discord into the Church for the sake of 'astronomical accuracy'.

Sigh. You didn't ask for a justification for 'introducing discord'. You rather specifically asked 'what the theological justification for [astronomical] 'accuracy' is?' I answered the question you asked.  I don't claim the verse trumps every other issue involved in calendar discussions (otherwise, I would have just posted it and saved myself a lot of time). But the words of God Himself as to the very purpose of the heavens do have to be taken into consideration.
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« Reply #1060 on: December 04, 2009, 03:55:11 AM »

Is it even possible to petition our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to go back to the Old Calendar (kinda like the BOC has initiated)?  Just curious.  Smiley

Dear Patriarchs,
We the undersigned respectfully request the full return to the use of the grossly inaccurate Julian Calendar which calculates the date of Pascha correctly 0.5432% of the time according to the criteria of the First Ecumenical Council. This inaccurate calendar instituted by a Pagan Emperor which adds far too many Leap Years we believe is the best one for the Church to follow because.....well, just because.

 laugh Brilliant!
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« Reply #1061 on: December 04, 2009, 10:32:54 AM »

Is it even possible to petition our Patriarchs and Metropolitans to go back to the Old Calendar (kinda like the BOC has initiated)?  Just curious.  Smiley

Dear Patriarchs,
We the undersigned respectfully request the full return to the use of the grossly inaccurate Julian Calendar which calculates the date of Pascha correctly 0.5432% of the time according to the criteria of the First Ecumenical Council. This inaccurate calendar instituted by a Pagan Emperor which adds far too many Leap Years we believe is the best one for the Church to follow because.....well, just because.

Superb!
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« Reply #1062 on: December 04, 2009, 07:19:39 PM »

Well my claim about the First Ecumenical Council was incorrect insofar as there is indeed no canon from that council enforcing compliance with the calendar as I thought. But if the Patriarchs who met at the 1583 council believed it was a law that they should follow the traditional, Julian calendar, I take that as evidence that the Church understood it to be a law, regardless of whether you can find a written canon from the seven councils. I am not an authority, so the fact that I thought the council said something in writing that it did not counts for nothing. But these Patriarchs are authorities, which means that the absence of a written canon from the seven councils only means the law wasn't written down there; it doesn't mean the law doesn't exist.

In any case, from the text of Sigillion it's not clear that 'they did well in making it a law that we should follow' refers to the Councils. 'They' may not be referring to anyone or anything specific, but rather the common witness of the Church. It may just be an awkward translation, but I would have thought that a phrasing like 'the customs of the church, and Holy Pascha, and the Menologion as the Seven Ecumenical Councils decreed' would more clearly indicate that they believed the Menologion and Paschalion were mentioned in the canons of those councils. I suppose one should check the Greek original.

The example of Moghila's confessional is a good one and forces me to rethink my argument. One can certainly argue that Moghila's innovation was regrettable, but did it introduce disunity into the Church? Clearly not. The calendar innovation, on the other hand, has introduced great division and schism. Also, is the wording of the forgiveness prayer really on the same level as the common celebration of the feasts? If not, that would require making more subtle distinctions between different practices. If one difference in practice is not deemed significant enough to warrant a break in communion, that does not mean practices in general cannot have dogmatic significance.

Your point about schism of course begs the question of who's in schism. We believe the new calendarists to be in schism by virtue of their unilateral innovation in the calendar, without the consent of the whole church. So you should be asking them what their justification for schism is, not me, and whether they can point to a precedent. They more or less forced the schism on us, by the way, by violently persecuting those who strove to maintain the traditional, universal calendar, as the story about the appearance of the Cross over Athens in 1925 will show you, or the life of Catherine Routtes. We pronounced anathemas on them ten years after the persecution started.

Here's another canon concerning the celebration of Pascha, which actually excommunicates those who celebrate on the wrong day:

Canon I of Antioch

As for all persons who dare to violate the definition of the holy and great Synod convened in Nicaea in the presence of Eusebeia, the consort of the most God-beloved Emperor Constantine, concerning the holy festival of the soterial Pascha, we decree that they be excluded from Communion and be outcasts from the Church if they persist more captiously in objecting to the decisions that have been made as most fitting in regard thereto; and let these things be said with reference to laymen. But if any of the person occupying prominent positions in the Church, such as a Bishop, or a Presbyter, or a Deacon, after the adoption of this definition, should dare to insist upon having his own way, to the perversion of the laity, and to the disturbance of the church, and upon celebrating Pascha along with the Jews, the holy Synod has hence judged that person to be an alien to the Church, on the ground that he has not only become guilty of sin by himself, but has also been the cause of corruption and perversion among the multitude. Accordingly, it not only deposes such persons from the liturgy, but also those who dare to commune with them after their deposition. Moreover, those who have been deposed are to be deprived of the external honor too of which the holy Canon and God's priesthood have partaken.

The verse from Genesis tells us that God made the signs and the seasons, but it doesn't say we should worship them. The point of the festal calendar is not to conform precisely to the astronomical cycles, but to reflect the common mind of the Church.
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« Reply #1063 on: December 05, 2009, 02:50:43 AM »

Well my claim about the First Ecumenical Council was incorrect insofar as there is indeed no canon from that council enforcing compliance with the calendar as I thought. But if the Patriarchs who met at the 1583 council believed it was a law that they should follow the traditional, Julian calendar, I take that as evidence that the Church understood it to be a law, regardless of whether you can find a written canon from the seven councils. I am not an authority, so the fact that I thought the council said something in writing that it did not counts for nothing. But these Patriarchs are authorities, which means that the absence of a written canon from the seven councils only means the law wasn't written down there; it doesn't mean the law doesn't exist.

St. Cyprian: Nor ought custom, which had crept in among some, to prevent the truth from prevailing and conquering; for custom without truth is the antiquity of error. (Ep LXXIII, To Pompey, Against the Epistle of Stephen About the Baptism of Heretics.)

How soon you forget Rome. If there was ever a law, established by the councils or anyone else, that the Menologion of the Greek Church "must be followed" why did no one ever notice that the Patriarchate of the West was breaking that law? And speaking of Rome: In 1054, the official legate of the Roman Patriarchate, Cardinal Humbert, placed Constantinople under anathema for (among other things) "cutting off the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son". Given that, unlike the claim of the Sigillion, there actually *is* evidence that the procession of Holy Spirit from the Son was being preached in churches centuries before that, should I accept the word of this 'authority' (later confirmed by the whole synod of the Roman Chuch) that Constantinople had 'cut off' the filioque? The authority of a bishop (or a Patriarch), does not extend to the ability to make a false statement true. (I would think an Old Calendrist would understand that).

Quote
The calendar innovation, on the other hand, has introduced great division and schism.

This argument coming from an Old Calendrist always boggles my mind.

Yes, the manner of Patriarch Meletios introduction of the New Calendar into the Greek churches left much to be desired. Yes, the persecution of the Old Calendrists by the Greek establishment (government and Church) was wrong (as, I might add, was the persecution of the Old Believers by the Russian establishment, and the persecution of the Non-Chalcedonians by the Byzantine establishment). And yes, the piecemeal introduction of the New Calendar has (re-)introduced a variability of practice that had not existed for a long time.

But you were the ones who *cut* communion, who separated yourselves from your synods and presiding hierarchs. No one *forced* you to disobey the decision of your synod or to stop communing with them. It's like saying, "The introduction of the New Calendar spilled juice on the immaculate garment of the Church, so we threw it in the incinerator." Or, since the Fathers considered schism a sin worse than murder, you are like the murderer telling the police, "He called me stupid, so I killed him." The response is completely out of proportion to any provocation.


Look. I have no illusions about the likelihood of an internet debate changing anyone's mind. I've mainly posted in response because your posts have contained clear inaccuracies that needed to be addressed. But seriously, please, please, consider the following:

When St. Cyprian opposed Rome on the practice of baptism, St. Cyprian *never* broke communion with Rome. In fact at the Synod of Carthage which he presided over and where his teaching was first synodically affirmed, the saint specifically said: "It only remains therefore that we, each one of us, one by one, say what our mind is in this matter, without condemning any one or removing any one from the right of communion who does not agree with us."

St. Mark went to Florence. Not only did he got to Florence, but he attended the sessions. He attended the session where it was decided the council would promulgate the Roman heresy that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son 'as from one Principle'--and then he came back to the next session. St. Mark attended and participated right up until the moment when the Council closed and the Union was signed and there was no longer any possibility at all of preventing it. Only then did he break from his fellow bishops and return to lead the resistance to the False Union.

The East gave the Church of the West over *4 centuries* to clean up its problem with the filoque, and even at the end it was the Latins who initiated the final break, not the Church.

Old Calendrists give the impression that they think the solution to everything is schism. But that is not the witness of the Fathers. The Fathers were willing to put up with immense amounts of nonsense before countenancing the final solution of breaking communion. As I pointed out in the other thread, the teaching of the Fathers is that only the explict public teaching of concilliarily condemned heresy is ever a justification for breaking with one's own bishop, or for a bishop to break with the presiding hierarch of his synod.
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« Reply #1064 on: December 05, 2009, 03:02:51 AM »


Yes, the manner of Patriarch Meletios introduction of the New Calendar into the Greek churches left much to be desired. Yes, the persecution of the Old Calendrists by the Greek establishment (government and Church) was wrong (as, I might add, was the persecution of the Old Believers by the Russian establishment, and the persecution of the Non-Chalcedonians by the Byzantine establishment).

O Wise One, I am sure that Jonathan will feel obliged to disagree with you on this point.  As a well educated traditionalist he will know that persecuting dissenters is a part of our ancient tradition.  Is there any other way?   Did not Saint Nicholas gain the approval of heaven for whacking Arius?
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« Reply #1065 on: December 05, 2009, 03:48:04 AM »

witega, you clearly know a lot. I'm grateful for the real inaccuracies you have pointed out, but you're right: I'm not persuaded, and I still think you're disregarding important evidence, perhaps in ignorance. Do you remember how Nestorius was given TEN DAYS to recant his heresy by the Pope? It's not as simple as you think, either. Both leniency and strictness are attested. Your example of St Cyprian is certainly interesting, but set against the well-known strictness of the Fathers elsewhere I'm not sure you can draw from it the notion that leniency is the rule.

With regard to ecumenism, strictness is actually warranted because ecumenism is basically the denial of heresy itself. So when Pat Athenagoras lifted the anathemas against the Pope, showing he no longer considered the Pope a heretic, he basically stated he was accepting the Papal heresies, since the Pope had not abandoned those heresies for which he had been condemned in 1054 (let alone the heresies adopted since then). Ecumenism is about denying the force of previous anathemas, and no new anathemas are needed to reinforce the old ones. So breaking communion with hierarchs who preach ecumenism is strongly mandated by the 15th canon of the First-Second council.

An example one New Calendarist gave me was where St Basil during the Pneumatomachist heresy allowed some to commune after confessing that the Holy Spirit was uncreated, rather than having to say the Holy Spirit was the Lord. This was condescending to those who didn't want to alter the words of the Creed EVEN THOUGH they believed the Holy Spirit was God; by declaring the HS uncreated, obviously they were confessing His divinity. But this economy does not mean, as my friend I think thought it meant, that St Basil was fine with communing those who did not believe the Holy Spirit was divine.

You're misrepresenting the history of the TOC of Greece. There was no option given in Greece for remaining on the traditional calendar. It was the NC hierarchs who excommunicated us for celebrating on our traditional days, and set the police on us when we didn't back down. We didn't initiate the anathemas. And note how the Athonite fathers supported us, until the EP persuaded them to stop by promising to reverse the calendar change, which of course never happened (of course some remained zealots, like Esphigmenou and St Anne's skete, and briefly they were all zealots again after Athenagoras lifted the anathemas against the Pope). And also the Patriarch of Alexandria, after Meletios, supported us openly (I forgot his name, I think it was Christophoros). Also Bp Nikolai Velimirovic later on in the late 40s, and ROCA starting in the 60s until they united with Moscow. In recent times also Patriarchs Diodoros and Irineos of Jerusalem have openly supported us. You make it out to be like we are the only ones who thought the calendar innovation, and the ecumenist heresy that accompanied it, was a bad thing warranting resistance. But then why were these others supporting us, and not condemning us for disobeying the innovating bishops?

So the schism is the fault of the new calendarists, that much is obvious from the history. The severity we have had to show them ecclesiologically was necessary in the face of their obstinate refusal to consider reversing the change and restoring order to the Church. Met Chrysostomos of Florina pleaded with Abp Chrysostomos of Athens for ten years before he realized the schism was permanent and joined us as our first bishop since the schism in 1935. I think you are under the impression the schism and ecumenism began only yesterday. It is 80 years old now.
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« Reply #1066 on: December 05, 2009, 04:44:27 AM »

So the schism is the fault of the new calendarists, that much is obvious from the history. The severity we have had to show them ecclesiologically was necessary in the face of their obstinate refusal to consider reversing the change and restoring order to the Church. Met Chrysostomos of Florina pleaded with Abp Chrysostomos of Athens for ten years before he realized the schism was permanent and joined us as our first bishop since the schism in 1935. I think you are under the impression the schism and ecumenism began only yesterday. It is 80 years old now.

The situation is similar to that of the Russian Old Believers although the numbers of Old Calendarists are nowhere near the large proportions of the Old Believers in Russia.  Fully one third of the Russian Orthodox population refused to accept the Nikonian reforms and insisted on retaining the older customs.  But the Church stood firm and did not return to the older customs in order to appease the Old Believers.   In some aspects they were right and the Nikonian reforms were erroneous.   But we know the outcome...  grace gradually died away among the Old Believers, they ceased to produce any Saints, they could not maintain even a small shadow of the monastic life so typical of Russian piety.  But the official Church continued and flourished, with hundreds of Saints and hundreds of monasteries.  It obviously had the blessing of God.

The position with the Old Calendarists of Bulgaria and Romania and Greece is similar.   Like the Old Believers they too have already broken into many groupings and like the Old Believers grace is disappearing from among them.  Why should we wonder at this?  To step outside the holy Church has always meant the end of grace.

So, I do not see there is any going back but just as we can sympathize with the Old Believers so too we can sympathize with the Old Calendarists.  But that will not change the reality and nor will it mean that God has accepted either Old Believerism or Old Calendarism as His holy Church.
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« Reply #1067 on: December 05, 2009, 04:57:09 AM »

So the schism is the fault of the new calendarists, that much is obvious from the history. The severity we have had to show them ecclesiologically was necessary in the face of their obstinate refusal to consider reversing the change and restoring order to the Church. Met Chrysostomos of Florina pleaded with Abp Chrysostomos of Athens for ten years before he realized the schism was permanent and joined us as our first bishop since the schism in 1935. I think you are under the impression the schism and ecumenism began only yesterday. It is 80 years old now.

The situation is similar to that of the Russian Old Believers although the numbers of Old Calendarists are nowhere near the large proportions of the Old Believers in Russia.  Fully one third of the Russian Orthodox population refused to accept the Nikonian reforms and insisted on retaining the older customs.  But the Church stood firm and did not return to the older customs in order to appease the Old Believers.   In some aspects they were right and the Nikonian reforms were erroneous.   But we know the outcome...  grace gradually died away among the Old Believers, they ceased to produce any Saints, they could not maintain even a small shadow of the monastic life so typical of Russian piety.  But the official Church continued and flourished, with hundreds of Saints and hundreds of monasteries.  It obviously had the blessing of God.

The position with the Old Calendarists of Bulgaria and Romania and Greece is similar.   Like the Old Believers they too have already broken into many groupings and like the Old Believers grace is disappearing from among them.  Why should we wonder at this?  To step outside the holy Church has always meant the end of grace.

So, I do not see there is any going back but just as we can sympathize with the Old Believers so too we can sympathize with the Old Calendarists.  But that will not change the reality and nor will it mean that God has accepted either Old Believerism or Old Calendarism as His holy Church.
Irish Hermit,

Please be careful here.  Your "Old Calendarists are schismatics" rhetoric is starting to rear its ugly head again, so I need to ask you to tone down your language and speak more respectfully.  I refer you to these consecutive posts from Fr. Anastasios and myself for precedent and guidance:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,22540.msg343141.html#msg343141

If you want to speak to me about this, please do so via private message and not on this thread.
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« Reply #1068 on: December 05, 2009, 05:16:29 AM »

You're misrepresenting the history of the TOC of Greece. There was no option given in Greece for remaining on the traditional calendar.

I never suggested that you were given a choice. But Nicea didn't give the Quatrodecimians a choice and Nikon didn't give the Old Believers a choice. But it was your decision that rather than obey your hierarchs you would separate from them. That because you felt the New Calendar caused disunity, you would toss unity away.  That a calendar was more important than the Church.

The irony, as Fr. Ambrose has pointed out, is that in being sympathetic--in thinking that it would have been better if the bishops offered you a choice, that the civil government shouldn't have enforced the episcopal decision through persecution--I am being liberal. You were treated as the Church has traditionally treated those who disobey synodical decisions
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« Reply #1069 on: December 05, 2009, 05:50:28 AM »

The commonly held understanding of the the imposition of the Reformed Julian Calendar by Ecumenical Patriarch Meletios IV, of Blessed Memory, is not accurate.  "A Quest for Reform of the Orthodox Church, The 1923 Pan-Orthodox Congress" (InterOrthodox Press) provides insight as to the process that did occur.  The Congress, was convened as a committee of representatives of the Holy Orthodox Churches.  The Church of Russia was not represented, though the former Russian Archbishop of North America, acted as Russia's representative (his status was not as an official representative of St. Tikhon and the Russian Synod).  All the Churches were invited, but the Church of Russia and the other Ancient Patriarchates were not represented.  Constantinople, Serbia, Romania, Greece, and Cyprus were represented.  In its concluding discussions, Patriarch Meletios was to communicate its results and recommendations to all the Holy Orthodox Churches, something which I recall he did do.  He indicated he would ask whether the primates, the synods, or another body would be required (based on the constitutions of each Church) by each of the churches to accept or reject the recommendations, which renamed itself a congress during the proceedings.  +Meletios resigned from the Ecumenical Throne (in the Fall of 1923) before any Church, including Constantinople, converted to a new calendar.

It was the government of Greece, which pressed Archbishop Chrysostom of Athens to convert to a new calendar.  His Beatitude attempted to agree to the revolutionary government, to civilly change to the Gregorian Calendar, while the church maintained the Julian Calendar, and while the Holy Orthodox Churches deliberated how the calendar divergence would be corrected.  The Greek government forced His Beatitude to implement a calendar change because it felt the populous would not be able to deal with the commemoration of Greek Independence Day, March 25th, independent of the celebration of the Annunciation to the Theotokos Feast.  It made the civil conversion on March 1, 1924.  Archbishop Chrysostomos prevailed upon Constantinople, through diplomatic means, to make the conversion.  Due to the Church of Constantinople's dependency upon the financial support of the Greek government, Patriarch Gregory VII and Holy and Sacred Synod, accepted the calendar change.  Archbishop Chrysostomos "accepted" this change to the Reformed Julian Calendar on March 10, 1924.
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« Reply #1070 on: December 05, 2009, 01:39:41 PM »

You're misrepresenting the history of the TOC of Greece. There was no option given in Greece for remaining on the traditional calendar.

I never suggested that you were given a choice. But Nicea didn't give the Quatrodecimians a choice and Nikon didn't give the Old Believers a choice. But it was your decision that rather than obey your hierarchs you would separate from them. That because you felt the New Calendar caused disunity, you would toss unity away.  That a calendar was more important than the Church.

The irony, as Fr. Ambrose has pointed out, is that in being sympathetic--in thinking that it would have been better if the bishops offered you a choice, that the civil government shouldn't have enforced the episcopal decision through persecution--I am being liberal. You were treated as the Church has traditionally treated those who disobey synodical decisions

No you have it backwards. To us the Church is more important than the calendar. We chose to remain on the same festal calendar as the rest of the Church, rather than follow the uncanonical innovations that were only introduced to further ecumenism under the pretext of astronomical 'accuracy'. The State Church of Greece acted uncanonically in introducing the new calendar unilaterally, without the consent of the whole Church, while we were defending the canons and unity of the Church.

Also, you have to explain why so many outside Greece witnessed in our favor.
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« Reply #1071 on: December 05, 2009, 01:42:59 PM »

The commonly held understanding of the the imposition of the Reformed Julian Calendar by Ecumenical Patriarch Meletios IV, of Blessed Memory, is not accurate.  "A Quest for Reform of the Orthodox Church, The 1923 Pan-Orthodox Congress" (InterOrthodox Press) provides insight as to the process that did occur.  The Congress, was convened as a committee of representatives of the Holy Orthodox Churches.  The Church of Russia was not represented, though the former Russian Archbishop of North America, acted as Russia's representative (his status was not as an official representative of St. Tikhon and the Russian Synod).  All the Churches were invited, but the Church of Russia and the other Ancient Patriarchates were not represented.  Constantinople, Serbia, Romania, Greece, and Cyprus were represented.  In its concluding discussions, Patriarch Meletios was to communicate its results and recommendations to all the Holy Orthodox Churches, something which I recall he did do.  He indicated he would ask whether the primates, the synods, or another body would be required (based on the constitutions of each Church) by each of the churches to accept or reject the recommendations, which renamed itself a congress during the proceedings.  +Meletios resigned from the Ecumenical Throne (in the Fall of 1923) before any Church, including Constantinople, converted to a new calendar.

It was the government of Greece, which pressed Archbishop Chrysostom of Athens to convert to a new calendar.  His Beatitude attempted to agree to the revolutionary government, to civilly change to the Gregorian Calendar, while the church maintained the Julian Calendar, and while the Holy Orthodox Churches deliberated how the calendar divergence would be corrected.  The Greek government forced His Beatitude to implement a calendar change because it felt the populous would not be able to deal with the commemoration of Greek Independence Day, March 25th, independent of the celebration of the Annunciation to the Theotokos Feast.  It made the civil conversion on March 1, 1924.  Archbishop Chrysostomos prevailed upon Constantinople, through diplomatic means, to make the conversion.  Due to the Church of Constantinople's dependency upon the financial support of the Greek government, Patriarch Gregory VII and Holy and Sacred Synod, accepted the calendar change.  Archbishop Chrysostomos "accepted" this change to the Reformed Julian Calendar on March 10, 1924.

Thanks Basil. It's important to realize the role the Greek government had in forcing the change of the church calendar. However, I don't think that excuses Patriarch Meletios.
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« Reply #1072 on: December 05, 2009, 02:01:16 PM »

So the schism is the fault of the new calendarists, that much is obvious from the history. The severity we have had to show them ecclesiologically was necessary in the face of their obstinate refusal to consider reversing the change and restoring order to the Church. Met Chrysostomos of Florina pleaded with Abp Chrysostomos of Athens for ten years before he realized the schism was permanent and joined us as our first bishop since the schism in 1935. I think you are under the impression the schism and ecumenism began only yesterday. It is 80 years old now.

The situation is similar to that of the Russian Old Believers although the numbers of Old Calendarists are nowhere near the large proportions of the Old Believers in Russia.  Fully one third of the Russian Orthodox population refused to accept the Nikonian reforms and insisted on retaining the older customs.  But the Church stood firm and did not return to the older customs in order to appease the Old Believers.   In some aspects they were right and the Nikonian reforms were erroneous.   But we know the outcome...  grace gradually died away among the Old Believers, they ceased to produce any Saints, they could not maintain even a small shadow of the monastic life so typical of Russian piety.  But the official Church continued and flourished, with hundreds of Saints and hundreds of monasteries.  It obviously had the blessing of God.

The position with the Old Calendarists of Bulgaria and Romania and Greece is similar.   Like the Old Believers they too have already broken into many groupings and like the Old Believers grace is disappearing from among them.  Why should we wonder at this?  To step outside the holy Church has always meant the end of grace.

So, I do not see there is any going back but just as we can sympathize with the Old Believers so too we can sympathize with the Old Calendarists.  But that will not change the reality and nor will it mean that God has accepted either Old Believerism or Old Calendarism as His holy Church.

Actually Patriarch Nikon did allow the old ritualists to maintain their old rites. But their leader Avvakum refused to accept this, insisting that no change to the rites should me made at all. And persecution by the state only began after the old ritualists started a rebellion. Even then, most of the burnings you hear about were self-inflicted by the old ritualist fanatics. And later the Church allowed old ritualists to return to communion with the main church while keeping their rites (the edinovertsy), and in 1971 the ROCA formally lifted the anathemas against the old rites.

I don't understand where you're getting your information. The vast majority of Romanian, Bulgarian and Greek Old Calendarists belong to a single synod in their respective countries.

As for evidence of grace, it seems evident to me the official churches have lost grace considering their ever deeper involvement in ecumenism. If the official churches were grace-filled, wouldn't they have abandoned the WCC and other heretical bodies, wouldn't they have restored unity over the calendar, wouldn't they have stopped talking about 'restoring the unity of the Church' in their ecumenical dialogs, which unity of course has never been lost? I'm just saying this because I made my choice to join the traditionalists precisely based on this kind of evidence.

If you want evidence of holiness in our churches, you should read about Metropolitan Glicherie in Romania, or about Elder Ieronymos of Aegina, or Elder Sabbas of Athos.
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« Reply #1073 on: December 05, 2009, 05:31:48 PM »

No you have it backwards. To us the Church is more important than the calendar. We chose to remain on the same festal calendar as the rest of the Church,

That does not follow. The 'rest of Church', those Churches which remained on the festal calendar, remained in communion with the Churches that switched to the New Calendar. Thus in order to stay on the same festal calendar as Jerusalem, Serbia, etc, you stopped being in communion with them. As I said, you threw the garment in the fire because you felt the Church of Greece had stained it.
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« Reply #1074 on: December 06, 2009, 06:50:55 AM »

An interesting article from the Holy Mountain which refutes some of the argumentation in this thread:

"Schismatic Old-Calendarism is an anti-Patristic stance."

http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/sxismata/antipater1.htm#_Toc135058238

Introduction:

An article by fr. Nicholas Demaras was published in the periodical “Aghioi Kollyvades” (The Kollyvades Saints”)[1], in which the Sacred Monastery of Saint Gregory was criticized for its stance against Ecumenism and Zealotry.

The reason for my action was the entirely inappropriate ecclesiological stance that the schismatic Zealots and other, so-called “Genuine Orthodox Christian” Old Calendarists had adopted. Among my many arguments in support of my actions was also the stance taken by saint Sophronius against the heretic Monotheletes.....

I had first-hand experience near the otherwise sympathetic and virtuous zealot fathers, and I have every respect for their piety, their love for monastic living and their fighting spirit. However, I discerned that they are upholding an anti-canonical schism, and they are also misinterpreting the teaching of the holy Fathers and ecclesiastic history...

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« Reply #1075 on: December 06, 2009, 07:33:51 AM »

I don't understand where you're getting your information. The vast majority of Romanian, Bulgarian and Greek Old Calendarists belong to a single synod in their respective countries.

Dear Jonathan,

In the Holy Mountain article "Schismatic Old-Calendarism is an anti-Patristic stance" it speaks of "their nine “Genuine Orthodox Christian” Churches."

I would be inclined to believe that the author is confining his enumeration of nine GOC Churches to those which he knows in Greece.  Tha author also writes that there are about 50 GOC bishops in Greece for a membership of about 50 to 60,000.

Quote
The ease, with which they characterize the other Zealots as heretics, betrays how thoroughly they have lost the true meaning of the terms “heresy” and “ecclesiastic schism”.  The simple people have become utterly confused, as they are constantly finding themselves in a different group, without realizing it. The presiding “See” of the “Objectors” was created after three schisms, which resulted in an equivalent number of defrockings. They are reminiscent of the schisms of the Grace-forsaken Monophysites, Protestants and Believers of the Old Faith.


Each group believes it is the only Church of Christ, thus resulting in a series of re-Chrismations amongst themselves; rumor has it that a re-ordination of an archbishop was even performed!  In Greece, their bishops number more than 50, for about 50-60 thousand followers...


http://www.oodegr.com/english/ekklisia/sxismata/antipater1.htm#_Toc135058238
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« Reply #1076 on: December 07, 2009, 12:49:21 PM »

I found the letter of Emperor St Constantine (from ccel.org):

"On the Keeping of Easter.

From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council.

(Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib. iii., 18–20.)

When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was universally thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable, than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of immortality, celebrated by all with one accord, and in the same manner?  It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the holiest of all festivals, to follow the custom [the calculation] of the Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded.  In rejecting their custom, we may transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter, which we have observed from the time of the Saviour’s Passion to the present day [according to the day of the week].  We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week); and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast.  How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them?  They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two passovers in the same year.  We could not imitate those who are openly in error.  How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most certainly blinded by error? for to celebrate the passover twice in one year is totally inadmissible.  But even if this were not so, it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people [the Jews].  Besides, consider well, that in such an important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought not to be any division.  Our Saviour has left us only one festal day of our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired [to establish] only one Catholic Church.  Think, then, how unseemly it is, that on the same day some should be fasting whilst others are seated at a banquet; and that after Easter, some should be rejoicing at feasts, whilst others are still observing a strict fast.  For this reason, a Divine Providence wills that this custom should be rectified and regulated in a uniform way; and everyone, I hope, will agree upon this point.  As, on the one hand, it is our duty not to have anything in common with the murderers of our Lord; and as, on the other, the custom now followed by the Churches of the West, of the South, and of the North, and by some of those of the East, is the most acceptable, it has appeared good to all; and I have been guarantee for your consent, that you would accept it with joy, as it is followed at Rome, in Africa, in all Italy, Egypt, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Libya, in all Achaia, and in the dioceses of Asia, of Pontus, and Cilicia.  You should consider not only that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we should have nothing in common with the Jews.  To sum up in few words:  By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there should be any division.  As this is the state of the case, accept joyfully the divine favour, and this truly divine command; for all which takes place in assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding from the will of God.  Make known to your brethren what has been decreed, keep this most holy day according to the prescribed mode; we can thus celebrate this holy Easter day at the same time, if it is granted me, as I desire, to unite myself with you; we can rejoice together, seeing that the divine power has made use of our instrumentality for destroying the evil designs of the devil, and thus causing faith, peace, and unity to flourish amongst us.  May God graciously protect you, my beloved brethren."

I have to say that despite the fact there is no canon of the First Ecumenical Council concerning the calendar, this document makes clear that the Council made a firm and binding decision concerning the celebration of the feast on the same date. This means that a Council may make firm decisions that are not necessarily set down in canons, but are nevertheless considered binding on all the Church. This in turn means that when the Council of 1583 affirmed that the Seven Councils made it a law to follow the patristic Paschalion and Menologion, we have to take that affirmation seriously, and not dismiss it because there is no canon specifying a penalty for disobedience. By impugning the authority of the 1583 Council, you are more or less claiming to have greater authority than a Council in determining what the Church has taught concerning the calendar. As an Orthodox Christian, I find myself unable to accept your authority as greater.
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« Reply #1077 on: December 07, 2009, 01:40:59 PM »

I found the letter of Emperor St Constantine (from ccel.org):

"On the Keeping of Easter.

From the Letter of the Emperor to all those not present at the Council.

(Found in Eusebius, Vita Const., Lib. iii., 18–20.)

When the question relative to the sacred festival of Easter arose, it was universally thought that it would be convenient that all should keep the feast on one day; for what could be more beautiful and more desirable, than to see this festival, through which we receive the hope of immortality, celebrated by all with one accord, and in the same manner?  It was declared to be particularly unworthy for this, the holiest of all festivals, to follow the custom [the calculation] of the Jews, who had soiled their hands with the most fearful of crimes, and whose minds were blinded.  In rejecting their custom, we may transmit to our descendants the legitimate mode of celebrating Easter, which we have observed from the time of the Saviour’s Passion to the present day [according to the day of the week].  We ought not, therefore, to have anything in common with the Jews, for the Saviour has shown us another way; our worship follows a more legitimate and more convenient course (the order of the days of the week); and consequently, in unanimously adopting this mode, we desire, dearest brethren, to separate ourselves from the detestable company of the Jews, for it is truly shameful for us to hear them boast that without their direction we could not keep this feast.  How can they be in the right, they who, after the death of the Saviour, have no longer been led by reason but by wild violence, as their delusion may urge them?  They do not possess the truth in this Easter question; for, in their blindness and repugnance to all improvements, they frequently celebrate two passovers in the same year.  We could not imitate those who are openly in error.  How, then, could we follow these Jews, who are most certainly blinded by error? for to celebrate the passover twice in one year is totally inadmissible.  But even if this were not so, it would still be your duty not to tarnish your soul by communications with such wicked people [the Jews].  Besides, consider well, that in such an important matter, and on a subject of such great solemnity, there ought not to be any division.  Our Saviour has left us only one festal day of our redemption, that is to say, of his holy passion, and he desired [to establish] only one Catholic Church.  Think, then, how unseemly it is, that on the same day some should be fasting whilst others are seated at a banquet; and that after Easter, some should be rejoicing at feasts, whilst others are still observing a strict fast.  For this reason, a Divine Providence wills that this custom should be rectified and regulated in a uniform way; and everyone, I hope, will agree upon this point.  As, on the one hand, it is our duty not to have anything in common with the murderers of our Lord; and as, on the other, the custom now followed by the Churches of the West, of the South, and of the North, and by some of those of the East, is the most acceptable, it has appeared good to all; and I have been guarantee for your consent, that you would accept it with joy, as it is followed at Rome, in Africa, in all Italy, Egypt, Spain, Gaul, Britain, Libya, in all Achaia, and in the dioceses of Asia, of Pontus, and Cilicia.  You should consider not only that the number of churches in these provinces make a majority, but also that it is right to demand what our reason approves, and that we should have nothing in common with the Jews.  To sum up in few words:  By the unanimous judgment of all, it has been decided that the most holy festival of Easter should be everywhere celebrated on one and the same day, and it is not seemly that in so holy a thing there should be any division.  As this is the state of the case, accept joyfully the divine favour, and this truly divine command; for all which takes place in assemblies of the bishops ought to be regarded as proceeding from the will of God.  Make known to your brethren what has been decreed, keep this most holy day according to the prescribed mode; we can thus celebrate this holy Easter day at the same time, if it is granted me, as I desire, to unite myself with you; we can rejoice together, seeing that the divine power has made use of our instrumentality for destroying the evil designs of the devil, and thus causing faith, peace, and unity to flourish amongst us.  May God graciously protect you, my beloved brethren."

I have to say that despite the fact there is no canon of the First Ecumenical Council concerning the calendar, this document makes clear that the Council made a firm and binding decision concerning the celebration of the feast on the same date. This means that a Council may make firm decisions that are not necessarily set down in canons, but are nevertheless considered binding on all the Church. This in turn means that when the Council of 1583 affirmed that the Seven Councils made it a law to follow the patristic Paschalion and Menologion, we have to take that affirmation seriously, and not dismiss it because there is no canon specifying a penalty for disobedience. By impugning the authority of the 1583 Council, you are more or less claiming to have greater authority than a Council in determining what the Church has taught concerning the calendar. As an Orthodox Christian, I find myself unable to accept your authority as greater.

Not only did the the Council of Nicaea decide for all Christians to celebrate Easter on one date, it also established that the date of Easter would be the first Sunday after the full moon following the vernal equinox. According to most scientific sources, "an equinox happens each year at two specific moments in time (rather than two whole days), when there is a location on the Earth's Equator where the centre of the Sun can be observed to be vertically overhead, occurring around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year." I think we would all agree that the official church definition for the equinox is March 21. So, the question ought to be "which man-made calendar is closer to these agreed upon parameters?" Obviously, the Old Julian calendar does not qualify. Everything else is smoke and mirrirs and vanity.
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« Reply #1078 on: December 07, 2009, 02:06:01 PM »

I found the letter of Emperor St Constantine (from ccel.org):

Uh, yeah. Given that I linked both this and the synodical letter for you in reply #1049, last Thursday, I'm a little disappointed to learn you are just now reading it.

Quote
I have to say that despite the fact there is no canon of the First Ecumenical Council concerning the calendar, this document makes clear that the Council made a firm and binding decision concerning the celebration of the feast on the same date. This means that a Council may make firm decisions that are not necessarily set down in canons, but are nevertheless considered binding on all the Church.

 Shocked Wow.
You do realize that no one doubts that the First Ecumenical council made a firm and binding decision about Pascha? And no one doubts it because
1) In the official documents produced by the council (the above letter, written in St. Constantine's capacity as presiding Emperor, and the synodical letter I linked for you) the Fathers said they made a decision and *proclaimed* it for all to see.
2) In the years following Nicea all the Churches brought their practice in line with the decision. And when anybody discussed the date of Pascha after Nicea (as happened several times: the Paschal controversy between the Celtic and Latin churches can be found in any history of England and from 457-535 Rome and Alexandria were using different Paschalions) they alway used the Nicean decision as a touchstone.

Neither of the above can be said for common Menologion in the time of the Councils--in fact, just the opposite.

Given the way you regularly impugn the Council of 1920, you really don't have much standing for righteous indignation about my suggestion that it's possible the Patriarchs of 1583 were simply mistaken. The Fathers of Jerusalem 1672 said "Moreover, we reject as something abominable and pernicious the notion that when faith is weak the integrity of the Mystery is impaired. For heretics who abjure their heresy and join the Catholic Church are received by the Church; although they received their valid Baptism with weakness of faith. Wherefore, when they afterwards become possessed of perfect faith, they are not again baptized." Do you think that's an accurate summation of the Church's historical teaching? Or would you 'impugn' that council as mistaken on this matter?
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« Reply #1079 on: December 07, 2009, 03:53:01 PM »

No I had read it before, but it only just occurred to me that the letter makes a powerful argument that you can't claim the 1583 council to be mistaken on the grounds that the Ecumenical Councils didn't enact specific canons concerning the observance of the Menologion or the Paschalion. What I mean is that if we didn't have this letter, or the letter of the Fathers of the Council to the Church in Alexandria, which also mentions the decision about the celebration of Pascha, there would be no evidence that the Council had said anything about Pascha, other then the testimony of later authorities who mentioned the fact that the Council had made a decision on the calendar. The canons of the Council itself say nothing about it, but that doesn't mean the Council didn't make a binding decision about it.

Now we know independently that both the Paschalion and the Menologion were established at this Council, although the letters we have speak only of the date of Pascha. You might argue that the decision on the Menologion was not binding, but some kind of lesser, non-binding decision (assuming that Councils make those kinds of non-binding decisions), but given that the Council of 1583 considers the decisions on both the Paschalion and Menologion to be binding, on what grounds can we deny it? We can't deny it on the grounds that no canons have been preserved which speak of the matter, because we know that canons do not alone prove what was or was not enacted at a Council, as is shown by the decision on Pascha, but the tradition of the Church tells us this. And what is the Sigillion of the Council other than a witness of the tradition of the Church?

If you could point to some other council or even the testimony of some Father that the Menologion was not binding, but that variation was permitted, then that would be something, although even then we'd have to measure that testimony against the other witnesses of the tradition of the Eastern church, whose practice has been always to maintain the same calendar. However, it seems to me that there is no such witness.

You have pointed to the ancient Western menologion as an example of the Church previously admitting variation in the menologion. I think the answer to that is simple: although the West and East may have commemorated some Saints on different days, they were all agreed which days were the same. September 1 was September 1 in both East and West. Moreover, almost all the Great Feasts, like Christmas, Theophany, the Feasts of our Lady, of the Birth of the Forerunner and of the Apostles Peter and Paul, were celebrated on the same days. As you know, even in our Eastern Church, among those who continue on the old calendar, there is a little variation between e.g. the Russians and the Greeks: in my church we celebrate St Catherine the Great on November 25, but the Russians do so on the previous day. And as far as I know, the Western church didn't deliberately create a division out of previous concord, but they developed their traditions independently of the East. At least until the West started deviating in faith, the trend was if anything to unify the traditions, not to separate them. A good example is the spread of the Western celebration of Christmas on December 25 to the East, where formerly the Nativity was celebrated together with the Baptism of our Lord on January 6 (as the Armenians still do, I understand).

"Of the doctrine and preaching which are preserved in the
Church, some we possess derived from written doctrine, others
we have received delivered to us “in secret” (en mystyrio) by
the tradition of the Apostles; and both of these have the same
validity and force as regards piety. And these no one contradicts
-- no one, at all events, who is even moderately versed in the
institutions of the Church. For were we to attempt to reject such
customs as have no written authority, on the ground that the
importance they possess is small, we would unintentionally
harm the Gospel in its vitals; or, rather, would make our
preaching mere words and nothing more (St. Basil, On the Holy
Spirit 27:66; also Canon 91 of St. Basil the Great)."

The Council of 1672 I am not sure about. Is the Council speaking of those who receive baptism from heretics, or of those who receive baptism from the Orthodox with imperfect faith? The wording seems to suggest the latter, but perhaps a little more context would clarify the matter. If it is true that this Council decreed that heretical Baptism was valid, then of course I would have to agree this Council's decision was not in accord with the universal tradition. But it follows from this that the universal tradition must be our benchmark, and the universal tradition of the Eastern Church is clearly to maintain the same calendar, both the Paschalion and the Menologion, and to reject innovations, as is most firmly testified by the councils of 1583, 1587 and 1593. I don't believe the innovations of 1924 gainsay this previously established tradition because it was manifestly not an innovation accepted by the whole Church, but by only a small part of it, and wherever the innovation spread, it was only a small part that accepted it at any one time. Even now new calendarists are numerically a minority of all professed Orthodox. This tells me that the innovation was not the product of the catholic mind of the Church, but by the anti-catholic mind of a few innovators.
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