Wednesday, January 20, 2016


This is from NEWS.VA from a few years ago, not a recent article in other words and during the reign of Pope Benedict, not Pope Francis. In fact, I recall when Pope Benedict visited the Holy Land during the Easter season a few years back that I noticed the readings being used for a Sunday Mass during Easter were not the same readings we had used that morning. They were from the previous week. I wondered then if that part of the world was celebrating Easter together. Evidently they were!

Catholics and Orthodox celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar

Jerusalem - Most of the Catholic communities in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Cyprus are preparing to celebrate the liturgies of Holy Week not these days but in the first week of May, according to the Julian Calendar followed by the Orthodox communities. The unification of the Easter dates in most of the area is an application of the directive issued on October 15, 2012 by the Assembly of ordinary Catholic bishops in Holy Land, where it was established that within two years all Catholics in the Diocese of Latin Rite and the various Eastern rites will celebrate Easter according to the Julian calendar, coinciding with the Easter liturgies celebrated in the Orthodox churches.The adoption of the Easter date according to the Julian calendar comes into force ad experimentum this year in the whole of Holy Land, with the exception of the areas of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, where the Gregorian calendar will continue to be followed both to respect the constraints imposed in the Holy City by the system of the "Status Quo" , and to take account of the arrival of pilgrims from all over the world who come to celebrate Easter in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. "Even the community of foreign workers in Tel Aviv" refers to Fides Agency Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem – that was asked to celebrate Easter according to the Gregorian rite, even because they can enjoy some days off to coincide with the Jewish Passover."The unification of the date with which Christians of different confessions celebrate Easter still raises some eyebrows among some Maronite bishops. It is however for Bishop Shomali an eloquent step at an ecumenical and testimonial level: "Members of the same family or the same village belong to different ecclesial realities," notes the Patriarchal Vicar "now they can celebrate on the same days the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In order to also give a witness of unity with our non-Christian neighbors."By 2015, the provision for a common Easter date should be confirmed or recalibrated in accordance with the directions also given by the Holy See. .


Vox Cantoris said...

The date was set by the Council of Nicaea. It is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. The Orthodox are wrong on their date, it is not an issue with the Julian Calendar because calender dates and month names are irrelevant to the fact that Nicaea set the formula. The data is what it is if you called it October 12! The first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox (March 21 or 22 as we reckon it).

A "fixed date" was rejected; this debate was settled 1700 years ago!

Father Faber said that "all change is bad." I agree.

Flavius Hesychius said...

^Lol. Who cares? It's not like anyone gives a flying feck about when Easter is celebrated. It's not like the date of Easter's celebration matters—the fact the event happened is what matters.

BS like this is beyond stupid.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

FH one would hope that the Orthodox in America will do as the Latin Rite in Palestine, Jordan, Cyprus and Israel had done. That they will follow the majority Christian tradition.

Will Holy Cross Orthodox Church here in Macon with their Archbishop/bishop's approval gladly follow what %99.9999 percent of Christians follow for the Easter date? That would be a powerful sign and very magnanimous of them, even very Christian of them, no?

Fr Martin Fox said...

What they are doing in the Holy Land is consistent with the ecumenical move I favor, but which, so far as I know, no one in the Roman Church has proposed: the pope should set in motion such steps as would result in the See of Rome recognizing Orthodox prelates as the rightful patriarchs in the historic, eastern sees. This is already the case for Constantinople; I don't know the situation with Antioch or Alexandria; but is clearly not the case with Jerusalem: hence the "Latin Patriarchate."

I realize such a step is fraught with practical difficulties. But here's my question: could agreement be reached whereby, instead of a "Latin Patriarch," there were, instead, something like a "Latin Vicariate," with the appointed Latin prelate accepting the jurisdictions n of the Orthodox patriarch, and the now uncontested patriarch, accepting a Latin vicar that would have wide autonomy to care for the Latin Christians? Would the Franciscan custody of the holy places be maintained?

It would not surprise me to learn that something like this has Ben thought of, and is "in the works," yet moving forward with the speed of a glacier. The complications of Latin-Eastern relationship no in the Holy Land are such that they could make Polyanna despair. hopes.

Marc said...

It is decidedly not Christian to go along with the majority simply because they happen to be the majority. What a ridiculous assertion.

Anonymous said...

What it boils down to really is that everyone is doing their own thing and the Church can no longer be said to be universal. So much for praying in unison together. I would have thought it was more important to be in sync with the rest of the Church rather than with the Orthodox, but then who am I to judge these things.

I would like Christmas to be in winter and Easter to be in spring, as it is in the southern hemisphere, so perhaps if I'm lucky the bishops may decide - seeing that power is going to be devolved to them - that we can have Easter in spring and Christmas in winter, the way it happens in the northern hemisphere? Why not, seeing as none of these things appear to be important to most in the Church anymore. I wonder if those who celebrate the TLM in those parts stick to the traditional calendar.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Will Holy Cross Orthodox Church here in Macon with their Archbishop/bishop's approval gladly follow what %99.9999 percent of Christians follow for the Easter date?

I don't know, as I am not a member of the Greek Archdiocese; go ask them yourself. What GOA does is GOA's business.

FH one would hope that the Orthodox in America will do as the Latin Rite in Palestine, Jordan, Cyprus and Israel had done. That they will follow the majority Christian tradition.

Just don't hold our breath. You'll suffocate.

even very Christian of them, no?

The implication being, of course, that it's unchristian of them to refuse. Great job. Continue to slander people you don't know.

Gene said...

"Folks, the crowd is tense here at Bumbledon. McDonald hit a sizzling backhand at the Greeks, and Flavius returned it with a forehand with some wicked topspin...McDonald is hustling toward the line...can he get the racket on it and clear the net..."

Flavius Hesychius said...

Lol, I needed that.

(I got your email; I'm just lazy about responding. I promise I'll get to it.)

George said...

A formula that works for the Orthodox date of Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the Vernal Equinox and in addition, also following the date of Passover.

Dialogue said...

Why do we care when the Orthodox celebrate Easter?

Gene said...

I do not care when the Orthodox celebrate Easter as long as I get my chocolate eggs.

Flavius Hesychius said...

I don't know, Dialogue. I don't know why Catholics worry about half of what we do.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

We care because there is meant to be one Church. The discordant dates for the celebration of the most important feast in Christianity is a constant reminder of the sad fact of division.

It's not about what WE (Catholics) do or what YOU (Orthodox, Episcopalians, Lutherans, etc) do - it is about what WE (all of us) are failing to do.

Marc said...

Well, Fr. Kavanaugh, according to the Orthodox, there is only one Church, and that Church is unified. With the minor exception of the Finnish Orthodox Church, that unified Church celebrates Easter on the same day.

According to the Orthodox, there are people outside that one Church who celebrate Easter on the wrong day. The Orthodox would say that those people are wrong since an ecumenical council set the date of Easter for the Church, and the Church maintains that calculation scheme. The people who use the wrong date (Latins and Protestants) do so in reliance on the pope, who did not have the authority to change what a council had determined.

So, in sum, from the Orthodox perspective, what WE (Catholics and Protestants) are failing to do is to join the one, unified Church, the Orthodox Church.