The Old/New Calendar Question

Official Pronouncements Timeline

1. In 1582, Patriarch Jeremy II wrote a letter to the Orthodox Church of Poland, forbidding the use of the new calendar, under the penalty of excommunication.

2. In 1583, there was convened in Constantinople the first Pan-Orthodox Council to condemn the papal calendar.

3. In 1587, the second Council condemning the calendar was held in Constantinople.

4. In 1593, the third Council condemning the calendar used in the West was held at Constantinople.

5. In the 1670's, Dositheus, the Patriarch of Jerusalem said: "By the grace of Christ, from the time of the First Council to this present moment, the sacred Pascha is always celebrated the Sunday after the Passover of the Law, and we have never experienced any confusion which might bring us to the necessity of making some correction. This was set forth very well by the Holy Fathers and it shall eternally remain faultless. Wrongly have the contemporary astronomers of Old Rome removed ten days from the month of October. Moreover, their new calendar provokes much confusion and many causes for disorder."

6. In 1827, Agathangelus, the Ecumenical Patriarch, refused to permit any correction of the so-called "Julian" festal calendar of the Orthodox.

7. In 1903, the Russian Church issued the following opinion: ..."this change, which disturbs the order that has already been established and which has been sanctified by the Church during such a great expanse of time, will indubitably bring about disturbances in the life of the Church."

8. In 1903, the Church of Jerusalem issued the following opinion: "Any decision to change the calendar, out of preference for the Gregorian calendar, will be to the detriment of Orthodoxy."

9. In 1903, the Romanian Church made the following decision: "The Sacred Synod of the Holy Autocephalous Church of Romania is of the opinion and proposes that we abide therein where we find ourselves today. For it is impossible not to violate the prescriptions of the canons should we wish to consider some change or reform of the Julian calendar, with which the Orthodox Church has lived for so great a time. Beside this, it is not permitted to us to touch even with our finger the ancient decisions which constitute the glory of our Church."

All of the above from _The Calendar Question_ by the Reverend Basile Sakkas, Holy Trinity Monastery, 1973.


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