Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile

Advanced

Re: the calendar issue

This forum is currently read only. You can not log in or make any changes. This is a temporary situation.
February 04, 2002 08:03AM
Marianne,

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Glory now and forever!

I must say, you are very mature for 16! I was just recently 16, only 5 years ago, so I realize how immature one can be at this age, and I also realize how mature one can be. Glory to God that you are on the positive end of this scale! :-)

As far as the calendar issue is concerned, it's really a confusing issue. I could go on and on about this, but it wouldn't be appropriate in this setting. However, I must explain to some extent, so...

Essentially, the calendar doesn't matter. These schismatic groups, like ROCOR and the "True" Orthodox Church of Greece (whatever that means), play the game that westerners like to call "holier than thou". Despite the fact that they, or perhaps more specifically certain members of their establishment, have supported the things which they oppose today, they maintain the schism which they claim to want to end, on behalf of these various issues. This, I argue, is ludicrous.

When it comes to the calendar, we can approach this topic in various ways. Let's begin by understanding where the current "new" Revised-Julian calendar came from. Contrary to what some may say, the origin of the "new" calendar is the Russian Orthodox Church of the 19th century, the "Imperial" church that ROCOR claims to uphold. A commitee led by a Bishop of the Russian Church (remember, at this time the Czar had abolished the Patriarch, so I can't say the Patriarchate of Moscow) began to study the issue of calendar, primarily because the church calendar was begining to drift away from the western secular calendar, a calendar the Russian government was wanting to accept in order to establish some sort of justification with the west. Regardless, the idea that church and secular holidays would be celebrated on different dates seemed odd to these people. So, the Revised-Julian calendar was devised.

Unfortunately, due to the Russian Revolution, this calendar was never actually adopted where it was created. Instead, a council (sobor) of bishops from all the world's churches was convened to discuss this very matter, as Orthodox countries (e.g. Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, etc.) were wanting to accept the western secular calendar for political reasons. The Russian church was not represented, as the Soviet government did not allow Russian Church officals to attend, for a reason that can be deducted from the following arguments. This council, regardless, recognized the works of the Russian bishop that created this calendar, with one of 13 votes dissenting, the Serbian church. Thus, all Orthodox churches in the world, except the Russians and Serbians, had accepted the Revised-Julian calendar before the 1930s.

So, that's how the fixed-feast (that is the feasts not depending on the date of Pascha, e.g. Our Lord's Entrance into Jerusalem, Holy Week, Pascha, Ascension, and Pentecost) calendar came to be. So, why did the church allow itself to be influenced by the secular world? The answer is that, essentially, it didn't.

See, this whole Julian vs. Gregorian calendar issue is not limited to the Orthodox church. Note that things like our own nation's important historical dates have been affected by this issue as well. As an example, Washington's birthday was February 11th 1731 by the Julian calendar, but was changed to February 22nd when the nation adopted the Gregorian calendar around 200 years ago (see [classicals.com]). Note the 11 day difference, which has grown by 2 days to 13 in the last 200 years, establishes that the calendars should be 20 days apart if you have 1 day added each century. So, what happened to the extra days?

Well, interestingly, prior to the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1253, all the calendar discrepency issues were handled by the emperor of the Byzantine empire. It was his responsiblity, based on the scientific research in both Rome and Alexandria, to determine the calendar (Church and secular calendars were identical in the Byzantine emprie) each year, and would be released with enough time for all the far reaches of the empire to employ the same calendar. So, the astronomical inaccuracies in the Julian calendar were adjusted each year by the empereor, so there really were no discrepencies. However, after the fall of the empire, for some reason noone kept up this responsibility. As a result, discrepencies crept between the western and eastern calendars, as the west adopted the Gregorian calendar, which attempted to fix the astronomical inaccuracies, and the east did not.

So, what's my point? Well, essentially it's two-fold. First, traditional Orthodoxy has never followed a calendar that's 13 days off. There is no traditional basis for this. Second, it's stupid to play God and say "We're going to follow the older and astronomically incorrect calendar." As the Church, we must recognize the the cosmos is God's creation, and it was His perogative to make the Earth circle the sun in 365.25 some odd 23.99 hour days. It's all part of His plan for the universe, and it's not our place to complain that it messes with our math.

So, in short, I probably surprise James who has lebelled me as an "Old Calendarist ... rigorist [who] love to cast aspersions on those ... termed 'modernists'" in another thread. Nevertheless, I have rationally, historically, and scientifically examined this issue, and realize that the only reason why the Russian church still upholds the Julian calendar today, is that its people are not ready for change. God forbid that a change would cause schism. As I said in that thread, there is no reason to change one's ways and drive people from The Church. However, as The Church, it is our responsibility to be witnesses to The Truth. So, the question is simply "Are we considered stupid by everyone else for following an 'old' calendar, but are nevertheless correct for doing so, or are we just being stupid?" Even more so, "How does all this affect our relationship with God?"

Marianne, please don't let pointless bickering by the schismatics drive you from the light of Holy Orthodoxy. Instead, send a message to Satan by using this as a springboard to join the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, which fights through such issues in both a rational and spiritual manner, at the same time. Realize that this shows that Orthodoxy DOES work, and that the schismatics are who they are, primarily because of their own sins.

I hope this helps.

With love in Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ,
Reader Alexander
Subject Author Posted

the calendar issue

Marianne January 31, 2002 04:16AM

Re: the calendar issue

James January 31, 2002 01:02PM

Re: the calendar issue

Marianne February 01, 2002 04:46AM

Re: the calendar issue

Marianne February 01, 2002 06:14AM

Re: the calendar issue

Marianne February 01, 2002 06:22AM

Re: the calendar issue

James February 01, 2002 02:13PM

Re: the calendar issue

James February 01, 2002 02:25PM

Re: the calendar issue

James February 01, 2002 03:57PM

Re: the calendar issue

Marianne February 01, 2002 06:09PM

Re: the calendar issue

James February 01, 2002 06:54PM

Re: the calendar issue

Marianne February 01, 2002 07:04PM

Re: the calendar issue

James February 01, 2002 07:13PM

Re: the calendar issue

Marianne February 01, 2002 07:03PM

Re: the calendar issue

Marianne February 01, 2002 07:08PM

Re: the calendar issue

James February 01, 2002 07:19PM

Re: the calendar issue

Ron March 22, 2002 02:40AM

Re: the calendar issue

Reader Alexander February 04, 2002 08:03AM

Re: the calendar issue

James February 04, 2002 12:57PM

Re: the calendar issue

Marianne February 05, 2002 12:05AM

Re: the calendar issue

Nektarios June 12, 2003 05:23PM

Re: the calendar issue

Nektarios June 12, 2003 05:22PM

Re: the calendar issue

James June 21, 2003 11:47AM

Re: the calendar issue

Nektarios August 04, 2003 03:45PM

Re: the calendar issue

James August 10, 2003 03:06PM

Re: the calendar issue

OC July 09, 2003 04:26AM

Re: the calendar issue

Jesse July 22, 2003 02:48AM

Re: the calendar issue

Danny Bramwell August 17, 2003 12:41PM

Re: the calendar issue

James August 17, 2003 06:09PM

Re: the calendar issue

Jesse August 19, 2003 02:44PM

Re: the calendar issue

Alex Vallens August 19, 2003 03:18PM

Re: the calendar issue

Nektarios August 22, 2003 09:50PM

Re: the calendar issue

James August 30, 2003 01:39PM