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Ecumenism Awareness: The Calendar Controversy

The Orthodox Church is internally divided over the issue of the Church calendar. A minority of Orthodox churches worldwide, beginning in 1923, decided to follow the so-called "New" (Gregorian) Calendar. This is the same calendar used by the Roman Catholics and Protestants, except for the period of Great Lent and Pascha (known as the Paschalion). Most Orthodox churches still adhere to the traditional Church (Julian) calendar.

The Church calendar lags the "New" Calendar by thirteen days. The controversy does not, however, constitute a mere quibbling over time, as Dr. Constantine Cavarnos points out in the conclusion of his article "The New Papal Calendar and Its Fruits":

It should be added that the New Calendar was introduced into the Orthodox Church not for the sake of astronomical correctness, but as the first step in achieving a forced, false union of the Orthodox Church with non-Orthodox New Calendarist Christian bodies [i.e., Roman Catholic, Protestant, etc.], for the sake of certain secular advantages which such a union was expected to have. This was to be the beginning of the Orthodox Church's participation in the 'Ecumenical Movement'—a movement which has further divided the Orthodox Church into mutually hostile parties: the Ecumenists and the anti-Ecumenists. All the Greek Old Calendarists are anti-Ecumenists, while some of the New Calendarists are Ecumenists and others are anti-Ecumenists. Thus, the evil fruits of the introduction of the New Calendar, which the Blessed Elder [Philotheos Zervakos] clearly foresaw, keep growing in number.

Showing both calendars on this site's home page is merely an acknowledgement that both calendars do, unfortunately, exist in the Church today. It should in no way be seen as a tacit endorsement of the "New" Calendar. Many Orthodox Christians who are in New Calendar parishes lament the fact that there are two calendars. Pious Orthodox Christians who understand the effect this change has had on the Church long for the return of the New Calendar churches to the traditional calendar. In the meantime, this site—which has a diverse readership from Orthodox churches all over the world—will continue to provide, as a courtesy, the Saints and readings of the day according to both calendars.

General Articles

The New Papal Calendar and Its Fruits: by Prof. Constantine Cavarnos. His synopsis of the 40-page pamphlet written by the Blessed Elder Philotheos Zervakos (+ 1980) of Greece.

Foreward to A Scientific Examination of the Orthodox Church Calendar, by Archbishop Chrystostomos of Etna.

The Essence of the Church Calendar, Chapter 4 from A Scientific Examination of the Orthodox Church Calendar.

Liturgical Havoc Wreaked By the "New Julian" Calendar, Chapter 9 from A Scientific Examination of the Orthodox Church Calendar.

Not on the New Calendar: The Repose of the Blessed Elder Philotheos Zervakos, an excerpt from the life of the Elder by Dr. Constantine Cavarnos.

The Traditional Calendar of the Orthodox Church: Observations About its Meaning, by Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff.

The Patristic Church Calendar: An Indissoluble Element of Universal Church Tradition, by Bishop Photii of Triaditza

The Julian Calendar: In Response to the Misapprehensions of Nicolas Ossorgin, by the Right Reverend Dr. Auxentios, Bishop of Photiki (Orthodox Tradition, XI, 1).

The Orthodox Calendar and the Future of Old Calendarism, by Fr. Andrew Phillips.

The Appearance of the Sign of the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ Near Athens in 1925. A modern miracle and testimony to God's disapproval of the calendar revision.

A Letter on the Calendar Issue: by Holy Transfiguration Monastery (1975 [1968])

The Calendar Question, by Andrew Bond. Written on the occasion of the OCA's adoption of the Papal Calendar.

On the Old and New Calendars, and the Resulting Divisions: from St. John Cathedral, ROCA, Washington, DC.

The Julian Calendar: from St. John Cathedral, ROCA, Washington, DC.

The 70th Anniversary of the Pan-Orthodox Congress in Constantinople: A Major Step on the Path Towards Apostasy (Part I), by Bishop Photius of Triaditsa. Part II. This is a lengthy and scholarly treatise outlining the historical road of Constantinople's fall to the heresy of ecumenism. It proves that the issue of the Church Calendar is not a matter of a "fanatic adherence to thirteen days" but rather the tip of the ecumenist spear.

Anathema Against the Papal Calendar: The Sigillon of 1583

The Calendar Innovation, by the Blessed Elder Gabriel, former Abbot of Dionysiou Monastery, Mount Athos. This is an excerpt from the new Vol. 13 of the Modern Orthodox Saints series published by the Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies.

The Proposed Common Easter in the Year 2000

A Common "Easter": in response to the World Council of Churches (WCC) recent [March 25, 1997] statement entitled, "The date of Easter: Science Offers Solution to Ancient Religious Problem."

The Proposal for a Common Date to Celebrate Pascha and Easter, by Father Luke Luhl, Greek Archdiocese of North America, Denver Diocese

The First Ecumenical Synod and the Feast of Pascha: "...not with the Jews", by Archimandrite Sergius. He sheds new light on the curious penchant of some Orthodox (e.g., Archbishop Peter L'Huillier of the OCA) for attacking this element of our Traditional Paschal calculation. This new proposal for a common Paschal celebration is based on the Roman Catholic rendering of the Nicene formula, which, in turn, ignores the mandate not to celebrate with the Jews.

The Calendar Question and the Proposed Common Celebration of Pascha By the Orthodox and Roman Catholics

How to Distort History and Logic Simultaneously: Some Comments on the Orthodox-Lutheran Endorsement of a Common Easter Celebration, by the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies.

Recommended Books

A Scientific Examination of the Orthodox Church Calendar, by Hieromonk Cassian. Published by the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies. This brilliant book not only eloquently lays to rest the spurious claims of modernists that the "New" Calendar is more accurate, but also strengthens the faith of the pious True Orthodox who have resisted the Calendar change by demonstrating how wonderfully the findings of science comport with Holy Tradition.

 

"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, and wishes to follow the newly-invented Paschalion and the New Menologion of the atheist astronomers of the Pope, and opposes all those things and wishes to overthrow and destroy the dogmas and customs of the Church which have been handed down by our fathers, let him suffer anathema and be put out of the Church of Christ and out of the Congregation of the Faithful."

From the Sigillon of 1583