Home » today » World » The Lantern, the Vatican and a “unified” Easter – 2024-04-09 17:16:59

The Lantern, the Vatican and a “unified” Easter – 2024-04-09 17:16:59

Astronomers, Caesars, Emperors, Popes, Patriarchs and Archbishops have been “starring” for nearly 2,000 years in a peculiar controversy that still divides Christians. Jesuits, Alexandrians, Romans, Greeks, Germans and Italians scholars of the Universe and theology involved in the same issue, the celebration of Easter.

“The separate celebration of the unique event of the one Resurrection of the One Lord is a scandal” declared last week the Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew and wished for the year that the common date with the orthodox celebration would not be just a “coincidence”, but would become the occasion to establish the unified celebration between the two Churches.

Exactly 1,699 years after the First Ecumenical Council, which decided in Nicaea of ​​Bithynia on the celebration of Easter, Christians still cannot find the momentum that will allow them to move forward with a common celebration. At the same time, the issue of the calendar (on which the usually different celebration of Easter is based) deeply traumatized the Orthodox Church and especially Greece, as even today, almost 100 years after its change, the division caused by the lovers of the old calendar remains powerful.

“All Churches could entrust science to determine with absolute precision the day without ecclesiastical conditions and requirements”

The Nice decision

But let’s take things from the beginning. In 325 AD The First Ecumenical Council convenes in Nicaea, Bithynia. Then, 318 Church Fathers from all over the world, under the presidency of Constantine the Great, draw up the Creed, condemn Arianism and set the date of the celebration of the Resurrection based on the Jewish month of Nisan, the passage of Hebrews, the vernal equinox and of course the Crucifixion, as described by the biblical texts, adapting the events to the Julian calendar that was valid in the Roman Empire.

This year, 1,699 years later, Christians, divided into Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant, did not celebrate Easter together, as is usually the case, as (most) Orthodox Churches calculate the celebration based on the Julian calendar and the rest based on the Gregorian. In 2025, however, Christians will all sit together at the Easter table and the Ecumenical Patriarchate will solemnly celebrate the completion of 1,700 years since the First Ecumenical Council.

The opinion of experts

As the associate professor of the University of Athens states in “Vima”. Ioannis Panagiotopoulos, “the First Ecumenical Council decided that all Christians should celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon, after the vernal equinox, putting an end to the tradition of some Churches, mainly in Asia Minor, to celebrate Easter on the 14th of the Jewish month of Nisan. The problem returned when Pope Gregory XIII decided (s.s. in 1582) the correction of the Julian calendar in force until then. The Eastern Churches decided, even those who corrected the calendar, to celebrate Easter by calculating it with the Julian calendar, so that all the Orthodox would celebrate Easter together.”

As the Emeritus Professor of Theology at the University of Graz emphasizes Grigorios Larentzakis, “all Churches could commission modern science to investigate and determine with absolute precision the Sunday after the full moon of the vernal equinox without confessional, ecclesiastical conditions and requirements.”

The joint celebration has been discussed many times between the Ecumenical Patriarch Mr. Bartholomew and the Pope Francisa discussion that began in 2014 during the meeting they had in Jerusalem.

The old timers

The implementation of the new calendar was delayed in the Greek area for almost 400 years and took place, as far as the Church was concerned, on March 10, 1924, which was designated as the 23rd day of the month (in the Greek state the new calendar had been adopted 22 days earlier).

Of course, the fact that a Pope took the lead in correcting the calendar did not make its implementation so smooth by the Orthodox. Characteristic were the episodes of 1927, when, according to reports of the time, the fanatical mob “…he didn’t even respect the Archbishop of Athens Chrysostomos! While he was going to officiate, they attacked him and cut off his beard with a pair of scissors and would have killed him, if the giant late Metropolitan Theoklitos of Grevena had not intervened.”

1935 was the landmark year for the creation of the paleocalendar issue. While in 1924 the entire Hierarchy of the Church of Greece had accepted the change of the calendar, 11 full years later three metropolitans left and created new Churches defending the Orthodox faith… The so-called “father” calendar.

“Do not be scandalized by the false words, which under the guise of defending the holy and holy things are launched against the Church and are directed against this holy and immaculate religion of ours, causing discord and strife” emphasizes the Archbishop in his circular to the faithful Chrysostomos Papadopoulos.

It remains to be seen whether the initial approach of Bartholomew – Francis, regarding the celebration of Easter, also means the mitigation of the modern “discords and quarrels” between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches…

#Lantern #Vatican #unified #Easter

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