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Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: AMM] #352752 09/09/10 08:41 PM
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Epiphanius Offline
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Originally Posted by AMM
I'll just say for my part, use of the Gregorian calendar and western paschalion is an über latinization and not a trivial one like having some statues around.

AMM,

I've been reflecting on this issue for some time and trying to make sense of it. Would I be correct in saying that, for the Orthodox, the fact that the original Alexandrian Paschalion was based on the most accurate astronomical calculation of the Spring Equinox possible--so important in the mind of the Latins--is of practically no significance at all, and that the fact of its continuous use for over 15 centuries is what makes the Julian Calendar/Paschalion so important. It enjoys the blessing of use, which only increases with each additional year.

In addition, the Gregorian Calendar/Paschalion represents an attempt to "clean up" these things and make them more rational--both of which are contrary to the sense of mystery that the Orthodox prefer to keep.

The arguments I have heard in favor of the Julian Paschalion seem to hint at this, without ever actually saying it. I think this is what makes proponents of the Gregorian so frustrated.

From this perspective, then, the Gregorian Calendar truly is a "Latinization."


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: Epiphanius] #352760 09/09/10 09:34 PM
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Deacon Richard, I think that's an interesting perspective. I favor retention of the existing Calendar because it is the received tradition of the church and extends back to its undivided state. I know this sounds hopelessly arcane and pointless to some given the problems of drift, etc.

I meant Latinization in the sense that it (calendar + paschalion) was instituted really to come in line with the Latin Church. It goes without saying how much in the life of the church the calendar regulates.

That was what I was getting at.

Last edited by AMM; 09/09/10 09:35 PM.
Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: Administrator] #352765 09/09/10 11:02 PM
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The 1992 Eastern Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II ended any restrictions on clerical celibacy once and for all. The 1999 Ruthenian (Pittsburgh) Particular Law was written mostly by Bishop Andrew Pataki. He does not accept the idea of a married clergy and wrote the law in a way that forced Rome to rewrite it. Essentially Rome decided that Pittsburgh Ruthenians were not competent enough to work this out for themselves and demanded to review individual cases (see Canon 758 §3-2 below). This is possibly very likely because they want to prevent Roman Catholic married men from moving East just to be ordained to the priesthood and then find a way back to the Roman Church.


I knew one of the Committee members for the drafting of the 1998 Particular Law and his information was that the Law got Rome's approval (the reception) with the "married priests" statute. It was the conservative Roman Rite backlash that misrepresented it as a "rebellion" against Rome that caused the once given approval to be withdrawn.

The Eastern Code of Canons did not end restrictions on a married clergy. It specifically refers to them in Canon 758 - 3: :

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The particular law of each Church sui iuris or special norms established by the Apostolic See are to be followed in admitting married men to sacred orders.


This is what the 1999 Revised Ruthenian Particular Law refers to:

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Canon 758 §3 §2. Concerning the admission of married men to the order of the presbyterate, the special norms issued by the Apostolic See are to be observed, unless dispensations are granted by the same See in individual cases.


Canonically, Rome still retains the right to regulate the ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Ruthenian Church. The Eastern Code of Canons did not change the situation.

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: AMM] #352766 09/09/10 11:13 PM
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The early Church chose the Julian calendar because it was the official calendar of the Empire, as well as the most accurate one of its day. The Church was, in other words, deferring to the secular authority on a secular (and scientifically objective) matter in order to make an ecclesiastical and spiritual calculation--the date of Pascha and the determination of all fixed and moveable feasts.

Had the Roman Empire continued functioning properly down through the ages, it would have been the responsibility of the Pontifex Maximus to make the necessary intercalations (adding of days in leap years, leap centuries and so on) to keep the calendar in synch with the stars. The Pontifex Maximus was the Roman Emperor, until the title was ceded by the Emperor Gratian in 383 to . . . the Bishop of Rome! So, I suppose, one could make the very serious case that responsibility for maintaining the calendar actually belongs to the Pope, in which case, the Gregorian reforms are entirely canonical even within the Tradition of the Orthodox Church.

Be that as it may, the calendar has no spiritual significance, but is simply a polemical tool used by the Orthodox for maintaining separation from the Latin Church. AMM's statement that the Gregorian reforms of the calendar and the Paschalion were meant to bring everyone in line with the Roman Church is simply facetious. The reform was undertaken because the calendar was ten days out of synch with reality. If the Orthodox Church had not been isolated from the West at that time, if it had continued to be an integral part of European life, instead of shunted to the margins, then it would either have done the reforms itself, or it would have accepted what Rome did on its merits. Instead, like the Protestants of the time, it concluded that if Rome was fur it, they were agin' it, no matter what the facts. Today, it's simply used as an identifying mark, a Shibboleth, a cheap and easy way of pretending that the Orthodox Church never changes.

As an interesting sidelight, Napoleon won the War of the Third Coalition in 1805 partly because Russia was on the Julian Calendar, while Austria was using the Gregorian. This caused the Austrian commander, General Mack, to believe the Russian army under Kutusov was ten days nearer than it was. This caused Mack to remain in his positions around Ulm, instead of retreating towards Kutusov, allowing Napoleon to encircle and capture the entire Austrian army.

But, hey, the spiritual integrity of the Paschalion was maintained!

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: AMM] #352770 09/09/10 11:37 PM
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If you want to get rid of the "Latinizations", I would start by going back to the traditional church calendar.


The Church of Finland has the Gregorian calendar and paschalion, and this has not impacted its status as a "canonical" church. Regarding latinizations, I do not think any Catholic church has attempted to formally reduce all bishops that are not Metropolitans to "auxiliary" status as the Antiochian Archdiocese has attempted.

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: StuartK] #352771 09/09/10 11:40 PM
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I disagree with the characterization above, but arguments about the calendar in the past have shown me that there seems to be no middle ground.

I will simply re-state my impression that the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar among at least some of the Eastern Catholic churches was not done out of zeal for astronomical correctness, but out of a desire to come in to uniformity with the Latin Church. See this link on google books to understand what I am trying to explain.

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: AMM] #352773 09/09/10 11:45 PM
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The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has a significant number of parishes in the US that are both Julian calendar and paschalion, and certainly have more parishes on the Julian calendar for fixed feast days than several Orthodox jurisdictions, some of which are mandated (again, such as the Antiochian Archdiocese) to use the Gregorian calendar for fixed feast days. It seems somewhat relativistic to mandate one calendar for one thing and another for the Paschalion, although numerous attempts have been made to do so. My Church and Eparchy allows the parish to decide and does not mandate the Gregorian Calendar for either fixed feast days or the paschalion.

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: Diak] #352775 09/09/10 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Diak
The Church of Finland has the Gregorian calendar and paschalion, and this has not impacted its status as a "canonical" church.


I don't think I suggested anything along those lines in the thread. I've simply stated my own preference is for the traditional calendar.

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Regarding latinizations, I do not think any Catholic church has attempted to formally reduce all bishops that are not Metropolitans to "auxiliary" status as the Antiochian Archdiocese has attempted.


I'm struggling to see the relevance. I am only vaguely aware of the situation as it isn't my church. I think they have a reputation for playing fast and loose with canonical norms, such as in the case of allowing a priest to re-marry. I don't consider bad behavior a latinization personally.

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: AMM] #352776 09/10/10 12:47 AM
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I will simply re-state my impression that the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar among at least some of the Eastern Catholic churches was not done out of zeal for astronomical correctness, but out of a desire to come in to uniformity with the Latin Church.


Just about the only country in which the Gregorian calendar was adopted by the Greek Catholics is the United States, and there the situation was and remains entirely anomalous. But, if the Orthodox were in the least bit rational about the matter, they too would go Gregorian. However, if they don't, in a few centuries they can celebrate Pascha on Fourth of July, with fireworks.

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: StuartK] #352777 09/10/10 01:23 AM
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The Fortescue book I linked to above states the Maronites adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 18th century and the Melkites in the 19th. It talks about issues caused among the Melkites regarding this. Perhaps all of that has changed, I am not sure.

Do Eastern Catholics who use the Julian Calendar have the same lack of rationality as us?

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: StuartK] #352779 09/10/10 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
But, if the Orthodox were in the least bit rational about the matter, they too would go Gregorian. However, if they don't, in a few centuries they can celebrate Pascha on Fourth of July, with fireworks.

Stuart,

We can do without the hyperbole and lack of charity your post displays. I think it quite uncharitable to for you to accuse the Orthodox of not being the least bit rational about the calendar. And your assertion that Pascha will be celebrated in early July in just a few centuries is ridiculous. The Gregorian Calendar eliminates three Leap Year Days days every four centuries and so drifts ahead of the Julian Calendar less than a week every millennium. Even a few thousand years more would not bring Pascha any potentially later than the end of May or so. Please be more charitable, Stuart.

Fr David Straut

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: AMM] #352780 09/10/10 01:41 AM
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Their rationale is they should follow their Mother Church--or at least the majority Church in their particular area. If the Orthodox went Gregorian, it would be logical for the Julian Greek Catholics to follow suit.

Also, to the best of my knowledge, the Oriental Congregation does not mandate which calendar or calendars a particular Eastern Catholic Church uses, so any one of them could change of its own accord. The calendar is a matter of custom, not Tradition.

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: StuartK] #352782 09/10/10 01:52 AM
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Stuart,

I have to agree with Fr. David -- your post certainly goes beyond the discussion at hand. Please, remain charitable and stick to the discussion at hand. Presuming a lack of rationality is certainly uncharitable.

Fr. Deacon Ed,
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Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: StuartK] #352783 09/10/10 02:06 AM
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I received a complaint about Stuart's post, but I'm going to let it stand as is. I have personally met more than a few Orthodox and Greek Catholics who raise the use of the Julian Calendar almost to the level of dogma. Yet, historically, the use of the Julian Calendar is nothing more then taking the civil calendar and making it holy by using it to mark liturgical prayer. Should the Orthodox Church someday unite in running things 13 days earlier it would not cease to be Orthodox. Although Stuart uses satire with his comment about Pascha falling on the Fourth of July, from a scientific point that could happen if the Lord delays his return longer then we expect.

As far as the Greek Catholic Church engaging in Latinization, that is at least partially true. The other part of the reason is probably just better conform to the calendar in use by other Christians and society in general. And then there are those who simply just wish to imitate what was done 2,000 years ago - to use the civil calendar that people are familiar with to help them pray.

There are most certainly people on both sides of the calendar question who are irrational. [And I've run into fellow Slavs who are Greek Catholic and Orthodox who are not concerned about any theological reasons and insist that the use of the Gregorian Calendar is a betrayal of ethnicity!]

And I speak as someone who prefers the Gregorian Calendar and who regular attends Vigil at a parish that use the Julian Calendar. Saturday is the Feast of the Beheading of my patron (John the Baptist). I'm on travel and won't get to attend Vigil so I ask all of you for your prayers.

Re: Ruthenian latinizations [Re: Administrator] #352797 09/10/10 09:58 AM
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I had no intention to offend, and my use of the word irrational was meant to convey the fact that arguments put forth in favor of the Julian calendar are based more on emotionalism than upon any coherent theological or historical argument.

It has always puzzled me why the Gregorian calendar inspires such passions, for the same thing, of course, happened in the Protestant world, which, like the Orthodox world, rejected the new calendar despite its obvious advantages, because it originated with the Church of Rome. Much of the Protestant world did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until the mid-18th century, in the face of much resistance from the common people, who somehow found comfort in the New Year being celebrated on 25 March (so that, e.g., you would go to sleep on 24 March 1700 and wake up on 25 March 1701). The accuracy and other advantages of the new calendar--including its rationality--were just too great to ignore any longer, or to oppose because of its "popish" origins.

That the Julian calendar originated with a pagan Roman aristocrat and was devised by pagan Egyptian astronomers apparently makes not difference to those who hold it in such high esteem, yet when Pope Gregory does the same thing as Julius Caesar (who, pragmatic man he was, would entirely approve of the reform and its motives), suddenly it is unacceptable.

No Ecumenical Council ever enshrined the Julian calendar in the Tradition. No passage in Scripture prescribes the use of the Julian calendar (the Bible only mentions the Hebrew lunar calendar). Yet, somehow, in the minds of many, the Julian calendar is part of the Tradition, but nobody is able to say why it is part of the Tradition, or what would be lost by doing what the Fathers would have done in a flash if the Empire had done an intercalation in, say, 1400.

The inability to put forth a cogent, consistent and compelling argument for retention of the old calendar that takes cognizance of facts is why I used the word "irrational".

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