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Once again, the Calendar #419032
03/19/19 01:29 AM
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From a post in a recently closed thread here responding to my post here and proffered here #7:

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Dear AJK,

Yes, I have read your comments. I've also shared them with friends who are Orthodox priests and scholars who don't agree with you (and those others).
Why? This is just a vague denial that does not inform.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
If we are arguing that the calendar that should be in vogue is the one that is "most correct" then that is one thing.
I have not argued for "most correct" and certainly not if that means most astronomically detailed. I have argued for conformity to the generally accepted prescription attributed to Nicaea I and that in the context of the approach to the determination of Passover as given in Scripture.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
And saying the Orthodox have it backwards or are otherwise deficient here or there won't cut it - not with them (I'm not referring to "liberal Orthodox" who don't represent the positions of their Churches).
Do not the non - "liberal Orthodox" see the same moon as do I, and the ""liberal Orthodox", and the rest of mankind? Why is their equinox different from the one determined by the sun?

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Even Pope Francis has been known to favour adopting the Orthodox Easter for purposes of unity.
And then he abandons Nicaea and Scripture as the basis.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Apart from the calculation of Pascha itself, there is the problem that the Western calculation sometimes puts Easter before Passover - I have it on good authority that the Orthodox don't accept this except for a couple of exceptions.
So there are exceptions! Who is this "authority"? This claim is so outlandish and ill-conceived that I don't see how it was and continues to be maintained and repeated. If Pascha must follow Passover then Nicaea's rule should simply have been: Go ask the Rabbis for the date of Passover; the next Sunday is Pascha. This practice is what Nicaea wanted to proscribe so that the Christian Passover-Pascha would be TOTALLY, TOTALLY NON-DEPENDENT on the Rabbinic-Jewish determination.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
You expound and teach with great knowledge.
Thank you but then why don't you agree?

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
But your bedside manner accusing me of not reading or understanding what you wrote is quite offensive since you don't know me, my academic background or my professional experience. If your perspective is "read it and know the truth" then that is an unacceptable paradigm of conversation for any person of some intelligence and education.
I do not want to be offensive but to the point. On this topic, from "any person of some intelligence and education" I welcome facts, well-documented and verifiable, not hand-waving. To the ones in bed asleep for centuries, I am simply but emphatically saying, awake already, open your eyes and get up.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Will leave it at that as I'm getting too old for the old Byzantine Forum shenanigans. I hope an Orthodox commentator could come on and take this further. Alex
I welcome any commentators, Orthodox or otherwise.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419034
03/19/19 01:57 AM
03/19/19 01:57 AM
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Well I’m an orthodox commentator and I agree with ajk.

And the whole Pascha has to be after Passover thing is such a silly old wives’ tale, readily disproven. The rule for calculating Pascha is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. For this “after Passover” rule to be real, one should be able to find examples in history where Pascha was calculated according to the previous rule, and then further adjusted to avoid coinciding with Passover. And of course this would require using the Jewish calendar... which contravenes the actual purpose of the rule.

Last edited by SwanOfEndlessTales; 03/19/19 02:07 AM.
Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419036
03/19/19 03:07 AM
03/19/19 03:07 AM
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Well, I would love to have a single date for Pascha and personally I'm not offended by any date that would unite all Christians. I am offended by the Christian division that exists as a sociological and ecclesiological phenomenon which is what I am interested in addressing.

There is a problem with dismissing any argument based on "scientifically proven facts." Scientifically, there are problems with both the Gregorian and the New Julian Calendar. Orthodoxy as a whole, apart from some very minor exceptions, still calculates Easter based on the Julian Calendar in accordance with the rules such as Easter being after Passover etc.

I'm not interested in debunking that nor am I interested in "scientific facts." I know scientists and based on scientific fact - they deny the existence of God and ask me why I refuse to agree with them. That is another issue. But there are philosophical and sociological considerations here that "scientific facts" ignore and which will be looked upon cynically by millions of Orthodox. So i can agree on the "fact" of this or that issue having to do with calendar and paschal determinations. I'm just not interested in those matters as I am about how Churches come to be divided on them and why? "Scientific fact" won't resolve the issue. Swan is Orthodox but I wonder what date HE celebrates Pascha on? And despite scientific facts to the contrary?

I observe Pascha when my parish observes it. "Scientific fact" doesn't come into play at all - it is something that will be ultimately determined by higher-ups some time in future. And I daresay if Swan went to any Orthodox hierarch today with what he said about "old wives' tales" and the like, he would get more than just an earful. THAT my friends is a scientific fact. I'm treating this issue as a cultural phenomenon within an ecclesial context. Whether I agree with you, read through what you've said and checked all your references etc. does not resolve the question I have raised - it is a legitimate question and is also a form of science. If you want to argue scientific fact, join an ecumenical commission to present your thoughts there. That is, if your respective Churches will allow you to even become members given your views. My guess is that they will not. That's all I have to say - and that is a fact. Alex

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419037
03/19/19 10:13 AM
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Alex, you put the phrase “scientifically proven facts” in quotations as if this were the crux of ajk’s or my statement. That is dishonest of you.

That the alleged rule of requiring Pascha to be after Passover does not exist is not a matter of debate among knowledgeable Orthodox. Any bishop familiar with the history and canons will tell you it’s nonsense.

Here is an article by Archbishop Peter of the OCA: https://oca.org/holy-synod/statemen...of-pascha-and-the-1st-ecumenical-council

Here is an article by Fr. Stephen Damick: : https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/road...ssover-and-other-orthodox-urban-legends/

Note that no anathemas have come down on either of them from anywhere for these articles. Read them and stop spreading misinformation. Address the actual arguments presented instead of misrepresenting them.

The only people who raise the use of the Julian calendar to a dogma are the Old Calendarists and they have already departed from the church.


Last edited by SwanOfEndlessTales; 03/19/19 10:27 AM.
Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419043
03/19/19 04:34 PM
03/19/19 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Well, I would love to have a single date for Pascha and personally I'm not offended by any date that would unite all Christians. I am offended by the Christian division that exists as a sociological and ecclesiological phenomenon which is what I am interested in addressing.
I am put off by the solution of a fixed dating scheme, e.g., the second Sunday of April, even if it were to achieve consensus (which it will not). Not only does this dispense with an ~1700 year tradition based on theology and Scripture for one that is not, but the luminaries that propose this seem not to anticipate the obvious question: On whose calendar?

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Scientifically, there are problems with both the Gregorian and the New Julian Calendar.
Not really. No conventional calendar can match nature exactly; science accepts that and implicitly so does society. A good solar calendar-- a good leap year rule -- must stabilize the calendar to the seasons, and a good lunar calendar -- a good leap month rule -- synchronizes the synodic months with that solar calendar. The Gregorian and Julian are true lunisolar calendars in that they have their rules in a computus that gives both sun and moon calendars. In this sense, the New Julian is a solar calendar only. The Gregorian reflects nature, adequately predicting the observed sun and moon; the Julian does not. And because of this the Julian more often than not does not -- eventually it will never -- correctly predict Pascha. That is the issue.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Orthodoxy as a whole, apart from some very minor exceptions, still calculates Easter based on the Julian Calendar in accordance with the rules such as Easter being after Passover etc.
You're not getting it. No matter how many times you repeat it, there is no such rule. Every time you and others repeat it you add to the confusion and misunderstanding. You are propagating false information.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
I'm not interested in debunking that nor am I interested in "scientific facts."
Isn't this the definition of "open-minded" in the Old Calendarist Dictionary?

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419046
03/19/19 07:29 PM
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Dear AJK,

Again, YOU are the one who doesn't get it. I'm not promoting ANY calendar or way of calculating Pascha. I'm looking at Paschal calculations as a socio-cultural phenomenon ONLY. And also the fact that Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Assyrian Church of the East and many EC Churches celebrate Pascha on the dates they do. What you've said about how "accurate" this or that calendar or paschal calculation is has very little to do with how and why Churches celebrate Pascha at present. These same Churches and people will refuse your factual logic as having everything to do with science and nothing to do with religion. THAT is what needs to be discussed - not dismissed.

Also, as often happens in a discussion of this nature, you assume that I am in favour of this or that Paschal calculation. Now you can stand corrected. I am not. And I am simply not interested in that discussion NOT because I will disagree with it, but because its outcome based, yes, on science, will have no impact on the calendar as a socio-cultural phenomenon in those Churches. My question has to do with how the Churches can reach agreement on the Paschal date once and for all. And I don't know the answer to that. The Christian East, for the most part, won't budge on its Paschal calculation and its does believe it is based on the earliest Christian traditions based on conciliar decrees. Whether or not that is a fact - you tell me. More to the point, tell the Christian East please.

Let me know how you fare with that when you get a chance . . .

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419048
03/19/19 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Dear AJK,
...
Let me know how you fare with that when you get a chance . . .
Ok, starting at the beginning then, focusing on one of your points at a time and waiting for your response before moving on to the next:

ALEX now 3/19/2019
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Again, YOU are the one who doesn't get it. I'm not promoting ANY calendar or way of calculating Pascha.
I noted that you do not read and comprehend what I write. I wrote this, the first line of the initial post of this thread:
Originally Posted by ajk
From a post in a recently closed thread here responding to my post here and proffered here #7:
Let's take a look at the source post's point #7, here #7: (It's a hot link so just click on it to see):

ALEX then 3/12/2019
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
7) Affirm the Orthodox calculation of Easter/Pascha which is based on the teaching of the earliest Councils.

I think that is a very good start - doesn't everyone? Alex
So which one is the true Alex? Is it the "I'm not promoting ANY calendar or way of calculating Pascha" Alex or the "Affirm the Orthodox calculation of Easter/Pascha which is based on the teaching of the earliest Councils" Alex ?

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419050
03/20/19 09:11 PM
03/20/19 09:11 PM
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Well, the brother "Orthodox Catholic" on another topic argued:

"One of the sticking points is that the Western calculation of Pascha sometimes falls before Passover and this would be in violation of the tradition of the early Councils."

I ask: but is not this precisely the problem of the Julian calendar, which led the Latin Church to reform it (creating the Gregorian calendar)? This is what I learned from Catholic teachers: that the Julian calendar violates the Passover tradition expressed in Nicaea.

The Gregorian calendar is not "perfect," but is more fitting to the Catholic / Orthodox tradition - in reality it is only a "reformed" Julian calendar, and so inherits certain problems, but is sufficiently adjusted to suit tradition.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419051
03/20/19 09:40 PM
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PS: Now I've read the whole discussion, the brother AJK has already punctuated everything.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419053
03/21/19 01:46 AM
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I will paste an excerpt from the papal bull "In the gravest concern", which promulgated the reformation in the calendar:

"One notes in examining this that it is necessary to rule at the same time on three points to restore the celebration of Easter according to rules fixed by the previous Roman pontiffs, particularly Pius I [ca. 140 - 154] and Victor I [ca. 189 - 198, who established Easter's celebration on Sunday, rather than 14 Nisan favored by the "Quartodeciman" bishops of Asia], and by the fathers of the councils, in particular those of the [first] great ecumenical council of Nicæa [May 20 - August 25, AD 325, deciding the following rules]. Namely: First, the precise date of the vernal equinox, then the exact date of the fourteenth day of the moon which reaches this age the very same day as the equinox or immediately afterwards, finally the first Sunday which follows this same fourteenth day of the moon. Therefore we took care not only that the vernal equinox returns on its former date, of which it has already deviated approximately ten days since the Nicene Council, and so that the fourteenth day of the Paschal moon is given its rightful place, from which it is now distant four days and more, but also that there is founded a methodical and rational system which ensures, in the future, that the equinox and the fourteenth day of the moon do not move from their appropriate positions."

http://myweb.ecu.edu/mccartyr/intGrvEng.html

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Santiago Tarsicio] #419054
03/21/19 02:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Santiago Tarsicio
I ask: but is not this precisely the problem of the Julian calendar, which led the Latin Church to reform it (creating the Gregorian calendar)? This is what I learned from Catholic teachers: that the Julian calendar violates the Passover tradition expressed in Nicaea.
Yes and no; it's a bit more subtle.

Looking at just the Julian calendar and its computus as a method, a date for Pascha (Easter) is calculated that does not violate "the Passover tradition expressed in Nicaea," but conforms to its details: Its March 21 is taken as the equinox and it then determines a 14th day of the moon and then the Sunday thereafter as Pascha. It follows the rule as does the Gregorian with its different computus. The problem with the Julian is that what the calendar predicts is happening is not what the sun and moon are doing. The Julian March 21 on the calendar is 13 days later than the equinox; its calculation of the new moon and thus 14th day of the moon (roughly the full moon) is also off some 3-6 days or so as I recall. So the Julian follows the rule but violates the intent, the purpose, the desired result for which the rule was fashioned, a rule tht presumes a correspondence with nature. It is artificial and wrong at best, a false representation of God's creation at worse. The Gregorian calendar and computus adequately corresponds to the timing of solar and lunar events as is required for a proper dating of Pascha.

Also, for a calendar, more accurate is not necessarily better. Constructing a calendar is like making a wheel and the computus is like using the formula that relates the wheel's circumference (C) to its diameter (d), the familiar C=πd. But pi, π, is a transcendental number and just keeps going on and on, 3.141562... never repeating, never ending.

The Julian calendar and its computus is like choosing π=3. It is simple and neat and easy to calculate but the resultant wheel is not round but a hexagon: six flat surfaces and six pointed ridges giving a very bumpy ride.

The Gregorian is, say π=3.14, and that produces a wheel that is functionally round and smooth, works and gives a comfortable ride.

Yes there is an error in rounding and truncating for the Gregorian "wheel," too, but what is the purpose or need for a greater accuracy when it is known to work correctly? If π=3.14 works fine why bother using π=3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375...?

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Santiago Tarsicio] #419055
03/21/19 01:48 PM
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Santiago Tarsicio:

Christ is in our midst!!

Quote
I will paste an excerpt from the papal bull "In the gravest concern", which promulgated the reformation in the calendar:


The problem with this papal bull is that it simply makes the case for the schism. The Christian East has never agreed to the idea that the Roman Patriarch could make such decisions on his own and impose them on the rest of the Churches.

Your quote about primacy being one of service also flies in the face of this sort of thing.

So for a resolution of this calendar issue and to bring all of the Churches and ecclesial communities into a common celebration of Pascha, the Roman mindset that the Pope can make such decisions on his own must be a thing of the past. Any decision on the date of a common celebration will have to be made by a unanimous consensus of the Churches and ecclesial communities.

Bob

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: theophan] #419060
03/21/19 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by theophan

Quote
I will paste an excerpt from the papal bull "In the gravest concern", which promulgated the reformation in the calendar:


The problem with this papal bull is that it simply makes the case for the schism.
The Bull makes the case for following the accepted rule and applying it so that it conforms to nature. If there is a schism (I don't think "schism" is an accurate description here), it is those who do not accept the rule or accept it and misapply it, who are responsible.

Originally Posted by theophan
The Christian East has never agreed to the idea that the Roman Patriarch could make such decisions on his own
For this calendar issue the Pope (of Rome) -- and that is how he should be designated, not Roman Patriarch -- can properly make such a decision and did, and doesn't need the "Christian East" or anyone else to legitimately do so. History shows there was no universal consensus for hundreds of years after Nicaea. When a consensus was reached it correctly identified the best approach at the time but it was never intended to be static since it was clear to the churches of East and West that further improvements were required. If today the same sense of consensus were perused as in former times, one that "identified the best approach at the time" the result would be the Gregorian Calendar.

Originally Posted by theophan
and impose them on the rest of the Churches.
In the Bull the operative term is not impose but wish/want "volumus que." A balanced appraisal is:
Quote
Although Gregory's reform was enacted in the most solemn of forms available to the Church, the bull had no authority beyond the Catholic Church and the Papal States. The changes that he was proposing were changes to the civil calendar, over which he had no authority. They required adoption by the civil authorities in each country to have legal effect.

The bull Inter gravissimas became the law of the Catholic Church in 1582, but it was not recognised by Protestant Churches, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and a few others.
Gregorian calendar
That there was no such imposition is also demonstrated by the fact that it was not a condition for union, and is not imposed on Eastern Catholic churches.

Originally Posted by theophan
So for a resolution of this calendar issue and to bring all of the Churches and ecclesial communities into a common celebration of Pascha, the Roman mindset that the Pope can make such decisions on his own must be a thing of the past.
Why? I'd place fact above fashion. What should be more readily achievable and truly a step forward is to refrain from such flamboyant rhetoric, incorrect assertions that further polarize. There is no such "mindset" there is just legitimate fact: Pope Gregory fixed what wasn't working because it desperately needed fixing. He fixed the calendar and the computus so that it actually determines Pascha in accord with the rule AND observed nature, the real world. If you have a set of directions and a choice between two maps to use, one that gets you to the right place, one that does not, which one do you chose? The Gregorian reform produced the correct map. Yet the argument is made, repeatedly here on the forum, that for the sake of unity, everyone should use the WRONG map so that all together we can arrive at the wrong place. Where else does that logic prevail? So for those, here's a novel though: for the sake of unity, let's all use the correct map and arrive at the right place,

Originally Posted by theophan
Any decision on the date of a common celebration will have to be made by a unanimous consensus of the Churches and ecclesial communities.
Everyone should make a choice. I don't think one should wait for or expect some holy-grail calendar to appear as a solution when one exists and has worked now for over 400 years.



Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419061
03/21/19 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Santiago Tarsicio
Passover

*Easter
Sorry, my lapse. Here we use a single word for Easter and Passover. :p


Originally Posted by ajk
Yes and no; it's a bit more subtle.

Looking at just the Julian calendar and its computus as a method, a date for Pascha (Easter) is calculated that does not violate "the Passover tradition expressed in Nicaea," but conforms to its details: Its March 21 is taken as the equinox and it then determines a 14th day of the moon and then the Sunday thereafter as Pascha. It follows the rule as does the Gregorian with its different computus. The problem with the Julian is that what the calendar predicts is happening is not what the sun and moon are doing. The Julian March 21 on the calendar is 13 days later than the equinox; its calculation of the new moon and thus 14th day of the moon (roughly the full moon) is also off some 3-6 days or so as I recall. So the Julian follows the rule but violates the intent, the purpose, the desired result for which the rule was fashioned, a rule tht presumes a correspondence with nature. It is artificial and wrong at best, a false representation of God's creation at worse. The Gregorian calendar and computus adequately corresponds to the timing of solar and lunar events as is required for a proper dating of Pascha.

Also, for a calendar, more accurate is not necessarily better. Constructing a calendar is like making a wheel and the computus is like using the formula that relates the wheel's circumference (C) to its diameter (d), the familiar C=πd. But pi, π, is a transcendental number and just keeps going on and on, 3.141562... never repeating, never ending.

The Julian calendar and its computus is like choosing π=3. It is simple and neat and easy to calculate but the resultant wheel is not round but a hexagon: six flat surfaces and six pointed ridges giving a very bumpy ride.

The Gregorian is, say π=3.14, and that produces a wheel that is functionally round and smooth, works and gives a comfortable ride.

Yes there is an error in rounding and truncating for the Gregorian "wheel," too, but what is the purpose or need for a greater accuracy when it is known to work correctly? If π=3.14 works fine why bother using π=3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375...?


Excellent. Thank you, your reasoning will be useful to me in the future.

Well, I had some sympathy for proposals for adoption of another calendar, but frankly today do not know if there is need, the Gregorian calendar seems to have been a fruit of the "infinite benevolence of God towards his Church", as Gregory XIII said in his own document.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: SwanOfEndlessTales] #419062
03/21/19 07:18 PM
03/21/19 07:18 PM
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[quote=SwanOfEndlessTales]Alex, you put the phrase “scientifically proven facts” in quotations as if this were the crux of ajk’s or my statement. That is dishonest of you.

That the alleged rule of requiring Pascha to be after Passover does not exist is not a matter of debate among knowledgeable Orthodox. Any bishop familiar with the history and canons will tell you it’s nonsense.

Here is an article by Archbishop Peter of the OCA: https://oca.org/holy-synod/statemen...of-pascha-and-the-1st-ecumenical-council

Here is an article by Fr. Stephen Damick: : https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/road...ssover-and-other-orthodox-urban-legends/

Note that no anathemas have come down on either of them from anywhere for these articles. Read them and stop spreading misinformation. Address the actual arguments presented instead of misrepresenting them.

The only people who raise the use of the Julian calendar to a dogma are the Old Calendarists and they have already departed from the church.

Dear Swan,

I apologize if my use of quotation marks offended you. As the one who used them, I can tell you that it was NOT my intention to affirm what you claim I am affirming. I also take exception of you imputing dishonesty to me.

Once again, I have never raised or sought to raise the Julian calendar to the level of dogma. (There are large Orthodox Churches who do use the Julian Calendar such as the ROC, the Serbian Orthodox. At this writing, I understand they are in good standing as members of world Orthodoxy and are not in schism from it.).

My reference to "scientifically proven facts" is one based on the philosophy of knowledge and sociology of religion and questions related to this. These are the kinds of questions I regularly discuss with doctoral candidates so I think I do know what I'm doing here - at least to a small degree which I must leave to you and ajk to determine. My point, simply put, is that religious culture is not altered based on scientific data or facts. It is not altered by changes of any kind IF the Churches and people involved don't wish it so. That is all I am saying. The only way it can have an impact is if the respective Churches say it does. Similarly, when the Christological studies between Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox theologians came to fruition after ten years of study, that is changed hardly anything at the level of actually effecting the union of the Churches. Agreement on one level, disagreement on the other. I hope you and ajk will allow me that observation. With your permission, I will continue. (Both you and ajk like to quote articles as if to point to truth "there it is" if you say otherwise then either you are not reading it or not understanding it. That is simply a highly partialized understanding of how truth is to be determined.)

My intention was and still is to suggest how East and West may get over the issues surrounding separate celebrations of Pascha and other holidays. Ultimately, it is the Churches themselves and probably within the context of a union Council that will decide, irrespective of the date, facts and the like. Why haven't you and ajk sent your articles to all the Churches? That way, we could have had unity years ago! We wouldn't need this discussion forum either. We would simply have an instagram account where we could point to what the truth is etc. If I've misinterpreted you, then I apologize and I ask you to forgive me. I haven't been on this or any other chat forum for a long while and have lost the knack for discussing on them. Not that I was ever good at it to begin with.

Have a blessed Great Fast, sir!

Alex

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: theophan] #419063
03/21/19 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by theophan
Santiago Tarsicio:

Christ is in our midst!!

Quote
I will paste an excerpt from the papal bull "In the gravest concern", which promulgated the reformation in the calendar:


The problem with this papal bull is that it simply makes the case for the schism. The Christian East has never agreed to the idea that the Roman Patriarch could make such decisions on his own and impose them on the rest of the Churches.

Your quote about primacy being one of service also flies in the face of this sort of thing.

So for a resolution of this calendar issue and to bring all of the Churches and ecclesial communities into a common celebration of Pascha, the Roman mindset that the Pope can make such decisions on his own must be a thing of the past. Any decision on the date of a common celebration will have to be made by a unanimous consensus of the Churches and ecclesial communities.

Bob


Dear Bob,

Your keen insight here is what I agree with and wanted to get across in my own way earlier. Thank you for bringing your thoughts to bear here. Alex

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: theophan] #419064
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Originally Posted by theophan
Santiago Tarsicio:

Christ is in our midst!!

Quote
I will paste an excerpt from the papal bull "In the gravest concern", which promulgated the reformation in the calendar:


The problem with this papal bull is that it simply makes the case for the schism. The Christian East has never agreed to the idea that the Roman Patriarch could make such decisions on his own and impose them on the rest of the Churches.

Your quote about primacy being one of service also flies in the face of this sort of thing.

So for a resolution of this calendar issue and to bring all of the Churches and ecclesial communities into a common celebration of Pascha, the Roman mindset that the Pope can make such decisions on his own must be a thing of the past. Any decision on the date of a common celebration will have to be made by a unanimous consensus of the Churches and ecclesial communities.

Bob


I am aware of the disagreement on ecclesiology, an obstacle to unity in faith. Thus, for a Catholic, the Pope is the servant of the servants, this is implicit in the understanding of primacy - by the way, Gregory XIII signed the bull with the "title": servant of the servants of God. There is no problem for a catholic. In addition, the Pope acted according to tradition, with Nicaea, etc, it is not a schismatic attitude. I think that the problem is not just "mentality", but of ecclesiology itself, something more subtle and profound. Faced with this, I think it is not something that is from the past, but current and future.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419065
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Originally Posted by ajk

Why? I'd place fact above fashion. What should be more readily achievable and truly a step forward is to refrain from such flamboyant rhetoric, incorrect assertions that further polarize. There is no such "mindset" there is just legitimate fact: Pope Gregory fixed what wasn't working because it desperately needed fixing. He fixed the calendar and the computus so that it actually determines Pascha in accord with the rule AND observed nature, the real world. If you have a set of directions and a choice between two maps to use, one that gets you to the right place, one that does not, which one do you chose? The Gregorian reform produced the correct map. Yet the argument is made, repeatedly here on the forum, that for the sake of unity, everyone should use the WRONG map so that all together we can arrive at the wrong place. Where else does that logic prevail? So for those, here's a novel though: for the sake of unity, let's all use the correct map and arrive at the right place,

Everyone should make a choice. I don't think one should wait for or expect some holy-grail calendar to appear as a solution when one exists and has worked now for over 400 years.


Yes, I think there is no need to reinvent the wheel. In my country, as far as I know (unless mistaken), Eastern Catholics and Protestant Christians adopted the Gregorian calendar, and the problem was solved. Or almost solved: only orthodox and orthodox monophysites follow the Julian calendar.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419066
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Originally Posted by ajk
[quote=theophan]
Quote
I will paste an excerpt from the papal bull "In the gravest concern", which promulgated the reformation in the calendar:


The problem with this papal bull is that it simply makes the case for the schism.
The Bull makes the case for following the accepted rule and applying it so that it conforms to nature. If there is a schism (I don't think "schism" is an accurate description here), it is those who do not accept the rule or accept it and misapply it, who are responsible.

The issue is NOT the correctness of the Gregorian calendar, the rule conforming to nature etc., but HOW its implementation was done - without the participation of the East, outside of a Council and the like. There is no question that the Pope had the right to do this over his own jurisdiction but it did further and deepen the division between east and west. That division exists to this day in EC Churches themselves and in individual EC parishes, like that of my in-laws' which holds celebrations according to two calendars. You, Father Deacon, are right in affirming the natural correctness of the Gregorian calendar. You are wrong in saying that such correctness is all that goes into the choice of which calendar to observe. There are several reasons pertaining to one's ecclesial, cultural, spiritual identities. I'm sure you find all that not only repugnant but irrational and nonsensical. I have a friend who is an OCA priest who follows, with his parish, the Julian calendar. I will have to ask him for his reasons and report back. The Soviets introduced the Gregorian civil calendar but Orthodox Christians in Russia refuses to use it as it represented to them not only the communist system, but also the moral and spiritual decadence of the West where the calendar originated in. That again is no reason not to accept it (I will repeat one more time that I am ready to accept any calendar so we can all have ONE). But then again, we cannot say that social, cultural, spiritual and psychological reasons do not have an influence over our calendar choice - the East that uses either the Julian Calendar or the old way of calculating Easter admits to the Gregorian as a civil calendar and one may proclaim its correctness to the heavens. It won't change a thing in terms of their choice and it is wrong to condemn them or to treat them as if they were idiots in so doing.

Originally Posted by theophan
The Christian East has never agreed to the idea that the Roman Patriarch could make such decisions on his own
For this calendar issue the Pope (of Rome) -- and that is how he should be designated, not Roman Patriarch -- can properly make such a decision and did, and doesn't need the "Christian East" or anyone else to legitimately do so. History shows there was no universal consensus for hundreds of years after Nicaea. When a consensus was reached it correctly identified the best approach at the time but it was never intended to be static since it was clear to the churches of East and West that further improvements were required. If today the same sense of consensus were perused as in former times, one that "identified the best approach at the time" the result would be the Gregorian Calendar.

Here, Father Deacon, you overreach. The Roman Pope (and simply because he no longer accepts the title of "patriarch" doesn't mean the East will stop seeing him as one) had every right to legislate the Filioque for the Latin Church, as another example. But previous popes up to 1012, I believe, refused to do so precisely because they knew that would offend the Christian East and exacerbate tensions. Your comment that he doesn't need anyone to legitimately do this or that is innocent of ecumenical history and the current ecumenical climate and discussions between the Churches. Bob is absolutely correct here in saying what he did. And that is why Pope Francis has, in interviews I've heard him give, said he himself favours the "Orthodox Pascha" as the date of Easter for all Christians. Popes themselves realize that their ancestors contributed much to the break in the Church and papal triumphalism is a thing of the past. You seem to want to return to those "good old days" or at least when such triumphalism can proclaim the true calendar. Sorry, it doesn't work that way - at least no longer. Swan took offense to my placing "scientific fact" in quotation marks and then went on to, wrongly, impute what that meant on my part. What does your placement of "Christian East" in quotation marks signify here? Are you saying something untoward about the Eastern churches? I at least will give you the benefit of the doubt and will ask before making a judgement.

Originally Posted by theophan
and impose them on the rest of the Churches.
In the Bull the operative term is not impose but wish/want "volumus que." A balanced appraisal is:
Quote
Although Gregory's reform was enacted in the most solemn of forms available to the Church, the bull had no authority beyond the Catholic Church and the Papal States. The changes that he was proposing were changes to the civil calendar, over which he had no authority. They required adoption by the civil authorities in each country to have legal effect.

Actually, you are wrong here as you underestimate the reach of papal power into the secular sphere at that time. The calendar changes affected BOTH the civil and the ecclesial world of the Western Church. He did not propose anything with respect to the Latin Church but imposed it. Other countries "caught on" over time (and not without problems). Being a scientist you perhaps underestimate the subjective attachment people have even to the calendar, the Assyrian Church of the East is divided right down the middle over . . . the calendar issue. My family was and is divided over the calendar issue. I don't want that division which means I am willing to take into account the subjective reasons people have with respect to this or that observance. If you tried pulling a Pope Gregory and impose your own "proposed changes" on such a parish, you would have a revolt on your hands which would be made all the more difficult because you would probably not understand why it is occurring in the first place.

The bull Inter gravissimas became the law of the Catholic Church in 1582, but it was not recognised by Protestant Churches, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodox Churches, and a few others.
Gregorian calendar
That there was no such imposition is also demonstrated by the fact that it was not a condition for union, and is not imposed on Eastern Catholic churches.

The Latin Church imposed the new calendar on its own parishes. The fact that the pope did not impose it on others because he had no jurisdiction over others is a logical fallacy - it proves nothing with respect to your point that Rome didn't impose the calendar. The fact that it was not a condition for union within the various unias was simply good politics on the part of Rome in the era when it went throughout Eastern Church jurisdictions creating uniate groups - something Rome is repenting of today. And besides, if we read the conditions for the Union of Brest, we see that maintenance of the Julian calendar was something the Orthodox bishops coming under Rome articulate and demanded as a condition for such a union.

Originally Posted by theophan
So for a resolution of this calendar issue and to bring all of the Churches and ecclesial communities into a common celebration of Pascha, the Roman mindset that the Pope can make such decisions on his own must be a thing of the past.
Why? I'd place fact above fashion. What should be more readily achievable and truly a step forward is to refrain from such flamboyant rhetoric, incorrect assertions that further polarize. There is no such "mindset" there is just legitimate fact: Pope Gregory fixed what wasn't working because it desperately needed fixing. He fixed the calendar and the computus so that it actually determines Pascha in accord with the rule AND observed nature, the real world. If you have a set of directions and a choice between two maps to use, one that gets you to the right place, one that does not, which one do you chose? The Gregorian reform produced the correct map. Yet the argument is made, repeatedly here on the forum, that for the sake of unity, everyone should use the WRONG map so that all together we can arrive at the wrong place. Where else does that logic prevail? So for those, here's a novel though: for the sake of unity, let's all use the correct map and arrive at the right place,

You actually place a very narrow definition of "fact" above all else. Your use of "fasion" in this respect demonstrates your complete disregard for the varied reasons EC Churches and people have for maintaining the old calendar or the old calculation for Pascha. Not that you can be blamed for so doing - North Americans can't really be as this is beyond their comprehension and appreciation. The "real world" as you've put it is not simply the natural world that science observes. That is again a reductionist view of "reality" which is socially constructed and culturally confirmed. For the record, I NEVER said that we had to follow any particular calendar or "map" as you put it. I simply raised the issue that is continually being raised in ecumenical discussions between Rome and Orthodoxy. I don't know the answer. But obviously do. You would have cut that discussion short long ago.

Originally Posted by theophan
Any decision on the date of a common celebration will have to be made by a unanimous consensus of the Churches and ecclesial communities.
Everyone should make a choice. I don't think one should wait for or expect some holy-grail calendar to appear as a solution when one exists and has worked now for over 400 years.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419067
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
The issue is NOT the correctness of the Gregorian calendar, the rule conforming to nature etc., but HOW its implementation was done - without the participation of the East, outside of a Council and the like.
Well is the Gregorian Calendar correct or not? Does it or does it not achieve a determination of Pascha more faithful to the rules of Nicaea than the Julian?

"NOT the correctness of the Gregorian calendar" you say but it was YOU who noted (incorrectly) in the post that generated this thread that there is a Gregorian related problem with Passover. So is the Gregorian calendar ok after all?

This "HOW" stuff is simply made up, a convenient side-stepping the issue. It's a contrivance. Suddenly now we must invoke a council. There was no council that confirmed a calendar. There was no council that reached agreement on a calendar. There was no formal agreement for a calendar. Back ~ AD 600 the "West" with its several methods came to see that one method of the "East" did the best job and adopted it. It too had problems but there was no better solution until some 900 years later. Then the "West" found a solution in line with tradition and did what it and the "East" had done in the past: it announced and used its better method. Nothing here for posturing of east and west, that's just how it happened. So as the west got on board before correctly, the east should now, but it just can't. Why? For one thing, pride, abd too many polemics against the West on this issue. And falsehoods are a fertilizer for polemics .

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419068
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
[My reference to "scientifically proven facts" is one based on the philosophy of knowledge and sociology of religion and questions related to this.
This whole "scientifically proven facts" issue is your own creation. Where does it become relevant in the Julian vs. Gregorian application? Any of us peasants is quick enough to look up in the night sky and realize that the moon is long past the near-full that it should be or it's been quite a while and way too long since the season changed to spring.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419070
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Your comment that he doesn't need anyone to legitimately do this or that is innocent of ecumenical history and the current ecumenical climate and discussions between the Churches


I did not see any problems. Christian unity is desirable, but a sincere unity and without prejudice to the integral content of faith. If in the name of "ecumenism" a false union is proposed in the future, worse than previous attempts, with more vigor must be fought.


Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Your comment that he doesn't need anyone to legitimately do this or that is innocent of ecumenical history and the current ecumenical climate and discussions between the Churches. Bob is absolutely correct here in saying what he did. And that is why Pope Francis has, in interviews I've heard him give, said he himself favours the "Orthodox Pascha" as the date of Easter for all Christians.


"The Sacred Council would not object if the feast of Easter were assigned to a particular Sunday of the Gregorian Calendar, provided that those whom it may concern, especially the brethren who are not in communion with the Apostolic See, give their assent."

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_..._19631204_sacrosanctum-concilium_en.html

In the Catholic understanding it is a scandal that there are different dates for Easter. Then, at least since the Second Vatican Council there is the opening of dialogue to find a common date. So this is not news of Francisco; Paul VI also fought for this; John Paul II also. Benedict gave his assent. However, no viable solution was found. In addition, Orthodox Christians do not seem to be enthusiastic about the idea, so I personally do not believe a common date will be found "so soon" (if that's at all possible).

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419071
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Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
[My reference to "scientifically proven facts" is one based on the philosophy of knowledge and sociology of religion and questions related to this.
This whole "scientifically proven facts" issue is your own creation. Where does it become relevant in the Julian vs. Gregorian application? Any of us peasants is quick enough to look up in the night sky and realize that the moon is long past the near-full that it should be or it's been quite a while and way too long since the season changed to spring.


I don't know about your genealogy, sir, but the point is simply that there is more to reality and facts than what can be calculated and pointed to, especially with respect to the religious and spiritual world.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419072
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Dearest Father Deacon ajk,

I think the Gregorian Calendar is correct. More to the point, my Ukrainian Greco-Catholic church and the newly-minted Orthodox Church of Ukraine both have special commissions in place whose goal is to educate their respective peoples on why the new calendar is the better calendar and why it should be adopted. But it won't, for want of a less controversial word, impose the new calendar because many, many of our people will, at present simply reject it - it is something different, something that has not been used before, or even something that threatens tradition etc. Thus, a period of education before the people of both churches, who share everything for the most part, can unite in the one new calendar.

My in-laws attend a new calendar parish but refuse to celebrate Christmas and Easter on anything but the old calendar. They can't do it as for them it represents a betrayal of their identity, their tradition and everything they hold sacred. I know families in our community who say that even if Ukraine moves to the new calendar, THEY will continue with the old.

That is my point. What goes into these determinations involve more than the reality of the science underscoring the calendar. With respect to Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, there are other arguments involving the calendar and the date of Pascha. At no time, has anyone, however, said that the Gregorian calendar is wrong. No one. Those who are not on it acknowledge it as the civil calendar - of course. They use the Julian or Reformed Julian calendars for various other reasons they say are variously liturgical, spiritual and the like. Do you say that they are wrong? Pride? Polemics? Yes indeed. Eastern Christians have been persecuted by Western Christians throughout their history as well, not only as Eastern Christians, but culturally too. Eastern traditions have tended to be important symbols of identity for them, yes, the Julian calendar, but also the three-bar Cross, the blessing of poppyseeds on August 14th, and many others. Also, friends of mine who are of the Old Calendar tend to be real examples of traditional Christian living, fasting, frequent attendance at all the Church services, active participation in community charities etc. "Liberals" in my church tend to be with the new calendar while conservatives with the old. I don't know why that is, but that in and of itself has recommended old calendar parishes to people. And we've had an influx of immigrants from Europe - all of whom insist on the Julian calendar as "our tradition."

If there was a simple way to resolve this . . . I don't think you, Father Deacon, are paying heed to the great spiritual and cultural aura that surrounds the Julian calendar for many still. You would not be able to walk into a parish and issue an ukaze that "from now on, we are on the Gregorian Calendar and the date of Pascha as it determines." You will have a revolt on your hands. The only way to do this is over time with authorities who are willing to take the time to educate their people on using the Gregorian calendar and this is already happening in my church. Frankly, even with the move toward the Gregorian Calendar in Ukraine there is the precipitating factor that this Calendar represents the "European" or Western calendar and becoming an integral part of the West is something Ukrainians are all about today. The Russians will hang onto the Julian calendar for a very long time and will probably never change. Have a good night and good Fast. Alex

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419073
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
[My reference to "scientifically proven facts" is one based on the philosophy of knowledge and sociology of religion and questions related to this.
This whole "scientifically proven facts" issue is your own creation. Where does it become relevant in the Julian vs. Gregorian application? Any of us peasants is quick enough to look up in the night sky and realize that the moon is long past the near-full that it should be or it's been quite a while and way too long since the season changed to spring.


I don't know about your genealogy, sir, but the point is simply that there is more to reality and facts than what can be calculated and pointed to, especially with respect to the religious and spiritual world.
You've missed my point. What are the "scientifically proven facts" that you see as problematic? Where has the discussion hinged on your understand to be "scientifically proven facts" ? I'm not sure I now know what you mean by the term and how it enters into the calendar issue?

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419074
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Dearest Reverend Father Deacon!

I placed those words in parentheses not to questions the veracity of science or of the scientific basis for the Gregorian Calendar. My point was that the scientific factual basis of the calendar is not the only consideration that goes into a community's persistence in using the Julian calendar. You may ridicule that or else accuse that community/Church of pride etc. That doesn't take away from the fact that they don't use it and have their own liturgical and cultural reasons for not doing so. Also, the use of "the real world" is really problematic. What is the real world if not the composite experience of a multitude of perceptions and accepted meanings, some of which are based on science, others based on tradition, still others based on subjective likes and dislikes and so on. Altogether, they go to make up our "real world" which is itself a world filled with contradictions. It is all part of our fundamental human desire and need for meaning as individuals and communities.

There are facts that are simply that and which define the reality of something that everyone can agree on - because they have been scienficially verified. There are other facts which would require an accompanying interpretation from someone which can be challenged by someone else with a differing interpretation of the same fact. In those cases, we cannot bring the debate or discussion to a conclusion by simply pointing to something as if to say "no need to talk about it - there it is in plain sight." It would depend on the nature of the fact of course.

But the continuing use of the Julian Calendar by a Church or parish community does not mean that Church or community denies the factual basis of the Gregorian calendar. They have their own liturgical reasons for maintaining the Julian calendar (and not just the schismatic Old Calendarist Orthodox jurisdictions which is what Swan, at one point at least, SEEMED to imply).. I have my own subjective reasons to come to the defense of the liturgical Julian calendar as I've grown up in it, continue to belong to a parish that uses it and my EC Particular Church in its national homeland continues to use it - again liturgically. There is a movement to adopt the Revised Julian Calendar and I would welcome that for a number of reasons - liturgical unity would be top of list. I hope I've articulated my perspective which is that of many millions of people like me.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419080
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
I think the Gregorian Calendar is correct...
You do understand that if the Gregorian is "correct" then the Julian is not.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
That is my point. What goes into these determinations involve more than the reality of the science underscoring the calendar. With respect to Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, there are other arguments involving the calendar and the date of Pascha.
What specifically.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
At no time, has anyone, however, said that the Gregorian calendar is wrong. No one.
I have not yet found the words to go here.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Those who are not on it acknowledge it as the civil calendar - of course. They use the Julian or Reformed Julian calendars for various other reasons they say are variously liturgical, spiritual and the like. Do you say that they are wrong? Pride? Polemics? Yes indeed.
You have said it.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Eastern Christians have been persecuted by Western Christians throughout their history as well, not only as Eastern Christians, but culturally too. Eastern traditions have tended to be important symbols of identity for them, yes, the Julian calendar, but also the three-bar Cross, the blessing of poppyseeds on August 14th, and many others. Also, friends of mine who are of the Old Calendar tend to be real examples of traditional Christian living, fasting, frequent attendance at all the Church services, active participation in community charities etc. "Liberals" in my church tend to be with the new calendar while conservatives with the old. I don't know why that is, but that in and of itself has recommended old calendar parishes to people. And we've had an influx of immigrants from Europe - all of whom insist on the Julian calendar as "our tradition."
I respect the goodness here, but as you describe it (here and above) what a sorry bunch and what a torture of logic. They cling to a custom -- Do they understand its background? -- and impede unity. It seems the liberals' confessor should require they adopt the Julian calendar; the conservatives' spiritual adviser should encourage them to evangelize by taking up the New. Or is it that the more devout are instinctively aligned with a calendar that is not "correct" and who's key feature is that it usually gets the date of Pascha wrong.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
If there was a simple way to resolve this . . . I don't think you, Father Deacon, are paying heed to the great spiritual and cultural aura that surrounds the Julian calendar for many still.
I am and want to denounce it. The spiritual is called idolatry and it with the cultural a kind of phyletism and jingoism. We had this out before so for background see Calendar-Easter (2016)

Also, you wrote this early on in that same thread:
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
We will get a common date for Easter when the West simply returns to the way of calculating it that was prevalent throught the once united Orthodox Catholic Church of Christ.

It was the West that introduced this innovation, not the East. The East cannot be faulted for maintaining the ancient tradition. Time for the West to "come home" in this regard.

... to many in the West.

Why does the West have this mentality ...

The West likes to experiment ..

Rome needs a bit of a shake-up ...

Alex
link here
Sounds like you may have occidental issues; also, note the Julian triumphalism.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
You would not be able to walk into a parish and issue an ukaze that "from now on, we are on the Gregorian Calendar and the date of Pascha as it determines."
This is an in house problem and, perhaps, the I don't care that it's 's right, no one is going to make me do it. The bewildering thing is that if Julian Calendar folks were to follow the Gregorian and its paschalion they would not even notice or perceive a liturgical or ecclesiastical difference.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
You will have a revolt on your hands. The only way to do this is over time with authorities who are willing to take the time to educate their people on using the Gregorian calendar and this is already happening in my church. Frankly, even with the move toward the Gregorian Calendar in Ukraine there is the precipitating factor that this Calendar represents the "European" or Western calendar and becoming an integral part of the West is something Ukrainians are all about today. The Russians will hang onto the Julian calendar for a very long time and will probably never change.
Sounds like a lot of posturing, political and cultural. So information on how a calendar works and how it needs to be in sync with nature to get the date of Pasha right would be irrelevant and not have influence. As I said above, what a sorry bunch.



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Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419081
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
And that is why Pope Francis has, in interviews I've heard him give, said he himself favours the "Orthodox Pascha" as the date of Easter for all Christians.
So Pope Francis favors a New/Revised Julian approach. I wonder if he's heard what those who are on it think. To me it's the worse of both worlds. I hope he and those who agree with him become better informed.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419085
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AJK,

Certainly, you have the right and even the obligation to oppose what is wrong and what you believe is the wrong approach or attitude of others.

I don't believe you have the right to impute the kinds of motivations to those same people as you are doing. Perhaps in your positivistic world, there are those who are right and those who are wrong and there is a way to prove it. That is a very narrow view of reality and certainly paints in a very disparaging way the millions of people who continue to use the Julian calendar as their liturgical calendar.

We shall agree to disagree.

Cheers, Alex

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419086
03/24/19 08:07 PM
03/24/19 08:07 PM
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Christ is in our midst!!

(though I think He's not too thrilled at the tone this thread has taken)

The tone of this thread is becoming a bit too personal and a bit too uncharitable. The calendar issue has been a highly sensitive and highly caustic issue among Christians of the East since the West adopted the Gregorian reform. It will not be solved here and it will not be solved for many of the reasons Orthodox Catholic cites.

In the meantime, I think St. John Chrysostom's comment about Great Lent is something we ought to meditate on: "Better to eat flesh than to backbite your brothers (in the Faith)."

Bob
Moderator

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419087
03/25/19 01:34 PM
03/25/19 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Certainly, you have the right and even the obligation to oppose what is wrong and what you believe is the wrong approach or attitude of others.
As do you, in this we agree.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
I don't believe you have the right to impute the kinds of motivations to those same people as you are doing.
I am merely saying that what initially could be considered an explanation, after over 400 years of repetition and embellishment looks like a self-sustaining excuse.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Perhaps in your positivistic world, there are those who are right and those who are wrong and there is a way to prove it.
Apart from your own brand of imputation characterizing my "world," yes, as do others who hold "You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts."

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
That is a very narrow view of reality and certainly paints in a very disparaging way the millions of people who continue to use the Julian calendar as their liturgical calendar.
It is you who have "painted" that picture, I've merely commented that it is not a pretty one.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419088
03/25/19 03:57 PM
03/25/19 03:57 PM
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Dear Father Deacon,

With respect for what the Moderator has said above by way of cautionary note, I would like to say that the "wrong approach" I alluded to was not in favour of the Julian calendar above the Gregorian one - but in favour of the right of Eastern Churches and also some Western Orthodox ones to use the Julian calendar as their liturgical calendar. I've a friend who is an OCA priest who serves only in the Julian calendar, even though that jurisdiction is largely Gregorian. At no time, did I ever here Father Geoffrey decry the validity of the Gregorian calendar. At no time has he ever denied the problems with the Julian calendar. Despite all that, he prefers to use the liturgical Julian calendar. as does my parish. I'm ok with either calendar as liturgical calendars and I do not think ill of those who use either. Haven't launched any absolute scientific anathemas.

I fully understand what you were "merely saying" and it was uncharitable and did not represent a sympathetic assessment of the history of the use of the Julian calendar liturgically. I feel I can say this because it is the milieu I grew up in, wrote my dissertation about and continue to live in to a large extent. That milieu was and is also affected by the conflict caused when a community follows two calendars - and not a community only, but a family. I know the people on both sides very well and that is why I found your comments to be simply dismissive at best and vicious at worst. That is why I reported them to the Moderator as being uncharitable to say the least and especially during the time of the Great Fast.

If you disagree with the use of the Julian calendar, simply saying so is sufficient. Whether or not the enduring use of it isn't a "pretty picture" is something ultra vires your life experience - and yes, I'm extrapolating. it is always, in my world, good to assess things sympathetically. When one doesn't, I criticize that in a negative vein. Christians are called upon to be charitable. We are also called upon to offer a critique when things go otherwise. I understand your scientific argument for the Gregorian Calendar. My Church is working slowly on implrementing it. That you don't understand, or don't seem to understand, why such a process needs to be slow is simply being unsympathetic.

That's why when last we spoke about this two or three years ago on this forum, you said that if you came into an old calendar parish like my own, you would oblige it to adopt the Gregorian calendar. At that ;point, I made the strong suggestion that your pastoral approach "stunk." It still does. Nothing personal! Cheers! Alex

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419091
03/25/19 07:00 PM
03/25/19 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
That's why when last we spoke about this two or three years ago on this forum, you said that if you came into an old calendar parish like my own, you would oblige it to adopt the Gregorian calendar. At that ;point, I made the strong suggestion that your pastoral approach "stunk." It still does. Nothing personal! Cheers! Alex
Yes, the one that I most fondly recall is:
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic 01/25/16
Dear Fr. Deacon,...Your pastoral approach in this matter really, well, stinks. You have no pastoral approach worth a dam [sic] here...Alex
link

And soon reiterated and reinforced:
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic 01/29/16
Dear Father Deacon,

Your pastoral-cultural sensitivity to people's traditions really does stink - yes, I have the gall and don't feel so indignant because you are a deacon.

Next year, I'm going all-out on the Julian Calendar (lots of calendars that indicate the Julian feast days and I have two on the walls of my home)...

Alex


Although it was soon withdrawn in the same thread
Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic 02/01/16
I withdraw my comments and apologize to Father Deacon for anything and everything I said that would have given him offense. I'll go to confession.

Alex


I understand that the stink assessment is now reinstated.


HOWEVER, HOWEVER, you state that "when last we spoke about this two or three years ago on this forum, you said that if you came into an old calendar parish like my own, you would oblige it to adopt the Gregorian calendar. " Please tell me/us where I made this statement and be specific. I really must insist that you respond to this with a solid reference not just a recollection. This is something that needs to be addressed.





Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419092
03/25/19 08:31 PM
03/25/19 08:31 PM
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I fully understand some points raised by Alex. My father is descended from Poles and I am aware of how important the Catholic religion was for the nation to survive in front of its Protestant and Orthodox neighbors. But I also give reason to Ajk, in these conditions of pride and love to the people there is the temptation of religion to be "lowered" in a "sacrilegious" way, becoming a mere sub-culture.

Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
The Soviets introduced the Gregorian civil calendar but Orthodox Christians in Russia refuses to use it as it represented to them not only the communist system, but also the moral and spiritual decadence of the West where the calendar originated in.


In the country where I live, Brazil, there is also something similar in some conservative sectors: some say that we must return to the Holy Empire - Portuguese, Spanish; Iberian - because the western powers are leading us to the abyss. But personally I think it is a romanticized, ideologized (and perhaps nihilistic) politics. Because? The past is not as glorious as some think. The religion in Brazil ceased to flower for a long time because it was attached to the Empire, was subject to the Royal Crown, through the regime of the Padroado. It was a very bad time, because the Church had to do the will of the king and not of God! Amazingly, the Church in Brazil had its best moment after the secular Republican military coup. After that, the Church in Brazil was able to separate itself from political interests and thus flourish (but unfortunately it did not last too much! For decades later, the Church suffered a strong attack from the so-called Liberation Theology - but there is another story).

But in my view the point is not quite there, the point is: whoever defends the Gregorian calendar defends by a religious reason, as it believes it is more appropriate to tradition. It seems to me that the argument in favor of the Julian calendar does not sustain itself, even if it has an emotional, cultural burden and so on.

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419093
03/26/19 02:40 AM
03/26/19 02:40 AM
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Dear Father Deacon,

Frankly, I don't remember and don't have the ambition to search it out. Perhaps it was something I thought was implied. In any case, if you would NOT impose the Gregorian calendar on a Julian Calendar parish in the way I had intimated, then BRAVO!

That is enough to want to hug you!!

I withdraw any negative thing I said either now, or then, and spiritually prostrate myself before you, humbly and with rent heart, asking for your forgiveness.

All roads lead to Rome and ultimately the Gregorian calendar will win out. Although it will not only because of scientific reasons only. That is my only point. But whatever. I'm tired of this calendar issue, I'm tired of the division in my Church and area parishes over the issue, I want to leave this business altogether and get back to fulfilling my Lenten prayer rule.

God bless you and a happy Pascha to you and yours!

Over and out, Alex

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419094
03/26/19 12:54 PM
03/26/19 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic
Dear Father Deacon,

Frankly, I don't remember and don't have the ambition to search it out. Perhaps it was something I thought was implied. In any case, if you would NOT impose the Gregorian calendar on a Julian Calendar parish in the way I had intimated, then BRAVO!
...
Alex


Alex,

This is a woefully inadequate response. You criticize me, which you certainly may, in a very personal manner, repeatedly, drawing attention to it, putting words in my mouth to support your claim then, when challenged, "don't remember and don't have the ambition to search it out." From the absurd to the ridiculous, you then ascribe to me the opposite -- " if you would NOT impose the Gregorian calendar on a Julian Calendar parish in the way I had intimated, then BRAVO!" -- opposite to the false initial assertion "when last we spoke about this two or three years ago on this forum, you said that if you came into an old calendar parish like my own, you would oblige it to adopt the Gregorian calendar. " What I see here is a very obese strawman feed by both sides of a caricature of me that you have created.

I am not the least upset by this, that is not why I'm writing here. I really feel that rather than another broad apology and retraction, you should have the integrity to verify your words and then confirm or specifically retract what you alleged. I say this not for my good or satisfaction or need but yours.

In XC,
Deacon Anthony

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: theophan] #419095
03/26/19 01:38 PM
03/26/19 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by theophan
Christ is in our midst!!

(though I think He's not too thrilled at the tone this thread has taken)

The tone of this thread is becoming a bit too personal and a bit too uncharitable. The calendar issue has been a highly sensitive and highly caustic issue among Christians of the East since the West adopted the Gregorian reform. It will not be solved here and it will not be solved for many of the reasons Orthodox Catholic cites.

In the meantime, I think St. John Chrysostom's comment about Great Lent is something we ought to meditate on: "Better to eat flesh than to backbite your brothers (in the Faith)."

Bob
Moderator


Bob,

Your appraisals, parenthetically presumptuous and otherwise, reflect your own bias, and I read them as crossing the line from legitimate diplomacy in moderating to innuendo. That bias is evidenced by your sole post in this thread where you made sweeping and unsupported accusations about the Gregorian reform and Popes, its own form of "backbiting." When called to task by me on specifics you made no reply. That is your prerogative but it leaves the issue unaddressed, the swoop in and get out approach, hardly a (constructive) dialog.

The forum is not a place that solves issues but facilitates discussion and debate. There are any number of issues that do not reach a resolve here, not just the calendar; and the debate goes on and on and, often enough, is deemed uncharitable when the unpopular view is better argued. Since my involvement in the calendar debate, 15-OCT-2007 ( link), the pattern is that the treads either begin with or quickly become a Jullian-Calendar-triumphant declaration. These are elaborated on the basis of science, superior accuracy, adherence to Nicaea's rule, relation to Passover, history etc. A typical illustration is that same thread that after a neutral initial post (link) becomes a panegyric for Julianism (though well-refuted in this thread that is atypically short). And the legend is fostered when a scholarly, highly intelligent, well-liked priest (of blessed memory) makes the most absurd pronouncements with gusto. The argument from authority, no matter how well refuted, is the easy one to have and hold, it is the intellectual comfort-food for those who have the strongest feelings but who really do not want to be bothered by having to consider and evaluate the actual facts. When those facts, initially lauded, are then demonstrated to be not the qualities of the Julian but the Gregorian reform, they are dismissed as unimportant or not relevant. Personal, cultural and sociological issues become the real and legitimate basis; they are subjective and so deemed unassailable.

I am content to leave it there, with facts that speak for themselves, and do not desire and hopefully have not initiated the personal considerations although I do comment when they are made the issue. Since I'm laying it out here, there have been personal comments made about me that were very pointed. I do not find them offensive and uncharitable, since I understand that what I say can evoke strong emotion; I am satisfied by having the opportunity to respond. For my part, my interlocutors here -- the emotional not the frenzied -- and I could well become chums even though I disagree with just about everything they construe on this issue.

The topic of pastoral sensitivity is raised again and I direct all to this post (link) and in particular the quote at the end from the OCA Holy Synod. It is worth repeating here:
Quote
[THE OCA HOLY SYNOD]

The sole criterion is TRUTH. Over the centuries man has succeeded in discovering more and more truths about the God-created universe. The calendar is a device invented by man that attempts to correlate his measurement of time with the natural, astronomical phenomena. Should some Orthodox persist in using a calendar based on a 44 B.C. estimate of the length of the orbit of the earth around the sun?

If the Orthodox Church is the Pillar of Truth, it cannot afford to ignore the scientific truths discovered by man. How can we claim 'I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth..' and refuse to accept the truth of the scientific measurement of the length of the year that He created? In 44 B.C. Julius Caesar's astronomer, Sosigenes, made a fairly close estimate. Man has come a long way in his knowledge of our solar system since then.


The link to the complete document in which "TRUTH" is writ large, on an Orthodox parish website, is given and it is an essential read ascribed to a canonical Orthodox authority. May I suggest that you, Bob, especially should read its appraisal of the Gregorian reform and consider it in relation to your own post in this thread.

I end, finally, repeating words I wrote back on 22-JAN-2016 (link) in response to the criticism, raised several times, calling into question my pastoral attitude. Having the Holy Synod's concern for the truth, it is what I think the clergy of old calendar adherents need to tell their faithful:
Originally Posted by ajk
I've commented on this pastoral aspect in previous threads on the calendar. Did the people develop this attitude on their own or were they over the course of years, centuries, taught to reject? If pastoral concerns warrant it I have never said it's automatically unacceptable. Let them observe when they insist but tell them the truth even without all the science:

Dear people, you celebrate Pascha worthily and well but not when the Holy and Great Council of I_Nicaea desired. The way of I_Nicaea is followed instead by what you know as the civil calendar, that is, the calendar and paschal dating that the Pope of Rome gave some time ago. Like it or not, the Pope's calendar adheres to what the Council specified and yours does not. Also know that in following your beloved calendar you preclude, prevent the desire of the Council of I_Nicaea that all Christians observe Pashca together, on the same day, since it would be unfair for us to ask our fellow Christians, who diligently follow the Council's directive, to abandon it as we have done. Accept these word[s] so that "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32.
[emphasis added in reference to Alex's post]

Deacon Anthony


Last edited by ajk; 03/26/19 02:53 PM.
Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419096
03/26/19 02:40 PM
03/26/19 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ajk
[quote=Orthodox Catholic]Dear Father Deacon,

Frankly, I don't remember and don't have the ambition to search it out. Perhaps it was something I thought was implied. In any case, if you would NOT impose the Gregorian calendar on a Julian Calendar parish in the way I had intimated, then BRAVO!
...
Alex


Alex,

This is a woefully inadequate response. You criticize me, which you certainly may, in a very personal manner, repeatedly, drawing attention to it, putting words in my mouth to support your claim then, when challenged, "don't remember and don't have the ambition to search it out." From the absurd to the ridiculous, you then ascribe to me the opposite -- " if you would NOT impose the Gregorian calendar on a Julian Calendar parish in the way I had intimated, then BRAVO!" -- opposite to the false initial assertion "when last we spoke about this two or three years ago on this forum, you said that if you came into an old calendar parish like my own, you would oblige it to adopt the Gregorian calendar. " What I see here is a very obese strawman feed by both sides of a caricature of me that you have created.

I am not the least upset by this, that is not why I'm writing here. I really feel that rather than another broad apology and retraction, you should have the integrity to verify your words and then confirm or specifically retract what you alleged. I say this not for my good or satisfaction or need but yours.

In XC,
Deacon Anthony

Dear Father Deacon,

it brings me such relief to know you are not upset by me or what I said! What was said three years ago is not something I wish to revisit. Any offencse I gave then, and I know I have given offense to members here, including the Administrator, I sincerely repent of. I don't know how to say it any better or more sincerely than that. You don't have to accept my apology or withdrawal as you clearly haven't as being woefully inadequate.

This whole issue came up as a result of a thread that discussed ways in which to overcome the impasse between Catholic and Orthodox relations on the road to full communion. I gave some suggestions which, in fact, have never been my own but came from some years of discussion, reading and reflection on the major issues which divide the Churches - and which would remain had those perfunctory suggestions I made ever implemented by Rome.

It was you who went ballistic over the suggestion related to the date for Pascha. And that suggestion came not from me but from Pope Francis during an interview His Holiness gave some time ago. I thought it was a remarkable thing the Pope was suggesting for the sake of unity, I admire the Pope for it and so I repeated that suggestion.

You have given me a number of analytical points for me to ponder and dissect with respect to my motivations and personal traits. Thank you. I will take it all under advisement. I, and I know a number of others here, took some offense at what appeared to be your suggested reasons with respect to why certain churches maintain the Julian calendar in the face of the overwhelming scientific proof concerning the Gregorian one. My rejoinder was to say that people don't rely solely on "objective fact" in making deliberate choices with respect to what lies in the area of spirituality and culture. On the basis of liturgical principles and other such considerations, they will even dispute the validity of such fact for purposes of guiding their spiritual life. You, Father Deacon, did not give one sympathetic reason to show your understanding of why they do as they did. Perhaps you didn't because you genuinely believe they are acting as phyletists. That is a separate discussion in and of itself. Phyletism is something that is bandied about without those involved in the discussion really coming to grips with what they are really saying. That happens in many such discussions. I took exception to what I perceived to be your top-down view of how fact is to be treated and that the religious and cultural sensitivities of communities are somehow not legitimate. If I wrongly assessed what you said, then I am truly apologetic! (I'm very happy I cannot approach you in the Mystery of Confession _ I'd be lucky to leave without incurring your excommunication, I fear).

The onus is also on you, Father Deacon, to explain yourself throughout and to see how others might view your way of speaking. What we say is never based on this or that series of words but by the cumulative and comprehensive impact of our discourse in any given discussion. And you could have simply called me out on me describing your pastoral approach as "stinking" by saying you understand why people adhered to the Julian calendar and, were you ever faced with the situation of a parish in which you were serving, perhaps as a future priest, you would indeed be sensitive to their feelings - without ever disparaging them. Yes, I took those comments then as now to heart. I would have no problem moving over to the Gregorian calendar, especially for the sake of unity, but I will never disparage my spiritual and liturgical life under the Julian Calendar.

That calendar gave me and many like me a sense of Eastern Church identity, a sense of Eastern European cultural identity too. It also gave me a deepened sense of piety in celebrating Christian feastdays, such as Christmas, in a way that my Gregorian calendar friends and society appeared not to (meaning without the commercialism and the like). My friends who are of the Julian calendar observe the strictest of fasts, pray in a way that always makes me feel inadequate by comparison and show a dedication to charitable work I can only hope to emulate. They have left parishes that are on the Gregorian calendar, calling them far too "liberal" theologically and in terms of spiritual ractice. I really do agree with them in that regard. As to why that is, there could be any number of reasons.

That is the gist of what I wanted to get across in all this. I just felt you were disparaging of my very spiritual heritage that was and still is deeply imbedded in the Julian calendar as my liturgical calendar. Frankly, I don't see what the problem is observing two calendars, a civil one and a liturgical one. I don't see the problem other than the fact that the heyday of the Julian calendar for my community is basically over but it is still a matter of time for our people to get used to the new one. There are people in North America who I've heard say that "even if the old country goes Gregorian, we never will!" And the Assyrian Church of the East has experienced a schism within it simply on the basis of the calendar issue. So people do take it seriously and we may speak to them about "facts" until we're blue in the fact - it won't change things. We may even walk away from them calling them phyletists etc. - that still won't change things.

I understand where you are coming from, Father Deacon. I was much less clear on your pastoral approach and if I misread you due to my own often facile approach to matters, I really do ask your forgiveness. Whether I can go back and point to specific words or phrases you wrote won't solve the matter that you raise. Again, it was and is the cumulative effect of what you said and/or didn't say. It is always best, I believe, not to be negative about the behaviour or actions of others with respect to the calendar issue in particular. I'm only negative toward those who are negative, if that makes sense.

Again, I have no ambition to go back to a thread from three years back. I have sinned in being discourteous toward a Deacon of the Church i.e. yourself who has much, much more knowledge of this subject than I ever could hope to have. But no amount of scientific knowledge will ever prevent me from defending the heritage I grew up in and continue to live in. As a social scientiist, I also took exception to why I perceived to be a narrowly positivistic view I believed you were espousing on the matter. And I should never have used words like "stinks" in any discourse with anyone.

Alex

Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: ajk] #419098
03/26/19 02:52 PM
03/26/19 02:52 PM
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Dear Father Deacon,

In your response to the Moderator above, you said that his words reflect his bias. Now, who are those who do not have a bias? When do we not reflect our own biases? How is that even possible?

I don't envy the job of a Moderator, especially on a forum such as the Byzantine Forum. Years back (and please, I'm also not going to return to that old email exchange), the Administrator said he was thinking about approaching me to be a moderator. I would have turned the offer down had it been made. It is a thankless job at best.

Personally, I don't believe it sets a good precedent at all to critique Moderator's rulings or to presume to teach a Moderator how to do his job or why his or her ruling isn't the best it could be. I just don't. Bob Is just trying to do the impossible job and what we both should take from what he said was that stuff he mentioned about our Saviour. I don't remember what it was exactly he said but I do remember it was pretty darn good.

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