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Once again, the Calendar #419032
03/19/19 01:29 AM
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

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The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2019 (Forum 1998-2019). All rights reserved.
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