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Re: Once again, the Calendar [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #419087 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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