[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!
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.
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.