Monday, April 1, 2024

EP calls different Paschal dates a "scandal"

(Orthodox Times) - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew extended in his homily his heartfelt wishes to all the non-Orthodox Christians who celebrated the Holy Easter on Sunday, March 31, after presiding over the Sunday Divine Liturgy at the Church of Saint Theodore of the Community of Vlanga.

“On this day, the timeless message of the Resurrection resonates more profoundly than ever, as our non-Orthodox Christian brethren and sisters commemorate the resurrection of our Lord from the dead, celebrating Holy Easter. We have already sent our representatives to all the Christian Communities of the confessions here, to extend our heartfelt wishes of the Holy Great Church of Christ and our Patriarchal congratulations.

But also from this position we extend a heartfelt greeting of love to all Christians around the world who celebrate Holy Easter today. We beseech the Lord of Glory that the forthcoming Easter celebration next year will not merely be a fortuitous occurrence, but rather the beginning of a unified date for its observance by both Eastern and Western Christianity. What does this mean?

This aspiration is particularly significant in light of the upcoming 1700th anniversary in 2025, marking the convening of the First Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea. Among its pivotal discussions was the matter of establishing a common timeframe for the Easter festivities. We are optimistic, as there is goodwill and willingness on both sides. Because, indeed, it is a scandal to celebrate separately the unique event of the one Resurrection of the One Lord!

Earlier, on the occasion of the feast of Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessaloniki, the Ecumenical Patriarch noted:

“Today resonates as a continuation of the spirit of last Sunday, akin to a second Sunday of Orthodoxy, as we commemorate Saint Gregory, a stalwart defender of our faith. His steadfast commitment to Orthodoxy knew no bounds, enduring imprisonment and ultimately martyrdom. His legacy shines as a radiant beacon of unwavering faith, illuminating the path for generations to follow. Indeed, the Saints of the Church are teachers and guides for people not only during their time, but during all times and everywhere. We thank the Holy God, Who gave us such imitable role models.

Yet, like every Sunday, today carries with it a profound message of hope, optimism, and joy—the very essence of the Resurrection of our Lord. It echoes the resounding trumpet of Christ’s reassuring and uplifting words: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). .”

On the occasion of his presence in the celebrating Community of Vlanga, the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed, as Archbishop and shepherd of the Archdiocese of Constantinople, his disappointment, bitterness and anxiety over certain events related to the management of community property.

“Every year we come here to Vlanga, as in all our celebrating Communities, with joy and pleasure, to bless them and congratulate them for the work they offer.

However, this year, we arrive here with heavy hearts, carrying with us a sense of sadness and disappointment. Speaking from my role as Archbishop and shepherd of the Holy Archdiocese of Constantinople, I convey not only my personal sentiments but also those of the Mother Church and the entire Greek Diaspora. Recent events in Kontoskalion have inflicted wounds and publicly exposed the Greek Diaspora, while also jeopardizing a portion of our ancestral heritage through long-term leases that deviate from market norms and pose a threat to our property rights.

This property belongs to the Greek Diaspora, whose votes elect representatives entrusted with the conscientious, honest, and efficient administration of our ancestral heritage We do not say that these virtues are necessarily lacking in the administration of our Communities. But there is ignorance, inexperience and haste. And these unjustified leases posed a problem for decades.

May there be swift consolidation and restoration of order, bringing mental relief to our Communities. After decades, they have renewed the staff of their boards of directors through the allowed elections. We earnestly hope that in our future visits and engagements, we will have nothing but praise and congratulations to offer you.”

Concluding his homily, he welcomed Bishop Emmanuel of Christoupolis, Assistant to Metropolitan Augustine of Germany, with a group of pilgrims from Germany.


  1. Patriarch Bartholomew is more than welcome to go off and celebrate Pascha with the Roman Catholics...but leave the rest of us who are under the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the rest of Orthodoxy, the hell alone

  2. A couple years ago, the Pope and the EP announced that they would like to have aligned Easter dates by 2025. But the dates are already aligned in 2025. Perhaps someone pointed that out to him and that's the "fortuitous occurrence" to which he refers.

  3. What those outside the Orthodox Church do is becoming less and less important to me, almost by the day. The scandal is that Orthodox Christians celebrate many of the great feasts on different days. Now I wonder where the blame for that rests?

  4. I don't get the calendar issue at all and am not sure why this is a hill for some many people to die on. It is a calendar - nothing holy or divine about it. It was only adopted by the church at the time because there was no other options on the table and in any case, it was created by a pagan before the birth of Christ.

  5. You're exactly correct, especially when you consider that the intent of the rules around computing the date of Pascha are intended to cause us to look to the heavens (first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the vernal equinox). It says nothing about calendars, as the full moon and the vernal equinox can be observed, rather than calculated (as they presently are in both East and West). "LOOK UP!" seems to be the intent of the rule. If we all did that, we'd celebrate the same date every year.

    1. Right on! It really is that simple. LOOK UP!

    2. Exactly. So much drama over the outdated version of a calendar that doesn't do what it was intended to do. But God forbid we should fix it, 'cause those gosh darned Catholics did it first and how could we possibly allow it to look like we didn't figure it out first?

    3. I don't know what your talking about Jon Marc. The Holy Fathers used the Holy & Great Orthodox Julian Calendar and that is good enough for Holy (Holy Holy) Orthodoxy. You can have our Julian Calendar when you pry it from our cold dead fingers...

  6. Supportive of a change as long as it doesn't cause further disunity in Orthodoxy. As with many things the calendar issue isn't about the calendar...