- Mar 8, 2006
- Reaction score
- Portland, Oregon
No, not really. I do acknowledge that the Church has, since 190, condemned the Quartodeciman heresy and excommunicated all those who adhere to it. However, my point is that it took a council of universal authority to make this proclamation (Nicea I). We have not yet had a universal council to proclaim the New Calendar anathema, so I think we're more in the position the Church was in 190. This means, to me then, that your Old Calendarist churches have acted prematurely to break communion with the New Calendarists and therefore merit the same rebuke that St. Irenaeus and many other bishops gave Pope St. Victor.Jonathan Gress said:That's a good example about Pope St Victor. But from what I remember about that controversy, the different opinions of Pope Victor and St Irenaeus and the rest of the Church represented an earlier stage of that controversy. Later on there's pretty good evidence that the Church ended up treating variations in Paschal observances as anathema, viz. St Hippolytus' testimony that the Quartodecimans were heretics, and then certain canons were passed condemning Quartodecimanism as a heresy. It seems you like to pick certain examples out of context, just as you do when you refer to Nicea for the idea that astronomical accuracy is important, but conveniently ignore their even more significant concern with establishing unity in festal celebrations across the Church.PeterTheAleut said:And I suppose for the importance of not breaking communion over the lack of uniformity one could look at the Church's rebuke of Pope St. Victor in A.D. 190.Jonathan Gress said:Well, for the importance of uniformity you could, I suppose, refer to the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council, unless you only want to appeal to them to justify the calendar change.
You are aware that correlation does not prove causation? Besides, since when has membership in the World Council of Churches been de facto participation in false ecumenism?Jonathan Gress said:For the inescapable connection between the calendar change and ecumenism, you could try this highly scientific experiment. Let our hypothesis be that Local Churches which adopt the new calendar are more likely to join the World Council of Churches. We can add another hypothesis, namely that Local Churches that do not adopt the new calendar, but which remain in communion with the new calendarist churches, are also more likely to join the World Council of Churches. I'd be interested to see your findings.
1. Why do you trust Fr. Basil Sakkas' history of the calendar question?Jonathan Gress said:Sorry I missed your point about somebody in the West noticing the discrepancy between the calendar and solar equinoxes. Looking at Fr Basil's book, however, I see a mention of a proposed calendar change as early as 1324, exactly 600 years before the reform in Greece. Now it seems to me that if the Church really cared as much about astronomical accuracy as you like to think, She would have executed the reform long before that time.
2. The Church DID consider astronomical accuracy important enough to reform the calendar, or at least to make such accuracy the bedrock for the reforms She made... almost a whole millennium before 1324!
From what I've read of the 1923 deliberations over calendar reform, I would be dishonest to not recognize that conformity with the West was not a motivation behind the calendar change, but I think it equally dishonest to call it the only motivation. Besides, you're only addressing the formulation of the Revised Julian Calendar and its introduction to the Church. What about the various churches that eventually adopted the New Calendar? Did they adopt the Calendar merely to conform with the West?Jonathan Gress said:No the Western heretics are not wrong in everything. But they're still wrong, and that makes changing the calendar just to conform to them a bad idea.
Did I ever say that, or are you just putting words in my mouth?Jonathan Gress said:I consider membership of the WCC as ipso facto participation in heresy, not only because of the heretical ecclesiological opinions found in the founding documents of the WCC, like the Toronto statement, but also later on, when the Orthodox members started to sign off on the various heretical statements of different WCC assemblies (starting I think with the 1968 assembly). But we've gone over these issues before. I think the correlation is very suggestive of a causal relationship: the new calendar was introduced amid discussions of using the reform as one tool in the program of reuniting with the Westerners, and lo and behold, the same churches that adopted the new calendar were the first to enter into full participation in Ecumenism through the WCC. The remaining Old Calendar churches that stayed in communion with them followed suit, once their communist masters decided that the WCC could be used as a tool for their foreign policy (previously they denounced the WCC as an imperialist front). If you wanted to persuade me that the New Calendar had nothing to do with ecumenism, it would help your case if it were the Old Calendarist churches that ended up preaching Ecumenism.
By the way, if you want a good clip of Patriarch Bartholomew solemnly declaring ex cathedra () that the RC and EO are "sister churches", check out this video:
I don't understand why you think that the whole history of the Church since the First Ecumenical Council just doesn't count.
And there's probably much more to the rejection of the calendar reforms proposed by Nicephorus Gregoras than just an indifference to astronomical accuracy, but how can we know this merely by reading a polemical work by Fr. Basil Sakkas? Not knowing exactly why Gregoras's proposed reform was rejected, your claim of indifference can only be recognized as conjecture.Jonathan Gress said:Sure, astronomical accuracy was a concern in the 4th century, and this is no doubt the concern behind those like Nicephorus Gregoras in the 14th century when they proposed reform. But there's obviously much more to the question than just accuracy, if you bother to consider the fact that the Church decided not to change in the 14th century, even before there was any association of the reformed calendar with either Papism or Ecumenism.