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Russian Orthodox spokesman: common date for Easter celebration acceptable-- if Orthodox calendar is used

June 16, 2015

Responding to a statement by Pope Francis that all Christians should celebrate Easter on the same date, a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has said that the proposal would be welcome—as long as the Catholic Church accepts the Orthodox method of setting the date.

Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, deputy director of ecumenical affairs for the Moscow Patriarchate, said that he was waiting to hear details of the Pope’s proposal. “If the Church of Rome intends to abandon Easter according to the Gregorian calendar, introduced in the sixteenth century, and go back to the old one, used at a time when the Church of the East and West were united and used to date by the Orthodox, then this intention is welcome,” he said. But establishing a fixed date for Easter would be “totally unacceptable,” he said.


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  • Posted by: garedawg - Jul. 11, 2015 5:50 PM ET USA

    Well, if it will help us eventually reunite with the Orthodox, then let's go back to the Julian calendar. Bending over backwards is in order.

  • Posted by: JimKcda - Jun. 17, 2015 1:29 PM ET USA

    Ah yes, everything will be fine if we all simply do things MY WAY! Sounds like the old Soviet "Peace Plan."

  • Posted by: garedawg - Jun. 17, 2015 10:32 AM ET USA

    Eventually the Orthodox will be celebrating Easter in the fall if they stick with the Julian calendar.

  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Jun. 16, 2015 10:20 PM ET USA

    And if the Patriarch of Moscow is made the Supreme Head of the Church, the Russian Orthodox Church would be more than happy to change their view about there not being one head of the entire Church, forget dividing between East and West, abandon their claim to "canonical territory" since the entire Church would become his canonical territory.....and the world would be at peace! Surely this much is not too much to ask to give to Moscow so that all could live in unity.....under the Patriarch!

  • Posted by: JosephAnthony - Jun. 16, 2015 5:47 PM ET USA

    Partially with the Archpriest on this one. Although I think it's unfortunate that the Gregorian calendar changed the dates, it is closer to true time, so I don't oppose using the Gregorian calendar-- but to put Easter on fixed date would be a bad idea, in my estimation, since it would remove the relationship between the Paschal Mystery of the lunar calendar on which Passover was based.