Catholic World News

Archbishop of Canterbury working with Pope to establish common Easter date for all Christians

January 15, 2016

The Archbishop of Canterbury has revealed that he is working with Pope Francis in an effort to establish a common date for the celebration of Easter in all Christian communities.

Speaking to reporters at the close of a meeting of the world's Anglican primates, Dr. Justin Welby said that he thought a common date for Easter could be established in "between five and ten years." He said that he hoped to see the joint celebration before he stepped down from his current post-- although he conceded that previous efforts to settle on a common date had failed.

To date, Archbishop Welby said, the conversations about a common date have involved himself, Pope Francis, Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros, and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. 

Last June, Pope Francis said that the Vatican wants a common date for Easter, and indicated a willingness to change the Catholic calendar toward that end. A spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church said that the Moscow Patriarchate would welcome a common celebration-- as long as the date was determined according to the Orthodox calendar.

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  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Jan. 15, 2016 8:34 PM ET USA

    My impression is that the Orthodox are too fractured, and some branches too opposed to the Roman church, to change their calendar. So that means the Western churches would need to change their calendars. Easy enough for the Catholic Church, and if the Anglican Communion can agree to it as well, great. But what would all the Protestants round the world do? It boggles the mind. Unity though, would be wonderful.