Toward a Common East-West Easter

The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation endorses a common date for Easter:

In 2010, Eastern and Western Church Calendars coincided so that all Christians celebrated the Feast of the Resurrection on the same day.  The dates for the Holy Day will coincide again in 2011, but will vary again after that.  As we remember the joys of a common date this year, we look forward to the entire Christian world proclaiming the joy of the Resurrection together again next year.  We are convinced that the time is at hand for a permanent resolution of this issue.

This would be a profoundly easy step to take. And to take it within the next few months, that would certainly be a welcome sign, especially to those discouraged by Roman footdragging under the last two pontificates.

The consultation suggests this scientific approach:

The key today to resolving the issue in accordance with the mandate of Nicaea is to determine the Equinox from the meridian of Jerusalem (Longitude 35° 13’47.1) using the most accurate scientific instruments and astronomical data available.  This will resolve the conflict in our liturgical observance by aligning existing Church calendars to the Nicene formula– not just the calendar from one set of Churches, but from both Eastern and Western traditions.

The full document is up on the USCCB site.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Toward a Common East-West Easter

  1. Liam says:

    This is not necessarily easy from an an Eastern/Oriental ecclesiastical perspective. Some of the relevant non-Roman churches believe it would require a true (not merely Roman) ecumenical council to adopt a different methodology for calculating the Easter date, and that there is no longer a valid mechanism for convening such a council.

    The “easiest” route, ecclesiastically, is for Rome to decide to forego the use of the Gregorian reforms of the Easter date calculation. Because the Pope could do that on his own initiative.

  2. FrMichael says:

    “…that would certainly be a welcome sign, especially to those discouraged by Roman footdragging under the last two pontificates.”

    A cheap shot and mightily inaccurate too, as regards ecumenism with the Orthodox under JP2 and Benedict. Those two, along with Paul VI, probably have had the deepest theological understanding of the Orthodox as any of the occupants of the See of Peter in centuries. Intramural Orthodox discussions (including Moscow-Constantinople frictions) have set the slow pace of O-RC talks more than Roman Curial reluctance.

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