Kiev, December 20, 2018
The head of the new nationalist church in Ukraine, “Metropolitan” Epiphany, intends to switch his church to the New Calendar, he said recently.
The move cannot be made immediately, as that would cause more divisions, but eventually, with enough education, the switch could be made, he explained in an interview with Radio Liberty on Sunday.
Asked, “Experts says that you have the opportunity to reform, to change the Church. What will your first steps be?” Epiphany responded that the new structure needs to first receive its tomos of autocephaly from Constantinople to complete and cement its unity.
Patriarch Bartholomew intends to give the tomos to Epiphany on January 6 in Istanbul.
“We will do it calmly, wisely, and carefully, because our work needs to unite, not separate,” the new primate explained.
Without being probed for an example, he then moved into discussing the calendar issue.
“Even if we speak about the celebration of the Nativity of Christ, about the calendar—if we change from January 7 to December 25, the Ukrainian people will not accept this,” Epiphany said, adding: “We need to explain and prove it. Once people realize that its’ not dogma, that it’s just a date, then it will be possible to put forth and make decisions.”
January 7, Old Calendar Christmas, has long been a national holiday in Ukraine, and December 25 was added as a national holiday as well in November of last year.
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