Schismatics give final approval to New Calendar—the move is condemned by other schismatics

Kiev, July 28, 2023

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The Local Council of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” gave final approval yesterday to the decision to switch to the New Calendar.

The OCU’s Council of Bishops voted in May to make the switch, following on the heels of the Uniate Ukrainian Catholics who made the same decision in February.

The matter was then submitted to the Local Council—the highest ecclesiastical authority, consisting of all hierarchs, plus clerical, monastic, and lay delegates.

According to the schismatics, the Local Council also approved the change, and they will switch to the New Calendar beginning September 1 this year.

Thus, today is the last time that they will celebrate the Baptism of Rus’/the feast of St. Vladimir the Great on July 28. And following the request of the schismatics, the Ukrainian state also changed the dates of various state holidays connected to the Church calendar. Thus, on a state level, Ukraine will now celebrate the Nativity on December 25, and the Day of Ukrainian Statehood, which coincides with the feast of St. Vladimir, on July 15.

Interestingly, both the resolutions of the Council of Bishops in May, and “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko in his address to the Local Council yesterday, acknowledge that the Old Calendar is, in fact, a cherished tradition of Ukrainian Orthodoxy, over against attempts at Latinization and the Bolshevik attacks on the Church.

However, since the Russian Church uses the Old Calendar, the schismatics now feel they must change their own traditions, as Epiphany explained.

Interestingly, the decision of the OCU was condemned by the also schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate,” headed by “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko—the man to whom the OCU owes its existence.

The KP Holy Synod met yesterday, and declared that the OCU’s “hasty decision … endangers the unification of all Orthodox jurisdictions into a single Ukrainian Orthodox Church” because it against the wishes of many Ukrainians and is, in fact, dictated by non-Church elements.

The KP also emphasizes that, as the OCU admits, the Old Calendar is not a Russian Church tradition, but is in fact used by the Jerusalem, Georgian, Serbian, Polish, and Macedonian Churches, as well as Mt. Athos.

Note that the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia and the Orthodox Church in America also have parishes, monasteries, and even entire dioceses that serve according to the Old Calendar. The Bulgarian diaspora in the U.S., Canada, and Australia also serves according to the Old Calendar.

The New Calendar is used entirely or in part by the Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Albania, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and the Orthodox Church in America.

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