My man John Sinadopolous at Mystagogy recently posted a couple of great writings by Orthodox elders on the subject of the Old Calendarist schismatics (that is, those groups which have broken with the Orthodox Church over the adoption of the New Julian Calendar, and which generally refer to themselves erroneously as “Genuine Orthodox” or “True Orthodox”). I wanted to share them here as this is a topic that often comes up in comments on my videos and, occasionally, posts here. No, the Old Calendarist schismatics are not Orthodox; they can use the word all they want, but they have broken away from the true, genuine Orthodox Church. There’s an “Orthodox Presbyterian” “church” as well — it’s not the word that makes some person or group Orthodox; it’s the Faith. Some selections (with links to read the rest of the articles):
We know from the Pedalion of our Church that the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Synod had canonized that Easter should be calculated on the basis of the spring equinox, given that the spring equinox at the time was on the 21st of March. This is stated in the Pedalion (check page 9). However, approximately 1600 years later, from then to this day, we have digressed from that date because the spring equinox now takes place on the 8th of March. This too is mentioned in the Pedalion. So, with a 13-day leap, we so-called “New Calendarists” again have the same spring equinox that the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Synod had. We now have the old date of the spring equinox, the 21st of March, while you have the contemporary date of this equinox, the 8th of March. Consequently, we are fully aligned with the old date, and you with the new. We are aligned with the Old Julian Calendar of the First Ecumenical Synod, and you are aligned with the New Julian Calendar. Consequently, we are the ones who are actually the “Old Calendarists” while you are the “New Calendarists”, because – I will repeat it once more – we acknowledge the 21st of March as the spring equinox, just as the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Synod had, while you have lapsed, and have retained the 8th of March.. . .During the time of Chrysostom there lived certain Christians who, in observing the older tradition of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna and basing themselves on the words of the Apostle Paul “…for during our Passover, Christ was sacrificed for our sake” (1 Cor. 5:7), they used to celebrate Easter on the 14th day of the month of Nisan – March, when Christ was crucified. The First Ecumenical Synod ordained that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover, because Christ was resurrected after the Jewish Passover. In this way, those Christians who celebrated Easter on the 14th of March, the so-called “fourteenists” (Stefanides, History 1, 101), celebrated it together with the Jews, and thus had themselves a “crucified Easter”. The First Ecumenical Synod ordained that Easter be “resurrectional”, on the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover. This blessed Father wanted to distance the Christians from the crucifixional Easter and lead them to the resurrectional Easter, but they persisted in celebrating the Christian Easter simultaneously with the Jews, and it was for this reason that the blessed Father checked them. Here is what he said: “…Behold how, during the current year, the first day of the unleavened bread falls on a Sunday and there is every need to fast on that week…” (Against the Jews, Homily 2).
But they didn’t want to fast, and so they replied to him: “I have fasted for such a long period of time, and now I must be transferred?” They had fasted all of the forty days of Lent, and now they had to change the feast-day of Easter? The First Ecumenical Synod ruled that Easter should fall on a Sunday, after the Jewish Passover. Then the Father checked them: “If the Church had made a mistake, it was not of such importance, as compared to the crime of division and schism.” It is obvious that the Holy Father was reprimanding the “Old Calendarists” of his time, because they did not want to observe the Canon of the First Ecumenical Synod regarding the celebration of Easter on the first Sunday after the Jewish Passover.
(These quotes are from Old Calendar – New Calendar: The Facts by Fr. Joel Yannakopoulos)The genuine Orthodox Christian is the Christian who has steadfast Faith and fervor towards God; love from all his heart and soul towards God and neighbor; humility and meekness, truth and sincerity. When our Lord Jesus Christ sent the disciples into the world He told them to preach the Gospel. He didn’t tell them to preach the Old Calendar.
He told them, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” that is, the one believing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and not the one baptized in the Old Calendar. The beloved virgin and eagle of theology, St. John the Evangelist said:
“God is love and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him” (Jn. 4:8).
He did not say the Old Calendar is God and the one abiding in the Old Calendar abides in God.
Our Lord Jesus Christ–perfect God and perfect man–said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls”(Mt. 11:29). He didn’t say learn from Me for I am an Old Calendarist–as some Old Calendarists say that Christ was an Old Calendarist out of their excessive zeal.
O Lord, deliver us from such a foolish mindset.
(This from a letter by Elder Philotheos)