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A Major Step on the Path Towards Apostasy

By Bishop Photius of Triaditsa

 

Professor T. Sibiff's work, The Church Calendar Question, which appeared a quarter of a century ago with the goal of establishing a theological basis for the Church Calendar reform instituted in Bulgaria in 1968, frequently cites the so-called "Pan-Orthodox" Congress which took place from May 10th through June 8th, 1923 in Constantinople. [1] The author cites the decisions of this congress concerning the revision of the Julian calendar, [2] which entailed replacing the Julian calendar with the so-called "New Julian calendar," which in fact corresponds to the Western Gregorian calendar until the year 2800. Professor Sibiff refers to the Congress in Constantinople, unashamedly preferring to call it an "Orthodox Gathering." For him, as for all supporters of the calendar reform, that Congress has unquestionable authority as a Church forum.

Miracle of the Sign of the Cross over Athens in 1925

At the same time, ignoring the facts cannot cover the serious canonical discrepancies of the Congress at Constantinople. According to the words of Professor C. Troitsky, "There is no doubt that future historians of the Orthodox Church will be forced to admit that the Congress of 1923 was the saddest event of Church life in the 20th century." [3] By calling itself "Pan-Orthodox" without any basis for doing so, the Congress in Constantinople opened the way to changing the Patristic Church Calendar and began the Orthodox Church's rush into modernism. In spite of the fact that, from the beginning, the decisions of the Congress were rejected by almost all local Orthodox Churches, the Congress at Constantinople succeeded in destroying the liturgical and festal unity of the Orthodox Church. The reformed calendar was gradually introduced into many local Churches. Consequently, a tragic division in the liturgical practice occurred not only among individual local Churches, but also within the local Churches themselves which had officially accepted this uncanonical innovation.


What was the spiritual-philosophical climate which gave birth to this "Pan-Orthodox" Congress in Constantinople? By whom was it initiated? Who were its delegates, and what was its canonical status? What were its activities and decisions? These are the major questions which will be dealt with briefly here. At the end of the nineteenth and in the first decades of the twentieth century the spiritual life of Orthodox nations underwent deep shocks and changes. On one hand, among the intelligentsia and upper classes a worldly, materialistic mind-set quickly developed and became firmly established, and the understanding of spiritual values fell under the influence of powerful, neo-pagan movements in Western culture. On the other hand, theological and Church circles were poisoned by ideas growing out of Protestant ecumenism.


Orthodox hierarchs and theologians began to heed the call for "the union of all Christians." The only possible path of return for those who have fallen away from the One and Indivisible Church of Christ is through repentance. The "union of all Christians" cannot be found by seeking a common language, indulging in common activities, or even in union in prayer between various confessions. In other words, the way to unity is not found along eroded and nebulous paths but rather by a repentant return to Orthodoxy [4]. Both of the encyclicals of Patriarch Joachim III of Constantinople (1879–1884; 1901–1912), which in general adhered to tradition, are nonetheless the first official documents of the Patriarch of Constantinople in which one can already sense the beginning of ecumenical views [5].


Under the indirect influence of powerful progressive and revolutionary ideas, which had their origins in and were advocated by those initiated into Masonry [which strives to unite everyone, but denies the exclusive truth of Orthodoxy], religious free-thinking was introduced into Orthodoxy. This free-thinking was especially characteristic of the so-called Russian religious renaissance during the first decades of this century. Religious free-thinking prepared the way for renovationism in Russia — the first manifestations of modernism to form itself into an "Orthodox Church" (in fact a new, Eastern rite Protestantism) in our century. Renovationism was a religious movement typified in post-revolutionary Russia, in its most extreme and crude forms, and in the Greek Orthodox world of the 1920's, with corresponding similarities. Illustrations of renovationist tendencies are the Council of the "Living Church" in Russia (opened April 16/29, 1923), and the "Pan-Orthodox Congress" in Constantinople (May 10–June 8, 1923), which took place at nearly the same time. In spite of the fact that the Constantinople Congress made a resolution in defense of Patriarch Tikhon and thus, in a way, separated itself from the Living Church, the decisions of both forums were nonetheless very similar: they both changed the Church Calendar, allowed second marriages for clergy and published other similar declarations, discussing reforms in the spirit of religious liberalism, unthinkable only a few years previously.


The decisive move of Constantinople towards the ecumenical spirit in Church politics was expressed in an encyclical published in January 1920 by the Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal throne, Metropolitan Dorotheos of Brussa (1919–1921) under the title, "To the Christian Churches of the Whole World." The Ecumenical Patriarchate's dramatic move towards apostasy, specifically in regard to ecumenism, was preceded and accompanied by many philosophical-political factors. At the end of the First World War, Greece was a victorious nation. The defeat of Turkey brought with it unheard of success for the political group headed by the Mason, Eleftherios Venizelos (1864–1936). Greece had stood unequivocally on the side of Entente and had declared war on the governments of the Triple Alliance. After the end of the war, according to the Nice (1919) and Sevres (1920) Peace Treaties, Greece was given northern Epirus, western and almost all of eastern Thrace, the Aegean islands of Imroz, Tenedos and the Dodecanese, as well as considerable territory in Asia Minor with its center at Smyrna. Nonetheless, Venizelos' party was not satisfied by these acquisitions, but forcibly struggled to resurrect the ancient Byzantine Empire with its capital at Constantinople.


The occupation of Constantinople by the Allies (March 16, 1920–October 6, 1923) seemed to hasten the fulfillment of this desire. The leaders of Church circles in Constantinople fell under the political-nationalistic spirit of the political allies of Venizelos. The Ecumenical Patriarch turned to the English occupational army rather than to the Turkish government concerning various civil questions. Metropolitan Dorotheos, as the Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne visited countries of Western Europe in 1920, including England, in order to sway governing circles towards Greece's position. He even suggested to the great powers the idea of liquidating the Turkish government.


Prime factors which encouraged the Throne of Constantinople towards ideas of ecumenism and an active collaboration with western ecumenical organizations were the national-political interests of the hierarchs of Constantinople, their hopes of receiving help from the members of the Entente against Turkey, the ever spreading plague of Christian liberalism, the ecumenical movement which developed in the post-war years, and the direct interference of politicians and Masonic hierarchs in the affairs of the Church.


In the beginning of the Encyclical of 1920, it was announced that the Church of Constantinople considered the possibility of drawing close to and having fellowship with the other "Christian Churches" despite the dogmatic differences among them. The heterodox communities were called "honored Christian Churches," which "are neither foreign nor distant but rather a family and close in Christ." They are also called "co-inheritors, which make up one body and are partakers of God's promises in Christ." The encyclical suggests the founding of "a society of Churches" [6]. As a sign of the first step towards union, the encyclical suggests "the acceptance of one calendar for the universal celebrating of the main Christian holy days" [7]. This document not only announced the beginning of Constantinople's betrayal, and its union with the ecumenical heresy, but it was uncanonical as well; for in fact, it was addressed by only one of the local Orthodox Churches to heretical heterodox communities, referring to them as "Christian Churches of the whole world." The encyclical spoke pretentiously concerning exceptionally important dogmatic and canonical questions in the name of all the local Churches, as if for the whole Orthodox Church. Thus, the encyclical became the first public attempt by the Constantinople Throne to usurp the authority of the One, Holy, Orthodox Church [8].


In connection with the encyclical of 1920, which was published and distributed without the agreement of the other sister Churches, the Ecumenical Patriarchate entered into official collaboration with the representatives of the ecumenical movement. In August 1920 in Geneva, the Ecumenical Patriarchate took part in the preliminary congress on questions of "Faith and Organization", without the consent of the other Orthodox Churches.


Almost a year later the newly elected Ecumenical Patriarch Meletius IV (1921–1923), about whom we will write in detail below, announced in his enthronement address, "I give myself over to serving the Church from its first Cathedra to develop, as much as possible, closer, friendlier relations with the non-Orthodox churches of the East and West and to advance the work of union between us" [9]. This same ecumenical creed was confessed by the friend and cohort of Meletius IV, Chrysostomos, Archbishop of Athens (1923–1938) who introduced the New Calendar into the Church of Greece. This is what the latter said in his enthronement speech, "…for such collaboration [with the heterodox] it is not necessary to have common ground or dogmatic union, the union of Christian love is sufficient" [10].


The close connection with European politics after the war, with the ecumenical movement, and with Masonic circles in Greece and abroad brought about by the hierarchy's nationalistic strivings in Constantinople produced the most bitter fruit at the beginning of the 1920's when Meletius IV (1871–1935) ascended to the Throne of Constantinople and became the organizer and inspiration for the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress of 1923.


Who was Meletius Metaxakis?


His name in the world was Emmanuel Metaxakis. He was born on September 21, 1871, in the village of Parsas on the island of Crete. He entered the Seminary of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem in 1889. He was tonsured with the name Meletius and ordained a hierodeacon in 1892. He completed the theological courses at Holy Cross and was assigned as secretary to the Holy Synod in Jerusalem by Patriarch Damianos in 1900. Meletius was evicted from the Holy Land by Patriarch Damianos, along with the then administrator Chrysostomos, later Archbishop of Athens in 1908 for "activity against the Holy Sepulcher" [11]. Meletius Metaxakis was then elected Metropolitan of Kition in 1910. In the years before the war Metropolitan Meletius began successful talks in New York with representatives of the Episcopal Church of America, with the intention of "expanding relations between the two Churches" [12].

After the death of Patriarch Joachim III on June 13, 1912, Meletius was nominated as a candidate for the Patriarchal Throne in Constantinople [13]. However, the Holy Synod decided that Meletius could not canonically be registered as a candidate [14]. With the support of his political allies and acquaintances he was uncanonically elevated to the position of Archbishop of Athens in 1918, but after the usual political changes he was deprived of his see. His place was taken, on December 10, 1920, by the rightful canonical candidate, Theocletos, who had previously been unjustly deposed as Archbishop. While Meletius was still Archbishop of Athens, he along with a group of like-minded persons visited England where he conducted talks concerning the union between the Anglicans and the Orthodox Church. In February 1921 Meletius visited the United States. On December 17, 1921, the Greek Ambassador in Washington sent a message to the prefect at Thessalonica stating that Meletius "vested, took part in an Anglican service, knelt in prayer with Anglicans, venerated their Holy Table, gave a sermon, and later blessed those present "[15].


At this time preliminary hearings were conducted, organized by the university professor Paul Karolidis concerning complaints against Meletius Metaxakis. It was decided that Meletius should be summoned to court before the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece. The Synod published a report on November 21, 1921, calling for an “investigative committee" against Meletius [16]. Although the investigation was proceeding against Metaxakis, he was nonetheless unexpectedly elected Patriarch of Constantinople. Despite the election, the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece deposed Meletius Metaxakis on December 29, 1921, for a series of infractions against canon law and for causing a schism [17]. In spite of this decision, Meletius Metaxakis was enthroned as the Ecumenical Patriarch on January 24, 1922. Under intense political pressure Meletius' deposition was uncanonically lifted on September 24, 1922.


Political circles around Venizelos and the Anglican Church had been involved in Meletius' election as Patriarch [18]. Metropolitan Germanos (Karavangelis) of the Holy Synod of Constantinople wrote of these events, "My election in 1921 to the Ecumenical Throne was unquestioned. Of the seventeen votes cast, sixteen were in my favor. Then one of my lay friends offered me 10,000 lira if I would forfeit my election in favor of Meletius Metaxakis. Naturally I refused his offer, displeased and disgusted. Then one night a delegation of three men unexpectedly visited me from the "National Defense League" and earnestly entreated me to forfeit my candidacy in favor of Meletius Metaxakis.


The delegates said that Meletius could bring in $100,000 for the Patriarchate and, since he had very friendly relations with Protestant bishops in England and America and therefore could be useful in international causes. International interests demanded that Meletius Metaxakis be elected Patriarch. Such was also the will of Eleftherios Venizelos. I thought over this proposal all night. Economic chaos reigned in the Patriarchate. The government in Athens had stopped sending subsidies, and there were no other sources of income. Regular salaries had not been paid for nine months. The charitable organizations of the Patriarchate were in a critical economic state. For these reasons and for the good of the people [or so thought the deceived hierarch] I accepted the offer" [19]. Thus, to everyone's amazement, the next day, November 25, 1921, Meletius Metaxakis became the Patriarch of Constantinople.


The uncanonical nature of his election became evident when, two days before the election, November 23, 1921, there was a proposal made by the Synod of Constantinople to postpone the election on canonical grounds. The majority of the members voted to accept this proposal. At the same time, on the very day of the election, the bishops who had voted to postpone the election were replaced by other bishops. This move allowed the election of Meletius as Patriarch. Consequently, the majority of bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople who had been circumvented met in Thessalonica. They announced that, "the election of Meletius Metaxakis was done in open violation of the holy canons, " and proposed to undertake, "a valid and canonical election for Patriarch of Constantinople." In spite of this, Meletius was confirmed on the Patriarchal Throne [20].


Under pressure from Meletius, the Patriarchate of Constantinople accepted the validity of Anglican orders in 1922 — an act which even Rome protested against. Then in 1923 Meletius initiated the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress (May 10–June 8). On June 1st, clergy and laymen dissatisfied with the innovating Patriarch held a meeting which ended in an attack on the Phanar with the goal of deposing Meletius and expelling him from Constantinople. On July 1, 1923, on the pretext of illness and the need for medical treatment, Meletius left Constantinople. On September 20, 1923, under pressure from the Greek government and through the intervention of Archbishop Chrysostomos of Athens, Meletius retired as Patriarch.


Meletius was then nominated as second candidate to the Throne of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in 1926. The first candidate was Metropolitan Nicholas of Nubia. According to the normal procedure the first candidate should have been elected Patriarch. Nonetheless, the Egyptian government, having delayed a whole year, confirmed Meletius as Patriarch on May 20, 1926. As Patriarch, "at the cost of disapproval and division," Meletius instituted the New Calendar in the Alexandrian Patriarchate [21] While still Patriarch of Constantinople he had established ties with the Russian "Living Church." The synod of the "Living Church" wrote on the occasion of the election of Meletius as Patriarch of Alexandria, "The Holy Synod [of the renovationists] recall with sincere best wishes the moral support which Your Beatitude showed us while you were yet Patriarch of Constantinople by entering into communion with us as the only rightfully ruling organ of the Russian Orthodox Church" [22]. As the head of an ecclesiastical delegation Meletius Metaxakis took part in the Conference at Lambeth in 1930 and undertook measures for talks on union with the Anglicans [23].


Finally, although critically ill, Meletius offered himself as a candidate for Patriarch of Jerusalem, but no election took place. Metropolitan Methodius Kondostanos (1942–1967) wrote, "This exile from the Holy Land, from Kition, from Athens, from Constantinople, Meletius Metaxakis — an unstable, restless, power-hungry spirit, an evil demon — had no qualms about grabbing for the Throne of Jerusalem even from Alexandria in his desire to extend himself" [24]. Meletius Metaxakis died on July 28, 1935, and was buried in Cairo. After considering all this biographical information it should not surprise one that Meletius was a Mason. In connection with his election as Metropolitan of Kition, Meletius was initiated into Masonry in Constantinople as a member of the Masonic Lodge "Harmony," as reported in the Journal Pythagore-Equerre (Vol. IV, Part 7–8, 1935) [25].


In 1967 the founding committee of "Masonic Bulletin," the journal of the Great Lodge of Greece assigned the Mason, Alexander Zervuldakis the task of writing a monograph in which he describes Meletius as, "another shining star which glitters and illumines the firmament of the Greek Orthodox Church" [26]. Zervuldakis compiled a detailed biography of Meletius Metaxakis, whom he met while Metaxakis was still in Constantinople during those tragic days for Greece after the defeat in the 1922 war with Turkey. "I greeted him like a Mason greets another Mason," wrote Zervuldakis; Metaxakis smiled and said, "I see that you understand me"[27]. From Zervuldakis' monograph we know that Meletius first met with Masons in Constantinople in 1906. Full cooperation between Meletius and the Greek Masons in Constantinople began in 1908. The Masons with whom he met began to act forcefully in order to make "that investigative and curious spirit of Meletius… decide… to follow the example of many English and other foreign bishops and to… dedicate himself to the hidden mysteries of Masonry"[28]. Meletius is registered in the "Harmony" lodge in Constantinople as No. 44. He was initiated in 1909. Concerning this, Zervuldakis emphasizes, "I remember the joy and pride expressed by all the brotherhood over Meletius' initiation when he was elected into our lodge"[29]. "After his initiation," continues Zervuldakis, "Brother Meletius spread Masonic activity everywhere he went during the entire gamut of his tumultuous life" [30]. "There are very few," the Greek Mason concludes, "who, like Brother Meletius, accept Masonry and make it the experience of their life. It was a great loss to us that he was so quickly called into eternity"[31].


Meletius' main cohorts in the calendar reformation were the men briefly mentioned above: Metropolitan Chrysostomos Papadopoulos and Gamilkar Alivizatos, professor of the theological school of Athens. In 1923 the Greek government created an electoral synod consisting of five men who elected, by three votes, Archimandrite Chrysostomos Papadopoulos, then professor of theology, as Archbishop of Athens on February 23, 1923. The faculty of the theological school of Athens prepared a recommendation for him, "through the initiative of Professor G. Alivizatos and with the approval of E. Venizelos and Patriarch Metaxakis" [32]. The election was uncanonical [33]. Nevertheless, Chrysostomos was consecrated as Archbishop of Athens two days later by the three bishops who had voted for him. During this period Metropolitan Germanos (Karavangelos), mentioned above, prepared to flee Athens. Many of his friends proposed him as a candidate for Archbishop of Athens, but Prime Minister Gonatas and the synodal bishops convinced them to elect Chrysostomos Papadopoulos [34].


Thus we see that the Church Calendar reform instituted at the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress in 1923 was invented and created primarily by the uncanonical bishop of Athens, Chrysostomos, the deposed Metropolitan Meletius Metaxakis, who was illegally elected to the Throne of Constantinople, and Professor G. Alivizatos. Both "hierarchs" maintained close ties with Protestants in America and England. Both acquired their sees by the active interference of secular authorities. They were both, therefore, obliged to comply with the wishes of the Masonic and political circles which had put them forward as candidates. As Saint Basil the Great wrote, "Those who gain power are the slaves of those who helped them gain it."


During his uncanonical tenure as Archbishop of Athens, the Freemason Meletius Metaxakis raised the question of changing the Church Calendar before the Synod of the Greek Church. Meletius offered to set up a commission in order to study this question. The Greek Church approved his suggestion and issued the necessary directives. The commission sent the following finalized text to the Synod: "It is the opinion of the commission that a change in the calendar is possible only if it does not violate canonical and dogmatic teachings, and is agreed upon by all autocephalous Orthodox Churches — first of all by the Constantinople Patriarchate, which should be given the opportunity to show the initiative in all decisions of this nature. Furthermore, we should not simply change to the Gregorian calendar, but rather a new, more scientifically accurate calendar should be created, free from the inaccuracies of both the Julian and Gregorian calendar"[35]. This feeble and diplomatically correct proposal advocates, without any particular argument, the necessity of introducing an entirely new Church Calendar. At the same time, it attempts to preserve the necessary propriety by speaking of the canonical and dogmatic basis of any change and the need for a conciliar decision. These demands would later be dispensed with.


The commission's decision was a new step towards calendar reform so sought after by Meletius and his cohorts. The Greek Synod, at its session on May 20, 1919, unanimously accepted Meletius' opinion that the "government should be free to adopt the Gregorian calendar as the European calendar and, until a new scientific calendar be established, the Church would continue to use the Julian" [36]. The synod delivered its opinion to the government together with the commission's decision concerning the calendar reform. Meletius pronounced the following famous words during the session: "The situation of the Church in Russia has now changed and the possibility of drawing closer to the West is more favorable." Furthermore, Meletius emphasized, "We consider it imperative to reform the calendar" [37].


After his meteoric and uncanonical elevation to the Throne of Constantinople, Meletius Metaxakis continued his stubborn and methodical work for calendar change. He took upon himself the "initiative" recommended by the Synod of the Church of Greece's commission, and issued an encyclical on February 3, 1923, "To the Most Blessed and Honorable Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Serbia, Cyprus, Greece and Romania" [38] introducing the question of changing the Church Calendar. The epistle cites the following motivations behind the calendar reforms: "The question of the calendar has been long standing but has taken on a special importance in our day," [39] when, "the necessity of using a common, universal calendar familiar to Europe and America becomes more and more evident" [40]. One Orthodox government after another has accepted the "European calendar." The difficulty of using two calendars in social life is self-evident. Therefore, the desire to find and to establish one common calendar for social and religious circles has arisen on all sides. It is necessary not only so that every Orthodox Christian may function harmoniously as a citizen and a Christian, but also so that we may advance universal Christian unity. We are all called to this task in the name of the Lord by celebrating together His Nativity and Resurrection" [41]. Meletius gave these same reasons during his introductory speech at the opening of the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress [42].


The basis for Church Calendar reform obviously does not have its roots in tradition, theology, liturgical life or the canonical rules of the Orthodox Church, but rather in the one-sided, semi-religious, semi-social approach of the ecumenical cult which is grounded in a political-religious ideal of "Christian unity." In his epistle, Meletius Metaxakis calls upon the "representatives of the Holy Orthodox Churches to agree to the forming of a commission comprised of one or two representatives of every Church to meet in Constantinople immediately after the celebration of Pascha, in order to make a detailed study of the calendar question and other possibly urgent Pan-Orthodox questions, and to indicate the means for their canonical solution" [43].


Meletius's epistle did not meet with a positive response from the older, more ancient Patriarchates (after Constantinople); those of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the above-mentioned commission began its work on May 10, 1923, under the auspices of Meletius. Nine members took part in the sessions: six bishops, one archimandrite, and two laymen. The representatives of Constantinople were: Patriarch Meletius IV as president, Metropolitan Callikos of Kizik, and the layman V. Antoniadis, a Professor at the Halki Theological Institute. There was one representative from Cyprus: Metropolitan Basil of Nicea (later Ecumenical Patriarch, 1925–1929). The Serbian Church had two representatives: Metropolitan Gabriel of Montenegro and Milutin Milankovitch, a laymen and professor of mathematics and mechanics at Belgrade University. From the Church of Greece there was one representative: Metropolitan James of Drach. From the Romanian Church there was one representative: Archimandrite Jules (Scriban).


Archbishop Alexander (Nomolovsky) of North America and the Aleutian Islands, who at that time was of unclear canonical status, did not actually represent anyone (serious canonical charges had been brought against him by the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad, as a result of which he transferred to the Evlogian Exarchate, under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate).

Besides these nine participants, Archbishop Anastassy (Gribanovsky), later Metropolitan of Kishinev and Hotinsk, a member of the Synod of the Russian Church Abroad, who was at that time in Constantinople, also took part. He announced at the first session on May 10, 1923, that he had no "definite instructions from the Russian Hierarchs at Karlovtsy concerning the calendar question" [44]. He soon abandoned this unusual meeting.


To call such a church forum "Pan-Orthodox" is, to put it mildly, presumptuous. The representatives of the three elder sees after Constantinople (Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem) refused to take part. The Russian Church, the Archbishop of Sinai and the Bulgarian Church (which the Ecumenical Patriarch considered to be schismatic at that time) also did not participate. It is noteworthy that more than half of the local Churches were not represented, and the authority of those who did participate is questionable as well. According to the opinion of the famous canonist and theologian, S. Troitsky, who analyzed the ecclesiological-legal aspect of this question, the members of the commission had no right, at the time of the meeting, to express the opinions of their Churches since the local Churches had not yet formulated their decisions on the questions that went into the protocol of the congress. In such circumstances the delegates could only, in fact, express "their own, personal opinions," [45] or, at best, the opinion of their synods, which themselves had no right to decide general Church, canonical or even more importantly, dogmatic questions. Professor Troitsky defines this "Pan-Orthodox Congress" from an ecclesiological point of view as "a private meeting of a few people, who had as their agenda the examination of various questions which troubled the Orthodox Church at that time, concerning which, they expressed their opinions" [46]. Nevertheless, in spite of the canonical irregularity of the congress' make-up and its representatives, Meletius very self-assuredly announced that, "We work as a commission of the whole Church" [47].

The Orthodox Congress of 1923

As we can see, considered as an organ of legislation, the congress of 1923 was in fact a defective precedent. It was created and began its activity as "a Commission of Orthodox Churches" [48] or "Pan-Orthodox Commission," [49] and changed its title to "Pan-Orthodox Congress" during its third session, on May 18, 1923. Professor Troitsky is perfectly justified in noting that for the first time in the history of the Orthodox Church, which up to this time had only one organ of general church legislation—the Councils, some sort of "Pan-Orthodox" congress took this task upon itself, modeled after Pan-Anglican conferences and political conferences and congresses [50]. In his memorandum of November 14, 1929 to the Archepiscopal Synod of the Church of Greece, Metropolitan Ireneaus of Kassandria (+1945) wrote indignantly: "What right does that upstart [Meletius Metaxakis] have to create a Pan-Orthodox Congress without consulting the Metropolitans of the Ecumenical Throne? What law or canon gives the representative of one local Church the right to change the decisions of all the Eastern Patriarchs concerning the question of the calendar and Paschalia to, which was finalized by the illustrious Patriarchs Joachim III of Constantinople, Meletius Pigas of Alexandria, Joachim of Antioch and Sophronius of Jerusalem? Is it possible that in civil matters a lower court can reverse a decision of a higher court?"[51]


To summarize the above we might conclude: In agreement with the holy canons, church questions of local and general significance are to be discussed exclusively by a Council of Bishops [52] who have flocks and dioceses, not by "congresses," "meetings," or "conferences." From a legal-ecclesiastical point of view, the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress in Constantinople was uncanonical in its make-up, authority, and establishment. Therefore, its decisions, made in the name of the entire Orthodox Church, were made without any authority, and have no significance for the local Orthodox Churches. Furthermore, the very content of the decisions is in direct opposition to the canons of the Orthodox Church.


Let us briefly review the work of the 1923 congress. It spanned eleven sessions from May 11 to June 8, 1923, and was not concerned exclusively with the question of reforming the Church Calendar. At the second session (May 11, 1923) Patriarch Meletius listed the following "canonical and ecclesiastical questions," concerning which the commission was to formulate its opinion:


1) The question of transferring the Feast Days of major saints to the nearest Sunday with the goal of lessening the number of holidays.


2) The question of impediments to marriage.


3) The question of marriage and the clergy:


a) The Episcopate and marriage;

b) Second marriages for widowed priests and deacons;

c) Whether it is absolutely essential for the sacrament of ordination to follow the sacrament of marriage;


4) The question of church services;


5) The question of the fasts;


6) The necessity of calling a Pan-Orthodox Council annually [53].


In addition to the above six points, questions were raised concerning the canonical age for ordination, the question of clergy cutting their hair and beards, and clerical dress. These questions, headed by the question of the calendar, were presented for discussion on the basis of the renovationist tendencies typical of post-war Orthodox liberalism. These tendencies were characterized by: a desire to replace the Julian Calendar for immovable and movable feasts, and the possibility of allowing that Pascha should become an immovable feast, fixed to a specific Sunday; a willingness to accept any new, more scientifically accurate calendar reckoning (not even excluding the renunciation of the seven-day week); permitting married bishops, second marriages for clergy and marriage after ordination; and a shortening of church services and fasts.


The possibility of uniting the Orthodox and Anglican Churches was also discussed. At the congress's fifth session (May 23, 1923) the former Anglican bishop of Oxford, Gore, was present as a guest along with the pastor Bexton who was accompanying him. Gore was given a seat to the right of Patriarch Meletius who entrusted him with two documents: a petition from 5,000 Anglican priests in whose opinion there was nothing to prevent union with the Orthodox; and another, containing the conditions for such a union [54]. Gore expressed his great joy at being present at the Pan-Orthodox Congress, "where we have gathered in order to discuss various church questions and, most importantly, the question of the calendar" [55]. "For us, living in the West" the Anglican bishop emphasized, "it would be a source of great spiritual satisfaction to have the possibility of celebrating together [with the Orthodox] the major Christian feasts: the Nativity, Easter, and Pentecost" [56]. Recall how Meletius Metaxakis himself indicated in his epistle to the heads of the seven local Orthodox Churches that a calendar reform was imperative: "In order to facilitate the union of all Christians so that all who call upon the name of the Lord might celebrate His Nativity and Resurrection on the same day" [57]. In fact, only three years after the publication of the encyclical was announced by the Patriarchate at Constantinople in 1920, there already existed the possibility of making the first step towards union with the heterodox which was envisioned by the encyclical: "The acceptance of one calendar for the universal celebration of the great Christian feasts" [58]. It comes as no surprise that long before the congress accepted the above decisions Patriarch Meletius turned to the Anglican bishop Gore asking him "to inform the Archbishop of Canterbury that we are well disposed to accept the New Calendar which you in the West have decided upon" [59]. These words candidly express the tendency which had been implied in the premeditated decision of the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress concerning the calendar question.


The main issue discussed by the congress was the acceptance of the so-called "New Julian" calendar, or the "Revised Julian" calendar, the project of Professor M. Milankovitch, one of the delegates in the congress. In fact, this [new] calendar corresponds with the Gregorian calendar until the year 2800, when a difference of one day will occur in leap years. Nonetheless, this difference will even out in the year 2900. What an amazing discovery! Thus it becomes possible to "celebrate the major Christian feast days simultaneously with the heterodox" and, at the same time, traditionally minded Orthodox Christians can be assured that they will have not adopted the Roman Catholic calendar. Patriarch Meletius, using typical Jesuit sophistry to placate those who opposed the calendar reform, during the fourth session of the congress (May 21, 1923) read out a telegram from Patriarch Damian of Jerusalem stating, "A change in the Church Calendar is of no use and will not be accepted by our Patriarchate because it would place us in an unfavorable position in relation to the holy places of pilgrimage and to the Latins" [60]. Meletius responded by announcing, "In addition, the Church at Jerusalem does not desire to adopt the Gregorian Calendar and celebrate Pascha with the Roman Catholics. We must clarify the fact that we are not adopting the Gregorian Calendar and that in a certain number of years a difference will appear between the Orthodox and Catholics in [the date of] the celebration of Pascha. Therefore, the qualms of the Church at Jerusalem are, in part, appeased "[61]. Of course, Meletius "omits" the specifics that "a certain number of years" is, in actuality, a full nine centuries!


Decisions were made in Constantinople on June 5 and 6 concerning the following:


1) "The correction" of the Julian calendar and the determining of the date of celebration of Pascha "on the basis of astronomical calculations."


2) The conditions under which the Church would take part in discussions about a New Calendar, "which is more accurate, both scientifically and practically."


3) The marriage of priests and deacons after ordination.


4) A second marriage of widowed priests and deacons.


5) Various other categories: the youngest possible age for ordination to the three levels of the priesthood; the "material and spiritual well-being" of pastors; the hair and exterior appearance of clergy [i.e., the cutting of the beard and hair, wearing of the rassa]; the keeping of monastic vows; impediments to marriage; the celebration of saints' days during the week as non-working days; the question of fasts.


6) The celebration of the 1600th anniversary of the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea (325–1925), and the gathering of a Pan-Orthodox Council.


7) The question of the "Living Church" Council which took place in Moscow in June 1923, at which Patriarch Tikhon, then in prison, was defrocked [62].


The text of the decision to "correct" the Julian calendar and change the Julian Paschalia [63] ends with the words, "This reform of the Julian calendar is not a stumbling block to further change in the calendar that the other Christian Churches might like to make" [64]. This concept was further developed and concretely stated in the second decision where it was literally said, "The Pan-Orthodox Congress in Constantinople… requests that the Ecumenical Patriarchate announce to the people, after an exchange of opinions with the other Orthodox Churches, that the Orthodox most willingly desire to adopt in the future the New Calendar in which the order of days of the week [that is, seven] will be maintained, although it does not bind itself to such an opinion if the other churches agree to adopt a new calendar which would abolish the usual number of days in a week" [65]. Further, it was indicated that, in agreement with the other "Christian Churches," the Orthodox Church was prepared to celebrate the Lord's Pascha as a fixed day on a specified Sunday, with the desire that "this fixed Sunday would correspond to the actual [historical] day of Resurrection of the Lord, which was to be determined by scientific methods" [66].


These four decisions of the 1923 congress were promulgated in the typical style of Orthodox modernism, full of exhortations about "harmony with contemporary life" and "ecumenical expansiveness." The third and fourth decisions of the congress permitted the marriage of priests and deacons after ordination and second marriages for widowed clergy, although this was contrary to Church Tradition and canons (26th Apostolic canon; 3rd and 4th canons of the Fourth Ecumenical Council) [67]. In the Council's fifth resolution it was considered right for clergy to cut their hair and wear lay clothing outside of church. Local Churches were called upon to decide each separate case where saints' days would be celebrated on weekdays, "until a new calendar would be established in which the celebration of specific feast days could be fixed only on Sundays in order to lessen the number of holidays" [68]. A new Menaion would of necessity be created in order for this system to work in practice. During the sixth resolution a request was made that the Ecumenical Patriarchate take upon itself the initiative of calling an Ecumenical Council in order to decide "all questions concerning the Orthodox Church at the present time" [69].


One could appraise the activity and decisions of the "Pan-Orthodox" Council of 1923 with the words of Saint Athanasius the Great, "All of this without the consent of the whole [catholic] Church" [70]. In fact, the first five resolutions of the congress are in total contradiction to the Tradition and canonical norms of the Catholic, Orthodox Church. The abolition of the Julian Paschalia — a break with the seventh Apostolic canon and the decisions of the First Ecumenical Council, which the Antiochian Council refers to — potentially places upon the congress at Constantinople a serious canonical sanction. The celebration of the Lord's Pascha is categorically forbidden on the same day as the Jewish Passover in the above-mentioned canons. Following the New-Julian Paschalia (which is, in fact, the same as the Gregorian), the Resurrection of Christ sometimes falls on the same day as the Jewish Passover, and often before it (which is also forbidden). It is noteworthy that, according to the resolution of the Holy Fathers of the Council of Antioch, those who violate the decisions concerning the celebration of Pascha must be excommunicated from the Church without previous investigation of their violation. Such a strict sentence is rarely encountered in the canons.


A similar spirit is encountered in the resolutions compiled by the sigilliums of the Eastern Patriarchs in 1583 and 1584, and the ecumenical epistle of the Ecumenical Patriarch Cyril V of 1756, which categorically condemned those who adopted the Gregorian Calendar and Paschalia. Afraid of these sanctions and aware of their enormous canonical responsibility in light of a change in the only canonical Paschalia, the Julian, not one of the local Orthodox Churches which had adopted the New Calendar for the celebration of the cycle of feasts (that is, the Menaion) dared institute the Gregorian Paschalia (with the exception of the Church of Finland). Thus, the New Style Churches began, in practice, to use two calendars simultaneously: the Gregorian for fixed feast days, and the Julian for movable ones. Not a single local Church adopted the third, fourth and fifth resolutions which cried out in contradiction of Church Tradition and canons. Even if one does not consider important the uncanonical nature of the congress at Constantinople with regards to its make-up and authority, the irregularity of its actions, and the anti-Orthodox essence of the congress which, ironically, called itself "Pan-Orthodox," is sufficient to discredit it.

Besides, even during the sessions themselves a huge wave of disfavor arose. Archbishop Chrysostomos (Papadopoulos), who himself was one of the initiators of the calendar reform, wrote, "Unfortunately, the Eastern Patriarchs who refused to take part in the congress rejected all of its decisions by one act alone," their absence [71]. The Mason, A. Zervudakis, in his monograph on Meletius Metaxakis wrote, "Meletius met with great dissension when he decided to adopt in Constantinople some American traditions as well as to his innovative views concerning the calendar, the Paschalia, the marriage of clergy, etc., which instigated problems and great resistance" [72]. Remember that on June 1, 1923, a group of religious leaders and laymen gathered in Constantinople for a meeting which grew into an attack on the Patriarchate, with the goal of deposing Meletius and evicting him from the city. In spite of this, the Synod of Constantinople, under the presidency of Meletius, circulated a written announcement to all the local Orthodox Churches on June 25, expressing his expectation of their "general approval" of the resolutions on the calendar reform, and their confirmation of "the resolutions of the congress as those of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church [sic!] [73]. Nonetheless, the Mason, Meletius Metaxakis', ambition met with serious resistance. Patriarch Photius of Alexandria (1900–1925), in his epistle of June 25, 1923, to Patriarch Gregory IV of Antioch (1906–1928), categorized the calendar reform as "pointless, uncanonical and harmful" [74]. In the words of Patriarch Photius the resolutions of the Congress at Constantinople "smell of heresy and schism" [75].


In the epistle of October 7, 1923, of Patriarch Gregory IV to the Ecumenical Patriarch, he indicates that the calendar was adopted too quickly and that its institution was "untimely and suspicious" [76]. The Patriarch of Antioch sent a copy of Patriarch Photius' epistle to the Russian Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) in Karlovtsy with a gramota in which was written, "You can clearly ascertain the opinion of three of the Eastern patriarchs with regard to the questions raised by the meeting at Constantinople" [77]. Patriarch Damian of Jerusalem (1897–1931), in his telegram to the Patriarch of Constantinople also emphasized, "For our Patriarchate it is impossible to accept a change in the Church Calendar since it will place us in a very disadvantageous position in the holy places of pilgrimage in relationship to the Roman Catholics because of the danger of proselytism" [78].


Patriarch Meletius IV was not above resorting to deception in order to attain his anti-Orthodox goals. In his letter of July 10, 1923, he attempted to deceive Archbishop Seraphim of Finland into believing that the New Calendar had been accepted for church use, "in agreement with the general opinion and resolutions of the Orthodox Churches" [79] Patriarch Tikhon was also led astray in the same manner. Under the false impression that the calendar reform had been accepted by the entire Orthodox Church, he published an edict introducing the New Calendar in the jurisdiction of the Russian Church. This innovation was decisively rejected by the people. When the truth finally became apparent the Patriarchal resolution was repealed. Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev, in the name of the Russian Hierarchs Abroad, declared that "The calendar reform cannot be accepted by the Russian Church inasmuch as it contradicts the holy canons and ancient tradition of Church practice sanctified by the Ecumenical Councils" [80].


Patriarch Demetrius of Serbia informed Meletius in his letter of June 8/21, 1923 that he would agree to the resolution of the congress concerning the change of calendar only "on the condition that it be accepted simultaneously in all the Orthodox Churches" [81]. Archbishop Kyrill of Crete, in his letter and telegram of August 23/September 5, 1923, suggested "to postpone the acceptance of the resolution until an agreement be made by all the Churches, in order to avoid schism in the Orthodox Church" [82]. Only Metropolitan Miron (Cristea) of Bucharest announced, in his letter of December 17, 1923, that the Romanian Orthodox Church accepted the decision of the congress, specifying that it would be put into practice in 1924 [83].


The fact that the local Churches were subjected to external pressure with the goal of forcing them to accept the decisions on calendar reform is evident in the following revealing announcement of Archbishop Chrysostomos (Papadopoulos) of Athens: "The Romanian and Serbian ambassadors to Athens constantly questioned the Archbishop of Athens concerning the delay of the adoption of the congress's resolutions" [84]. In one report of the Church of Greece after the New Calendar was instituted there in 1924 we read, "Unfortunately, this change [of the calendar] was not accomplished by means of inquiry and preparation, but rather primarily under the influence of extreme factions" [85]. The crude interference of civil authorities in the adaptation of the New Calendar for church use in Greece, Romania and Finland is proven by the well-known wave of violence used against those Orthodox Christians who dared to remain faithful to the Faith of their Fathers.


Even Archbishop Chrysostomos (Papadopoulos) of Athens, himself one of the most active propagators of calendar reform, found it expedient to discuss the Church Calendar question again at the synod meeting of the bishops of the Church of Greece in connection with the persistent demands of Patriarch Photius of Alexandria to call an Ecumenical Council [86]. As a matter of fact, the Constantinople Patriarchate itself, in connection with the sixth resolution of the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress, [87] desired to call an Ecumenical Council in 1925. However, the Serbian Church, after the bitter experience of the congress of 1923, expressed the desire that all the autocephalous Orthodox Churches take part; that serious preparation be done before the Ecumenical Council take place by commissions of the autocephalous Churches, and that a general preparatory conference or pro-synod be held [88].


In fact, in connection with preparations for the Ecumenical Council an inter-Orthodox commission was held in 1930 at Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. According to Metropolitan Ireneaus of Cassandria, the representative of the Serbian Patriarchate, Metropolitan Nicholas (Velimirović +1956), a well-educated and righteous hierarch, stated that the Serbian Church would not participate in the inter-Orthodox commission unless it was assured that it would have nothing in common with the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress at Constantinople which adopted resolutions concerning the calendar change. "If this condition is not met the Serbs will condemn the Ecumenical Patriarchate," reported Metropolitan Irenius [89]. According to Chrysostomos, the former Metropolitan of Florina (+1955), the first hierarch of the Greek Old-Calendar Church, the representatives of the Serbian and Polish Churches considered the leaders of the local Orthodox Churches who had adopted the New Calendar to be "in essence schismatics," and refrained from prayerful communion with them [90].


Nonetheless, in spite of the reaction against the decisions of the Congress of 1923 concerning the calendar reform, and in spite of the categorical refusal to accept its other anti-canonical resolutions, the so-called "New-Julian Calendar" was gradually accepted by the governing bodies of many local Churches [91]. Meletius' successor, Metropolitan Gregory VII, who was surrounded by followers and disciples of Meletius, introduced the New Style into the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1924. The Church of Greece accepted the New Calendar on March 1, 1924. Archbishop Chrysostomos (Papadopoulos) of Athens must have forgotten the words he wrote while still an Archimandrite in a report given to the Greek government by the five member commission on the question of calendar reform in January, 1923: "Not a single one of them [local Orthodox Churches] can separate from the others and adopt the New Calendar without becoming schismatic in relation to the others" [92]. The Romanian Church adopted the "New-Julian" Calendar on October 1, 1924 and as a reward was granted the status of Patriarchate [93]. As mentioned above, Meletius Metaxakis was forced, in his capacity as Patriarch of Alexandria, to introduce the New Calendar into the Church of Alexandria by Arabs in America, without whose material subsidies the Antiochian Patriarchate could not exist, according to a statement made by Metropolitan Alexander of Emess in July, 1948 [94].


This depressing list of facts could be further expanded, but that which has been reported is sufficient to prove the tragic consequences of the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress at Constantinople. The adoption even in part of the congress' anti-canonical resolutions on the Church Calendar reform destroys the centuries old liturgical unity of the Orthodox Church, and invites division in the local Churches themselves between adherents of the patristic Church Calendar and those who adopt the "Revised-Julian" Calendar. The "Pan-Orthodox," or actually, as we have shown, anti-Orthodox congress at Constantinople was the first break in the link of Orthodox unity in our century. The congress admitted the Trojan horse of ecumenism into the Orthodox Church, from whose womb newer and newer false prophets of Babel continue to emerge, striving to destroy the sacred altars of Orthodoxy in order to construct the temple of heresy and error on Her ruins.



 

References


1) Sibev T., The Church Calendar Question, Synodal Publishing, 1968, pp 33–34, 54, 58, 62, 64 (in Bulgarian).

 

2) Ibid., pp 33–34.

 

3) Troitsky C., "Together We Will Struggle With Danger," Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1950, No. 2, p. 46 (in Russian).

 

4) Archimandrite Constantine, Pastoral Theology, Part II, Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Monastery, Jordanville, New York, 1961, pp 9–10, (in Russian).

 

5) Tsetsis, G. “The Contribution of the Ecumenical Patriarch in the Establishment of the World Council of Churches,” Katerini, 1988, pp 31–51 (in Greek).

6) Quoted from, Seventy Years of Ecumenistic Apostasy, Chapters 18–21, p.99 (in Greek).

 

7) Quoted from, The Inspiration and Moving Spirits of the Innovations: The Two Luthers of the Orthodox Church, chapter 17, p. 74 (in Greek).

 

8) Buevsky, A., The Patriarch of Constantinople, Meletius IV, and the Russian Orthodox Church, 1953, No.3, p. 30 (in Russian).

 

9) The Inspiration and Moving Spirits…, chapter 17, p.74.

 

10) Ibid.

 

11) Mpatistatou, D. Proceeding and Decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Council in Constantinople, 10.5–8.6.1923, Athens, 1982 (in Greek).

 

12) Buevsky, p. 29.

 

13) Delimbasis, A. D., Pascha of the Lord, Creation, Renewal, and Apostasy, Athens, 1985, p.661 (in Greek).

 

14) The closest co-workers in ideology of Meletius Metaxakis were Metropolitan Germanos (Strinopoulos), who later became the exarch of Western Europe and the permanent representative of the Patriarchate of Constantinople at ecumenical conferences, Archimandrite Chrysostomos (Papadopoulos), who later became Archbishop of Athens, and the famous ecumenist, G. Alivizatos, professor of theology in Athens.

 

15) Delimbasis, A.D. op. cit., p. 661.

 

16) Ibid.

 

17) Ibid.

 

18) Mpatistatou, D., op. cit., page d.

 

19) See Delimbasis A. D., p.662.

 

20) Ibid. p. 663.

 

21) See The Church Herald, No. 13, 1929, p. 152 (in Bulgarian).

 

22) See quote from Buevsky, op. cit., p. 36.

 

23) The council of all the bishops of the Anglican Church which is held at the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury every ten years. At the Lambeth conference decisions were discussed and made concerning catechism, morality, Church order and practice, relations between Churches, etc.

 

24) Quoted from, Mpatistatou, D,. op. cit., p. e.

 

25) Quoted from Troitsky, op. cit., p. 37.

 

26) "The Ecumenical Patriarch Meletius Metaxakis (1871–1935) a) the Masons, b) the Innovators, c) the Ecumenists," OEM, 1990, I–XII, Chaps. 18–21, p. 149 (in Greek).

 

27) Ibid.

 

28) Ibid., p. 151.

 

29) Ibid., p. 152.

 

30) Ibid., P. 151.

 

31) Ibid., p. 152.

 

32) Delimbasis, A. D., op. cit., p. 663.

 

33) Ibid.

 

34) Ibid.

 

35) Delimbasis, A.D., Pascha of the Lord, Creation, Renewal, and Apostasy, Athens, 1985, pp. 650-651 [In Greek].

 

36) Ibid., p.652.

 

37) Ibid., p.651.

 

38) Mpatistatou, D. Proceedings and Decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Council in Constantinople, Athens, 1982, p.5 [in Greek].

 

39) Ibid.

 

40) Ibid.

 

41) Ibid. p 6.

 

42) Ibid. pp. 13-14.

 

43) Ibid., pp. 6-7.

 

44) Ibid., p.20.

 

45) Troitsky, S. “Concerning the Question of Second Marriages for Priests,” Church Herald, September 1949, p.1-2 [in Bulgarian].

 

46) Archimandrite Seraphim, An Orthodox View of the Old and New Style Calendar, typewritten [in Bulgarian].

 

47) Proceedings and Decisions... op. cit. p.36.

 

48) Ibid., pp 11, 23.

 

49) Ibid., p. 29

 

50) Archimandrite Seraphim, Collected Essays, p.31 [in Bulgarian].

 

51) The Ecumenical Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis (1871-1935) a) the Masons, b) the Innovators, c) the Ecumenists OEM, 1990, I-XII, Chaps. 18-21, p.155.

 

52) The 37th Apostolic canon, the 5th canon of the First Ecumenical Council, the 19th canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, the 6th canon of the Seventh Ecumenical Council.

 

53) Proceedings and Decisions..., op. cit, pp. 24-26.

 

54) The Ecumenical Patriarch..., op. cit. Chaps. 18-21, p.157.

 

55) Chapters and Decisions..., op. cit. p.86.

 

56) Ibid.

 

57) Ibid., p.6.

 

58) “The Inspiration and Moving Spirits of the Innovations: The Two Luthers of the Orthodox Church,” OEM, Chap. 17, p. 74.

 

59) Ibid., p.88.

 

60) Proceedings and Decisions..., op. cit. p.69.

 

61) Ibid.

 

61) Ibid., pp. 211-222.

 

63) Paragraph eight of this resolution reads, "The determination of the Paschal new moon must be based on astronomical calculations, in accordance with modern scientific information, Proceedings and Decisions..., p.212.

 

64) Proceedings and Decisions..., op. cit. p.212.

 

65) Ibid., p 214.

 

66) Ibid., p. 215.

 

67) Ibid., pp.215-218.

 

68) Ibid., pp. 210-220.

 

69) Ibid., p 221.

 

70) BEPES, 33, 153.

 

71) Archbishop Chrysostomos, The Reform of the Julian Calendar in the Church of Greece, Athens, 1933, pp. 31-38 [in Greek].

 

72) Quoted from OEM, I-XII, 1990, paragraph 18-21, p. 154, adn. 12.

 

73) Orthodoxia, 1926, p. 62, quoted from Delimbasis, op. cit. p. 672.

 

74) Church Messenger, September 1923, No. 41, p.6.

 

75) Same as above

 

76) Delimbasis, op. cit. p. 672.

 

77) Church Messenger, 1923, No. 41, p.6.

 

78) Orthodoxia, 1926, p. 63 and Delimbasis, op. cit., p. 672.

 

79) See Church News, No. 19 and 20, 1/14-15/28. X. 1923.

 

80) Orthodoxia, 1926, p. 63 and Delimbasis op. cit., p. 672.

 

81) Ibid., pp. 64-65.

 

82) Ibid., pp. 68-69.

 

83) Ibid., pp. 65-68.

 

84) Delimbasis, op. cit., p. 673.

 

85) The Church of Greece, The Calendar Question, Athens, 1971, pp. 7-8, and OEM, 1989, Chap. 17, p. 69.

 

86) Delimbasis, op. cit. p. 673.

 

87) See the above resolutions of the congress, p. 5.

 

88) See S. Troitsky, "Let us Fight Together Against Danger," Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1950, No. 2, pp. 46-47 [in Russian].

 

89) See OEM, 1989, Chap. 17, p.69.


90) Ibid.

 

91) As we mentioned, the New Calendar was adopted only for the Menaion cycle of set feasts, contrary to the decision of the congress, where a change in Paschalia was studied, the date of Christ's Pascha continues to be determined according to the ancient calendar, the Alexandrian Paschalia.

 

92) Journal of the Government of the Greek Kingdom, the first chapter, 24/25. 1. 1923, No. 8, see also OEM, 1989, Chapter 17, p. 73.

 

93) Archimandrite Seraphim, Collected Essays, pp. 37-38.

 

94) Same as above.

 

Abbreviations

 

BEPES — The Library of the Greek Fathers and Ecclesiastical Writers, given by the Apostolic Service of the Church of Greece.

 

OEM — Orthodox Origins and Martyria, published by the Holy Synod, tri-monthly.

 

Source: Orthodox Life, Nos. 1 & 2, 1994.

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