Romanian Christian intellectuals petition for Orthodox-Catholic unity in celebrating Easter
A petition has been forwarded to the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church and to the National Church Assembly regarding unity in the celebration of Easter between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church.
Early in April, former Romanian foreign minister Teodor Baconschi and professor Adrian Papahagi, both considered intellectuals that are close to the Romanian Orthodox Church, called for the Church to celebrate Easter at the same time as Catholics and Protestants.
"The awareness of the need to unify the date of celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord has always existed within Orthodoxy. A pan-Orthodox meeting organized in Constantinople exactly a century ago, in 1923, even succeeded in unifying the calendars for a few years. Unfortunately, the concord did not last, and today the autocephalous Orthodox Churches function according to different calendars," the petition specifies, according to G4Media.
"We are aware of the difficulty of synchronizing the calendar, which can only be done through interfaith and intra-Orthodox dialogue, but this does not excuse the celebration of the same event on different dates in various churches," the document states.
Several Church and public figures joined the call initiated by Baconschi and Papahagi. Writers Ana Blandiana, Andrei Plesu, Monica Pillat, and psychologist Daniel David are among the signatories of the petition.
Some, however, like Tomis Archbishop Teodosie, opposed it. Nevertheless, Vasile Banescu, spokesperson for the Romanian Orthodox Church, said it is “absolutely desirable” for Easter to be celebrated in Romania by Orthodox and Catholic Christians at the same time, according to Digi24. He said, however, that the decision depends on the other Orthodox churches.
The Romanian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas according to the Gregorian calendar, also used by the Romanian state, but continues to calculate the movable date of Easter according to the Julian calendar; others, in turn, celebrate both Easter and Christmas exclusively according to the Gregorian calendar (Finnish Orthodox Church), or exclusively according to the Julian calendar (Russian Orthodox Church). Until the Great Schism, the Eastern, and Western Churches celebrated Easter on the same date.