Piraeus, July 1, 2015
Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus has once again harshly criticized the ecumenical initiatives of primate of the Roman Catholic Church. His statement on this subject was published by the Greek Romfea portal:
“Sliding into ecumenism is becoming more dangerous. Now there are attempts to abrogate the Holy Canons. Heretics are suggesting the variants of our destruction, while some of our clerics holding high positions of authority are, unfortunately, discussing them!
A new “bomb” was recently exploded by heresiarch of the Vatican, Pope Francis I, who suggested to establish a common date for celebrating Easter by all Christians: Orthodox and heretics. And this has been the subject of extensive discussion in the society since then!
This spiritual paralytic from the ancient and noble See of the Patriarch of the West is suggesting “to throw into the rubbish bin” the holy decree of the First Oecumenical Council (held in 325) which unequivocally established the method of calculation the date of Easter, the Feast of the Feasts. This canon does not provide for any further changes, but, instead, is to obeyed precisely.
According to the information that we have, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has given an interview to the journalist Andrea Tornielli (the La Stampa Italian newspaper) in which, among other things, the patriarch comments on the encyclical of Pope Francis I on ecology.
But the journalist’s final question on the unified date for celebrating Easter was a true revelation. Here it is: “Pope Francis has also proposed to agree on the concrete common date of Easter. Do you agree with this?”
And the First Hierarch of Constantinople replied: “For already more than half a century the Orthodox Church has been discussing the possibility of a common date of Easter, the Feast of the Feasts. But in reality as part of the preparation for holding the All-Orthodox Meeting, scheduled for next year in Istanbul, various variants on the scientific and liturgical levels have been examined. Nevertheless, in recent years, and especially following the fall of “the iron curtain”, certain forces in some of national Local Orthodox Churches, are, unfortunately, opposing this idea of the reform. Beyond doubt, this agreement on the concrete and unified date for celebration of Easter would be important especially for Christians living in America, the Western Europe and Oceania. But no matter whether you personally encourage this idea or disagree with it, this proposal must be accepted by all the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, that we may not endanger the unity of the Orthodox world”.
The statements of Patriarch Bartholomew are clear and plain.
In this reform he sees profit for “the Christians living in America, the Western Europe and Oceania”.
Naturally he will not think of drawing the Pope’s attention to the need of return to the God-inspired rules of the First Oecumenical Council which the head of the Roman See formerly obeyed for many centuries. He is not anxious because of the violation of decrees of the Holy First Oecumenical Council (which established the date of celebrating Easter forever) either.
But, instead, he is concerned about “the resistance” in some “national Churches” which insist in respect for the rules of the First Oecumenical Council!
His Holiness Bartholomew was also very frank in respect of “a possibility of agreement on the unified date for celebration of Easter… as part of the preparations for the Great and Holy All-Orthodox Meeting in Constantinople”.