November 24, 2023, 13:52

OCU priest: The new religious holiday calendar changes should not divide people

There is no problem with parishioners celebrating holidays and observances according to old-style dates. 

Serhii Marchenko, Minister of Finance of Ukraine expressed his views during a discussion at the Media Center Ukraine – Ukrinform. 

“I think that the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has no problem with some parishes or monasteries sticking with the old style. This is not a ground for fierce disputes. We can exchange opinions, we can hold an opinion. Still, conciliarity implies not only unanimity but also respect for the choice of another. The calendar issue is not one to divide us since we celebrate not a date but a certain event. I do not think that celebrating holy days on different dates makes any difference to our confession of faith,” he explained.

The priest emphasized that those citizens who have switched to the modern-day calendar should not despise those who observe various holy days in celebration of religious events according to old-style dates. Similarly, with mutual respect, those who follow the old calendar should not ruin relations with those who switched to the new calendar. “This is Christian, evangelical. And I think we are mature enough as Christians, as a church, not to repeat the mistakes of other churches in this matter,” added Kovalenko.

According to Kovalenko, even in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, there are still parishes keeping the old-style dates of holy feasts, for example, monasteries on Mount Athos. However, this, he said, does not prevent them from concelebrating with each other and visiting each other on holidays.

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