Religious Freedom

Christians should permanently celebrate the Christian Passover together as a unifying witness. Reunifying the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to the commonly held determination as originally agreed by the First Council of Nicea will strengthen the international Christian community. For well over twelve hundred years before Pope Gregory, the XVIII changed the Roman calculation for the Christian Passover (commonly known today in Western Churches as Easter), celebration in 1582, Christians celebrated the Lord's death, Resurrection, Ascension, and The Descent of the Holy Spirit together as a united witness. The sixteenth-century changes made by Gregory XIII resulted in two competing Pachalions (two different formulaic calculations) to determine the Christian Passover. From that time forward, there are two calendars, the original calendar (Nicene) known as the Julian Calendar and the subsequent calendar known as the Gregorian Calendar, separate Christians from one another on this central feat of their faith. The Nicene calculation for Passover, "Pascha," is related to historical and theological Jewish factors. Over time the Protestants churches adopted the Gregorian Paschalion used by the Catholic Churches. Overwhelmingly the Orthodox Christian Churches, Oriental and Eastern keep the Julian Paschalion. Periodically, the two calendars coincide, and Christians worldwide celebrate Passover together. The next year that the joint celebration of the Christian Passover occurs is 2025. Moving the Roman and Protestant Churches again to the Nicene Calculation for Christian Passover will provide a clear unifying statement for Christians. The division over the Resurrected Lord's Passover celebration for the last 439 years has been a source of misunderstanding, derision, division, and a catalyst for violence against Christians and Jews. Using a common Paschal date also highlights the religious violence against Christians and Jews more clearly in the context of their faith. Protestants or Catholics may hear of a Coptic Church bombing in Egypt. However, they may not understand an allusion to Pascha as Easter when the Orthodox celebrate it four weeks later in that particular year. Thus, Protestans and Catholics may not realize that the terrorists purposely targeted a Coptic Church on the most important religious feast of the year was the Lord's Resurrection. According to senior Vatican officials, the papal Encyclical promulgated by Pope Gregory XIII changing how the Catholics calculate the Christian Passover; - Inter gravissimas - is neither a doctrinal nor a dogmatic statement or formulation. Therefore, the official but non-permanent nature of the Encyclical allows future Roman Pontiffs to change the decisions and changes made by Inter gravissimas. According to the Nicene calculations, Christian communities should witness together the Risen Lord, thus celebrating the Death, Resurrection, Ascension of Christ, and The Descent of the Holy Spirit. Catholics should petition the Roman Pontiff to move forward as an ecclesial body with their Orthodox sisters and brothers who are dying for their faith in the Middle East and Africa. Protestants are freer in their ability to witness jointly simply by coordinating with their local or national leadership and making the calendar change. John E Anderson, Diakrisis LLC February 2020 © All rights reserved Christianity is the personal and corporate movement to a life in Christ. How is it possible to witness to others most that reality when Christians are artificially dividing themselves in the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord? John E Anderson, Diakrisis LLC February 2020 © All rights reserved