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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Catholic Church in Israel to change date of Easter

Katholische Kirche in Israel will Osterdatum verlegen - Aus seelsorglichen Gründen | Thema Karwoche und Ostern - domradio.de

For pastoral reasons
The Catholic Church in the Holy Land plans in future to celebrate Easter according to the Orthodox calendar. The reason is consideration of the many inter-church families, said the Franciscan Custos Pierbattista Pizzaballa. In ecumenical dialogue, the date of Easter is one of the major hurdles.

The alternative date for Easter in Catholic communities could probably be introduced next year, said Pizzaballa, who is one of the higher leaders of the Catholic church in the Holy Land. Then the Orthodox celebrate Easter on 5 May; the Churches of Western tradition celebrate the feast in 2013 in contrast five weeks earlier on 31st March (Cathcon- last year, they were the same, this year the Orthodox are a week later. The Orthodox are either 0, 1 or 5 weeks ahead (or should that be behind??) depending on the year). The Eastern churches determine the date of Easter according to the old Julian calendar, using a different calculation method.

The Franciscan Custos explained that the deviation from the true Catholic date was considered for pastoral reasons. "Most Christian families in the Holy Land are of mixed denominations," said Pizzaballa. Excluded from the proposed scheme, however, were the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. There the "status quo" of 1852 applies, which minutely specifies the use of sacred sites for the various denominations , and this cannot be changed.
Cathcon note- Ukrainian Catholics also use the Julian calendar, so this move is not without precedent.
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