News

Christian faiths continue negotiations to set a date for Easter

20 January 2016 | by Megan Cornwell

Church leaders all in agreement that moveable feast must find a permanent home

Not content with preventing a schism within the Anglican Communion, it seems the leader of the world’s 85 million Anglicans is keen to push for a solution to one of the longest running disagreements in Christendom: the changing date of Easter.

According to The Telegraph, the recent four-day meeting of Anglican primates concluded with the Most Reverend Justin Welby saying that Anglican leaders would join discussions to move to a fixed date for Easter. Although any changes could take up to a decade to implement, he said.

Pope Francis signalled a desire to maintain one unified date for Easter last year when he addressed a global gathering of priests. According to the Catholic News Agency, he said: “we have to come to an agreement” about changing the date.

In May the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II also wrote to the papal nuncio in Egypt suggesting a common date for Easter. At present, Orthodox churches normally celebrate Easter a week after Catholics and Easter Sunday for Catholics can fall anywhere between 22 March and 25 April.

The difference in dates stems from the fact that the Western Church uses the Gregorian calendar and the Eastern Church uses the Julian calendar, further complicated by the fact that, for Orthodox Christians, Easter may never coincide with Jewish Passover but must come after it; in the West the two can coincide.

As early as last year Fr Ronald Roberson CSP, who is associate director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in the US, wrote for the USCCB blog that the Catholic Church was “ready to renounce” its method of calculation of the date of Easter in order to reach an agreement with the Orthodox Church so that all Christian Churches can celebrate Easter on the same day.

Fr Roberson added: “It has often been observed that the inability of Christians to celebrate together the central mystery of their faith is nothing short of a scandal, and it diminishes the credibility of Christian witness to the Gospel in today’s world. 

According to The Telegraph, Archbishop Welby said the mostly likely date for Easter would be the second or third Sunday of April. The Vatican was unavailable to confirm this.

This year Easter falls on 27 March. Next year it is set for 16 April.

 

KEEP UP TO DATE ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK...

Follow all the latest news and events from the Catholic world via The Tablet's Twitter feed @the_tablet

Or you can join in the debate at our community page on Facebook



Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue

Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

Both sides in Amoris Laetitia debate are right, says Cardinal Müller19 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Pro Francis theologians start petition in support of Pope following 'filial correction' 18 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

German bishops abandon controversial Missal translation09 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Changing minds and hearts: the basic moral test of a society and its laws is the treatment of human life at its most vulnerablePremium18 October 2017 by John Wilson

The book of the people: the laity were reading the scriptures before 1517Premium18 October 2017 by Thomas Kaufmann

When realities collide: A pro-life activist suggests a change of direction for those campaigning for the abolition of the Abortion ActPremium18 October 2017 by Rebecca Bratten Weiss

Both sides in Amoris Laetitia debate are right, says Cardinal Müller19 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Pro Francis theologians start petition in support of Pope following 'filial correction' 18 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

German bishops abandon controversial Missal translation09 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Changing minds and hearts: the basic moral test of a society and its laws is the treatment of human life at its most vulnerablePremium18 October 2017 by John Wilson

The book of the people: the laity were reading the scriptures before 1517Premium18 October 2017 by Thomas Kaufmann

When realities collide: A pro-life activist suggests a change of direction for those campaigning for the abolition of the Abortion ActPremium18 October 2017 by Rebecca Bratten Weiss

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top