Saint Philaret of New York’s recommendation of the work “The Calendar Question” by Fr. Basil Sakkas

Saint Philaret of New York’s recommendation of the work “The Calendar
Question” by Fr. Basil Sakkas:

The Holy Apostle commands us saying, “Hold fast the traditions which ye
have received, whether by word of mouth or through an epistle of ours.” (2
Thes. 11:15). It is therefore with genuine joy that we recommend to you
this present study written by a Greek brother, Fr. Basil Sakkas, who is a
priest under our Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
serving in Geneva, Switzerland. It is the voice of a true Orthodox
Christian of the Greek Church, which Church has been afflicted for the last
fifty years with divisions, and contention, and persecution on account of
the innovation of the New Calendar which was brought about in 1924 by
modernists in a hasty and most uncanonical manner.

Fr. Basil sets forth in a clear fashion the reasons why many of our Greek
Orthodox brethren refused to follow after the uncanonical change of the
calendar in their Church in 1924 and, being aided by the fathers of the
Holy Mountain Athos, courageously and justly withstood this innovation
which was the beginning of an inundation of innovations perpetuated by the
modernists until the sorry state in which we are found today of the heresy
of Ecumenism.

All serious and concerned Orthodox Christians should pay attention to this
work of Fr. Basil, especially today when there is talk by the modernists of
changing the Orthodox Paschalia. The translation and printing of this study
is especially precious since the texts of the three condemnations of the
Gregorian Calendar enacted by Pan-Orthodox councils in the 16th Century and
the Pan-Orthodox condemnation of modernism last century presided over by
Patriarch Anthemus appear for the first time in English.

These condemnations were never lifted by any later council—they still stand
and are binding for all Orthodox Christians. The innovation of the New
Calendar brought about schism in all the local churches that adopted it.
Thus, Greece, Cyprus, Rumania, and now Bulgaria have tasted the fruits of
disobedience. It is only to be regretted that the Orthodox peoples of the
above-mentioned Churches were not able to all rise up together and as a
great wave overcome and put down this tide of innovations, as the Russian
people put down the modernism of the “Living Church” in this century. Our
own Russian Church in the person of the then Archbishop Anastassy of
blessed memory, later Metropolitan and the First Hierarch of our Synod,
strongly and resolutely protested the innovation of the New Calendar and
the other modernisms of Patriarch Meletius Metaxakis of sorry memory at the
gathering in Constantinople in 1923, which is wrongly referred to as
Pan-Orthodox since the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem and the
Church of Cyprus did not attend. Most hierarchs of the Church of
Constantinople also refused to attend, thus protesting the uncanonicity of
the forced political appointment of Meletius as Ecumenical Patriarch. The
Primate of our Church at that time, Metropolitan Anthony, also protested
against that reform in his correspondence with the Eastern Patriarchs and
received answers supporting his stand.

“Glory and honor,” therefore, in the words of the Holy Apostle, to all who
hold fast the traditions and keep the Faith as we have received it without
additions or subtractions even though they be slandered and persecuted.

†Metropolitan Philaret
The 14th of April, 1972
Feast of St. Martin the Confessor, pope of Rome,
and the bishop confessors with him in the West.

The work can be read here


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