UKRAINE: Orthodox to celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25, in union with Catholic Church

Editor’s Note: It was in the 1582 A. D., on the day St. Theresa of Avila passed from this life to eternal glory, that the Roman Pontiff promulgated the Gregorian Calendar, replacing the Julian, established by Caesar in the 1st century B.C.. The reason for the change is that the Julian imprecisely calculated the number of days in a year as 365.25, when in fact the year is 0.0075 days shorter. So in the Gregorian Calendar the leap day is omitted when the Century begins with a number NOT divisible by 400.* And 12 days were added to the Julian Date, so that St. Theresa actually died on Oct. 3, the vigil of St. Francis, in the Julian Calendar, but is reckoned to have passed on Oct. 15, her feast day in the present Gregorian Calendar. — This decision of the Roman Pontiff, Pope Gregory XIII, outraged the Protestants and Orthodox, since they claimed he did not have the authority to do it (Ignoring as they do the words of Our Lord, “Whatsoever you bind on Earth, shall be bound in Heaven …”.

The Ukrainian Orthodox kept using the Julian Calendar after the schism of 1204, and even after the decision of May, 1923, in the Pan-Orthodox Council of Constantinople, which imposed the Revised Julian Calendar whose dates correspond with the Gregorian. The Ukrainian Orthodox, being then part of the Russian Orthodox Church continued with the old Julian Calendar. But now she will use the new Julian Calendar, like most of the rest of the Orthodox world.


** 2000 was not a leap year, but 1900 and 2100 are.

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