The Orthodox Church - May/June 1998

US Old Calendarists
reunited with Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

NEW YORK, NY [RNS/GREEK ARCHDIOCESE] - A decades-old rift between an Old Calendar Greek Orthodox jurisdiction and the canonical Church under the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been resolved, reuniting about 30,000 of the separatists into the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

The rift was formally healed May 3, 1998 during a ceremony in the Astoria section of New York City at which His Eminence, Archbishop Spyridon of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, on behalf of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, installed His Eminence, Metropolitan Paisios as Abbot of the Patriarchal Monastery of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou.

The dispute originated in 1924 when many of the world's autocephalous Orthodox Churches adopted the Revised Julian Calendar, prompting protests from some traditionalists in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and the US. The traditionalists insisted on retaining the previously used Julian calendar. The dispute grew into a schism.

In April, the largest of the Old Calendarist groups in the US was accepted back into communion with canonical Orthodoxy during a ceremony at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. The Patriarchate's Holy Synod accepted into its jurisdiction the Monastery of Saint Irene, its founders, Paisios Loulourgas and Vikentios Ma-lamatenios, as well as its dependencies. The Holy Synod also elected Paisios as Titular Metropolitan of Tyanon and appointed him abbot of the Monastery, while Vikentios was elected Bishop of Apamia.

The Old Calendarists list about 20 congregations and monasteries in the US.

Under terms of the reconciliation agreement, neither the Old or New Calendarists are required to change how they measure the liturgical year. In addition, Old Calendar clergy have been accepted as members of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, and all Old Calendarist sacraments, weddings, baptisms and other such rites performed over the years were retroactively approved. 

[ The Orthodox Church - May/June 1998 - p. 15 ]