Sunday, March 3, 2024

    Disputes about Christmas celebration date “harmful and disorienting” – Greece’s Consul in Kherson

    Christmas is approaching, and discussions will begin again about when it is better to celebrate this great holiday – December 25 or January 7. Since this year, the Ukrainian Church has switched to the Revised Julian Calendar, so institutionally-wise this discussion has completed. And this is a logical development. However, many are used to celebrating according to the so-called “old calendar”, believing that the date change somehow violates their habits, so they object to change. In Greece, this debate took place much earlier, and it also took years for people to come to terms with it.

    The calendar issue was brouahgt up in a comment to the Spiritual Front of Ukraine by Pantelis Boumbouras, an Honorary Consul of the Greek Republic in the city of Kherson, whose consular district extends to the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Kherson region, the founder of the Hephaestus construction company.

    “In my opinion, Ukraine should not get into these disputes because mandating believers to celebrate December 25, while they may not want to, serves as another argument for supporters of the ‘Russian world’. Representatives of the Russian Church and promoters of Russia’s ideas in Ukraine play the feelings of believers. They say ‘they force you to celebrate on a different date, violate your rights and impose something alien on you.’ Those of us who have been at least a little involved in church affairs know that this is not the case, and celebrating the Revised Julian calendar is part of the Ukrainian church tradition,” the consul said.

    Boumbouras noted that the division on the calendar issue is exploited by representatives of the “Russian world” in Ukraine in order to escalate tensions in Ukrainian society and sow discord.

    “The issue of dates is not fundamental for Ukraine, and there is no reason for the church or political leadership to insist on anything. On the contrary, it distracts public opinion from the main problem: Russian influence through the Church. Ukraine’s political leadership should undertake more significant measures to limit Russian influence through the Church and not fall into the traps set by representatives of the ‘Russian world’ in Ukraine. One of these pitfalls is division around the celebration of church holidays,” concluded the honorary consul of the Greek Republic in Kherson.