Old Calendarists. What are they? Are WE them? This is an interesting topic that comes up from time to time, especially because we in ROCOR do in fact follow the Old, i.e., Julian/ Revised Julian Calendar, as opposed to the Gregorian calendar that other jurisdictions, e.g., the Greeks and Antiochians are on, along with the secular/ civil world. So there is some confusion as to whether or not we’re old calendarists, and the answer is not in the sense that the term is commonly used within Orthodoxy. The old calendarists are almost without exception a loose association of schismatics that have broken away from the historic Holy Sees of Orthodoxy (the established Patriarchies of Moscow, Alexandria, Jerusalem, etc.) and decided for themselves that they are the only ones who uphold and continue “true” Orthodox belief. To that end, they more often than not abrogate to themselves titles such as the “True,” or “Genuine” Orthodox Church of whatever (methinks they doth protest too much) to set themselves apart from the rest of us, whom they derisively refer to as “world Orthodox,” meant to imply that we are influenced by the World rather than by the Church. While in some instances this accusation may be warranted (see the recent actions of Abp. Elpidophoros), in most cases it’s a silly “holier than thou” approach to the faith that has largely resulted in the old calendarists being small, isolated, fringe (and cringe) communities more interested in defining themselves by what they’re not rather than by what they are. They are infrequently in communion with one another (because it’s hard to be when you insist that your little group has the exclusive access to the “correct” version of the faith), and for the most part content themselves with long blog posts attempting to make scholastic claims for their own legitimacy. So are they harmful? Not really, but they should still be avoided - they’re interesting as an internet rabbit hole down which to explore in the small hours of boredom, but otherwise not to be taken seriously unless you really want to get a diatribe of pharisaical accusations leveled against hierarchs long-dead that they’re mostly just regurgitating from the internet or their own embittered clergy. As an interesting aside, many of them have drawn their clergy from disenchanted/ disaffected canonical clergy who have some beef with their hierarchs, but who still look to jurisdictions such as ROCOR to provide valid Mysteries such as baptism, which indicates to me they question their own validity every much as they ought to. TL;DR: they’re nutters and polemicists, but we pray for their repentance and return to the Church.
top of page
bottom of page