Pope Proposes One Easter for All Christians


Roman Catholic Pope Francis took a big step towards unity with Orthodox Christians by proposing that the churches work together to come up with a single day of celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ— the most important holiday for all Christians.

Meeting a group of priests in Rome June 12, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church “is willing to establish a fixed date for Easter so that it can be celebrated on the same day by all Christians, whether Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox.”

In the current situation, he said, being ironic, “A Catholic and an Orthodox meet. One says, ‘Your Christ has risen? Mine rises next Sunday.’”

The matter came up again on June 19th when Pope Francis met with the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, Ignatius Aphrem II, at the Vatican on June 19th.

The two church leaders spoke privately, after which each gave a public discourse.

“We express our desire and readiness to look for new ways that will bring our churches even closer to each other, paving the way for Antioch and Rome, the only two apostolic sees where St. Peter preached, to establish full communion,” Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem said.

The patriarch also expressed his church’s readiness to come to an agreement to celebrate Easter on a common date. He said the Holy Synod of Antioch, motivated by the Second Vatican Council, adopted a resolution in 1981, expressing “the eagerness of our church” to celebrate Easter “on a fixed Sunday in April” in common with other Christian churches.

The celebration of Easter “on two different dates is a source of great discomfort and weakens the common witness of the church in the world,” he said, thanking Francis for recently “considering to take the initiative to lead the efforts on this matter.”

No official statement has come from the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, seen as the “First amongst equals” of all of the Orthodox Christian jurisdictions.



  1. Elaine Sotiropulos on

    I totally agree with the Pope! In this crazy world, the Christians should unite! The reality is, the date of Easter is really unknown to us. If we could agree on December 25 for Christmas, why can’t we just choose the second Sunday of April for Easter? The day/date doesn’t really matter. It is what and how we choose to honor and celebrate His resurrection that is important. Xristos Anesti!

  2. Irene Vallone on

    Thinking logically, Palm Sunday = Jesus rode into Jerusalem for the Jewish holy celebration of Passover. Jesus lived and died Jewish. Read your History concerning the political events of the times. The lunar calendar was used. I can go on and on but I won’t. We must follow the Julian Calendar, the Lunar Calendar, to determine Pascha.

    • Spoken like a true Orthodox Christian! The Orthodox faith has continued unchanged to determine Pascha. If those who broke away want to return…we will welcome them back.

  3. Yes we can celebrate one Easter!
    But which one? Eastern or western?
    Again this isn’t a topic for ignorant people to talk about. Christ was Jewish, had gone to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, so as long as we follow both calendars, not a problem. Since we Orthodox Christians are the only ones that celebrate a so called different day; are we expected to change????

    • It’s this kind of petulance that divides the Christian Church and will have us defeated by the true Infidels.

      • If the Greek Patriarch fixes the date of Pascha (Easter) then all the Greek Orthodox Churches affiliated with the Ecumenical Patriarch will go into Schism!! True Orthodoxy will come out of Russia!!

  4. Nicholas Kuphos. on

    Regardless of how Easter is calculated, the churches of the West that have introduced heretical beliefs and practices must make a concentrated, albeit painful, effort to reunify the Christian Church along the principles that existed in the first 1000 years. Then a new Ecumenic synod(s) will address all outstanding issues. A non unified Church in the modern world is increasingly becoming irrelevant!

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