Fr. Z’s Voice Mail or ¡Hagan lío! & ASK FATHER: Date of Easter in Holy Land

z-voice-mailI get interesting voice mail. Remember, I don’t call back, but I listen to it.

  • To the lady in S. Texas: By all means write to Card. Müller! If they determine that it is a matter for the Congregation for Divine Worship, they will forward it.  And… we weren’t promised a bed of roses when we were baptized.   We must expect to be mistreated within the Church by our shepherds when we stand up for what is right.  We all have to get our heads into a place where we can foresee this and be ready.
  • To the angry homosexual guy in Sacramento: Thanks for the smile!  I shared that with a couple friends.  For me it was the “jackass” that really made it.  Apparently you think it is “political” when I or any faithful priest or bishop writes about morals, but it isn’t “political” when people like you impose your “gay” agenda on the rest of society.  I’ll pray for you today.
  • To the person in Thailand: There was only 4 seconds of audio, so you might want to try again.

Here is a voicemail with a question.  He was unable to send it, for some reason, through my ASK FATHER email form.

From a reader in Amman, Jordan


That’s an interesting question and situation!

The date of Easter and the calendar which is followed has been a major issue at many times in the history of the Church.  The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council declared that the Catholic Church would not object to the assignment of a particular Sunday of the year as Easter in perpetuity (Appendix to Sacrosanctum Concilium). Moreover, the Council Fathers left to Patriarchs the authority to “come to an agreement by the unanimous consent and combined counsel of those affected to celebrate the feast of Easter on the same Sunday” (Orientalium Ecclesiarum, 20).

Subsequently, the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land agreed to have one common date for the celebration of Easter in that territory.  They determined that that common date would be using the Julian Calendar. This is within their competence, though it requires the approval of the Holy See. Exceptions seem to have been made for parts of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which are covered by the complex and byzantine agreement known as – I’m not making this up – the Status quo.

One can debate about whether this is a good thing or not.  If it brings about greater unity with the separated Eastern Churches, it could be a blessing for the whole Church. If it merely confuses the matter, then it would not be a good thing.

Christ clearly wanted and wants unity for His Church.

That said, retreating to the Julian Calendar doesn’t seem to me to be the best answer, but – hey! – they didn’t ask me.

Since I pay (through your donations) a fee for the voice mail phone numbers, I am glad when they get some use.

You can get me through Skype or through telephone in these USA or in the UK.


020 8133 4535


TIPS for leaving voice mail.

  1. Don’t shout.  If you shout, your voice will be distorted and I won’t be able to understand you.
  2. Don’t whisper.  C’mon.  If you have to whisper, maybe you should be calling the police, instead.
  3. Come to your point right away.  That helps.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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