The Catholic churches of the Holy Land plan to observe Easter according to the Orthodox calendar, the head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land has announced. The change could come as early as next year.
Father Pierbattista Pizzabella explained that the change was prompted by a desire to strengthen ecumenical ties between Catholics and Orthodox, and also by pastoral concern for the many families in the Holy Land that include both Catholic and Orthodox believers.
The Orthodox churches set their liturgical feasts according to the old Julian calendar. For some years the Orthodox observe Easter on the same day as Catholics; in other years the dates may differ by either one week (as it does this year) or 5 weeks.
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