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Archbishop of canterbury Justin Welby says unified date could come in five to 10 years — allowing followers worldwide to celebrate at same time. The archbishop of Canterbury has announced he is engaged in an ambitious plan to solve one of the oldest disagreements in Christianity — one dating back more than 1, years.
The archbishop said he had warned ministers that the change could have an effect on school terms and calendars, saying he hoped the unified date on the second or third Sunday in April could be introduced in the next five to 10 years. The rules for determining the date of Easter were set in AD at the council of Nicaea, which was convened by the Roman emperor Constantine to codify the Christian faith. It declared that Easter should come on the first Sunday after the 14th day of the Paschal — or ecclesiastical — full moon, meaning that it falls between 22 March 22 and 25 April where the Gregorian calendar is used.
However, the dates set by various different parts of the Christian church have drifted apart in the 1, years since then, as different calendars are used. Orthodox churches usually celebrate Easter a week after.
Pope Francis last year alled an openness to changing the date of Easter in the west so that Christians could celebrate it on the same day around the world. The discussions now involve representatives of Francis, the Coptic pope and the ecumenical patriarch of the Orthodox church.
In the UK, a legal foundation for changing the date of Easter has existed since the Easter Actwhich proposed setting it for the Sunday following the second Saturday in April. However, the act has never been implemented, and successive governments have left it to churches to agree any such change.
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