Ignatius (W.A.) Nichols
Auxilary Bishop 1932-1933
1934-1942 Episcopi Vagant claiming to be Archbishop
of the Holy Orthodox Church in America
1942 - Became pastor of a Community Church
Ignatius never ordained anyone for THEOCACNA.
When he left the Church in 1933 without the required letters
he had no authority to act for THEOCACNA.
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Many make claims they have lines to this Church based on an ordination he did after he left this Church in 1933. Simply put it should be noted that none who claim lines from Ignatius after he left THEOCACNA are or have been associated with the Church Abp. Ofiesh originally headed. Abp. Ofiesh did not found or establish the Church as some claim. He, Abp. Ofiesh, was appointed to head this church that was canonically established by the Russian Synod of Bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate. According to Orthodox canons and traditions Ignatius had no legitimate claim on our Church, lines of Apostolic Succession or history since his acts were done after leaving this Church since they were without authority or mandate and he was acing independently as a "former" Orthodox bishop. When he left the Church to start or work in an independent Church he left all authority to act in our name or to pass on our lines of Apostolic Succession within Orthodoxy.
Those who claim acts by Ignatius after 1942 clearly are making false claims since Ignatius left independent Orthodoxy at least by 1942 when he became pastor of a community Church where he was pastor until his death in 1947.
Ignatius Nichols was canonically consecrated Auxiliary Bishop in The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America on Sept. 27, 1932. While a bishop of this Church he did not consecrate anyone for this Church or by the authority of the North American Holy Synod [sm]. What we have found is that he left Theocacna [sm] shortly after Abp. Ofiesh married.
Since we are the same Church (and Corporation) we find it within the authority of the Synod to denounce as invalid by Orthodox Canons all claims of ordination and consecration from and by Ignatius Nichols.
The simple fact is that no mandate, as required, was ever issued for the acts claimed that supposedly trace back to us. Without a mandate from this Church and since he left this Church against the canons any acts were based on his own authority and not the authority of this Church. No lines can be traced back to this Church by any unauthorized acts.
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C. XIII of the 25 canons reads;
Auxiliary Bishops shall have no right to ordain presbyters or deacons, but, moreover, not even city presbyters may they ordain, without being allowed to do so by the Bishop with letters in another diocese.
Since Ignatius left the Church in 1933 without the required letters he left all authority from this Church behind since a bishop gets his authority from the Church. He later claimed to be an "Archbishop" in 1934 of the Holy Orthodox Church in America and any authority was from this independent church since he was not acting for THEOCACNA and he had no authority to pass on our lines of Apostolic Succession. Such claims are following the Old Catholic traditions and are not orthodox claims.
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To the best of our knowledge none in the independent movement have valid canonical orthodox lines traced to this Church. The Rudder or (Orthodox) Canons clearly state that the Patriarch or Metropolitan is to head the gathered bishops for an ordination (consecration). The canons fail to consider that so many individuals would claim to be a primate, patriarch, metropolitan, archbishop or bishop and claim to head his, or her, church. All these independent churches are basically unrecognized by any old world (ethnic) orthodox synod.
These same individuals write and rewrite history regarding bishops who have been deposed and/or excommunicated. They claim one bishop can lift the decree issued by another bishop or that one bishop can suspend or excommunicate another bishop. All is contrary to the canons. In other words they make up their own rules as they go and ignore the historic canons.
In 1934 Ignatius claimed to be Archbishop of the Metropolitan Synod of the Holy Orthodox Church in America and ordained and consecrated in the name of that church. The Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil is an order started in this Church, remains in this Church to this day and we claim the name as a service mark since it was our Registered Service Mark and we continue to use the name. Independent groups use this name illegally today. When members left this Church they left our Society. When its claimed Ignatius ordained for the Society it was for an independent group he started after leaving THEOCACNA. After Ignatius left this Church no acts were done in our name. The Society did not leave THEOCACNA as some independents would claim. Former members left the society and joined the Antiochian church and used the society name.
The Holy Orthodox Church in America does not appear to have been a NY corporation under that name.
Since Ignatius was with that church Bp. Forbes Holy Orthodox Church - AJ seem to have assumed a similar name and try to claim to be us, claim our lines and more.
We understand that Ignatius left Orthodoxy in 1942 to become pastor of a Community Church. In 1943 he signed a contract with that Church and when he died in 1947 he was still the pastor of the small Community Church in Vermont.
Today many still try to claim his lines trace to the American Orthodox Catholic Church (THEOCACNA).
These individuals were never part of THEOCACNA
All who claim their lines from Ignatius Nichols often claim these individuals are in their lines. None of these individuals were ever in this Church.
George W. Plummer, Stanislaus DeWittow (or Dewitow), Walter Propheta, Francis Ryan, Stephen Holdridge, Wilson Sehorn, W. Francis Forbes, Thomas Baumler, John Chrysostom Martin, Carl Bartholomew, Colin James Guthrie and Paul Turner to name a few.
Again, once Ignatius left THEOCACNA he no longer had authority to act as a clergyman for this church. He used the Church name "The Holy Orthodox Church in America" and some claim that he used the "Society of Clerks secular name" but the original Society remains within this Church today. THe name was a Registered Service Mark of this Church and is still in use by us today.
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The North American Holy Synod [sm] refuses to accept
as valid any Episcopal acts, i.e. ordinations and consecrations, performed by Ignatius Nichols without the prior consent of the Synod or a Council of our Bishops.
When he left this Church he left all authority to act in the name of this Church. Since our records indicate Ignatius went his own way without the required Canonical Letters we view all acts as invalid and contrary to Orthodox Canons.
For the Synod
The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, Inc.
August 22, 1997