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Letter - Lent 2009

+ To God be the Glory +

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Letter

Be it known that the North American Holy Synod does hereby proclaim on this the First Sunday of Lent, the 8th day of March, 2009 that The American Orthodox Patriarchate; The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America; is the one True Holy Orthodox Church not in Schism and with Sacramental Authority.

Regarding an end to the Schism, Unity and our Holy Church

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Christ is the Head of All! Of the Church, the people and all Creation. The Church is the body of Christ. Due to the unchristian acts of some ethnic Orthodox Clergy not only against this Church but for eons before we were established we must be today the One True Orthodox Church that upholds and teaches Holy Scripture, Orthodox Canons and Traditions.

What would St. Paul would say if he could see the direction and influence of the Orthodox Churches today? Would he rebuke them as he might also rebuke us for our tolerance of the many schisms and divisions that invoke the name of Christ and Orthodoxy. Us because we remained silent for so many years allowing this to continue quietly.

St. Paul struggled towards the unity of the Church he helped establish. He strived to unite the Church and to prevent unbearable burdens from falling on the people. According to the example of St. Paul, truth and Church unity are preserved synodically. Unity is "not" just an internal matter of the Church but is linked with the unity of all mankind. The Church does not exist for herself but for all mankind.

Since the historic Orthodox jurisdictions are in Schism with their own canons we must expand from being the American Church to being the Orthodox Church worldwide. We must encourage our missions to expand and to grow. They must one day cover the earth!

At the same time we must be open to reconciliation whenever and wherever it occurs with the schismatic Orthodox. In the meantime we cannot be idle! We must work and grow!

In the whole world we, the American Orthodox Catholic Church" are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church who faithfully continues Orthodox canons and traditions without prejudice or greed. We are the poor relation to the worldwide ethnic Orthodox who over 80 years ago violated the "Sacred and Divine" canons for their foothold in the New World. Our mother Church and sister Churches then acted contrary to Orthodox Canons and traditions and attempted to destroy this canonical Holy Orthodox Church and to defame and disrespect the first canonical Archbishop and synod of this Church.

Their continued refusal, an excuse, to recognize this church, based on the 1933 marriage of Abp Ofiesh, violated the Canons and places them all outside Holy Mother Church. The canons cannot be changes or ignored at will, by one or many of the clergy, but they did just that.

The other Orthodox jurisdictions usually claim unity in faith and sacraments which has led them down the path of schism... according to the canons they claim to follow.

True unity cannot exist until this schism is ended.

+Nikon
Patriarch