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Why we are who we are

The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America is a canonically established Church, Chartered in 1927 and incorporated by Abp. Ofiesh on Feb. 1, 1928, and we continue as the same Church today. Our Short name is the "American Orthodox Catholic Church" as stated in the Dec. 1927 Constitution that was drafted for this Church by the Metropolia (as published on orthodoxwiki). They go on to say careful and detailed thought went into this Constitution and then they go on to quote a book written by Fr S. Surrency who claims these bishops did not know what they were writing and that the constitution was not correct. Nice to hear from a priest who knows more than the bishops did, isn't it?

It seems this Church has been under attack from one source or another since we were Chartered. At least one Antiochian priest is involed with a site called Orthodoxwiki and their pages are full of false and inaccurate statements, and not by accident. If you read the articles you will notice how much of what is written is contradicted by their own writings.

We can and do counter their numerous false claims. We also point out that to attack a man who was a canonical bishop over 40 years after his death is an unchristian act in itself. To also claim another bishop suspended his archbishop (solo) is an insult to that bishop but they feel since they moved his remains to Antiochian Village and laid him to rest near St Raphael that they have in some odd manner made amends for their insult.

Their continue claim that we do not exist is an act of desperation on their part. These groups who have been violating "their" canons on a regular basis at least in their attacks on this Church, allowing a priest to remarry and remain an active priest and other acts that are being pointed out elsewhere are all unchristian acts and false claims (lies) that we believe we disprove all over our website. They like to point out our site is "defensive" - Is it a wonder why?

These groups are a bunch of Schismatics who by their inter-communion have, according to the Sacred and Divine Canons they ignore have deposed themselves. All has been documented in a formal complaint mailed to the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

If they want to claim that Abp. Ofiesh violated the Canons in 1933 and deposed himself by marrying, that he retired or that Bp. Sophronius suspended him we simply respond - Prove it! Your claims show numerous inconsistant caims.

1. He did not depose himself since this Church never adopted that canon (as published on orthodoxwiki).

2. He did not retire since Marian, his widow has stated that he did not retire and that he fully intended to act as a married bishop (as published on orthodoxwiki).

3. Bp. Sophronius did not attempt to suspend him and/or excommunicate Bp. Ignatius (also as published on orthodoxwiki). The canons do not allow 1 bishop to act against another.

A. It should also be noted that not all churches adopted the canon on married bishops. In the Orthodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers Fr Stanley Harakas says in #285 "It never became a formal rule that a married man could not become a bishop". He goes on to say that married men are and have been elected bishops in some jurisdictions.

B. So it would appear the crisis causing Abp. Ofiesh and this Church is because Abp. Ofiesh married after being elevated to the Episcopacy. This cannot be a problem since the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch allowed Metropolitan Philip to permit a priest to remarry contrary to the canons and to remain an active priest. If this canon can be waived then common sense would direct you to this concept simply becase to not have the authority to waive this canon would cause the Patriarch and Met. Philip to be deposed as the canon directs. Since no tribunal was called against Abp. Ofiesh in or after his 1933 marriage it would appear he had the authority to waive the canon. Since he also reportedly stated that "God to him to marry" and that no tribunal as ever called in his lifetime it would appear he in fact did not violate any such canon.

What does violate the canons is priests claiming he violated the canons after his death when no charges were made against him in his lifetime and no tribunal was called as the canons would direct. It also goes against the canons to conspire against a bishop, to claim he was removed without a trial (since the canons do not appear to direct any action against him), to continue to claim his church ended in 1934 after Sophronius became head of the church and died - all false. Aftimios did not retire so Sophronius could not take over canonically and in fact he made no such attempt but remained in contact with Abp. Ofiesh until his death. You may read about the canonical violations in more detail elsewhere on our sister site.

You may also want to visit http://Pokrov.org for more detailed information on orthodox clergy who commit criminal acts.