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More Church related info

Page 2

More Church related info

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In 1932 the NY World newspaper published a picture of our Synod and a story. They stated: We were the only orthodox synod in our lawful jurisdiction. The basis for this claim would seem to be the schism in American Orthodoxy caused by the other orthodox jurisdictions not based on canons but on greed, desire, jealousy and the desire to be the leader in old world orthodoxy. The Schism these jurisdictions have caused continues today and has continued for over 80 years!

As the original American Orthodox Catholic Church, our short name that has been adopted by many including a number of independent jurisdictions, we were established as the anchor Church of Orthodoxy but uncanonically rejected by the other jurisdictions. Today we continue as the True Orthodox Church in America - THEOCACNA, A/K/A the American Orthodox Patriarchate! We are not in communion with the Schismatic jurisdictions nor will we seek communion until the schism is canonically resolved.

We are Orthodox! We follow Holy scripture, the Orthodox Canons (Rudder) and Orthodox traditions. We are mainly western rite but also offer the Eastern Liturgy.

The scoba-ethnic orthodox churches violated the canons in respect to this Church and infringe upon our canonical jurisdicion in violation of the canons (i.e. more than 1 orthodox bishop in the same town). The new world was our canonical territory so we are most likely the only true orthodox Church in North America.

In 2003 we declared ourself the American Orthodox Patriarchate.

We are listed in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, the Handbook of Denominations, the Pruder directory and the Gale Directory. We are recognized by the Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church USA. We are not interested in SCOBA due to the unchristian treatment by the ethnic Churches over the years and their acts that violate the canons.

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In 1997 we had posted on our website, aimed at ending rumors, a decree stating that no other jurisdiction had any authority to act against Archbishop Ofiesh since no Tribunal ever was called. He continued as the head of this canonically established Church. Our Synod stated we lifted any such degree since it was not canonical, valid or issued by any true orthodox synod with authority and jurisdiction over this Church or the presiding bishop.

The Synod also determined and declared that no steps were taken by Bp. Sophronios against other members of the Synod, as some have claimed, as that would have violated the Canons. Being a canonical bishop he would not intentionally violate the canons and in fact when Abp. Ofiesh married Bp. Sophronios congratulated the couple. A similar rumor exists about Bishop Ignatius and is also false.

Since it would violate the canons to have acted, as rumored, and issued such a decree, as mentioned above, it cannot canonically exist.

On Church leadership

The North American Holy Synod decreed Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh was the Corporate and Synod President at the time of his death. This is based on the following factors:

1. He was appointed first head of this Church and Synod President As of Feb. 2, 1927.

2. He was the corporate President at the time the Church was incorporated on Feb. 1, 1928.

3. Based on newspaper reports he was congratulated on his marriage by Bishop Sophronius.

4. Based on other reports he was congratulated on his marriage by Bishops Joseph and Ignatius.

5. He lived longer than the other synod bishops and no one took over his official corporate office legally until after his death.

6. The photo of Archbishop Ofiesh in his Cassock during the last year of his life.

7. Mariam Ofiesh, it had been reported, stated Aftimios intended to act as a married bishop.

8. Many, both ethnic schismatics and independents, make false claims that Sophronios was second primate and then Ignatius was the third primate of this Church, and go on to say Plummer and Dewitto followed in line to Prophetta. Since Ignatius walked away from this Church in 1933 and in 1934 was consecrating for the Holy Orthodox Church in America thus proving this claim false. Sophronius was alive until 1940 and he never was head of this Church.

No legal documents exist to contradict this.

Archbishop Ofiesh died a canonical bishop of the Orthodox Church in good standing.

This Church was canonically established, is 80 years old and has been incorporated as a church for 79 years. We continue today as the same Church and are not a copy or re-incorporated group as some attempt to claim.

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Therefore, as the Synod with authority over our clergy we declared that no valid decree to depose or excommunicate Abp. Ofiesh was ever issued against him and we declared invalid and lifted any such bogus decree anyone, canonical or independent, has claimed or may have attempted to issue against Abp. Ofiesh and also any decree that may have been issued against Bp. Ignatius Nichols.

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The only action by the Ethnic Orthodox Churches was to turn their back on this Church thus violating the canons they claim to live by. This was the cause of a Schism between this canonically established Orthodox Church and the other Eastern and Oriential Orthodox jurisdictions in America.

It would appear that greed for the wealth available in the New World was a major factor as was the desire to live the better live in the new world. So they abandoned their homeland and Church to follow the dream of great wealth and a desire to become the American Church.

You should note that it is a published fact that Patriarch Ignatius IV, Greek Othodox Patriarch of Antioch authorized Metropolitan Philip to allow a priest to remarry and remain a priest which is contrary to the canons. Have they deposed themself or did Ignatius IV have the authority to waive this canon? If he had the authority to waive or ignore this canon we claim Aftimios, who also married and remained in the ministry had the same authority. If one did not have such authority then all would be deposed.

It is an Antiochian priest who is associated with Orthodoxwiki who continues to attack the memory of Abp. Ofiesh and attacks this Church in an unchristian manner. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones!

Schism in American Orthodoxy"

The real problem is the disgraceful manner in which an Orthodox Archbishop was treated by all ranks of clergy as an excuse to ignore this Church. Such action is the real crime and violation of the canons. This violated the canons! But by the way they write today you would think they were proud of their uncanonical acts!

This man of God was treated in the worse manner by the so called Christian leadership of all the ethnic (SCOBA -pre-scoba) orthodox Churches that had moved into our jurisdiction.

As if they had not done enough to violate the canons and mentally abuse an Archbishop of this Church they continue today to write and publish lies and untruths about the former clergy and clergy of this Church.

The Old World Churches had no canonical authority to take any such action since they refused to hold a Tribunal and since they had no canonical ties to this Church. In fact by turning their backs on this Church they violated the orthodox canons causing a Schism in American Orthodoxy and it continues to this date. We are the only orthodox church in our rightful jurisdiction - the New World. The false claim that a bishop of this Church attempted to suspend, depose or excommunicate Abp. Aftimios and Bp. Ignatius would have violated the canons that require a council or synod to act against a bishop (1 bishop may not depose or excommunicate another bishop).

If this sounds familar we again mention this from the previous page.

One reason the SCOBA or old world Churches would not act against Abp. Ofiesh appears to be based on the fact a married bishop was not all that rare, only a bishop who married after he was ordained. According to the Rev. Dr. Stanley Harakas, Th.D in "The Othodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers", Pg 215 #285 states; "We know from historical documents that the canon was not always followed and that we have mention of married men who became bishops and who did not separate from their wives. It NEVER BECAME a formal rule that a married man could not become a bishop. It is also a fact that in some communist countries a bishop had to marry to hide the fact he was a bishop from the authorities, for the good of the Church. It appears more likely this was the excuse they were waiting for to distance themselves from this Church and to move into another Churches jurisdiction and again to violate the Canons. The problem is they caused the Schism in 1929 and Abp. Ofiesh married 4 years later in 1933! So they caused the Schism and ignored this canonically established Church, acted in concert with other jurisdictions to put an end to this Church, started a second Amerian church, and defame the dead based on their claim Abp. Ofiesh married and the Church dies but they refused to accept or acknowledge this Church years before! This is just an excuse to cover their fault in this matter.

The SCOBA writers like to claim that Aftimios was responsible for many independent jurisdictions. To acknowledge such claims that go back to Archbishop Ofiesh then also allows such claims that the Russian Patriarch or Abp. Platon are responsible for the independent lines. Abp. Ofiesh did nothing directly to start or support an independent and non-canonical movement. This is just another lose and unsupported claim to defame Abp. Ofiesh and this Church.

The fact is that Bp. Ignatius assisted in at least one consecration that later traces to the Propheta group. It must be noted that Bp Ignatius had acted on his own, without a mandate or authority from this Church or Synod. Many priests and other clergy came to Aftimios for advice and seeking ordination but he refused. Scoba writers also like to claim that relations between these so called small jurisdictions they claim Aftimios created and the mainstream Orthodox Church were never regularized and some SCOBA clergy claim that he deposed himself from the episcopacy by his marriage which is disproved on the preceeding page. It is just an excuse used by the SCOBA and ethnic groups to justify their uncanonical acts.

Uncanonical acts by ethnic-scoba clergy

An Antiochian priest was allowed to Remarry and remain a priest! This violates the canons. There appear to be other violations but how many are hidden so we do we not know of them? Do they try to hide their uncanonical acts?

How many clergy from this and other orthodox jurisdictions have been accused or convicted of criminal acts like sexual abuse that is hushed up?

How about the orthodox seminary student some years ago who tried to board a plane in Florida with carry on luggage containing handguns?

Or the Orthodox priest in Romania or the Novice monk in America who murdered nuns?

We cannot forget the Greek Bishop who owned a male brothel! Seems many feel the Church is a business where they can try to make money for their own needs in any area including the sex trade. Would that make this bishop a pimp?

You will not see one ethnic jurisdiction turn its back on another because of criminal acts or canon violations by clergy from another jurisdiction, just the unchristian treatment of the first synod of this Church in an effort to be able to claim our territory - all violations of the canons and Holy Scripture. [This informaton is or has been published on the internet or in newspapers]

we feel there has been an unholy alliance between certain ethnic jurisdictions to force an end to this Church. By their contined writings against men like Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh and Bishops Sophronius and Ignatius of Blessed Memory, to make them appear as unorthodox men who violated the canons repeatedly and pointing readers away from the repeated violations of canons by their jurisdictions.

The fact is that the Ecumenical Patriarch refused to recognize Aftimios and his Church claiming that only the Ecumenical Patriarchate had the authority to establish the American Church and Abp. Alexander of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in America told Abp. Ofiesh in 1929 that he, Alexander, had all authority over the orthodox in America. Proof that the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Greek Church had no intention to accept communion with this Church and worked against Aftimios and this Church in an attempt to destroy us. Of Course that claim was wrong then and is still wrong today.

Since that time, numerous and still multiplying independent lines of succession continue to persist which all trace their lines to Aftimios (mainly through Ignatius Nichols as a co-consecrator), many of whom regard Abp. Ofiesh as a saint, a claim we understand was originally made by Denis Garrison of Md, a [former] independent bishop himself. We are aware of a Icon of Abp. Ofiesh Garrison had written. Some of those bishops are married men, as well, which is a continual stumbling block to their unity with the mainstream Church, which has for centuries maintained a celibate episcopacy.

NOTE: Some in the independent movement have declared Abp. Ofiesh to be a saint but they are not associated with this church and arprobably not recognized by this Church or any other we know of. We do feel he has been defamed and attacked by those clergy jealous of his being the Abp. of the canonically established American Church and their Churches want to claim this title. Such attacks that have lasted all these years show the unchristian and unholy character of those behind these attacks.

Visit this Link for some details

Pokrov site

So we ask the readers to consider the following facts;

This Church and our clergy have asked nothing from the ethnic who write this trash that attacks us in an unchristian manner and attacks and defames long dead clergy of this Church. We have clearly stated we have no interest in SCOBA membership. We have nothing to gain from the ethnic or scoba jurisdictions and we have no desire to associate with those who cause the Schism in American Orthodoxy until they correct their unchristian and unorthodox ways.

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On the other hand what drives these "writers" to continue to write about Abp. Ofiesh, Bp. Sophronios, Bp. Ignatius and this Church?

This is a simple question and an easy answer! What their jurisdictions have to gain!

1.Status - They all want to be the American Church! As long as we are around they will look bad when they try to claim to be the new American authority. The Antiochians claim to be an autocephalous jurisdiction from their Patriarch. The OCA also! The Greeks claimed authority over all orthodox christians in 1929 and the Greek Archbishop is the president of SCOBA.

2. Greed appears to be the driving force.

3. Power - Authority over other jurisdictions in North America.

All they have to do is continue to violate the canons, act in an unchristian manner, allow their clergy to continue on this path of deception and destroy this Church;


There is no canonical justification for the ethnic jurisdictions to create a Schism. It was done for power, authority and greed and violated the canons of orthodoxy. The Greed continues today as does the struggle for American authority among the SCOBA groups.

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It must be noted at this point that this Church was;

A. Canonically Chartered by the Russian Synod of Bishops in North America of the Moscow Patriarchate and Abp. Ofiesh was appointed its first canonical presiding Archbishop (Feb. 2, 1927), It must be noted the Russian Church had all canonical authority over the New World since they moved from Russian to Alaska, to California and across the United States.

B. Legally incorporated by Abp. Ofiesh (Feb. 1, 1928)

C. Granted America as our canonical jurisdiction - All North America was granted as our Archdiocese, and central and south america were granted as our mission territory.

D. Almost immediately after our establishment the Ecumenical Patriarch of that time, Basil III, directed the Orthodox jurisdictions to ignore this Church. He "claimed" only he had the authority to establish the American Church. Not a Canonical fact! The Greek Archbishop, Aleander, advised Abp. Ofiesh (1929) that he, Alexander, had authority over all orthodox in America. This was a false uncanonical claim

E. Failure to recognize this canonically established Church with canonically ordained clergy with no canonical basis for that refusal was the start of the Schism in American Orthodoxy.

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We remained silent on this issue until recently when the schismatics began adding claims to their public claims including that Bishop Sophronios supposedly suspended his Archbishop and excommunicated Bishop Ignatius which cannot be canonically done - but claims made and supported by so called scoba-ethnic orthodox clergy. These claims show these clergy will do anything they deem necessary to make their church look valid, canonical and christian when in fact they violate many canons in this regard. If they obey the canons their bishop must know of these claims that defame the dead! Thus the bishop(s) are proven to support these violations, unchristian acts and continued Schism. These published claims also go against the teachings of Holy Scripture!

We believe that these unchristian acts [i.e. defaming the dead, violations of the Canons, Holy Scripture and everything else known and unknown reported herein] remove these clergy including their bishops, synods and jurisdictions from any possible canonical status... other than the claim of being in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch which is not the true meaning and basis of "canonical".

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The American Orthodox Patriarchate
(est. July 6, 2003)

By the North American Holy Synod

Of The American Orthodox Catholic Church
Our short name in our 1927 Constitution for

The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America
Canonically established Feb. 2, 1927,
Legally Incorporated Feb. 1, 1928

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Copyright 2011 Most Rev. Victor Prentice