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Copyright Update

We have received the updated 2011 Copyright Registration for our website. This new Registration refers to the previous 2002 copyright Registration which is further evidence that our materials are protected by U.S. Copyrights.


This is the one and only Church that was canonically chartered by the Russian Synod of Bishops in North America in 1927. Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh was appointed first Archbishop of this Church (1927-1966) by the Synod and our Charter and Constitution were provided by the Russian Synod. Archbishop Ofiesh incorporated the Church in 1928 as a legal entity. He continued to head this Church until his repose in 1966. We continue as that same Church today.

No church, jurisdiction, priest or bishop who is not an active member of this original American Orthodox Catholic Church (our short name as stated in the 1927 Church Constitution) who claims to be us under one of our names, a close name or a completely different name is a liar. They have no lines from this Church! They have no authority from this church! They have no sacramental authority from this Church and they are most likely Old Catholic Episcopi Vagants claiming to be orthodox. When a bishop leaves the church he leaves all authority.

Some independents use our short name "American Orthodox Catholic Church", some even claim to be us or have our lines and (at least) one even ordains women. Some claim to be in the Aftimios or Ofiesh "tradition".

This Church is the first American Orthodox Catholic Church established for the English speaking Orthodox in the "new world" and we are in our rightful jurisdiction. We are not in schism with the ethnic orthodox since they created the Schism against this Church in 1929.

Regarding Ignatius Nichols

Note: Archbishop Victor filed an infringement lawsuit against Carl Bartholomew of Florida in June 2010.

Our attorney has sent a cease and desist letter to another individual(acknowledged receipt) who heads an independent jurisdiction claiming to be this Church, and making numerous claims that we can and will prove false and possibly defaming.

Updates will be posted as we proceed.

Regarding those who claim they are us

Father Andrew has said "its sad that these groups are so desperate that they cannot claim to be legitimate based on their own merits so they must claim to be us under whatever name they use".

Archbishop Victor has stated he will no longer put up with the false claims by anyone who starts to claim they are us. Archbishop Victor has collected much detailed information showing the backgrounds and lines of many independents who claim they are THEOCACNA. He was successful recently in having some pages removed from websites making these false claims using other names and he has a Federal Lawsuit pending over copyright infringement while using our Registered Service Mark. There are also related issues such as using our Church history, claiming Abp. Ofiesh "started or organized their Church" and other related matters. When this is settled we shall be notifying other such groups of the Courts ruling and our intention to take legal action if they continue their false and unchristian claims.

Legal note

If you claim to be us you leave yourself open to a lawsuit for Identity theft. This includes using our history, our Charter and other material that belongs to this Church.

If you use our name and logo you are guilty of Service Mark infringement.

If you use one of our common law service marks as published on our web site this is also infringement.

If you use a name that qualifies as confusingly similar you can be guilty of infringement also and the damages a court can award for intentional infringement can be very high.

Use of the marks can be assumed as coming off our website. No matter where you get the material it is not for public use.

Our website is under a claimed copyright shown on the website index and some of the other pages. Our website was also registered with the Copyright Office - Library of Congress in 2002.

Our name and short name were given to us in the 1927 Constitution. Use of either violates the law since these names are ours by common law service mark rights as well as our name being part of our registered Service Mark.

There are and have been many groups claiming they are us. If someone is claiming to be us just email us to verify they are with this Church. All others are either part of the independent movement or rogue SCOBA clergy.

Claims about being this Church

There are a number of individuals who wish to see this church fail and cease to exist. Some are members of SCOBA churches and some are members of independent jurisdictions who have claimed to be us or continue to lie and claim they are us.

They fail to consider one point - They will never be us and cannot legally be us at any time. This Church has been setup to maintain an independent life as a legal entity with control and ownership of the name and logo as well as our copyrighted materials are ours by law.

Anyone not part of THEOCACNA who claim to be us under the American Orthodox Catholic Church name are not. They have no legal claim on our 1927 short name no matter what they try to claim.

If you think you can take control of the church by joining us do not bother, that has also been tried and the corporate board works independent of the Synod.

Those who claim to be the Society of Clerk's Secular of Saint Basil are also making false claims. The SSB was originally established within this Church in 1931 and continues within this Church. Anyone using this name violate our former Registered Service Mark since the law does not require continued Registration. We had the name Registered for more than the required 5 years and previously claimed the name as a common law service mark. We continue to use this name within this Church.

Anyone claiming any of our other common law service marks as listed on our websites are also acting in a criminal manner by infringing our intellectual property.

Copyright Note

Seems a former bishop of this church who went independent is claiming we have infringed his "copyright" and demands we remove "his" works. Our attorney has reviewed this matter and has determined this claim has no merit. Since the photo's of Archbishop Ofiesh's grave and other photos were given as a gift to Abp. Victor with the intended purpose of publishing them on our website he has no claim on them. His icon was given to us to publish on our copyrighted website. He was asked if he wanted a copyright notice on the icon and he said no, anyone can have a copy. Now he claims we have used part of his icon w/o permission. It does not matter since he allowed us to post it on the Church copyrighted website without his copyright claim or notice and he stated he did not want to copyright the icon as he wanted to allow anyone to take a copy. As for the grave headstone photos, we had new pictures made. In the meantime he claimed he was revolking his permission to use "his" pictures, then he said we could continue to use "his" pictures if we gave him credit for them, and he had always received the credit on the page they were on.

Regarding the email claim of infringement so far we have found out we have not infringed any copyright. This "bishop" had stated he did not wish to include a copright notice on it when we published the icon on our website. He stated he wanted anyone to be able to have copies so he appears to have no copyright to the icon. He gave us copies of the small gold thumbnail jpg of the icon and the white background prints w/blue border that were sent out to many individuals. None had a copyright notice. The individual said he did not want a copyright notice on them.

After checking with various attorneys we have been told we have the legal right to use this icon in question and another one we have. The one icon is also under our registered copyright and our legal property. Another icon has a claimed copyright notice on it and may also be registered.