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Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh

The 1927 Charter of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America®

An Act of the Synod of Bishops
of the Russian Orthodox Church
in North America

Moscow Patriarchate

"Now we, the Synod of Bishops of the Dioceses of the American Russian Jurisdiction, believing ourselves called of Christ and moved of the Holy Spirit in behalf of Holy Church and Her children in America, and being fully authorized through the above Letter * by the highest Authority in the Church to which we owe and maintain strict obedient loyalty; 

"We hereby, on this 2nd day of February (new style) in the year 1927, charge one of our number, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Aftimios, Archbishop of Brooklyn, with the full responsibility and duty of caring and providing for American Orthodoxy in the especial sense of Orthodox Catholic people born in America and primarily English-speaking or any American residents or parishes of whatever nationality or linguistic character or derivation not satisfactorily provided with proper and canonical Orthodox Catholic care, ecclesiastical authority, teaching and ministrations of the Church or who may wish to attach themselves by the properly and legally provided means to an autonomous, independent, American Orthodox Catholic Church. And to that end, that he may discharge the duty and responsibility laid upon the Church and by us on him, we do hereby permit, empower, authorize and direct the said Archbishop of Brooklyn to found, organize, establish, head, conduct, control, and maintain a distinct, independent, and autonomous branch of the Orthodox Catholic Church to be known and legally established and generally recognized as "The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America" with the provisions that (1) such newly-established Orthodox Catholic Church shall be and forever remain in all respects truly Orthodox Catholic in the sense of the Fathers, Councils, Canons, and Tradition of the Historic Undivided Church still existing in the several Patriarchates and Autonomous Churches of the one Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Eastern Church, and shall be in full communion and Orthodox Catholic brotherly fellowship with, but only with, Orthodox Catholic Churches, Clergy, and Faithful, maintaining and strictly observing the full content and form of sound, undefiled Eastern Orthodox Catholic Doctrine, Traditions, Canons, Discipline, Order and Sacramental Communion; and (2) in as much as it is derived from and canonically founded by the Church of Russia through the primary and sole Orthodox Catholic Missionary and evangelistic efforts of the Russian Church in America and fully recognizes the primacy and canonical exclusiveness of the Russian Jurisdiction and hierarchy in America throughout the first century of Orthodox existence in the New World, the newly-established Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, while entirely autonomous and independent in its organization, constitution, administration, jurisdiction, and authority, shall preserve at all times its brotherly and filial relationship to the Orthodox Church of Russia represented in Russia by the Patriarchal Authority of Moscow and All Russia and in America by His Eminence, Metropolitan Platon, and his canonically established and recognized successors as Archbishop of the American Jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia. Further: We do hereby, on this 2nd day of February, 1927 (new style), elect and give order for the Consecration of the Very Reverend Leonid Turkevitch to be Bishop in the newly-founded Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America as assistant to its Governing Head, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Aftimios, Archbishop of Brooklyn, and by him to be appointed to such position or See as The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America by its Constitution or By-Laws may provide or erect for the first assistant Bishop under its Primate. 

"May God prosper and Bless this work in His Name and to His Glory. Amen. Issued under our hands and seals in the City of New York, on the 2nd day of February (new style) in the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Twenty Seven." 

Signed by:
Platon, Metropolitan of North America and Canada; 
Aftimios, Archbishop of Brooklyn; 
Theophilus, Bishop of Chicago; 
Amphilohy, Bishop of Alaska; 
Arseny, Bishop of Winnipeg; 
Alexy, Bishop of San Francisco

* The Letter referred to above is one written by Metropolitan Sergius, Acting Patriarchal Locum Tenens of the Russian Orthodox Church, under date of September 12th, 1926 (new style) addressed to the Russian Bishops outside of Russia.
 

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