We are the first and only canonical "American Orthodox Catholic Church". Any other church established to replace us was improperly established contrary to the canons and traditions of Orthodoxy. We are the Church established by direction of the Patriarch of Russia by the free synod in North America. The second Church was established in 1970 under communist leadership. Since we still exist and have never ceased we are the rightful American Orthodox Catholic Church.
Our Name and Logo are our Registered Service Mark with the U.S. Patent Trademark Office.
We abide by our Charter from Moscow and offer friendship and communion to the Patriarch of Moscow and all Patriarchs and their Churches. We did not abandon them or turn our back on them.We were abandoned by the orthodox community contrary to the Sacred and Divine Canons. We continue to offer our friendship and communion to all orthodox individual and all jurisdictions acting within the canons.
We are as Orthodox or more Orthodox than the old world ethnic Churches under the Ecumenical Patriarch. We follow the Canons more closely than many of the ethnic orthodox. We declare ourselves as following the early Church canons including those that allowed married bishops. We state this for the following reasons:
a. The ethnic orthodox refused to call Abp. Ofiesh, of Blessed Memory, before a tribunal as the canons direct when there is a dispute or problem, when the Archbishop married. Therefore the ethnic orthodox have no claim that there is or was any problem with his marriage as it was a custom in the early Church to allow bishops to be married. Abp. Ofiesh stated in the newspapers that "God told me to marry". This also was not disputed. Therefore we view his actions as following the early Churches canons and Traditions. As the highest ranking bishop of this canonically established Orthodox Church his actions are a clear statement that the early traditions were to be followed by this Church.
b. The ethnic Orthodox allowed bishops to be married in the old world "to protect them and to hide the fact that they were bishops" to avoid persecution in communist countries. But when these bishops would relocate, to the U.S. for example, the ethnic bishops refused to recognize those men as bishops because they were married.
c. The modern american church has been in conflict for a number of years. The Rudder (canons) is out of print and it has been said it is being "update". The Antiochian Metropolitan has allowed a priest to re-marry and remain as an active priest over the objections of others. This shows us that these "rules" are just a guideline and not a "law written in stone".
d. We use the approved Orthodox Liturgy for the Western Rite as published by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. We follow Holy Scripture, The Canons and Traditions of Orthodoxy. We are Orthodox.
This Church was canonically established as the American Orthdox Catholic Church. That is even the short name of this Church and is stated as such in our 1927 constitution. We were established to be the orthodox Church in the Americas. In a newspaper article about our Synod dated 1932 (N.Y. World I believe) it has beed stated that all other orthodox Churches in the "new world" are usurpers. We are the only canonically established orthodox Church in "New World" (America) that is within our rightful jurisdiction canonically.
Our lines are from the Russian Orthodox Church (moscow patriarchate) and from the Syrian Orthodox Church through the church of India.
Our lines do not go through Nichols, Plummer, Prophetta or Ryan succession. This we proudly claim due to the fact that Mr Plummer was a Rosicrucian most of his life and was a Rosicrucian leader at the time of his death. Plummer was also a married man so therefore not a traditional ethnic orthodox bishop. It should also be noted that Plummer had claimed at least two consecrations, an act contrary to the canons generally.
Mr DeWittow married Plummer's widow. DeWittow had been consecrated by Plummer and was also a Rosicrucian.
Both Plummer and DeWittow listed their Church address at 321 101st St., NYC which was also the address for their Rosicrucian society and their home. After DeWittow died it continued as the address for "their" widow, who we understand was said to have been consecrated by Herman Spruit who by all available information to us appears to have been anything but "Orthodox".
Abp. Propheta used the name "American Orthodox Church" but he was NEVER the head of or part of this Church (THEOCACNA) nor did he have our lines. There is also a problem with the Propheta lines coming through the Rosicrucians. To find out if any of these lines can be remotely considered as "recognized canonical lines" you must know the detailed history of the individuals orders and claims. Their claimed lines are not the traditional ethnic lines that are accepted from orthodox Church to orthodox Church (i.e. between Russian and Syrian or Greek and Serbian Churches). Who ordained that person in the first place to minor orders on up? Were these ordinations "canonical" or in other words were the lines valid according to the Rudder and was the person being ordained a proper and valid subject for ordination? Many of these so called orthodox clergy are not. Many were not baptized in the orthodox approved manner thus their ordination would not be recognized by the Traditional or ethnic orthodox.
Another problem with the Propheta lines is the fact that he ordained and consecrated men for "other" (in reality - independent) jurisdictions. Many had no formal religious training and were never orthodox in any way so they were ordained and went off to start their own independent group and use the name orthodox without being orthodox or knowing anything about the Orthodox Church or Orthodoxy.
We had been contacted by one man claiming to be an orthodox bishop whose name showed up as being deposed and excommunicated many years ago for violating an oath of stability all the clergy had taken. He stated american orthodox clergy did not have to follow the canons to his superiors and he still claims this in a letter he sent to us. He goes on to state that anyone can excommunicate anyone but it means nothing since God does not pay any attention to such decrees (the acts of Synods and Bishops).
There are a number of independent groups running around claiming they have lines that trace back to this Church. They find non-canonical reasons to claim their lines are valid but they are not.
Few if any in the independent movement have valid and canonical orthodox lines traced to this Church. This is because no mandate was issued by this synod for any ordination or consecration or because a bishop acted after he had left this Church and therefore acted without and authority or jurisdiction to act on behalf of this Church. The Rudder (Orthodox Canons) clearly states that the Patriarch or Metropolitan is to head the gathered bishops for an ordination (consecration). These canons fail to consider that so many individuals would claim to be a primate, patriarch, metropolitan, archbishop or bishop and claim to head his, or her, church. All these independent churches are basically unrecognized by any old world (ethnic) orthodox synod.
These same independent's write and rewrite history regarding bishops who have been deposed and/or excommunicated. They claim one (independent) bishop can lift the decree issued by another (independent) bishop against someone which goes against the canons. In other words they make up their own (independent) rules as they go and ignore the historic canons.
In an effort to declare this Church not who we are some will claim the Metropolitan has claimed ownership of this historic Church corporation. Our Metropolitan has never claimed he owns the corporation. He was the duly elected President of the corporation and Church Synod. Since we declared ourself a Patriarchate in 2003 e are now under the Patriarch and the Metropolitan handles the day to day affairs of the Church under the guidance of the Synod.
Those who claim to have our lines or to be us under a different name are usurpers attempting to gain their dignity through lies and misrepresentation. The fact they have papers showing their lines trace to this bishop or that often fails to show that their claimed lines were not obtained canonically and that they have deposed or excommunicated clergy in those lines.
Many of the independent groups use such names as "American Orthodox Church", American Orthodox Catholic Church" (sm) and names very close to our corporate name which is also a duly Registered U.S. Service Mark.
We again suggest you check the facts and history behind any independent church you may be interested in joining. Many do not have sacramental authority but they will claim they have valid orders and to offer valid Sacraments.
The synod of the Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America contacted us and asked us to take over this group and protect it from an "independent" "bishop" claiming his roots from the 1951 NY church. We discussed the options and agreed to assume control of the NY Church and we did a corporate name change. This Church is now "The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, inc. in NY 1951.
Bishop Joseph (Klimovich) headed this Church until his death when Bp. Clement (Sherwood) was elected to lead this Church. Bp. Peter II (Zhurewetski) was excommunicated and retired to New Jersey where he continued to act as an "independent" bishop.
Bishop Don, one of our synod advisors, was consecrated by and was a close personal friend of and succesor to Bp. Robert Zieger.
There are groups claiming to be orthodox but using Roman Catholic like teachings, titles and names. We can go on and on. If it's orthodox its orthodox, if it claims to be orthodox but does not follow the canons, traditions and teachings of orthodoxy don't be fooled.
If the old world ethnic or canonical Churches cared they would speak up but orthodoxy is anything but united today. There are problems in orthodoxy everywhere you turn. The United States is a source of financial support for the Patriarchs and each wants more. If the Russian Church showed more Christian compassion for the orthodox in North America they would have supported the Church they started in 1927 instead of chartering a second Church in 1970. If the orthodox from any of the patriarchial Churches cared they would unite to put an end to the false and misleading claims of canonical from independents making false claims. The problem is you cannot unite these Churches because everyone wants more - titles, members, property, churches and money. Not long ago the Ecumenical and Russian Patriarchs were at odds over another Church. Russia claimed sole authority and control over a small church they "protected" many years earlier while the Ecumenical Patriarch granted them their independence from Russia. This goes on all over. The Old Calendar Churches keep seperate (usually) from the new calendar Churches. One Old Calendar group united with the Greek Archdiocese not long ago but others remain independent because they look for what is wrong with each other instead of what's right or mutual ground. As long as the Churches keep refusing to give communion to others that claim to be orthodox and are generally recognized as orthodox by others the orthodox Church will remain divided. Orthodoxy has too many chiefs today and more just want the titles.
|Bishops and info|
|We are the first True Autocephalous Canonical Orthodox Church
established in North America. We do not go out seeking members or converts
but all inquiries are welcome.
The Metropolitan and synod opposes Capital Punishment!
We seek traditional Eastern & Western rite clergy and seminary students interested in serving the Orthodox Community in America. This church, with the corporation, is the originally established national Orthodox Church for the Americas.
As the first English language Orthodox Church in North America we are properly in our Archdiocese. The intention was that all ethnic clergy would one day be united as one American Orthodox Church but that has not as yet occured. In fact, the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate under communist rule, in 1970, established a second American Orthodox Church (contrary to the canons and traditions of orthodoxy). Orthodoxy in America is still divided (for the most part) along ethnic lines. We must continue to pray for a united church.
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