Our lines are from the Russian Orthodox Church (moscow patriarchate) and from the Syrian Orthodox Church.
The following lines are used by members of the independent movement to claim their lines back to THEOCACNA and the Russian Orthodox Church. They are not valid or orthodox lines.
They claim to be us or in our lines by claiming their lines back to Ignatius W.A. Nichols who was an Auxilary bishop of our Church who walked away without the required letters. When he left us (1933) he left all authority to act in our name or to pass along his "lines" since he left all authority behind.
He started to ordain as an Archbishop of the Holy Orthodox Church in America in 1934. This was an independent group, never a canonical group.
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). 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? i.e. was he orthodox, did he recently convert to orthodoxy and obtain immediate 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 appear to have 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 went 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.
One simple fact is that no mandate, as required, was ever issued for the act that they trace their lines back to us and none of their "bishops" was a member of this Church. Also some falsely claim one of our bishops was the main consecrator when in fact he assisted or witnessed another bishop without a mandate from our synod.
Few if any in the independent movement have valid and canonical orthodox lines traced to 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. Many also ignore the updated or later canons and will consecrated by only 2 bishops and they claim that is canonical and acceptable - it is not.
These same independent 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 they claim the Metropolitan claims ownership of this historic Church corporation. Our Metropolitan has never claimed he owns the corporation. He is the duly elected President of the corporation and of the Church 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 offer valid Mysteries (Sacraments) 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, incorporated 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, 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, a violation of the canons by the way. 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.