Orthodoxy in America

Today in America we have a variety of groups who claim to be orthodox and who reside in North America. We will divide these groups into the SCOBA or ethnic groups and the Independent Groups for easier understanding.

SCOBA groups violate our Jurisdiction and the canons by co-existing within our canonical territory, and they attack us out of fear and jealousy. They know they violate the canons but continue to act within our jurisdiction. They want to be us so they claim to be the American Church or claim we are not who we are to justify their actions. Their clergy make false claims about our first Synod who all died many years ago showing their unchristian attitude but also admit that the claimed acts were not canonical! This does not justify any of their claims or actions.

The OCA was established in 1970 as the second American Church, by our mother Church, the Moscow Patriarchate, and basically claim to be us - they claim North America as their jurisdiction when its common knowledge that this is, and has been since 1927, the jurisdiction of THEOCACNA A/K/A The American Orthodox Catholic Church. Their clergy have even claimed our (Church) name (AOCC) which is deceptive. At the time they were established the Russian Church was clearly under communist control and the charter is viewed as suspicious since the Patriarch died very soon after he chartered this jurisdiction and before the charter was delivered. We have read a newspaper article posted online about an OCA priest in Canada who admitted to have worked for the KGB.

The Russian Church - Moscow Patriarchate, our mother church, abandoned us but as an autocephalous Church jurisdiction we have the right to exist as a canonically established Church. Their actions have also been in violation over the years since they chartered the OCA as the second American jurisdiction which they had no canonical right to do.

The Antiochian Church allowed a rogue bishop to come to America to raise funds (greed), steal members of other Orthodox jurisdictions and to harass Abp. Aftimios and this Church. Now they are an autocephalous jurisdiction and usurpers in our canonical jurisdiction. They have allowed a priest to remarry and remain an active priest contrary to the canons. Their clergy then claim our clergy have violated the canons but fail to admit the numerous violations by their Church and clergy. They will even state our clergy have been uncanonically or automatically excommunicated by pointing this out in an effort to make long dead orthodox clergy look bad to those who fail or do not understand what the "uncanonical" term means. They also claim that our former bishop Sophronius did not know the canons and attempted to suspend his Archbishop (+Aftimios) and to excommunicate a former Synod Bishop (+Ignatius), both of Blessed Memory, But their Church went so far as to burden the expense to remove the remains of Bp. Sophronius from New York to Antiochian Village (Pa). Much more recently their Metropolitan violated the canons with the approval of their Patriarch by allowing a priest to remarry and remain an active priest. According to the canons all party to this have been deposed by this act and all in communion with them are also deposed for praying with the deposed.

All other SCOBA member jurisdiction in North America violate our canonical jurisdiction. Our mission territory is Central and South America.

Independent Movement

Most who claim to be orthodox in the independent movement are actually just old catholic wannabe's.

They will claim to have orthodox lines but these for the most part do not stand up to close examination. The orthodox view of "valid" lines differs greatly from those of the Catholic Church. Many claim their lines trace back to this Church in one of 2 main ways - either from Sophronius via Christopher Contogeorge or from Ignatius.

a. Sophronius: We have viewed a copy of the consecration document. The one we saw was on Bp. Noli's letterhead thus indicating Noli to be the main consecrator.

b. Ignatius: He walked away from this Church, married and became a protestant preacher.

Since there was never a mandate issued by this Church these individuals were never canonically consecrated as bishops of this Church. When a bishop, like Ignatius, walks away from the Church he leaves all Church authority behind - thus such an act has no canonical or moral authority.

Anyone who knows the canons understands that a bishop receives all authority from his Church -and- that one bishop cannot canonically remove another bishop from his Church, jurisdiction or authority.

Some will claim the 1927 Charter issued to THEOCACNA was issued to them or just basically issued to anyone which of course is false.

Some will go so far as to claim to be us but under a different name. Originally some would even use our name until we registered our name and logo as a service mark. This was done to prevent the false claims and to help the people to be better able to know the truth and who we are.

Even today in the Independent Movement we can see so many uncanonical groups who claim they are this Church or exist by the authority of our Charter. Many today use the AOCC (short) name but they ordain women, which shows they are not Orthodox but old catholic, or they use multiple names like American Orthodox Church, AOCC, North American Orthodox Church, etc. One such group does claim all these names.

In the independent movement we hear of many claims of being canonical orthodox - most claim the Apostolic Canon that states a bishop must be ordained by 2 or 3 bishops! This is a common claim by those in the independent movement and they ignore the later canons that require a minimum of 3 bishops and that the Patriarch or Metropolitan preside over such ordinations. Also it is not uncommon to find a sex offender leading some of these groups.

Canonical Orthodoxy does not have women clergy! Nor does Orthodoxy have numerous Patriarchs and Metropolitans in the U.S. These are members of the independent movement and they are not canonical. Their Churches are garages, store fronts, an extra bedroom in their home, and so on. Some will even go so far as to warn readers of their website that there are people who will attack them, etc. This may be true but when you make false claims of being Orthodox you will run into some who will explain why they are not and this is what they will call an attack. As for those outright liars who claim to be us, claim our Charter is theirs and claim our lines they will view our public claim that they are liars as an attack! We, unlike many SCOBA jurisdictions, publicly announce the truth about American Orthodoxy, We are the true original 1927 American Orthodox Catholic Church (THEOCACNA) and today we are the American Orthodox Patriarchate!

Why are we canonical? This depends on how you view the term canonical. Many claim to be canonical you must be in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch but that is not the true meaning and the Canons do not claim this is what canonical means. We were canonically established (Established according to Orthodox Canons) by the canonical jurisdiction, Russian Patriarchate, in this Country and given fully jurisdiction in America of all The English speaking Orthodox in the New World. All others violate the canons by attempting to claim the authority over this land. To be canonical you must follow Holy Scripture, the Orthodox Canons and Orthodox Traditions. To be canonical the clergy must have true recognized lines of Apostolic Succession. To be canonical you must use old established Orthodox Liturgies that are approved for use in the New World (America). When you read our website you will see that we are canonical!

In 2003 The North American Holy Synod of The [canonically established] Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America declared itself to be the American Orthodox Patriarchate in accordance with the traditional manner of establishing a Patriarchate. The Russian Patriarchate was established in a similar manner.

"American Orthodox Catholic Church" short name for "The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America" [Registered Service Mark].

Most Rev. Victor Prentice
May 25, 2007

Copyright - 2007 Victor Prentice
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