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Under Construction

If we have not clearly explained our meaning feel free to ask us for details and evidence. Our e-mail address is byzantine_orthodox@msn.com

We are prepared to point out a number of reasons why;

We are canonical

Why we continue as the original 1927 canonically established Church

Why we are Orthodox

Why the claims of the ethnic orthodox clergy are false, abusive, defaming and more.

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The ethnic Orthodox are attacking Abp. Ofiesh to cover up their canonical violations as listed below. Some of the clergy and church members will likely object and claim these statements are lies - but we document this. Much is admitted and published on their web site: Orthodoxwiki.org

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Here are some of the Canons violated by the Antiochians

Insult the Bishop: c55 of 85c

Fabricate charges: c6 of 7c

Only a synod or council of bishops has the authority to charge a bishop: c9 of 30C & 141c

Attempting vengeance twice: c32 of 92c

By these ongoing attacks Abp. Ofiesh suffered greatly during his lifetime: cXVII of 20c

The theft of his good name since he reposed: c3 of 12c, cLXI of 92c

The theft of Our (Church) good name: cLXXI of 85c and the concord of LXXII

They claim that Bp. Sophronius suspended Abp. Ofiesh and later excommunicated Bp. Ignatius, months after Ignatius walked away from this Church: c XI of 30c

We view all this writing as a conspiracy (plot) against Abp. Ofiesh and this Church: c XVIII of 30c

On orthodoxwiki they claim many things about Abp. Ofiesh and this Church but their documentation and sources are flawed. Some of their sources are thesis papers they wrote for their degrees. So they get a pat on the head for writing against this Church by their bishops. They publish that the Synod of the Metropolia, who chartered THEOCACNA, wrote the constitution which they state "was drawn up by the Metropolia and was quite detailed, indicating a great deal of thought went into the drafting of the Constitution that was dated Deceber 1, 1927". They then mention that Fr. Serafim Surrency, in his book, contends 2 sections of this constitution were absurd. Yes, here we have another priest claiming in his published book that the Synod of bishop's who drafted the constitution with great thought and detail did not know what they were doing.

Orthodoxwiki writers go on to claim that Abp. Ofiesh's widow, Mariam, stated he intended to fully function as a married bishop and that he did not retire. They go on to claim he led the Church until 1933 when he married, on another page they say the church existed until 1934, but it is clear that he led the Church until 1966 when he reposed. His widow provided us with a photo of Abp. Ofiesh in his home during the last year of his life wearing his episcopal atire. They also state Mariam sat on the Church corporate board of directors but then go on to say we are not who we claim to be.

They also like to claim "he is perhaps best known in our day as being the source of numerous lines of succession of Episcopi vagantes" but go on to state "our church only lasted 6 years", "Aftimios consecrated 3 bishops for the new jurisdiction" and they go on to admit that most of the Episcopi vagantes come through Ignatius Nichols, who they say left the Church in June 1933 to marry. Under the canons once Ignatius left the Church he left all authority and he was an auxiliary bishop when he walked away without the required letters. By 1934 Ignatius was claiming to be an Archbishop of the Metropolitan Synod of the Holy Orthodox Church in America - not a canonical jurisdiction. By 1942 he was the pastor of a community Church in Vermont which is far from the many independent claims that he was laying hands on people and acting as an "Orthodox" bishop.

What we seek to understand is how the Antiochian Church could incardinate a married independent bishop who had been consecrated by Ignatius as a priest years later. He would have had no valid or recognized orders or lines and would have required Chrismation and Ordination. See Part 3 below

Seems they also like to omit or forget Bp. Germanos who supposedly came to the U.S. without authority or permission, who tried to take our members, clergy etc away from this Church in an uncanonical manner and when a 100 point complaint was filed it was ignored. So it is alright for them to violate the canons years ago and still today but is Abp. Ofiesh and this Church that are not supposed to exist and must be repeatedly punished by them... without authority, jurisdiction or compassion.

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Part 2

Another claim on orthodoxwiki is that Abp. Ofiesh defacto deposed himself from the episcopacy by his marriage. If this were true then we claim Metropolitan Philip and the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch have deposed themselves based on the following since the canon states the bishop(s) are deposed. How christian is it for these writers who like to forget their "mistakes" and only claim that our Archishop ever violated a canon. They continue to attack Abp. Ofiesh over 42 years after his death. That shows how christian these clergy and others who are involved are. It should also be noted here that even orthodoxwiki.org admits that 2 of our bishops stated that the canon on married bishops was a European and Asiatic canon with no bearing on the American Church. In other words we did not adopt that canon. That is supported by the book "The Orthodox Church: 455 Questions and Answers by Stanley S. Harakas which states (#285) that the canon was not always followed and "It never became a formal rule that a married man could not become a bishop". He goes on to say that we are dealing with an administrative practice, founded on a canon of the church, not an article of faith, which means the church may return to the practice of ordaining married men as bishops.

Metropolitan Philip and his Patriarch appear to have violated the canons in allowing a widowed Antiochian Priest to remarry contrary to the existing canons. In canon 6 of the 102 canons a deacon is not allowed to remarry, and if a bishop allows a deacon to remarry he shall be deposed. Since a priest is also not allowed to remarry what punishment should there be for allowing a priest to remarry? No one to date has taken any action against Philip or the Patyriarch contrary to the canons which direct they shall be deposed! Nor have others attempted to destroy his Church... as has been done by the "ethnic" jurisdictions in North America to our Church. Since it is his Church that seems behind the attack on orthodoxwiki, and other places, against this Church we feel all so called violations of the canons must be shared equally. If you want to take our good name and continue to defame Abp. Ofiesh of blessed memory over 40 years after he died than should we also published that Philip deposed himself or maybe retired because of his violation of the canons? The OCA is believed party to this as we understand at least one OCA priest is involved with Orthodoxwiki.

The following excerpt is taken from the light and life catalog and names the Patriarch* as also allowing the remarriage of this priest.

The Book "Widowed Priest: A Crisis in Ministry" by Fr Joseph Allen. In the book catalog it reads: The story of Fr Joseph Allen, a widowed priest in the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, who chose to be remarried. The Patriarch of Antioch decided to permit the local bishop (as I read the book it mentioned Metr. Philip) to use his pastorial discretion and allow this remarried priest to continue serving the Church (in violation of the canons). The historical facts and precedents uncovered are presented within this very readable human interest story.

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Part 3

Now a couple other matters of possible irregular acts by the Antiochian Church.

RE: (Paul) Alexander Tyler Turner who was supposed to have been consecrated by Ignatius (Wm. A.) Nichols who was a former Auxiliary bishop of the American Church (Sept 1932 - June 1933). Ignatius left this Church without letters we understand to marry. By 1934 he was ordaining as an independent (old catholic) Archbishop of the group calling itself "The Holy Orthodox Church in America". This group was not an Orthodox entity. He had left Orthodoxy when he left the American Church and thus left all authority. It is claimed that Ignatius had re-established the Society of Clerks Secular of this Church as an independent organization that he supposedly headed and then later is said to have turned the group over to Alexander Tyler Turner. The dates vary based on which independent group you listen to.

Fact: Ignatius left Orthodoxy in 1942 and became pastor of a protestant Church in Vermont. He was a protestant pastor when he died in 1947.

Fact: Turner was in very doubtful and not orthodox lines.

Fact: Turner was a married bishop of an independent jurisdiction not associated with this (American) Church.

Fact: Turner was incardinated into the Antiochain Archdiocese (NY) as a priest.

We ask since if Turner was not ordained into the Antiochian Church but allowed to act on his prior ordination or his consecration by Ignatius Nichols after Nichols had left our Church it could place a cloud over all this acts as an Antiochian Priest.

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*If the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, as head of that Church, had the authority to allow Metropolitan Philip to permit a priest to remarry and remain an active priest without violating the canons that prohibit this then we contend Archbishop Aftimios, as head of the American Church by the authority granted to him as the first appointed leader of this Church, the highest ranking bishop of the American Jurisdiction, had the same authority to waive the same or similar canon's without violating any canon. This would be supported by the logical view that had such a violation occured in 1933 that a tribunal would have been called by the supreme authority of the Orthodox communion. If one of the above named clergy violated the canons then all above violated the canons. This is called equal justice for all.

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