Aftimios Ofiesh This article forms part of the series Orthodoxy in America Groups
Amer. Orthodox Catholic Church
Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil
Aftimios Ofiesh (1880-1966, né Abdullah Aftimios Ofiesh,) was an early 20th century Orthodox bishop in America, serving as the immediate successor to St. Raphael of Brooklyn under the auspices of the Church of Russia. He held the title Bishop and later Archbishop of Brooklyn from 1917 until
Claim: April of 1933, (False)
when he married (True)
Claim: thus deposing himself from the episcopacy. (False)
Claim: He is perhaps best known in our day as being the source of numerous lines of succession of episcopi vagantes (False)
and led the American Orthodox Catholic Church for most of its existence. (False)
-Fact: He led the Church from 1927 until he died in 1966.
True: In 1927, Aftimios was commissioned by the Russian diocese in America to form an English-speaking "American Orthodox Catholic Church"
*Claim: ...only lasted for six years. (False)
-Fact: Continues today as the same Church and legal entity. (more at bottom of this article)
True: In 1931 the Society of Clerks Secular of St. Basil, a Western Rite group, was established under the auspices of this diocese
Claim: ...and subsequently (The Society was) led by Nichols.
-Fact: Only until he married and left the Church in June, 1933.
Claim: The American Orthodox Catholic Church lost its canonical status. (False)
-Fact: There was no canonical justification to end this Church or revolk its status.
Claim: Aftimios "resigned his episcopacy and married." (False)
-Fact: He never resigned. This is clear by statements published that he intended to continue as a married bishop.
TRUE: the ethnic patriarchal orthodox bodies all turned their backs on this Church and use the marriage of Abp. Aftimios as the reason, although most had already refused to recognize this Church and its authority in the New World."
Claim: ...the small jurisdiction "created by Aftimios"
-Fact: should read "headed by" since the Church was canonically established.
Claim: Relations with the mainstream Orthodox Church were not regularized following his marriage and de facto deposition from the episcopacy.
-Fact: Relations were not regularized from 1927 to 1933 before the marriage so any claim the marriage is the cause is not being truthful. There was never any intent to recognize this Church. There was an effort by the other Orthodox to cause this Church to fail by stealing parishes, members, clergy and property, all contrary to the canons.
No de facto deposition exists
Claim: numerous and still multiplying lines of succession of episcopi vagantes continue to persist which all (Ed Note: Claim to) trace their roots to Aftimios (mainly through Ignatius Nichols)
Claim: Sophronios succeeded Aftimios as Primate of the Church (False)
-Fact: Sophronios died in 1940 while Aftimios headed the Church and maintained his status as an Orthodox Bishop until he died in 1966.
--*Also I wonder how Sophronius could have headed the Church (claimed earlier in this article) after Aftimios when above its also claimed the Church only lasted 6 years. 1927 to 1933
Ed Note: All guess work by these ethnic orthodox who publish this.