corrections will appear like this
Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh as head of the new American Church should have had the status of Metropolitan Primate.
Aftimios Ofiesh (1880-1966, nee Abdullah Aftimios Ofiesh, names sometimes spelled variously as "Oftimios," "Ofeish," or "Ofiesch") was an early 20th century Orthodox bishop in America, serving as the immediate successor to St. Raphael of Brooklyn under the auspices of the Synod of Bishops of the Church of Russia (Moscow Patriarchate). He held the title Bishop of Brooklyn from 1917 until April of 1933, when he married, (False:) thus deposing himself from the episcopacy. Fact: According to Canon 96 of the 141c a bishop cannot be ousted from his bishopric or episcopate until his trial has ended! Since Abp. Ofiesh was head of the American Church a tribunal would have had to been called by the North American Holy Synod. Even the Ecumenical Patriarch could not call a tribunal for the head of another autocephalous church-jurisdiction. In fact Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh remained head of the Church and a canonical Orthodox Bishop until his death in 1966. All attacks on his good name and reputation violate Canon 6 of the 7c.
(False:) He is perhaps best known in our day as being the source of numerous lines of succession of episcopi vagantes and led the American Orthodox Catholic Church for most of its existence. Fact: Ignatius, after leaving the Church without the required letters, is the one who became an independent "bishop" and laid hands on many non-orthodox men. Some scoba clergy like to place the blame on Aftimios but after Ignatius walked away Abp.fiesh could not control the acts by Ignatius.
Following the untimely death of St. Raphael of Brooklyn in 1915, Archimandrite Aftimios (Ofiesh) was elected to serve as his replacement in caring for the Arab Orthodox faithful in America under the Church of Russia's canonical authority. He was consecrated by Archbishop Evdokim (Meschersky) as an auxiliary bishop in 1917 with the title of Bishop of Brooklyn. In 1923, in recognition for his work in America, he was elevated by Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky) of New York to the rank of archbishop.
In 1924, in the canonical chaos of American Orthodoxy following the onset of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the Arab Orthodox split into two factions, one which wished to go under the canonical authority of the Church of Antioch and another which wished to stay faithful to the Church of Russia. The former group was organized by Bishop Victor (Abu Assaly) of New York, thus beginning the official, but uncanonical, presence of the Church of Antioch on American soil.
In 1927, Aftimios was commissioned by the Russian diocese in America to form an English-speaking "American Orthodox Catholic Church." (False:) Despite Aftimios' leadership and vision the new church only lasted for six years. Fact: The American Church continues today! During this time Aftimios consecrated three bishops for his new jurisdiction, Sophronios (Beshara) of Los Angeles, Joseph (Zuk) for the Ukrainians, and Ignatius (William Albert) Nichols in September of 1932 as his auxiliary bishop of Washington.
In 1928 Archbishop Ofiesh incorporated the Church giving the Church a legal entity status. This Church continues today as the same Church.
In 1929 Bishop Alexander of the Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America claimed he, not Aftimios, was over "all" Orthodox in North America. This was false and created a Schism in American Orthodoxy by attempting to over throw the canonically created jurisdiction and authority of the American Church.
In 1931 the Society of Clerks Secular of St. Basil, a Western Rite group, was established under the auspices of this diocese by Archbishop Aftimios.
In 1932, Archbishop Aftimios was invited to come to St. Mary's Syrian Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to arbitrate a dispute regarding the transfer of its priest, Fr. Constantine Abou-Adal. When Fr. Constantine left St. Mary's in November of 1932, the parish was without a pastor, and so Archbishop Aftimios served in that capacity until February of 1933, organizing a choir and Sunday School at the parish. During this time, he met and became involved with one of St. Mary's parishioners, Mariam Namey, then subsequently married her in a civil ceremony in April of 1933.
Reports vary at this point as to what happened regarding Aftimios' episcopacy. According to the parish records of St. Mary's, he (False:) "was retired", Fact: Archbishop Ofiesh never retired and lived in nearby Kingston until his death in 1966. With the withdrawal of support for the American Orthodox Catholic Church (False:) it lost its canonical status. Fact: The Church could not lose its canonical status because the so-called Canonical churches were in Schism. (False:) According to the book Orthodox Christians in North America (1794-1994), however, Aftimios "resigned his episcopacy and married." Fact: Even public newspaper accounts of the marriage show Abp. Ofiesh did not retire as did the writings of his widow - The biography by Ofiesh's widow Mariam claims that Aftimios fully intended to function as a married bishop, having that intent even before he met Mariam. Mariam also gave us copyright of a photo later published in the Biography of Aftimios in his living room during about the last year of his life dressed as a bishop.
Due to the Schism created by the Greek Church relations between the small jurisdiction headeded by Aftimios and the mainstream Orthodox Church were not regularized before or after his marriage. The marriage is an excuse used by the ethnic to justify their actions. Wiki writers claim a de facto deposition of Atimios from the episcopacy which is mentioned above as false! Since that time, numerous and still multiplying lines of succession of episcopi vagantes continue to persist which all claim to trace their roots to Aftimios (mainly through Ignatius Nichols), some independents regard him as a saint. Some are married men, as well, which is a continual stumbling block to their unity with the mainstream Church, which has for centuries maintained a celibate episcopacy.
Following his death in 1966 at age 85, Aftimios was buried in Maple Hill Cemetery across from St. Mary's Orthodox Cemetery in Wilkes-Barre. His widow Mariam subsequently wrote his biography, published in 1999.
False succession claim by wiki authors:
St. Raphael of Brooklyn Archbishop of Brooklyn
1917-1933 Succeeded by:
Primate of the
American Orthodox Catholic Church
1927-1933 Succeeded by:
Archbishop Ofiesh was the Primate from 1927 to 1966
The Quest for Orthodox Church Unity in America, by Archim. Serafim (Surrency) Book is quoted by the Orthodox Wiki authors-editors. Their use is self-serving and is supposition by the author.
Mariam Namey Ofiesh: Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh (1880-1966): A Biography Revealing His Contribution to Orthodoxy and Christendom. Sun City West, AZ: Abihider Co., 1999. (ISBN 0966090810) The book by Aftimios's widow, while including a great deal of historical information, is not mainly a scholarly work but is rather a biography aimed toward the exoneration of her late husband. One of its primary themes throughout is that Aftimios's marriage to Mariam was justified and that the canonical tradition of celibacy for Orthodox bishops is "man-made" and should be abolished.