Regarding all the false claims by independents who claim to have our lines of Apostolic Succession.
And it is very simple why you don't!. IN ORTHODOXY, which your claiming to be if your claiming our lines, a bishop gets his authority from the Church. When he leaves the Church he "leaves all his Episcopal authority"
Ignatius (Wm. A.) Nichols left THEOCACNA in 1933 shortly after Abp. Ofiesh married. Nichols married and in 1934 was ordaining others in the name of The Metropolitan Synod of The Holy Orthodox Church in America, 321 101st St., NYC! At this point in time he no longer acted for THEOCACNA.
It should also be noted that Plummer was consecrated by "Archbishop Ignatius" in 1934 at Plummers Church, at the same 101st St address which also served as a Rosicrucian Society Hall and had claimed at least two consecrations.
DeWittow had been consecrated by Plummer and Ignatius and was also a Rosicrucian. DeWittow married Plummer's widow.
After DeWittow died it continued as the address for "their" widow, who we understand was said may have been consecrated by Herman Spruit who by all available information to us appears to have been anything but "Orthodox".
Since the Holy Orthodox Church in America was not found to have been a NY corporate entity and was not a canonically established jurisdiction of any style it is clear the acts of Bp. Ignatius, now using the title "Archbishop" were done apart from and independent of THEOCACNA and without the authority of the canonically established American church. Thus no lines of Apostolic succession were imparted to those he laid hands on.
Regarding claims about the Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil.
When Ignatius left THEOCACNA the Society remained as part of this Church. Any acts he did later using our name were not as part of the 1931 Society under this Church. It was a newly established group using the same name. Thus members of the Society were actually members of the independent Church group he worked with at that later date.
Regarding Bishop Sophronius or Sophronios Beshara or Bishara - His name is spelled in various ways.
People like to claim Sophronius consecrated with the assistance of Metropolitan Noli. This is also untrue. We have in our archives a certificate of ordination on Metropolitan Noli's letterhead and Sophronius signed below and on the other side of Noli. We do not recall if he signed as assisting or as a witness.
In Oct. 1932 a picture and newspaper article was published that named the Synod of this Church. The picture showed the Synod as Sophronius, Aftimios and Joseph. Ignatius was mentioned as Auxiliary Bishop having been consecrated but was not listed as part of this Synod.
The North American Holy Synod disavows all ordinations and other acts pertaining to the Holy Mysteries by Ignatius (W.A.) Nichols after he left this Church. No such act imparted or transfered Holy Orders or Succession from this Church.
The North American Holy Synod denies the claims published that Sophronius Suspended Aftimios and Excommunicated Ignatius since the Antiochian Jurisdiction later incardinated Bishop Alexander Turner as a priest according to the information we have obtained.
1. Sophronius being a canonical bishop should have known the canons and known that a bishop could not suspend his archbishop or depose or excommunicate any bishop. This is published among other writings of some ethnic clergy who make many fakse claims about this Church and our clergy, This is said to have occured in 1933.
2. If Ignatius had been excommunicated and continued to ordain and consecrate it is unlikely Turners ordination would have been accepted by the Antiochians and that he would have been received into the Antiochian Church as a priest (reception not ordination).
Therefore it would appear that all such claims are false guesswork and published by uneducated individuals who would rather denounce canonical clergy than remain silent when they do not know the facts.
The canons say a bishop should know the Canons. Sophronius would have had a rudder to find the canons he used to act. Since he had not objected to the marriage of Abp. Ofiesh where the Archbishop returned home with his new bride there is no reason to believe he changed his mind, such an act was never claimed to have occured or been attempted by Abp. Ofiesh or Mariam.
It should also be noted that others claim that Bishop Joseph and Bishop Ignatius attempted to take control of the Church after the marriage of Abp. Ofiesh. Bishop Zuk, a dying man, denied this! Bp. Ignatius as an Auxiliary bishop would have had no authority to do this either. This act also was never claimed to have occured or attempted by Abp. Ofiesh or Mariam.
Reason we doubt these claims:
a. A newspaper article claimed Sophronius congratulated Aftimios on his marriage
b. Some ethnic clergy publish that Ignatius and Joseph stated that the canon on married bishops was a European and Asiatic canon that had no bearing on the American Church. Clearly showing the canon on married bishops was not adopted by this Church.
c. Stanley Harkaras, a Greek priest in Fla. in one of his books says "not all Orthodox Churches adopted that canon (on Married bishops)" so it would appear clearly to all that we never adopted that canon and Abp. Ofiesh did not violate that or any serious canon since Abp. Ofiesh was never called before a tribunal.
It is clear by a, b and c above that the canon on married bishops never was adopted by this Church. In certain parts of Europe this canon was not adopted and when such bishops later came to the U.S. they were also treated in a shabby manner by the so called celibate clergy of the various orthodox jurisdictions. These were the same bishops who risked their lives in communist and other countries who were treated like they were great sinners by their so called brother bishops.
What was wrong is the simple fact that the ethnic jurisdictions in the "New World" could act in such an unchristian manner against the new American Church, act against the Church in an effort to put an end to it so they could claim all authority as the Orthodox Church in America, by any name, would dare to insult a canonical bishop with their lies and attacks, and continue to attack this church with their lies for more than 42 years after the death of the first Archbishop, Aftimios Ofiesh.
Not adopting that canon has no bearing on the fact that the ethnic clergy attempted to punish this Church for the act of one bishop in 1933, which is clearly an excuse since they have ignored this canonically established Church since we were established in 1927 and in 1929 the Greek Abp. falsely claimed authority over ALL ORTHODOX IN America. No canonical authority exists to make such a claim. This is our canonical jurisdicion and the ethnic are usurpers who violate the canons.
The New World, North America, is clearly the canonical jurisdiction of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, THEOCACNA, and always will be.
The failure and refusal to recognize this Church is clearly an act of schism against the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America and American Orthodoxy.
The lies and attacks against Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh, the Synod and this Church violate the Sacred and Divine canons.
It is clear THEOCACNA never adopted the canon on married bishops.
Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, as well as their Patriarch, allowed one of his priests to re-marry contrary to orthodox canons and traditions without any such claims and attacks so it would appear they, according to the Sacred and Divine canons that these so called ethnic orthodox ignore when they do not guide them as they want, have by the canons deposed themselves. The canons state that those who pray with the deposed are deposed and those who pray with the excommunicated are excommunicated. Since these "ethnic" orthodox pray together and have do so all these years since this priest was allowed to remarry they have all, according to the canons, deposed themselves. Thus they have no sacramental authority to act leaving the American Church as the only sacramental canonical Church.
Since there was no tribunal called against Abp. Ofiesh it would appear he was a man ahead of his time in this matter and he was not cannically deposed, excommunicated or suspended as claimed mainly by Antiochian clergy who continue to attack him and this Church in an unchristian manner.
All further attacks and lies published will be viewed as supportive of the anti-christian acts of orthodox clergy from various jurisdictions and furthering the Schism in American Orthodoxy.
For many years former Metropolitan Victor was the primate of THEOCACNA. He pushed the Church towards true Orthodoxy and he acted to protect the Church and former clergy from the attacks of the ethnic and the independent groups. He has been able to compile the needed documentation to disprove many of the claims made against THEOCACNA.