Declaration by Patriarch Nikon
on the Schism in American Orthodoxy

Between the time this Church was Canonically established or Chartered and 1933 various Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions moved into North America, the jurisdiction of this Church, and worked to put an end to this Church, Synod and clergy.

We declare these acts to be a violation of the Orthodox canons with the intent to cause a Schism in American Orthodoxy.

We declare all jurisdictions involved are in Schism with American Orthodoxy, unchristian in their continued attacks on the early Church bishops, Abp, Ofiesh, Bp. Sophronius and Bp Ignatius, and we declare they should not be viewed as canonical by any orthodox in North America.

Until such time as those jurisdictions involved in the attacks on this Church and clergy from 1927 to date, over 80 years, can show christian charity and petition us for a peaceful manner in which to resolve our differences their mysteries shall be considered Attempted Episcopal Acts within our canonical jurisdiction

Patriarch Nikon
June 26, 2007

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It was never our intention of publishing any information about the Schism or to bother the ethnic jurisdictions. We simply notified them we were still active and that we were not interested in Scoba membership since we do not view these jurisdictions as canonical. Recently we have discovered numberous continued attacks on Abp. Ofiesh and his synod of Blessed Memory and this Church. These attacks attempt to Change history, defame the long dead clergy and us. We have decided to respond to these attacks and mis-information in this manner. At this point in time we also feel some have gone far past Schism!

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More on Schism

We shall point out that the penality in the canons are to depose clergy and excommunicate laymen for schism. The canon refers to those who cause the schism either not knowing the other clergy to be manifestly at fault either in point of piety or in point of righteousness or without knowing him (them) to be manifestly heretical or unjust! No such claims were made about Archbishop Ofiesh of Blessed Memory or the other synod bishops to date.

The clergy from some of these jurisdictions continue today to defame long dead clergy from this Church. They write articles for example that the Archbishop retired, deposed himself or was suspended, contrary to the canons, by one of his bishops.

According to most orthodox writers the Archbishop did nothing that violated the canons and no claim he did has been made that would be reason for the ethnic orthodox Churches to cause this schism in or prior to 1929. We acknowledge he did act contrary to the canons - 4 years later, in 1933. The ethnic want to claim that 2 other synod bishops, in 1933, also violated the canons which we feel we easily document as false.

In 1933, 4 years after the schism, this Archbishop did marry in a civil ceremony. Bishop Sophronius congratulated him and Bishops Joseph Zuk and Ignatius Nichols, according to writing of the ethnic (Scoba) clergy, stated this Church did not adopt or recognize the canon relating to married bishops. In other publications by orthodox priests it is published that not all orthodox churches adopted this canon.

What happened back in 1933 has nothing to do with us today. We are a canonical Church, canonically established, use approved Orthodox liturgies in their entirety, follow Holy Scripture, the Rudder and Traditions.

The actual schism was caused by the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Greek Archbishop Alexander of the new (in 1929) American Greek Archdiocese in America and other jurisdictions. This was 4 years prior to the marriage but the claim today is that he, Abp. Ofiesh, married and that is the reason this church "died" according to the orthodox writers. These jurisdictions all want to claim to be the American Church.

There is no canon that calls on the Patriarchates to work to destroy a Church so they may assume that Churches Jurisdiction - but that is what occured in the New World when the Russian Patriarchate chartered this Church. That is the Schism! They turned their backs on this Church, 4 years later the Archbishop wanted a tribunal and he married in a civil ceremony. No tribunal was ever called. The ethnic orthodox, out of Greed for power and territory decided they wanted to be the American Church and they caused this schism in American Orthodoxy that violated the canons.

Here we refer to othodoxwiki.

The word schism means a division or a split, usually in an organization. A schismatic is a person who creates or incites schism in an organization or who is a member of a splinter group. Schismatic as an adjective means pertaining to a schism or schisms, or to those ideas, policies, etc., that are thought to lead towards or promote schism.

The words schism and schismatic have found perhaps their heaviest usage in the history of Christianity, to denote splits within a church or religious body. In this context, schismatic as a noun denotes a person who creates or incites schism in a church or is a member of a splinter church, and schismatic as an adjective refers to ideas and things that are thought to lead towards or promote schism, often describing a church that has departed from whichever communion the user of the word considers to be the true Christian church. These words have been used to denote both the phenomenon of Christian group splintering in general, and certain significant historical splits in particular.

Thus, within Christianity the word schism may refer to:

The offense of inciting divisions among Christians as was the case of the ethnic orthodox who were jealous of Abp Ofiesh.


The event of two groups of Christians ceasing to be in communion with each other, so that, whereas they formerly could worship together, they decide they must worship separately because of disagreements between them. Again the case with the ethnic orthodox who coveted the new world for the financial wealth. This is admitted in the orthodoxwiki site in such statements as - Bishop Germanos came to America without authority, in itself violated the canons in many ways. He came here to seek funds, tried to take parishes from this Church and improperly accept a suspended priest.

THEREFORE, since the other ethnic orthodox churches turned their back on this Church, have defamed this Church and clergy for many years and still do today and even tried to "do away with this Church" by false claims the church died, ceased, ended, and so on, their various claims that Abp. Ofiesh as deposed, suspended, retired, etc. which all appear to be just speculation and wishful thinking as well as by their ongoing unchristian acts it would appear the ethnic orthodox created this Schism. We in fact are the victims of this Schism based for over 80 years on non-canonical, but secular grounds or reasons.

The old world ethnic and american scoba jurisdictions will claim we caused the Schism! They will claim it was because Archbishop Ofiesh married! Another provable lie! Consider these facts!

This Church, started in 1927, and our clergy were completely Rejected by the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Greek Orthodox Archbishop in America, the Antiochians and even Abp. Platon finally turned his back on this Church... by 1929! Archbishop Ofiesh married in 1933. At the time the orthodox jurisdictions caused this Schism in American Orthodoxy there was no canonical cause and no marriage had occured! The marriage occured years later and is not justification, after the fact, for the act of schism by all these orthodox jurisdictions. They incited the seperation for their own reasons and thus violated the canons and caused a Schism. Since their actions continue today, and since they do not repent but continue to act in an unchristian manner, defame dead clergy and continue to violate the canons, we shall report to the public how unjust, unchristian and uncanonical these scoba clergy are. If the Lord ever changes their hearts and they repent of their past actions we will discuss the issues with their Church leaders.

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This Church was abandoned by Abp. Platon and in 1929 Abp. Ofiesh was told by the Greek Abp. that "He, Abp. Alexander, had authority over all orthodox christians in the U.S." which proves the Ecumenical Patriarch and Greeks had no intention of recognizing this Church in its infancy.

Fr Serafim Surrency, an author frequently quoted on orthodoxwiki regarding this Church, was far from a scholar on the matters of this Church. More of assumptions on his part. He claims this Church died and other claims on wiki include that Abp. Ofiesh resigned, that Abp. Ofiesh was suspended by Bp. Sophronius contrary to the canons and that Abp. Ofiesh "de-facto" deposed himself (or automatically deposed himself) by his marriage. All different Reasons why this Church must have died because the Archbishop married and all incorrect!

Let's look at the canon. Canon 6 of the 102 canons does not state an automatic decree occurs if a bishop marries. It clearly states "Let him be deposed from office!" and that never occured canoncally or otherwise. Just years of rumors claiming this and the other claims above. Since there was no tribunal there was no decree and he was not deposed.

Also it must be noted, again, that Abp. Ofiesh married in a civil ceremony, that Bp. Sophronius congratulated him as did the other bishops who (again on orthodoxwiki) are supposed to have stated "inasmuch as it is merely a canon of the European and Asiatic branches of the Church this canon has no valid weight on the American Church." It appears from other writings that this is a correct statement since it has been written by an ethnic [Greek] priest that "not all Churches adopted this canon" - on bishops being married. This fact is also supported by the number of married bishops that lived in the communist countries. There is a canon that prohibits a clergyman from putting away his wife, and we do need to remember that Holy Scripture directs that a "Bishop should be the husband of one wife". The ethnic orthodox seem to prefer their canons over Holy Scripture.

orthodoxwiki also claims that Bishops Ignatius and Joseph believed Abp. Ofiesh resigned but had not. Seems odd they would congratulate the Abp. then just assume he had resigned... or is it just more revised history?

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It should be noted that by the facts presented - the writings and actions of certain ethnic clergy that they prove their unchristian position in regard to our Church, clergy and jurisdiction. They have attempted for years to destroy this Church. We will not lie down nor let them bury this Church. If necessary we will spread the truth about them around the world until their members understand the truth abut their clergy and churches.

An orthodox priest wrote: The basis of Christianity is love! Seems that has been forgotten by many who claim to be orthodox clergy.

Statement from website

Schism - Page 2

Schism - Page 3