Nov. 5, 2009
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican City State
In the name of Patriarch Nikon we wish, again, to seek a formal or informal concordat with Rome. In 1996 we received a letter from the Saginaw diocese stating our clergy could offer Holy Communion to Roman Catholics within our liturgy. I understand a Byzantine Catholic annulment was issued based on our (Orthodox) divorce in one case. One of our former priests was accepted into the Episcopal Church USA without re-ordination.
We were established in Feb. 1927 by the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) and incorporated in Feb. 1928 by the first Archbishop of the Church, Aftimios Ofiesh. We have been ignored by the ethnic Churches since we were established (1927) and the excuse has been the Archbishop violated the Canons in 1933. We would point out that there were other bishops who did not violate the canons who were also affected by the Schism created by Ecumenical Patriarch Basil and the first Archbishop of the Greek Church in North and South America.
Archbishop Ofiesh was a Syrian and an Archbishop of the Russian Church who was at one time the only Archbishop of that synod in North America.
In Oct. 1932 the newspaper ran an article about out first synod in North America and stated we were the only Orthodox Church in North America in our rightful jurisdiction.
We have attempted to retain favorable relations with the Roman Catholic Clergy we come in contact with. It would be nice if we could make this a more solid relationship. We cannot just ask to join Rome due to the position of a few of our synod members. The Patriarch seeks to bring in some good Orthodox bishops who are supportive of Rome. He also wants to firmly establish our Church so the Church will continue long after he is gone.
For the Church,