The Ecumenical Patriarch and Holy Synod must end this Schism or continue to harm the souls of those who attend their churches. We have approached the various Church leaders but to date they continue to ignore us.
As long as we are ignored and not viewed as canonical the acts of these so called canonical clergy from these schismatic jurisdictions can be claimed as such and their unchristian actions can continue to be shown to be violations of the canons. Is this what you want for Orthodoxy? Would it not be better for all involved for you to recognize us, make peace and resolve the issues we present herein? Their attacks and claims have been ongoing for far to long and can no longer be denied.
If this Church and Archbishop Ofiesh can be under attack by other Orthodox clergy for something that happened in 1933 but no formal charge's were ever made and these same individuals and clergy have also violated the canons much more recently then it is our duty to call these violations to your attention for trial and punshment.
They violate the canons as shown in this complaint but continue to act like they do nothing wrong and that Archbishop Aftimios committed such a severe violation that even would allow the jurisdictions to attempt to destroy this Church for the action of one bishop so they feel this must be published... with inaccurate and assumed information.
1. The Orthodox do not follow their own canons.
2. The Orthodox Leaders supported the attempt early on to destroy this canonically established Church.
3. Some Orthodox appear to have their own unchristian agenda.
As for the claims that we no longer exist:
1. Our legal Evidence of Identity;
a. We are the same corporate entity (church) that Abp. Ofiesh headed and incorporated, and the same Church.
b. In the matter of Defamation of the Church and clergy we, the Church, were a co-plaintiff in court in a defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuit. The defendant soon was on the run from the police for contempt of court, unpaid fines and Arson. The Plaintiffs were declared NOT TO BE PUBLIC FIGURES.
c. This Church is a legal entity, owns the legal Service Mark consisting of our Church name and Logo.
d. This Church owns the copyright of our published website (Domain) and photographs.
2. Mariam Ofiesh sat on the corporate board of the Church as a trustee until 1999.
3. We are not the same clergy - but neither is His Holiness Basil III still the Ecumenical Patriarch and Archbishop Alexander is no longer the head of the Greek Archdiocese in North America. Times do change as do people.
As for our being Orthodox;
We use the Western Rite Service Book as well as the Eastern Liturgies as posted on our website.
We follow Holy Scripture, Orthodox Canons and Tradition.
We follow the Orthodox calendar
There are many who attempt to claim they are us under various names or they will claim to have our lines. These are old catholic independent groups with no ties to us.
It should be noted that our short name "American Orthodox Catholic Church" (a legally claimed service mark of this Church) has its own website by Damick and maybe others, on orthodoxwiki and our corporate name "THE HOLY EASTERN ORTHODOX CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH IN NORTH AMERICA" given in our Charter and a "Registered" Service Mark of this Church (Our Service Marks are mentioned on orthodoxwiki) is a violation of U.S. Federal law that does not allow a service mark to be used to attack the owner. Therefore the administrators of this website (Orthodoxwiki) violate the law in their unchristian attack on this Church.
Our Church has been attacked for many years and numerous claims have been made up about our long dead synod members, our Church and our present Synod. Most if not all by so called Orthodox clergy and it appears with the blessing of their bishops.
The site called orthodoxwiki.org is where they attack us in an illegal and unchristian manner and in fact their claims come full circle and show they are guessing at what they claim. These claims are false! Why? To cover up their disgrace.
Our church was canonically chartered in 1927 but Ecumenical Patriarch Basil III and others did not accept our Church. It appears they all wanted to be the American Church for the wealth available in this country they could send back to the Mother Churches.
Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh was never called before a tribunal or convicted of any canonical crime or serious violations of the Sacred and Divine canons as required by the canons so all claims that he deposed himself, was suspended or retired from his office as presiding bishop of The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America are unfounded and groundless speculation. Also the claims that this Church is no more are viewed as a continuation of the ayyack on Archbishop Ofiesh since we do exist as the same original Church Aftimios Ofiesh headed in 1927 and still headed in 1966 prior to his death.
It has been published that the Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch allowed the Antiochian Church and Metropolitan Philip to in fact violate the canons by allowing a priest to remarry and remain a priest which was done publicly so all were aware of this then according to the canons you are also deposed by praying with the deposed (according to c. 11 of the 85c). In the case of a bishop allowing a deacon to remarry it clearly states the bishop shall be deposed. So what should happen when a priest is allowed to remarry contrary to the canons? c 6 of the 102c
The attack against us, our Church and Abp. Ofiesh of blessed memory are published and public information for all to see. This is evidence of their canonical violatons.
Their timeline is way off on their claims showing these claims are nothing
more than assumptions. They help prove our point that these writers are only
trying to disgrace Abp. Ofiesh and this Church to place their Schismatic Church
in a better light.
The Orthodoxwiki writers make many false (undocumented) claims, in an attempt
to benefit their churches, such as;
(a) Aftimios retired when he married,
(b) he deposed himself by marrying and
(c) one of his bishops suspended him after congratulating him.
(a) Mariam denied he retired
(b) Contrary to canons - 141c
(c) Contrary to canons - c30 reads in Concord a single bishop may not decide the case of another bishop.
They go on to state Mariam said he intended to function as a married bishop and that he did not retire. It was published at that time that Archbishop Ofiesh claimed "God told him to marry" and since no one opposed that claim it stands today.
What they write:
That he deposed himself by his marriage
The writers here insult, (c55 of 85c) defame, fabricate charges (c6 of 7c) that only a synod or council of bishops has the authority to charge a bishop (c9 of 30C & 141c) with and in so doing they appear to be attempting vengeance repeatedly (c32 of 92c).
By these ongoing attacks Abp. Ofiesh suffered greatly during his lifetime (cXVII of 20c)
and the theft of his good name since he reposed (c3 of 12c, cLXI of 92c) and the theft of Our (Church) good name (cLXXI of 85c and the concord of LXXII) are part of the writings of orthodoxwiki that show how unchristian these schismatics can be to cover up their own canonical violations.
They also claim that Bp. Sophronius suspended Abp. Ofiesh and later excommunicated Bp. Ignatius, months after Ignatius walked away from this Church (c XI of 30c).
We view all this writing as a conspiracy (plot) against Abp. Ofiesh (c XVIII of 30c).
People will say Conspiracy! Your crazy, but... if you consider and follow the canons no priest has the authority to lay charges publicly against a bishop who has been dead for well over 40 years (since 1966) when during his lifetime no synod brought charges or called the bishop before a tribunal. This bishop stated publicly that "God told him to marry" and during his lifetime that was never argued. But thee individuals clearly write self serving information but it contradicts itself. If they decide to change their site now we have all this copies and documented. Since the canons also state that a priest shall do nothing without the knowledge and consent of his bishop (c39 of 85c) it appears their bishops are behind all these canonical violations. Why would any bishops allow such attacks? We believe to cover up the original intent behind their attempts to destroy this Church since 1929 when the schism occured, to cover up their own acts that violate the canons today and to make themselves appear to be just, holy and good. I personally feel these are the acts of that other entity who would rejoice in the destruction of the temple (church).
It has been suggested by a bishop under a now deceased Old Calendar European Bishop that we should seek the protection of the Ecumenical Patriarch. We are concerned that none of the Orthodox bishops would be interested in helping us since we have been under attack by orthodox clergy for years and are now prepared to stand up for ourselves no matter what. We doubt the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Holy Synod will act on our complaint. The Orthodox claim to live by the canons but we present herewith the canons that are and have been violated based on public evidence and fact.
PLEASE TELL US WHAT CANON STATES YOU SHOULD DESTROY A CHURCH, DEFAME ITS CLERGY AND TAKE ITS PARISHES, CLERGY AND MEMBERS WHEN A BISHOP VIOLATES A CANON. WHERE IS YOUR, or any, AUTHORITY to act in this manner? Would this be an act of Schism by those attacking that church? Is this Orthodox justice? It is certainly unchristian. We must demand equal justice.
Note: If the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, as head of that Church, had the authority to allow Metropolitan Philip to permit a priest to remarry and remain an active priest without violating the canons that prohibit this then we contend Archbishop Aftimios, as head of the American Church by the authority granted to him as the first appointed leader of this Church, the highest ranking bishop of the American Jurisdiction, had the same authority to waive the same or a similar canon without violating any canon. This would be supported by the logical view that had such a violation occured in 1933 that a tribunal would have been called by the supreme authority of the Orthodox communion. If one of the above named clergy violated the canons then all above violated the canons. This is called equal justice for all.
You know who we are and you are well aware of Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh of blessed memory, our first Archbishop who was appointed to head the American Church that was canonically Chartered on Feb. 2, 1927 by the Russian Synod in North America. You are also aware of Bishop Sophronius who was a bishop of this Church and later his remains were removed from New You and buried next to St Raphael at Antiochian Village, Pa. You can review, if needed, the Church records regarding Patriarch Basil III and Archbishop Alexander (1927-1930) to verify the claimed and stated actions. Those actions were schismatic. The Orthodox have taken much from us and its time we were compensated starting with the return of our (Church) good name, The good name of Archbishop Ofiesh and Bishop Sophronius and canonical recognition. We do not seek or desire membership in SCOBA.
As a sign of good faith from your Synod we are that an email or letter be send to acknowledge receipt of this Complaint. Since it is being mailed by documented mail to you as well as provided in an email format it will be legally and morally considered as received by your officials. An acknowlegement is just a sign of consideration.
Remember that the canons do state that whoever honors a bishop will be honored by God.
We therefore ask that the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate accept us as who we are and take steps to resolve the complaint we have about the continued attacks on Archbishop Ofiesh and this Church and the false claims of acts by Bishop Sophronius. To resolve this and to end the unchristian acts and claims by clergy can only benefit Orthodoxy worldwide. To ignore us and allow these claims to continue will cause problems for Orthodoxy and the failure of the orthodox to follow their own laws (canons) but to attack others for lesser claimed offenses.
Prepared at Sudan, Texas this
17th day of May in the Year of Our Lord
Two Thousand and Nine.
of the canonically established
Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and
Apostolic Church in North America.