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American Orthodoxy

American Orthodox Catholic Church [sm]
Theocacna [sm]

An Article in the New York World Telegram Oct. 1, 1932 included a photograph of Archbishop Aftimios, Bishop Sophronius and Bishop Zuk with the heading "Orthodox Catholics Complete Hierarchy".

The article mentioned the three bishops make a complete Hierachy for the North American Church. This article also states Bishop Zuk was the first bishop in the American Church having no allegiance to any European "headship" (Patriarch).

This same article mentions "His Eminance Aftimios of Brooklyn, Archbishop President of the Holy North American Synod (should read North American Holy Synod) who for the last 15 years has headed the Syrian Orthodox Mission in North America as first vicar of the American jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all Russia". We are the Church headed by Abp. Aftimios and the Synod.

This same article also mentions the recently consecrated Wm. "Ignatius" Nichols but not as a member of the synod. This was because he was an "auxilary" bishop and could only act on the direction of his bishop, in this case Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh.

The point of interest in that article mentions the jurisdicton of these bishops the following: The Church jurisdiction of these bishops is the canonical and historical successor of the Russian Orthodox jurisdiction established for North America by way of Alaska as early as 1763.

Under the ancient Canon Law, enacted by the council of Calchedon in 453 A.D. this can be the only lawful Orthodox authority or jurisdiction in America.

In 1917 Bp. Aftimios succeeded Abp. Raphael and was empowered with all the responsibilities, duties and powers that had been exercised by Abp. Raphael.

In 1927, urged on by the chaotic condition of authority in Russia and otherwise abroad, the Russian Patriarchial Bishops in this country acted upon orders and advice previously issued by the Patriarch Tikhon, of Moscow, and his successor, the present Locum Tenens, Sergius, and Commissioned Bishop Aftimios to be Archbishop and to found and head under a synodical constitution, an independent American Orthodox Catholic Church, and the three bishops pictured in the included photograph made up the Hierarchy of this Church.


Synod article
Bp. Ignatius

First Synod

Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh
Appointed first canonical Archbishop of the American Church.

Bishop Sophronius Beshara,
Bishop of Los Angeles and the only Orthodox prelate on the Pacific coast with canonical jurisdiction west of the Mississippi.

Bishop Joseph Zuk, Ukrainian bishop of the American jurisdiction.

Present Synod

of the

North American Holy Synod

Archbishop Nikon
Former Metropolitan Victor


Bishop Joseph

Choirepiscopus Andrew

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Most Rev. Victor Prentice
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