and Apostolic Church in North America
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The lines of Apostolic Succession of former Metropolitan Archbishop Victor.
Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh was a Syrian priest who was consecrated by the Russian Synod. He was the highest ranking Archbishop of the Russian Synod in the U.S. at the time he was appointed to head this Church in 1927.
Archbishop Victors lines come from the Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate and the Church of the East lines. Abp. Victor is sixth from Abp. Aftimios in the Russian lines and eighth from St. Gregorios also known as Parumala Thirumeni of the Malankara Church (The Church of the East).
No Anglican, Old Catholic, or Roman Catholic lines are claimed or
appear in the documentation supplied to Metropolitan Victor after his
Other clergy may or may not have lines considered valid by the North American Holy Synod [sm] of this Church. Any clergy coming to us with questionable lines may be required to repudiate such previous orders and receive Holy Orders from this Church.
There is always someone for or against the independent movement who likes to research lines in their own way and attack the clergy for whatever reason. We recently had such an attack occur and they based their attack on the very general information on this page claiming our lines were not valid orthodox lines because they come from the Church of India which today is well recognized by all ethnic orthodox jurisdictions.
If we had anything to hide the information could easily not be posted. The Russian Orthodox lines tracing back to Aftimios do not go through the questionable lines of DeWittow, Plumber and Propheta - to name a few. We could simply either claim the Russian lines from this historic Church or just claim the Lines from the Church of India.
There are a number of groups in the independent movement of Church today who make a false claim about having our lines (traced to Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh of Blessed Memory).
The reasons for this statement include the following;
1. No Mandate was ever issued by THEOCACNA To consecrate the individual the independents claim their lines trace to - usually former bishop Ignatius (Nichols) or Bp. Sophronius.
2. In one case where many claim their lines trace to Bp. Sophronius the document in question is on the letterhead of Bishop Noli of the Albanian Church clearly showing Bp. Sophronius to be assisting and not main consecrator. Again, no mandate was issued for this act.
3. No orthodox lines are recognized by any old world (ethnic or scoba) orthodox Church when "passed on" to non-orthodox (Episcopi Vagantes) clergy.
Those in the independent movement claim numerous lines including orthodox lines usually to this Church. Since no mandate was issued no recognized act occured according to Orthodox Canons and Tradition. It should also be noted that orthodoxy prohibits second ordinations except under specific circumstances. Those claiming orthodox lines in many cases are not even orthodox and claim old catholic, anglican as well as orthodox lines.
Void Ordinations: When a bishop ordaining others has been deposed this is entirely void and inexistant and on this account needs to be done anew. c. XIII of Antioch because anyone justly deposed has lost the function of holy orders. No Synod mandate would mean there is no recognized act since the mandate gives the bishop his authority.
Heresies: Name applied to those who have broken entirely and have become alienated from the faith! c. 1 of the 92 canons
Since Rome left Orthodoxy and the recognized old catholics left Rome they would likely be viewed as illicit congegations. In the independent movement many claim to be orthodox, anglican or old catholic but they are not in any manner associated with the old established Churches. They are individuals who desire ordinations and titles for many reasons and who go out and get them any way they can.
The Orthodox independents claim to have lines but first of all they have no valid claim on any Orthodox church or lines. Their churches are not started by a patriarch or metropolitan but by themselves or another independent bishop. From the start they go against orthodox canons and therefore are not orthodox. They are Episcopi Vagantes who just claim to be Orthodox. All orthodox ordinations including consecrations must be done by or ordered (mandated) by the presiding bishop (patriarch or metropolitan). The independent claim they have patriarchs, metropolitans, archbishops, etc but they are independents who have never been associated with the true Orthodox Church. When a priest or bishop walks away from his bishop the canons direct what action must occur and they have no authority or jursdiction when they leave. Most them claim their own authority by starting an independent church.
The old catholics who claim to have orthodox lines do not. Its simple - Rome left the faith by leaving the orthodox communion (according to the Rudder) and then the old catholics left Rome. Then we have individuals not associated with the old catholics or roman catholics claiming to have been ordained by individuals not associated with any of these old established churches who claim the name old catholic or old roman catholic. They, for the most part, have no valid orders. A very few might based on their original source of lines and who individually laid hands on them. When one after another leaves the main church, sets up his own church then lays hands on others he is not acting in accordance with the true intent of the canons. Many of these people are just out for titles and status and have no church and no recognized jurisdiction. Many go around layng hands on anyone who asks and most are not qualified to be in the Church. Some have not even been baptised according to information received. Its said a jewish man was consecrated and it was later discovered he had not been baptised.
There are a number of independent groups running around claiming they have lines that trace back to this Church. They find non-canonical reasons to claim their lines are valid but they are not.
The simple fact is that no mandate, as required, were ever issued for the act that they trace their lines back to us. Also they falsely claim one of our bishops was the main consecrator when in fact he assisted another bishop without a mandate from our synod.
None in the independent movement have valid and canonical orthodox lines traced to this Church. The Rudder (Orthodox Canons) clearly state that the Patriarch or Metropolitan is to head the gathered bishops for an ordination (consecration). These canons fail to consider that so many individuals would claim to be a primate, patriarch, metropolitan, archbishop or bishop and claim to head his, or her, church. All these independent churches are basically unrecognized by any old world (ethnic) orthodox synod.
These same independent write and rewrite history regarding bishops who have been deposed and/or excommunicated. They claim one (independent) bishop can lift the decree issued by another (independent) bishop against someone which goes against the canons. In other words they make up their own (independent) rules as they go and ignore the historic canons.
In an effort to declare this Church not who we are they claim the Metropolitan claims ownership of this historic Church corporation. Our Metropolitan has never claimed he owns the corporation. He is the duly elected President of the corporation and of the Church Synod.
Many of the independent groups use such names as "American Orthodox Church", American Orthodox Catholic Church" and names very close to our corporate name which is also a duly Registered U.S. Service Mark.
We again suggest you check the facts and history behind any independent church you may be interested in joining. Many do not offer valid Mysteries (Sacraments). But these groups will claim they have valid orders and offer valid Sacraments.