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Ignatius after 1933

Many independent groups will claim their lines from this Church or that they are us under a different name. This is a lie and can be proven false. They are Episcopus Vagrans.

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The Orthodox Canons and traditions differ than those of the Roman Catholic Church. When an Orthodox priest or bishop leaves his Church he leaves all authority and has no sacramental authorty. Since Orthodoxy does not recognize Episcopus Vagrans no acts of a "former bishop or priest" are or can be recognized. Priests and bishops are not viewed as irregular as in the catholic church. Since when they leave they leave all authority to act they cannot pass on lines of apostolic succession. No Episcopus Vagrans is Orthodox.

When Ignatius left this Church he left all authority from THEOCACNA. When he ordained it was for the Holy Orthodox Church in America and not for THEOCACNA. When Turner and the others entered the A.O.C.A. he became an Antiochian priest and gave up any claim to any history or membership in HOCA or any other Church.

There are a number of false claims made by those in the independent movement.

They claim to be us, from our Church or lines. This is false. When you read their web age, check their history etc. if they claim our lines most claim them from Ignatius through Propheta. In this case it is clear they have no "orthodox lines of Apostolic Succession!

Another false claim is that Ignatius started the Society of Clerks Secular of St Basil in THEOCACNA (the American Church) in 1931. Actually the Society was started by Abp. Ofiesh, head of this Church from 1931 until his death in 1966. Ignatius was consecrated in Sept. 1932 and left this canonical Church in June 1933. When he left he let all authority of this Church, he married, and became a bishop of an independent church. It appears that he later started an independent society in his new independent church home using the same name. Technically Ignatius defrocked himself by leaving without the required letters so he was no longer part of any canonical jurisdiction after June 1933.

Alexander (Paul) Tyler Turner, of the Western rite, was ordained by Ignatius (William Albert) Nichols who had been an Auxiliary bishop of our Church. He had no authority from THEOCACNA to lay hands on anyone. In 1934 he was ordaining as an "Archbishop" of the Metropolitan Synod of the Holy Orthodox Church in America, which appears from our information to be an independent (Episcopus Vagrans) jurisdiction.

When Ignatius died Turner was said to have became the head of the independent Society Ignatius started after leaving the American Church and in 1961 Turner was received into the Antiochian Church as a priest.

The Metropolitan Synod - Holy Orthodox Church in America was listed at 321 W. 101st St., NYC which was the home address for Archbishop Georgius (Plummer) who was consecrated by Ignatius in 1934 I believe, and Witowski (call De Wittow) was also ordained by Ignatius in 1934 and consecrated by Georgius and Ignatius and a third bishop in 1936 at the same Church. When Plummer died DeWittow married his widow. Their Church was also a Rosicrucian hall or temple.

None of those ordained by or associated with Ignatius after he left THEOCACNA in 1933 were associated with THEOCACNA in any way including Walter Propheta. None have the legal right to use the name "American Orthodox Catholic Church" which was listed as our short name in the 1927 Constitution and is a common law service mark of this Church. Those who claim to be the AOCC with our lines and history and making false claims and are Episcopi Vagabs and are not Orthodox as they claim.

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Time Line

1927 - THEOCACNA Chartered
1928 - THEOCACNA Incorporated
1929 - Schism Occured in American Orthodoxy
1931 - Society of Clerks Secular of St Basil est.
1932 - Ignatius Nichols Consecrated into THEOCACNA
1933 - Abp. Ofiesh married
1933 - Ignatius leaves THEOCACNA and married

When a bishop leaves the Church he leaves all authority to act as a bishop. He can no longer pass on the lines of apostolic succession of that church.

All acts by Ignatius (Wm. A.) Nichols were done independent of and w/o authority or mandate of THEOCACNA.

1934 - Ignatius now with independent synod;
a. Archbishop of
b. Metropolitan Synod of the
c. Holy Orthodox Church in America
1934 - Ignatius consecrated Plummer
1934 - Ignatius ordains Witowski
1936 - Plummer & Ignatius Consecrate Witowski
1939 - Ignatius consecrates Turner

At sometime Ignatius began using the Society of Clerks Secular of St Basil name independent of THEOCACNA.

1945 - Time Magazine article about THEOCACNA & original Society
1947 - Ignatius died
1947 - Turner becomes head of this independent Socety
1957 - Turner in talks with Antiochian Church
1961 - Turner & 3 Society members incardinated into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese (NY)
1966 - Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh, presiding bishop of THEOCACNA, reposes
1974 - Last "Basilian" leaves Antiochian Church
1974 - Forbes consecrated by 2 independent bishops
1995 - Mariam Ofiesh is THEOCACNA Director
1999 - Mariam Ofiesh retires from Corp. board
2000 - THEOCACNA files for US Service Mark
2000 - Mariam Ofiesh Reposes
2003 - THEOCACNA Synod declares itself Patriarchate
2005 - Service Mark makes our name and logo the legal Church property
2007 - C. Bartholomew incorporates a church in Fla illegally using our name and logo claiming to be head of THEOCACNA.

Simply put it should be noted that none who claim lines from Ignatius after he left THEOCACNA in 1933 are or have been associated with the Church Abp. Ofiesh originally headed. Abp. Ofiesh did not found or establish the Church as some claim. They also, according to Orthodox canons and tradition have no legitimate claim on our Church, lines of Apostolic Succession or history since his acts, done after leaving the Orthodox Church, were without authority or mandate as a former Orthodox bishop. When he left the Church to start an independent Church he left all authority to act in Orthodoxy.

Those who claim acts by Ignatius after 1942 clearly are making false claims since Ignatius left Orthodoxy at least by 1942 when he became pastor of a community Church where he was pastor until his death in 1947.

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Copyright 2009 - Victor Prentice
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