Another reason there is a Schism in American Orthodoxy!
The ethnic jurisdictions (SCOBA) turned their backs on the new American Church almost immediately after the Church was canonically established and the canonical Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh was appointed to head the new jurisdiction. This created a schism.
Then in 1929 the Greek Archbishop declared, with no canonical authority, that he, not Abp. Ofiesh and the new American Church, was over all Orthodox in America. This declaration further enforced the Schism.
The SCOBA clergy declared they must have had visions of the future that Aftimios would marry in 1933 as they claim they ignored the American church shortly after the Church was chartered in 1927 because Aftimios married in 1933. Makes sense I guess to SCOBA, who allows their clergy to defame the memory of a reposed canonical Archbishop. They say he deposed himself by marrying. They say he retired while admitting his widow wrote he intended to act as a married bishop, so he clearly did not retire. Since Archbishop Ofiesh was never called before a tribunal after his marriage he was never officially or canonically remove from office. SCOBA clergy to this day publish their own false claims as facts but they cannot be canonically proven. In so doing this they violate the canons by attacking a canonical bishop who reposed over 40 years ago.
It should be noted that Aftimios stated publicly that God told me to marry! No synod ever stated anything contrary to this and no action according to the canons was ever taken against Abp.Ofiesh.
What the SCOBA groups did was turn their backs on a sister Church then later used the act of one bishop to turn their backs on the whole American Church after the fact.
The only way to end the Schism is clear!
"Canons are dead letters that only have life and force when applied by a living Synod representing the mind of the Church. St. Nicodemos states this quite clearly."
The context and applicability of this statement which is found in a footnote of the Rudder, here is a more complete quotation:
"We must know that the penalties provided by the canons, such as deposition, excommunication, and anathematization, are imposed in the third person according to grammatical usage, there being no imperative available. In such cases in order to express a command, the second person would be necessary. I will explain the matter better. The canons command the council of living bishops to depose the priests, or to excommunicate them, or to anathematize laymen who violate the canons. Yet, if the council does not actually effect the deposition of the priests, or the excommunication, or the anathematization of the laymen, they are neither actually deposed, nor excommunicated, nor anathematized.
"They are, however, liable to stand judicial trial – here, with regard to deposition, excommunication, and anathematization, but there with regard to divine vengeance. Just as when a king commands his slave to whip another who did something that offended him, if the slave in question fails to execute the kingʹs command, he will nevertheless be liable to trial for the whipping.
"So, those silly men make a great mistake who say that at the present time all those in holy orders who have been ordained contrary to the canons are actually deposed from office. It is an inquisitional tongue that foolishly twaddles thus without understanding that the command of the canons, without the practical activity of the second person, or, more plainly speaking, of the council, remains unexecuted, since it does not act of itself and by itself immediately and before judgment.
"The Apostles themselves explain themselves in their c. XLVI unmistakenly, since they do not say that any bishop or presbyter who accepts a baptism performed by heretics is already and at once deposed, but rather they command that he be deposed, or, at any rate, that he stand trial, and if it be proven that he did so, then `we command that he be stripped of holy orders,' they say, `by your decision.'
Past anathemas must be executed or applied by a living Synod for them to have force. Some on this list have ridiculed this position by suggesting that a new Council must therefore convene every so often to anathematize Nestorianism or Monophysitism or else those who are currently Nestorians or Monophysites should be considered within the Church. Such is the reasoning of fools, blind in their understanding, full of darkness and ignorance. What it means is if a bishop who is part of the Orthodox Church starts to teach Nestorian or Monophysite heresy, he does not become ***automatically*** anathematized and deposed, but rather a Council or Synod must convene to address the matter and determine if the bishop is really a heretic who is persistent in his heresy and must be removed from the ranks of bishops, or whether the bishop was falsely accused, or whether the bishop taught falsely out of ignorance but is more than willing to repent and correct his teaching after being confronted with the allegations.
The words of St. Nikodemos quoted above seem all-encompassing to me, applicable both to local churches falling into heresy and individuals committing a canonical offense. He states that a living Synod must apply general anathemas, excommunications, etc. to actual members of the Church in our own time for them to "take effect."
If not mistaken, this statement comes in the 1st footnote to the 3rd Apostolic Canon.
St. Nicodemos makes first a few grammatical clarifications as to the use of the term "let him be defrocked" and then gives examples of where defrocking is called for, mentioning in particular the case of persons who have been ordained in a way that breaks the Church rulings.
It is clear that St. Nikodemos' words do not just apply to the matter of an individual who has violated a single canon.