A Word of advice:

For Searching Souls, Seekers of Truth!

When you come to know where illusion has its rise, then you will clearly understand these universally false causes and conditions.  If there are no illusions, of course, there would be no more talk about causes and conditions.  And furthermore, if ignorant people had only true nature from which to make deductions, what would they have to talk about, anyway? Therefore, I show you this interpretation in order to have you see clearly that at the base of the five-sense ingredients there are always false conceptions.  [Surangama Sutra]
The article following, modified, so as to tear away "illusion" is important especially when viewed from the perspective of what the Holy and patristic fathers have had to say... The article initially was sent to us by someone of the one those whose ethnic jurisdictional stance has caused for errant illusion... We, therefore make correction and present to you the following:

In almost every city around the globe one can find pseudo-catholic or pseudo orthodox splinter groups that were started by someone for a particular (sometimes selfish purpose), whether unconsciously or consciously. Though some of them have religious convictions, sadly to say, a few of them are simply self-styled. Often such groups are called "vagante" from the Latin word "vagans" [pronounced vaagaans], because their leaders and members (if any) do not belong to a church (other than the one they themselves created) and are therefore sometimes considered as being spiritually vagrant.  The actual word "Vagante" actually means, "A vagrant bishop without a See or diocese", etc.  And this came about in centuries past (before electricity, during the age of candle use for lighting, because of wars which caused for bishops to travel outside of their geographical areas as the war from invasions impacted the religious praxis and beliefs of the people by forced conversion or death to unchristian religions).

Later, after the United States of America was formed, the Roman Catholic Church, The Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and others did much the same by coming to the shores of the U.S.A. and started their own diocese in much the same manner.  Even in these times, we see this happening by the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, and other Churches.

 Yet, as with everything, while much good has come out of such vagante Episcopi, so it happens in that which is called the "Autocephalous" and "Independent Movement" groups who are not under the control of the Roman Pope or any one of the other Patriarchates, good and bad does follow too, no differently than in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

There are some who do not belong to either of the two groups (Roman Catholic or any of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates), as they are presently understood, but are truly "Autocephalous" and have their own right, based on documented evidence, for coming into existence as autocephalous (or "Independent" from a Patriarch or Pope) based on the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the Holy Bible for so long as they maintain the faith once delivered in all that the commission charge of their episcopacy requires without adulteration or alteration and that, when passing it on, maintain continuity of the same requirements upon those whom they impose their hands without alteration or adulteration.

The larger mega-churches such as those who belong to either the Vatican based Roman Church, or one of the Patriarchates; would have you believe that unless you belong to either one of the two Jurisdictions, you are not in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of truth.  This is unkind and not true whatsoever.  There are articles on this website which prove this point and some of those articles are linked at the bottom of this page. The Roman Catholic Church and some of the Eastern Orthodox Churches take an arrogant, often elitist approach in which they do not necessarily believe that the Church is large enough to accommodate various philosophies, and even theologies, that are not diametrically opposed to the faith and morals taught by the Apostolic Church, forcing their own by actions of intimidation, and often through newsletters or notices to the faithful with untruthful claims and inaccurate statements about those not under them or one of the primary Patriarchs directly.

The "Scholastic" disease mentioned infers that which several Holy Fathers had articulated in times past.  The "Scholasticism" of these times involve clergy who have gone or go to a seminary under their particular jurisdiction and/or attended a University where Protestants taught which infected the clergyperson, tainting their understandings from that which was believed and practiced from that which was once delivered in a manner whereby they have or are becoming one with those who have joined in with the false movement of these times known as "ecumenism" or the "Ecumenist Movement" much opposed by the Seven Ecumenical Councils and the renowned "St. John Maximovitch" and blessed Father Seraphim Rose.  Their struggles in life, before their repose, brought forth much understanding concerning the false movement of "Evangelicalism" and the "Ecumenist Movement" which is Protestant inspired as a result of their not being able to be considered as one in and with the true Christian Church.  In short, when understanding the writings of the patristic Holy Fathers and Saints, one learns that most of the Protestants of these times, such as Pentecostals, Baptists, Churches of Christ, Assemblies of God, etc. have snuck in through the back door through the World Council of Churches and the World Council of Bishops which the Roman Catholic Church has now bedded down with in accepting their membership, heterodox faith and beliefs (doctrines) in the World Council of Churches as has some of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs.

 Many characteristics have been attributed, for right or wrong, to the vagante world. The following guidelines have been found most helpful and Comments are made for consideration:

(I) Thirteen points on the ecclesiastical or canonical level:

(1) A "Bishop" or church without ordinary laity either in the Home-Church movement, Orthodox in Resistance movement, or of a Church building.

A "Bishop" may be in one of the "Holy Orders" and residing in such as a "Benedictine" or "Franciscan" manner of life whereby he serves only a few but, primarily, maintains a lifestyle concomitant with the prayer life of a monastic.
(2) Lack of education of all or the most of clergy.
While this is basically true, in part, it is not wholly accurate in that there are several well known holy men who have led a life without adhering to the disease of 'scholasticism' - yet, maintained a habit of being able to articulate the faith for those who are searching souls.
(3) More "bishops" than actually needed.
This too can be true for some because those who became a "bishop" - later moved on to a lifestyle more akin to that stated above in item (1).  And others who realized their mistakes and withdrew from or went over to other jurisdictions to correct what they felt from the Holy Spirit.  Some needed no re-ordination or re-consecration because their orders were wholly valid and licit.
(4) "Bishops" with a nonexistent diocese or a diocese/church on paper only.
Here again, we remind you of how, in these later times in the U.S.A. - both the Greek, Russian and Roman Churches have played a part in the growth of the mega-church which began with vagante bishops.  Yet, there are those who believe that one must be a member of a larger jurisdiction that is headed by either the Pope (Roman Catholic) or one of the Patriarchates.  Yet, especially with the Greek Orthodox, the Patriarchate is not truly elected by the clergy and faithful because he is denounced if not controlled by the government of Turkey who controls who is accepted or rejected and often make their own decisions as to who will be the Patriarch of Constantinople over and above the clergy and people.  This is intimidation and governmental (Caesar) force!
(5) Self assumed titles or elevations (such as Metropolitan, Archbishop, Primate, Doctor, D.D., etc.) never given to or earned by the person.
True in some situations and instances, but not always true.  Again, beware... there are those who do not bite the bullet of the "Scholastic disease" which has brought about many in various jurisdictions to join in with the Pope and several Patriarchs and their membership in and with the heretical 'ecumenist movement' which is opposed by the Seven Ecumenical Councils of ancient times which they have departed from.

Specific requirements are stated by those ancient councils which hold true to the Faith and Praxis of that which was handed down by the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ through the Holy Apostles and must therefore be admitted and adhered to in these times.  That is the one true hallmark of those who adhere to the faith once delivered, not that which is in these times a 'false ecumenism'. Refer to (1), (2) and (4) above.  Not all who hold such titles obtained them through self-appropriation, but through genuine means as sanctioned by their own Jurisdiction or Church, not being a self made jurisdiction or church, but having approbation in accordance with the norms of the Seven Ecumenical Councils of ancient times.

(6) Lack of theological and/or liturgical formation and knowledge by the "clergy".
Refer to all the above for reliance.
(7) Isolationism, religious fanaticism and holier-than-thou existence.
This is not necessarily true.  While a few might fit into this idea, the majority have found for themselves that a life more in tune with what has been said in the above item (1) would be more fitting.  Yet, we must again look to the mega-churches and recognize that this has more often than not, fit them as well.  For a Bishop or clergyman to take to a form of isolationism, religious fanaticism and holier-than-though is to (a) take to a form of living and faith practice stated in item (1) above, which is (in part) MONASTICISM, Contemplation - Meditation in a secluded manner consistent with a form of monastic lifestyle.

As regards 'fanaticism' - to defend the faith once delivered, is no different than what both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Jurisdictions do, especially those of ethnic origin.

As to 'holier-than-thou existence, one may (more often than not) take to becoming a defender of the faith once delivered by becoming a member of the growing movement called "Orthodox Churches in Resistance" as a result of the heretical and apostate "Ecumenist Movement" which many of the mega-churches have joined in with (unknowingly) by the actions of the Pope (Roman Catholic) and many of the Patriarchs of the various Eastern Orthodox Churches of these times. And, by their actions, as the past has proven time and again... their own actions have been more often than not... holier-than-thou, fanatic in producing adulterations and alterations to the praxis and faith once delivered by the Holy Apostles and the Seven Ecumenical Councils!

(8) Refusal, but more often an inability to enter ecumenical relations with other viable jurisdictions of the same faith.
While partially true, it must be noted that the obstacles of Faith and Praxis is involved as the 'ecumenical' relations more often than not in these times, involve the adherence to the heretically false beliefs of todays World Council of Churches, the World Council of Bishops, contrary to the Seven Ecumenical Councils.
(9) Claims of legitimacy that easily can be refuted.
This is partially true for some.  But there are many who, when viewed, can not refute their legitimacy except when viewed by either the Roman Catholic Church or one of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates who use their own standards which involve, primarily being under them.

If you go to them (Roman Catholic or one of the Churches under an Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate, some will refute the right of the other for being in existence.  The same holds true, as for example, the Russian Orthodox Church out of Moscow, concerning various other "Russian" churches who are directly under Constantinople of which Constantinople refutes the right of existence for some who are under the "Russian" Patriarchate.  Of course, the Roman Catholic Church normally denies the right of any not of their own who do not belong to an Eastern Orthodox Patriarch.  Thus, it depends upon whom you approach as to who will truly tell the truth of who is legitimate and who is not!

(10) Lust for power and numbers.
This more often applies to the Roman Catholic Church and most of the Eastern Orthodox Churches and only a few of the remaining.
(11) Due to envy, character assassinations of legitimate churches, jurisdictions or clergy.
Character assassination due to envy is more often than not a disease that should have been eliminated by the mega-churches of the Roman Catholic Church and many of those who belong to the more ethnic oriented Patriarchates of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  It is said that copying the actions of others is a form of emulation and to be much respected.  Yet, our Holy Patristic Fathers, especially St. John Maximovitch and blessed Father Seraphim Rose taught against this.

Character Assassination is often mis-used when a Church leader of the Orthodox Catholic has had to defend himself and his flock from the antics of the larger mega-church who themselves have given a false idea that only they hold the right to determine who is or is not valid, true and licit.

The early Seven Ecumenical Councils mean nothing to them of the present day Eastern Orthodox Churches or the Roman Catholic Church by their memberships in the World Council of Churches and the World Council of Bishops, or such character assassination would not have come about if they remained true to the faith and praxis once delivered.

(12) Previous convictions or repeated trouble with the law.
Partially true!  We caution you in using this particular criteria as there are many well known priests during WWII and since, even to these times in which we live, where a priest, even bishops, have gone to their death if not imprisonment to defend the Seals of the Confessional which is pillar of the Church Catholic, taking false charges/convictions in order to protect the sanctity of the pillars of the Church.  And, more often than not, we see in these times of the Roman Church's sex scandals where this becoming a norm in some instances.
(13) "Bishops" or "clergy" changing residency a lot or remain in hiding at times.
Refer to previous as above.
(II) Seven points on the moral level:

(1) Deceiving people by concealing the true size and nature of the "church".  Partially true.

Not always, and for most, not true at all. Of those of the Protestant flavor who attempt a "cafeteria" approach to appear "Catholic" - there are some who would most definitely fit into this mold of thought.
(2) Claiming members or churches that aren't part of this "church".
"this Church" - meaning, the ethnic Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate or the Roman Catholic Church idea of being under their authority and control.
(3) Controlling "clergy" and people through sexual and/or financial means.
This is a claim often made by the ethnic Orthodox and is attributed as a result of the Roman Catholic Sex Scandals which have swept around the world.  Thus, those who follow the Western style (Roman Catholic without the errors of Rome), are often singled out by both the Eastern Orthodox Church clergy and those of the Roman Catholic Church with the above statement for consideration in viewing those not under them when, in fact, they (Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox) are responsible and guilty of the same as history so often testifies too.
(4) Controlling people's personal lives by imposing pharisaical rules or allowing lifestyles that are contrary to the Christian faith.
The ethnic orthodox and Roman Catholic churches have often been very pharisaical in their application and approach to the faithful through the art of intimidation and force (Historical truth) such as not performing the rites of true Christian burial because an individual was dying and could not maintain their continued contributions or pledges (often more than the one-tenth biblical injunction for maintaining the clergy) and as to lifestyles, this is attributed to all the churches in one form or another.  Please, re-read all the above.

True faith and praxis of the church Catholic, be it Eastern or Western would not deny the protection and services offered by the Church unless their concerns were more materialistic (money, gold, silver, ego, image) and pharisaical.

(5) Making inaccurate statements about the "church's" history, background, succession, teachings and practices.
History has proven time and again that the very things said above, is exactly what has happened in both the Roman Catholic Church and the various Eastern Orthodox Churches.
(6) "Clergy" with criminal backgrounds, contrary to scriptural or canonical standards [cf. 1 Timothy 3, etc.]
This is a bit of a mis-nomer and actually the biblical quote is a bit mis-used and applied in these instances -  in that the Church is truly a hospital for sick souls, not for those who consider themselves as 'saved' or 'born again' like the Protestant Evangelicals often claim.

As already alluded to in above items, the past is rife with those who have gone to their deaths or suffered imprisonment for the sake of the Church (either abroad or here in the United States), while there are also some who have, by civil law standards, been convicted of crimes that they were not truly guilty of ... but they accepted the false convictions for the sake of the faith in the true One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, not man-made.

As to the quote from scripture, if you were to read the whole part of scripture referenced ... 1 Timothy 5 is surely mandated, "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned..." It is "faith unfeigned" along with charity that makes one to wonder as to the churches in these times.  Again, the Church is a spiritual hospital for sick souls and not for those whose self-righteousness exceeds all others who know they are strugglers in this life for the life to come.  One may truly ask, what happened to teaching by Jesus Christ about "Repentance" and "Forgiveness"?  Does not clergy of either the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox practice these things as regards those clergy of their and other jurisdictions when civil (Caesar's) law takes action for right or wrong?

(7) Dishonesty in fiscal matters.
This is another area in which much has to be considered as regards the formation of the Church.  While a bishop is required to be a Servant unto Christ and His children, the faithful, he is also required to be a good and Godly steward in the formation of ministries and such other things whereby the Church and her people do not suffer unwantingly.

Does the Church both East and West do these things?  Minimally they do them only insofar as 'show-and-tell' or 'self-image' - and when those who have not been able to maintain pledges or contributions or participation in the activities of a particular church, the church denies them not on the basis of their faith, but on the basis of their pocket-book.  This is more true of the Ethnic Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches.  And, even so, given this understanding, it is the duty and responsibility of a Bishop and Priest of the true church to make no demands upon the people which he would not make upon himself which, is no more than what the apostles had done.

This means, if necessary, that the Bishop and Priest may need to obtain an adjacent secular job in order to maintain themselves without overburdening the people.

For many clergy (Bishop and Priest, even monks) in the Orthodox Catholic Churches in resistance, they receive no pay and supply out of their own personal pockets what the people may need where possible.

To open the 'books' of a church to secular authorities, except in reporting to the government what is required, any other action(s) is an abomination to the ancient faith because the people who wish to give in secret are now exposed and thus violates both Holy Scripture as well as the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ Himself.

What fiscal matters of a church is involved, should (in many instances) be controlled by the parish or church board who report to the bishop or clergyman.  In many instances, the fiscal management of the Church is nothing more than the church bank account which the bishop or clergyman can and should make available if such exists and only that which pertains to the Church or Parish.  Otherwise, all else should be closed where the faithful are unduly exposed.  In many other instances, the clergyman often relies on the blessings of God to aide him in maintaining his own sustenance without requiring or demanding that the people provide beyond immediate needs for worship services and some events on holy festival days.

A significant characteristic of vagrant people is going from one group to another. It is the ego-driven urge for power and/or constant recognition, they will never find. Hence the need to deceive while creating lies about others.

In order to gain esteem with innocent people and drawing attention to themselves, they will steal sheep and create rumors about real church leaders. - As in many abuse cases, vagrants themselves have often been victims to slander and malice of the most heinous kind.  In these days which the Roman Catholic Church's Sex Scandal has become high profile, as well as some Orthodox, we hear little (minimal) to nothing about the Protestant horrors involving the same.  Research shows that the United States and Canada are Protestant countries and that many of accusations come from converts to Protestantism who have been impinged with such heretical and apostate beliefs whereby most Protestant clergy do not share the same praxis and faith (doctrinal) beliefs as do those of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Thus, with the continuing evolvement of the Protestant based World Council of Churches, Pentecostals, Baptists, Assemblies of God, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and more; encourage their former Roman and Orthodox converts to violate the "Repentance" and "Forgiveness" of the churches of their former faith by laying allegations and charges in order to destroy the very roots of the faith which is based in Orthodoxy and from which the Roman Catholic Church initially sprung.

 It is a vicious circle most are unable to break. Their endeavors have nothing to do with church, theology and even Christianity's faith and praxis. It is a psychological problem! And this is very true of the mega-churches of the East and West where it began and has continued for centuries.

Words and their meanings put into action are often barriers to association with such individuals. For example:

Bias: to foster prejudice

Bigotry: unquestioned attachment to a particular creed and intolerant of the religious beliefs and practices of others

Prejudice: premature judgment

Racism: any program or practice of racial discrimination, segregation, etc., based on a doctrine or teaching, without scientific support, claiming to find racial differences in character, intelligence, etc., that supports the superiority of one race over another or others and that seeks to maintain the supposed purity of a race or the races

Discrimination: to make distinctions in treatment showing partiality in favor of or prejudice against

There are many more characteristics, of course, and not all of them listed here are found in every sect or person.

It looks like that those mentioned here, though, fit some individuals or groupings. The best measure is to simply leave them alone. They will soon disappear, move away, change to a different grouping, and so forth.  Some of them are just a paper "church" anyway, with two or three individuals (if even that) putting out fancy web pages and made up denominations as to justify their vagrant existence.  A word of warning in applying this measure of unworthiness though.... Christ reminded us that where two or three are gathered together in His name, there also will He be, meaning as the Church. Their names and titles only sound good. They have no substance, let alone recognition from any mainline or decent Christian church.  The "mainline" or "Christian" church is referring more often than not to those of the present day heretical and, some apostate, churches who have joined in and with the "Ecumenist Movement".

It is our prayer that God have mercy on their souls.

Some suggestions when inquiring about a particular church

- How many clergy has this church? How many parishes? Total membership?
- What is the ratio between bishops, clergy and laity?
- Ask for a directory. Every real church publishes a clergy roster or church directory.
- Investigate the credentials of each clergy person.
- Call the local clergy association or ecumenical organization (where the headquarters of the church are located) and inquire about this church.  Be careful with this suggestion as it leads, more often than not, to the doorsteps of heretical and some apostate churches who belong to the World Council of Churches and the World Council of Bishops who are part and partial to the false ecumenism of today.
- Ask for last year's fiscal statement. Such statements are sometimes made public in some non-profit organizations that are not necessarily establish as a church.  This is dependant upon the State in which it originates and the laws governing such.
- Ask for the church's constitution and by-laws. They also should be readily available to anyone.
- Find out about the history, background, and ministry of this church. 

For primary guidance in all things relating to the above Q&A; we add the following:

"Judge not lest you be judged, for with what judgment you judge, so shall you be judged" (Matthew 7:1-2

"It is better that one takes care not to be so infected with the disease of scholasticism where one becomes wise in their own self deceptions and conceits..." (+Thaddeus, OSB)

Know and Learn before judging anyone or any church grouping:

Go To:

Vagante Bishops

Truth of Orthodoxy               Un-canonical or not?

The Canonical Problem in the United States today!

Decline of Constantinople

A Real Look At Canonicity Yesterday & Today

Canonical Jurisdiction OR NOT?