Uncanonical Or Not?

    Something very peculiar and alarming is happening in these United States today.

    For example, several Orthodox Churches who are a part of one of the five heretical Patriarchates under the banner of the Oecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople have taken an approach that is surely most uncanonical as regards their complete defiance of the Seven Ecumenical Councils.  They claim that in "the northeastern Ohio areas of Cleveland, Euclid and Lorain are once again seeing the upsurge of uncanonical parishes and clergy, and, innocently, individuals are joining them only to later find out that neither their clergy nor the sacraments of Eucharist, Matrimony, Baptism or Holy Orders they have been receiving are recognized by canonical Orthodox Clergy.

In order to be canonical, a church must stand in the TRADITION AND APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION of ALL other canonical Orthodox churches. REGARDING TRADITION: no parish or clergyman can abridge the Holy Canons to suit his purpose in such a way that it is outside the norms of traditional Orthodox practice, as defined in documentable historical precedent. That is: open communion cannot be practiced, fasts cannot be scorned or done away with; nationalistic phyletism cannot replace gospel evangelism, normative and canonized standards or morality cannot be disdained or blatantly ignored; nor can priests or bishops be elected by self appointment, popular vote of their congregation or ordained by clergy who are themselves uncanoncial because they are not in communion with one of the bodies below.

REGARDING APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION: all priests and bishops serving a parish must be under the jurisdiction of one of the following canonical groups that have maintained unbroken apostolic succession from the first century and mutually recognize the validity of each other's orders: the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Moscow, Serbia, Rumania, Bulgaria or the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America. Additionally, all canonical clergy must be presently in communion with the Ecumenical Throne of Constantinople, the "first among equals of canonical Orthodox churches." If they are not currently, even though they may have at one time been in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, they are NOT CANONICAL NOR ARE THEIR PARISHES OR DIOCESES. [NOTE: an important exception are the Oriental Orthodox Churches--in our area, the Armenian and Coptic Orthodox bodies. Presently, leaders of these churches and the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other canonical Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates are in open dialogue and full intercommunion will be forthcoming shortly. Neither of these groups has in any way transgressed either Holy Tradition or valid Apostolic Succession as is the case with the uncanonical churches herein described.] What does this practically mean for you? By joining an uncanonical parish you will isolate yourself from world orthodoxy, and your "fellow Orthodox Christian," and no sacrament you have received will possess any "grace touching unto salvation;" nor will you be able to commune in any other Orthodox church but that uncanonical one you belong to -- or in some cases its "federation" of churches. As a layman you will probably be baptized before gaining admission to a canonical church; minimally, you will be chrismated; you will need also to be married canonically, if you were married in one of these uncanonical churches. If you are a clergyman, you will be reduced to lay status,--perhaps even excommunicated--but always put under a period of penance and then and only then: maybe will you be considered for canonical Holy Orders". 

As Regards the American Orthodox Church (AOC) presently headed by Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus, the following shows forth that this Jurisdiction (AOC) is one with the whole world wide Orthodoxy whether or not one wishes to understand this truth!

In 1922, Metropolitan Platon (Rozhdestvensky) assumed leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in North America having received the appointment of Patriarch (Saint) Tikhon of Moscow and All Russia.  In 1923,Metropolitan Platon, with the approval of Patriarch Tikhon elevated Bishop +Aftimios to the position of Archbishop.

The 1927 Charter of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America

An Act of the Synod of Bishops
of the Russian Orthodox Church
in North America

Moscow Patriarchate

"Now we, the Synod of Bishops of the Dioceses of the American Russian Jurisdiction, believing ourselves called of Christ and moved of the Holy Spirit in behalf of Holy Church and Her children in America, and being fully authorized through the above Letter * by the highest Authority in the Church to which we owe and maintain strict obedient loyalty; 

"We hereby, on this 2nd day of February (new style) in the year 1927, charge one of our number, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Aftimios, Archbishop of Brooklyn, with the full responsibility and duty of caring and providing for American Orthodoxy in the especial sense of Orthodox Catholic people born in America and primarily English-speaking or any American residents or parishes of whatever nationality or linguistic character or derivation not satisfactorily provided with proper and canonical Orthodox Catholic care, ecclesiastical authority, teaching and ministrations of the Church or who may wish to attach themselves by the properly and legally provided means to an autonomous, independent, American Orthodox Church. And to that end, that he may discharge the duty and responsibility laid upon the Church and by us on him, we do hereby permit, empower, authorize and direct the said Archbishop of Brooklyn to found, organize, establish, head, conduct, control, and maintain a distinct, independent, and autonomous branch of the Orthodox Catholic Church to be known and legally established and generally recognized as a Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America with the provisions that (1) such newly-established Orthodox Catholic Church shall be and forever remain in all respects truly Orthodox Catholic in the sense of the Fathers, Councils, Canons, and Tradition of the Historic Undivided Church still existing in the several Patriarchates and Autonomous Churches of the one Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Eastern Church, and shall be in full communion and Orthodox Catholic brotherly fellowship with, but only with, Orthodox Catholic Churches, Clergy, and Faithful, maintaining and strictly observing the full content and form of sound, undefiled Eastern Orthodox Catholic Doctrine, Traditions, Canons, Discipline, Order and Sacramental Communion; and (2) in as much as it is derived from and canonically founded by the Church of Russia through the primary and sole Orthodox Catholic Missionary and evangelistic efforts of the Russian Church in America and fully recognizes the primacy and canonical exclusiveness of the Russian Jurisdiction and hierarchy in America throughout the first century of Orthodox existence in the New World, the newly-established Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, while entirely autonomous and independent in its organization, constitution, administration, jurisdiction, and authority, shall preserve at all times its brotherly and filial relationship to the Orthodox Church of Russia represented in Russia by the Patriarchal Authority of Moscow and All Russia and in America by His Eminence, Metropolitan Platon, and his canonically established and recognized successors as Archbishop of the American Jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia. Further: We do hereby, on this 2nd day of February, 1927 (new style), elect and give order for the Consecration of the Very Reverend Leonid Turkevitch to be Bishop in the newly-founded Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America as assistant to its Governing Head, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Aftimios, Archbishop of Brooklyn, and by him to be appointed to such position or See as the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America by its Constitution or By-Laws may provide or erect for the first assistant Bishop under its Primate. 

"May God prosper and Bless this work in His Name and to His Glory. Amen. Issued under our hands and seals in the City of New York, on the 2nd day of February (new style) in the year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Twenty Seven." 

Signed by:
Platon, Metropolitan of North America and Canada; 
Aftimios, Archbishop of Brooklyn; 
Theophilus, Bishop of Chicago; 
Amphilohy, Bishop of Alaska; 
Arseny, Bishop of Winnipeg; 
Alexy, Bishop of San Francisco

* The Letter referred to above is one written by Metropolitan Sergius, Acting Patriarchal Locum Tenens of the Russian Orthodox Church, under date of September 12th, 1926 (new style) addressed to the Russian Bishops outside of Russia.

[NOTE:  Please take note that there are many who claim to be the original and only AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, but the fact of the matter is that there are many AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCHES across the United States of America.  This particular Jurisdiction is the One and Original AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH incorporated in California in 1971-1972. 

It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that some of those who make their claims that the above document was intended, issued and meant only for their particular Church jurisdiction is a slap in the face of true Orthodox Catholic Christianity because it disparages the faith of the Church. And, what is more, many of those clerics may be in fact "Bishops" by secular standards of documentation, but have actually left the faith delivered once and for all from Jesus Christ through the Holy Apostles down through time and history to us who are successor apostles (Bishops) who maintain the faith, do not claim to be INDEPENDENT this or INDEPENDENT that, etc.  And who, claiming themselves INDEPENDENT ordain or allow to be ordained female clergy as priests and bishops against and in violation of the ancient Seven Ecumenical Councils. 

Thus, anyone who claims a nomenclature of their church, jurisdiction or parish with such that equates to a popish name of the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church, are not truly Orthodox for neither Ethnic Orthodox and Western Rite Orthodoxy do not and never will subscribe to the heresies of the Roman Church who schismed from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church by her innovative ideas and her violations of the ancient Seven Ecumenical Councils.

May it also be noted and understood that while there are certain ethnic jurisdictions who firmly believe that all who are chosen to become Bishops should be chosen in accordance with Biblical truth.  So what is that truth?  Do the research!  You will find that no where is there any support for all to come from a celibate un-married class or state of monasticism, even though it is an honorable state and a very Holy State; and one that is truly time honored.  But never, ever does Holy Scripture support the exclusion of an un-married episcopate.]


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?