excerpts from a HOC-AJ web page w/corrections

In 1927, Archbishop Aftimios was appointed to head, The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, A/K/A the American Orthodox Catholic Church (short name given by the Metropolia) as an automous and autocephalis entity for the English speaking Orthodox in North America.

The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America was legally chartered as a religious corporation by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Feb. 1, 1928.

Sophronius Bashara was consecrated Bishop of Los Angeles by Archbishop Aftimios, with co-consecrators Metropolitan Elias of Tyre and Sidon, and Bishop Emanuel of Montreal.

Ignatius (Wm. A.) Nichols was consecrated Auxilary bishop in 1932.

The Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil was formed by Archbishop Aftimios in 1931.

1932 - Archbishop Ignatius, S.S.B., (William Albert Nichols) consecrated Archbishop in the AOC, by Archbishop Aftimios, with co-consecrators Bishop Sophronius Bashara and Bishop Joseph Zuk.

1932 - 1936 The Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basilformalized under the AOC by Archbishop Aftimios and Archbishop Ignatius.

The Forbes group, now headed by a former Roman Catholic priest now claims that by no 1932 Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh as Archbishop President established a church in New York State and it was supposed to be chartered under Special Act of the New York legislature (with legal entity revisions under the same legislative act in 1956). This was originally established for western converts to Orthodoxy and Westerners were assigned by Archbishop Aftimios to the Western Rite, and they claim Bishop Ignatius decided to separate the two into two individual self-sustaining jurisdictions with both elements remaining under him. This is clearly false since Ignatius walked away from the Canonically established Church without the required letters as an auxilary bishop. The ethnic claim in their writings that Ignatius left to marry in June 1933, a couple months after Abp, Ofiesh had married. In 1943 Ignatius claimed to be an Archbishop for the Holy Orthodox Church in America, an independent non-canonical jurisdiction that in no way was associated with Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh or The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America. Agter June 1932 Ignatius was no longer associated with THEOCACNA and had no sacramental authority to lay hands on anyone for the American Church in any manner.

They then go on to claim that eventually the Eastern Rite was allowed its autonomy and Father Theodocious DeWittow was consecrated Bishop for the Eastern Rite jurisdiction. The Eastern and Western jurisdictions thus created have remained separate, though in many instances both have again established both Rites. Part of the Bishop Theodocious line was re-entered with the Western jurisdiction with the 1976 consecration of Bishop Walter Block Conway.

Aftimios Married in April 1933. He continued to head THEOCACNA which is supported by the writings of his widow and affirmed in the writings of ethnic clergy.

Archbishop Alexander, S.S.B. (Paul Tyler Turner) consecrated an independent Bishop on November 12, 1939, with Archbishop Ignatius as consecrator. Some documents indicate it was shortly thereafter that he was made Superior-General of The Basilians due to the "failing health" of Archbishop Ignatius which appears false since he became a protestant pastor in 1942 and continued in that position until his death in 1947. It is claimed that Father Turner replaced Archbishop Ignatius as Superior General of the independently established Basilians (not those associated with THEOCACNA) and remained in that position until his death in 1971.

In 1956 Archbishop Alexander began a search for an ethnic Orthodox Jurisdiction which would be willing to give suffrage to the Western Rite apostolate. Several Jurisdictions responded favorably including the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch of Moscow, and Metropolitan Antony Bashir of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese. By 1960 Archbishop Alexander and three of their Western Rite clergy of the independent Western Rite Archdiocese (Fathers Basil Jackson, William Francis Forbes, and James Fontain) joined with the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese as Western Rite clergy, in the Syrian Archdiocesan Western Rite Vicariate, while expressly maintaining their membership in Their independent Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil which continued to be totally self governing - autocephalic.

Father William Francis Forbes "founds" a new mission-parish of the Orthodox Western Rite in 1959, under the jurisdictional authority of the Right Reverend Alexander Turner, superior general of the Orthodox Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil, commonly called "The Basilian Fathers", Mitered Archpriest Alexander Turner being head of the Western Rite Vicariate for the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of all North America (and New York).

Father William Francis Forbes, a priest of The Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil since 1952, claimed he became Superior General of The Basilian Fathers on the death of Archbishop Alexander in 1971.

Father William Francis Forbes, S.S.B., withdrew from the Syrian Archdiocesan Western Rite Vicariate in 1974 to devote his full time to duties as superior-general of the SSB and the restructuring of the Western Rite Archdiocese. (It is claimed Father Paul Schneirla, the Syrian Eastern Rite archpriest who had succeeded Alexander as the Syrian Western Rite vicar general, acknowledged the withdrawal which later formally approved in the form of a formal release from the Jurisdiction.)

October 20, 1974 - Father William Francis Forbes was consecrated Bishop by independent Archbishop Thomas Jude Baumler with Bishop John Chrysostom Martin as co-consecrator, in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.

The Holy Orthodox Church, American Jurisdiction (HOCAJ / HOC-AJ / HOC-AJ), established in conjunction with restructuring of the Orthodox Western (Gregorian) Rite. Not associated with THEOCACNA in any way.

HOCAJ / HOC-AJ and SSB main Archdioceses (See) transferred from New York to Nashville, Tennessee in 1976.

The SSB mother house and seminary in Mount Vernon, New York, were closed and sold by Bishop Forbes, their functions moved to (Antioch) Nashville, Tennessee.

So the reader can easily see this jurisdiction has no ties to or affiliation with THEOCACNA. Any claims of being THEOCACNA are easily refuted.  

The Forbes group goes on to say that a meeting was held in the city of Huston, Texas in 1997 with members of the synod, at which time attempts were made to change the Constitution, by the proposal of new canons, taken from the Roman Church, to be applied to the HOC-AJ changing it from a truly Orthodox Church to a Roman aberration. This attempt vetoed by the Metropolitan-Primate Archbishop Wm. Francis Forbes who suspended itís continuation. A number of the Bishops in attendance usurped the authority of the Metropolitan-Primate creating a schism withdrawing themselves from the jurisdiction in protest and created their own Church, camouflaged as the HOC-AJ using seals and stationary closely resembling the authentic originals. Archbishop Forbes never retired or relinquished his authority as Metropolitan-Primate of HOC-AJ or Superior General of the SSB, continuing the ministry, until 2007 as set forth by the progenitors. The bishops schismatic behavior and activities resulted in ex-communication. There was no official action taken at that meeting and documents purported to have been signed and sealed by the Metropolitan-Primate "are in fact forgeries", there was not a restructuring of the HOC-AJ or the SSB, but a forming of a new schematic church. All authority remained as before and continued at the Metropolitan see in Nashville, until Archbishop Frances Forbes retired in 2007. He appointed Archbishop Nicholas Wayne Boyle-Parsley who subsequently resigned a few months later due to health problems. The Synod then, including the past Metropolitan Primates elected Carl D. Bartholomew Archbishop on July 15, 2008, and reorganized the church making numerous changes including separating the offices of the Superior General of the Society of Clerks Secular of St. Basil and the Metropolitan Primate. He began claiming the HOC was THEOCACNA by incorporating in Fla. Dec 2007 using the name "The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America", violating US Copyright and Trademark laws in the process.

Though individuals within some organizations or "jurisdictions" may have a lineage which can be traced to the origins of this Jurisdiction, and may be valid, and may have some legally or canonically supportable position, they are not part of or within this Jurisdiction. One such is The Plummer Succession. Within a "jurisdiction" named "Holy Orthodox Church in America", which was incorporated in the County and State of New York in 1936, "Archbishop Theodotus De Witow" performed a ceremony by which he purported to "ordain" as deaconess, one Serena Gladys Emily DeWitow, on May 1, 1956. "Archbishop Theodotus De Witow" was the successor of "Archbishop George Plummer", and married his widow, the same Serena Gladys Emily DeWitow. On November 9, 1980, Serena Gladys Emily DeWitow, known then as Mother Serena, and "Deaconess Lucia Leocadia Grosch" were "consecrated" bishops by "Archbishop Herman Adrian Spruit". Plummer also was a Mason.

In the legal world there are two kinds of persons or entities, the natural person and the legal person. A natural person is born. A legal person is created by act of a legislature or by legal document. Canonical entitles, Church Jurisdictions, Religious Orders and Societies, and Church entities (Religious Entitles), exist and have validity through Dogma and Apostolic Succession, and function quite well in the Religious world in this conceptual manner. However, when Religious Entitles enter into or interact with the Civil or Social world, they usually must do through some legal form. Often this legal form is a legal person, and often this legal person is established in the form of a corporation. But the corporation is not the Religious Entity. The corporation is merely the means by which or through which the Religious Entity functions in the legal world. In the legal world, when a corporate name is not renewed, or the corporation ceases to function in the legal world, or when certain legal requirements are not met, the name of the corporation can be assumed by persons other than those of the Religious Entity, while the Religious Entity continues to exist. In certain instances persons with only a loose association with the Religious Entity and even persons who are not associated with the Religious Entity can actually take over the legal corporate structure. This has occurred in varying degrees and to varying extent at different times during the existence of the S.S.B. and its related entitles, due to the inexperience in legal matters of its members. This history has been prepared in part to clarify any ambiguities which have resulted due to this inexperience.