McReynolds group

Others claiming to be us

Part of a series on independent groups



[Here they make the false claim of being the Original American Church THEOCACNA. They infringe our name which is our legal service mark in an effort to make themself appear to be Orthodox and part of the original canonical Church]

Established in 1927 by the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in North America, this jurisdiction was intended to foster orthodox religion for the faithful of specifically American culture (e.g. second generation of immigrants, and converts). Its fuller designation was the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, which is the name of the original 1927 American Orthodox Catholic Church and a legal service mark of that Church. Aftimios Ofiesh was its first Archbishop primate. For a variety of reasons, the initial dream did not blosom significantly, although a succesion of bishops did carry on the lineage and attempt to preserve the ideal. In 1963 and 1965 the AOCC was [False] legally and canonically revived by archbishops Homer Roebke and Walter Propheta on the West and East coasts respectively, with Propheta as the overall primate. Propheta, a Ukrainian Orthodox priest for many years, was consecrated a bishop for this [False] by the direct successor of Ofiesh, and was entrusted with the AOCC denomination. Roebke was a member of the Synod under Propheta.

The over-riding principle of orthodox religion, as for all Christianity, is Charity or good will. Of course orthodoxy works to preserve tradition. But it is to be noted that the Orthodox churches generally do not espouse as dogmatic and legalistic Theological positions as the Roman church, prefering to admit that in contemplation of the most profound realities of our lives, and of the ultimate truths of the universe and being, we may have to ackowledge that our best conceptual and symbolic notions must be but tentative in the end. The Ultimate is not to be comprehended or neatly defined by our words or ideas. However, our ideas and notions, especially those which have proven to be helpful and beneficial in the life of the Church, may have their validity and usefulness. Orthodoxy preserves the essential of the old, without necessarily denying the validity of the new. In any case it is the truth which is more important, and people themselves. The Church exists to serve and help people. The Church is people - the people of God.

There is but one catholic Church altogether. Orthodoxy may rely on certain basic principles enshrined in authoritative tradition, as ways of speaking, thinking and approaching the divine. But it does not aim to commit an idolatry with either the written Scripture or church tradition. People come first. Truth is more important than doctrine or explanation. And we have to be good to one another, regardless, if we are to make our lives in this world as well as we can, and if we are to be as good as we can. And so Love or Good Will must be adovated above all.

The AOCC is but one ecclesial jurisdiction and association within and of God's People.

The AOCC Holy Synod (of the Propheta and Roebke succession) currently consists of the following bishops in North America:

Lorenzo Abrugnedo, Archbishop-Primate (NY) Jacobo Lozano, Bishop of the South (TX) Patrick McReynolds, Bishop of the West (WA)

and Donald Jolly (CA) is coadjutor to Bishop McReynolds.

There are or may be other synods or jurisdictions which use the AOCC denomination, including those of the Zurawetsky succession (Peter Zurawetsky also established an AOCC jurisdiction, which was at least formerly in communion with that of Propheta and/or clergy of his jurisdiction). [Here is another false assumption] There is also a group that may have taken over, assumed or revived the 1928 Massachussets corporation the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, claiming use of the AOCC denomination as their special 'trademark' (sm) without legal registration with the US Dept. of Commerce (under the laws for trademark and patents). This [the original one true] THEOCACNA currently disassociates itself with churches and clergy [who claim to be] of the AOCC who claim lineage through Archbishop Ignatius, even though he was, at least originally, canonically recognized as successor to Ofiesh. [ED Note: Ignatius did not succeed Aftimios since he left the Church in 1933] But when we made official inquiries into this corporation in the early 90's this group was not using it; [Ed Note: We are not using the corporation, we were asked to re-establish the synod by Marian Ofiesh who sat on the corporate board until 1999] and in fact their own literature may imply they assumed the corporation in or around 1997. If they have revived and are using this old corporation in a bona fide manner, we wish them well. But their claims to the exclusive use of the AOCC denomination are patently untenable.

The denomination is not exclusive [Ed Note: Orthodoxy has some very exclusive features. The non-orthodox make such claims to give some legitimacy to their claims]. And by its nature perhaps cannot be exclusive. And most churches of this denomination offer a variety of rites suited to the needs of actual congregations, albeit in orthodox fashion, and do not seek to belittle or undo the work of others.

In any event may we show ourselves to be disciples of Jesus through our charity.

For further information contact:

Benevolence Institute


Office of the Archbishop Primate:

853 Seventh Ave. 8-D
New York NY 10019

Also it should be noted that none listed herein are or have been associated with the Church Abp. Ofiesh originally headed. Abp. Ofiesh did not found or establish the Church as some claim.