Established by Canonical Charter Feb. 2, 1927

Also known as
The American Orthodox Catholic Church

Does hereby issue this

Canonical Decree

by the North American Holy Synod
American Orthodox Patriarchate

Be it known to all men

That on this Sixth day of May, 2007 by the Authority of this Patriarchate The North American Holy Synod has declared the following to end all rumors and false information regarding the clergy of this Church and this Church;

1. That this Church never ceased or was closed down in any legal, canonical or moral manner.

2. That Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh was never suspended, deposed, defrocked, excommunicated or in any other way removed from Office as head of this Church. This is a false claim made by clergy of a certain schismatic group in the U.S. who would like to declare they are the American Church. Most of their writings about this Church are an attempt to change gistory. They make false claims about Abp. Ofiesh and Bp. Sophronius as well as claims about Bp Ignatius that they cannot document.

3. That Bishop Sophronius never attempted or claimed to head this Church nor did he ever attempt to remove the Archbishop or any other synod member from office. Bp. Sophronius never ordained or consecrated anyone for this Church without a mandate issued by the Synod.

4. That Bishop Ignatius, an Auxiliary Bishop, left this Church to married. He later became a protestant minister. He never ordained anyone for this Church with a Mandate. When he left he declared himself an Archbishop of an independent group and he established an independent group by the same name as our "Clerks Secular of Saint Basil".

5. Bishop Joseph left our synod to work with and head a Ukrainian jurisdiction in the U.S. and he died shortly after leaving the synod.

THEREFORE it shall be noted that the above mentioned Canonical Church and Bishops are recognized to have been canonical clergy to the day they died. Anyone uttering or publishing false claims shall be guilty of defamation of this Church and/or the individual clergy named and shall be subject to the punishment of the Canons of the Orthodox Church.

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Signed and dated at the Patriarchate
this the Fifth Sunday of Pascha, the Sixth Day of May, 2007.

His Beatitude Nikon
American Orthodox Patriarchate

His Eminence Victor

His Eminence Leland
Vicar of the Eastern United States

His Eminence John
Vicar of the British Isles

His Grace Joseph
Bishop of the Western United States

Diocese of Michigan

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It appears that some of those involved in the unchristian attack on this Church and our late clergy mock us about this "Decree". They overlook a few facts they do not seem to consider important. They continue to act in an unchristian manner, in so doing they attack a long dead canonical orthodox bishop who they prefer to declare uncanonical by the fact he married, they attack the other canonical bishops of this Church including Bishop Sopronius who the Antiochians had reburied at Antiochian Village next to St. Raphael and in so doing they also defame St. Raphael by their claims. They fail to consider even if its only a 1% chance (in their minds) what this Decree does to their souls when the time comes when they must answer for their actions. They seem to believe that they can do no wrong based on the church they claim to be part of.

Our Patriarch has declared that these jurisdictions were party to a Schism in American Orthodoxy dating back to the time this Church was canonically Chartered (1927). They like to claim that "because Abp. Ofiesh married he deposed himself" (addressed elsewhere on this site) and that was their grounds for turning their backs on this Church. Problem is their time frame. Abp. Ofiesh married in 1933, they ignored this Church and admitted they would not accept this Church as having any authority over the Orthodox in America in 1929 - Thus causing the Schism in American Orthodoxy! This Schism continues today! These jurisdictions could have attempted to sweep it under the carpet but their continued attacks have just gone to far and we decided to point out this Schism and their attempts to justify their claims that they are or will be the American Church. The jurisdictions involved are SCOBA jurisdictions.

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