Ignatius (W.A.) Nichols
Auxilary Bishop 1932-1933
1934-1942 Episcopi Vagant claiming to be Archbishop
of the Holy Orthodox Church in America
1942 - Became pastor of a Community Church
Ignatius never ordained anyone for THEOCACNA.
When he left the Church without the required letters
he had no authority to act for THEOCACNA.
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Many make claims they have lines to this Church based on an ordination
he did after he left this Church in 1933. Simply put it should be
noted that none who claim lines from Ignatius after he left THEOCACNA are
or have been associated with the Church Abp. Ofiesh originally headed.
Abp. Ofiesh did not found or establish the Church as some claim. They
also, according to Orthodox canons and tradition have no legitimate claim
on our Church, lines of Apostolic Succession or history since his acts,
done after leaving the Orthodox Church, since they were without authority
or mandate and he was acing independently as a "former" Orthodox bishop.
When he left the Church to start an independent Church he left all
authority to act in Orthodoxy.
Those who claim acts by Ignatius after 1942 clearly are making false
claims since Ignatius left Orthodoxy at least by 1942 when he became
pastor of a community Church where he was pastor until his death in 1947.
Ignatius Nichols was canonically consecrated Auxiliary Bishop in The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America® on Sept. 27,
1932. He did not consecrate anyone for this Church or by the authority of
the North American Holy Synod [sm]. What we have found is that he left
Theocacna [sm] shortly after Abp. Ofiesh married.
Since we are the same Church (and Corporation) we find it within the
authority of the Synod to denounce as invalid by Orthodox Canons all
claims of ordination and consecration from and by Ignatius Nichols.
The simple fact is that no mandate, as required, was ever issued for
the acts claimed that supposedly trace back to us. Without a mandate from
this Church and since he left this Church any acts were based on his own
authority and not the authority of this Church. No lines can be traced
back to this Church by any unauthorized acts.
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C. XIII of the 25 canons reads;
Auxiliary Bishops shall have no right to ordain presbyters or deacons, but, moreover, not even city presbyters may they ordain, without being allowed to do so by the Bishop with letters in another diocese.
Since Ignatius left the Church in 1933 without the required letters he left all authority from this Church behind. He later claimed to be an Archbishop in 1934 of the Holy Orthodox Church in America and was not acting for THEOCACNA and he had not authority to pass on our lines of Apostolic Succession. All such claims are following the Old Catholic traditions and are not orthodox claims.
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To the best of our knowledge none in the independent movement have
valid canonical orthodox lines traced to this Church. The Rudder (Orthodox
Canons) clearly state that the Patriarch or Metropolitan is to head the
gathered bishops for an ordination (consecration). The canons fail to
consider that so many individuals would claim to be a primate, patriarch,
metropolitan, archbishop or bishop and claim to head his, or her, church.
All these independent churches are basically unrecognized by any old world
(ethnic) orthodox synod.
These same individuals write and rewrite history regarding bishops who
have been deposed and/or excommunicated. They claim one bishop can lift
the decree issued by another bishop or that one bishop can suspend or
excommunicate another bishop. All is contrary to the canons. In other
words they make up their own rules as they go and ignore the historic
Ignatius (William Albert) Nichols left the church in June 1933, a
couple months after Abp. Ofiesh married and he also married. In 1934 he
claimed to be Archbishop of the Metropolitan Synod of the Holy Orthodox
Church in America and ordained and consecrated in the name of that church.
The Society of Clerks Secular of Saint Basil is an order started in this
Church, remains in this Church to this day and we legally own the name. It was a Registered Service Mark and we continue to use he name.
When members left this Church they left our Society. When its claimed Ignatius
ordained for the Society it was for the independent group he started after
leaving THEOCACNA. After Ignatius left this Church no acts were done in
our name. The Society did not leave THEOCACNA as some independents would claim.
The Holy Orthodox Church in America does not appear to have been a NY
corporation under that name.
Since Ignatius was with that church the Forbes Holy Orthodox Church -
AJ may have assumed a similar name.
We understand that Ignatius left Orthodoxy in 1942 to become pastor of a Community Church. In 1943 he signed a contract with that Church and when he died he was still the pastor of the small Community
Church in Vermont. Today many still try to claim his lines trace to the
American Orthodox Catholic Church (THEOCACNA).
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THEREFORE, The North American Holy Synod [sm] refuses to accept
as valid any Episcopal acts, i.e. ordinations and consecrations, performed
by Ignatius Nichols without the prior consent of the Synod or a Council of
When he left this Church he left all authority to act in the name of
this Church. Since our records indicate Ignatius went his own way without
the required Canonical Letters we view all acts as invalid and contrary to
For the Synod
The Holy Eastern
Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, Inc.
August 22, 1997