Orthodox or Not?


The other day I met a person whom said he was an Orthodox priest in a jurisdiction that shares the same backgroud as the OCA. He gave me a website to find information about his church.

He said something about his church seeking a reunion with the Russian Orthodox Church and also the Patriarchate of Constantinople. With a lot of organizations that are outside the Church making similar claims, it is hard to tell, Who is who?.

Can you help mr determine who these people are? Are they who they claim they are?


I have visited the web site you indicated, and the jurisdiction which it reflects is in no way connected with any canonical Orthodox Church.

It traces its line back to a certain Bishop Aftimios Ofiesh who, in the 1920s had indeed been a part of the canonical Orthodox Church in North America. In 1927 he had been asked to organize an English-speaking diocese within the Russian Orthodox Church in America. In the early 1930s, however, he abandoned his episcopacy when he was married to a woman in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Thus, the diocese he had been charged with establishing, which had never met with great success, ceased to be a part of the canonical Orthodox Church.

Perhaps the “remnant” of this group legitimately desires reunion with canonical Orthodoxy, in which case they would be best advised to contact a canonical Orthodox body for further direction. To my knowledge, this has never been done.

There are dozens of groups such as this, many of which exist only on paper or in cyberspace. They can be rather misleading, as one soon discovers that many have no viable congregations.