Ignatius Nichols was canonically consecrated 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, he married and became a protestant minister and consecrated and co-consecrated at will and contrary to the Canons of the Orthodox Church.
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.
There are a number of independent groups claiming they have lines that trace back to Bishop Ignatius, Abp. Aftimios and this Church. They find non-canonical reasons to claim their lines are valid but they are not orthodox. We denounce such claims as unorthodox and contrary to Orthodox canons and tradition.
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). These 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 canons.
Ignatius then got married himself in June of 1933 and began entering into relations with the representatives of the Living Church in America (the Soviet-sponsored pseudo-church), which had been competing (especially legally) with the jurisdiction of the Metropolia and the ROCOR. He eventually broke relations even with the Living Church and returned to being an episcopi vagans, dying as the pastor of a small Community Church in Middle Springs, Vermont, but not before starting multiple small religious bodies, many of whom claim apostolic succession from him.
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 our Bishops.
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 Orthodox Canons.
For the Synod
August 22, 1997
P.O. Box 121
Sudan, Tx. 79371 USA
and Apostolic Church in North America
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