The Synod of The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America states the following about those who claim to be us but under another name, those who claim to operate under our Charter or who claim their lines trace to us.
The independent movement is mainly aimed at the catholic and orthodox Churches but there are also episcopal - anglican bodies around who claim to be what the original Churches are not, or to correct changes or errors that many Church members objected to in their historic Churches.
The big problem is that many people do not understand what the independent movement is and they do not understand the claims these groups and their clergy make such as that they are canonical or that they have valid lines of Apostolic Succession. We also find a number of these groups lie as to who they are by claiming the 1927 Charter the Russian Synod in North America issued and gave to THEOCACNA, the Canonically Chartered Church known as the American Orthodox Catholic Church [short name], and the Canonically established Church that Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh was appointed the head of in 1927. THEOCACNA continues today as the same canonically established orthodox church but many independents claim the Charter that was issued to THEOCACNA. That claim makes them a liar. If they lie are they even a church? Are these men even true clergy?
THEOCACNA will tell you the truth if you contact them.
This page is dedicated to uncovering the truth about the so called "independent" clergy who lie about who they are.
NOTE: There are many sincere, active clergy who are viewed as part of the independent movement. We believe most of those who falsely claim to be us are status seekers with "paper" churches who seek titles and status by lies and deceit. We believe this is done because they know their so called lines of Apostolic Succession are invalid for any number of reasons.
We herewith provide a list of clergy and groups who lie and make false claims that they are "canonical" or in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch, but are not. If they are not who they claim they are, who are they? What if any lines do they have and what sacramental authority, if any, do they have?
The most common lie many make is that the 1927 Charter issued to THEOCACNA is theirs for whatever reason, some claim their lines trace back to us (false), one claimed their charter was from us and so on. We feel the fact they must lie as to who they are says it all - They are bogus!
Their lies go beyond claiming our Charter, lines and history. They claim they are canonical in some way, that the ethnic, based on old newspaper articles, recognize them or their lines, and much more.
They also publish old letters from orthodox sources. These letters were sent to someone they now claim to be in their lines of Apostolic Succession to prove they are valid and their lines are valid. Such letters only prove the individual the original letter was sent to received such a letter. The contents may have been altered at some time since computers make that possible.
NOTE: THEOCACNA's short name since 1927 has been the American Orthodox Catholic Church. All the independents who improperly use our short name attempt to deceive you in the same way they do by trying to claim their authority comes from the Russian Orthodox Church through our Charter and lines of Apostolic Succession.
(name) (Married=m) (church) (Claim) (Status)
Brian Kennedy formerly known as Joseph Ely (formerly Old Catholic, now
Celtic Orthodox Church) Claims: The American Orthodox Church is not a
jurisdiction and he claims the 1927 Charter issued to THEOCACNA. Claims his
Celtic Orthodox Church is the American Orthodox Church, claims to be Orthodox
and recognized by the Ethnic Patriarchs. Was associated with Alan Stanford
(listed below), a registered sex offender, who also claims to head the American
Orthodox Church and North American Orthodox Church as well as the American
Orthodox Catholic Church. Kennedy refers to others as uneducated, mentally
defective, and other such terms. Writes as if he speaks for all Orthodox and Old
Claims his lines come through Peter II (Zhurawetzky)1
Alan Stanford of Deming, NM (formerly of Calif.) claime his church was the "mother church" but has since changed that claim to be the mother church of all groups who had been associated with his group. Uses the names the American Orthodox Church, North American Orthodox Church and American Orthodox Catholic Church. Listed as a registered sex offender in Ca. and NM. (This information is available when you do a search on the search engines)
Michael Kirkland (m) - (HOCPA, & Ukrainian group) Claims: communion with
Ecumenical Patriarch, successor to dead bishop, head of old NY church (that
merged with THEOCACNA) but never listed as clergy of that church, self
incorporated a church using similar name in Ohio, orthodox. EXCOMMUNICATED,
Claimed lines from Peter II (Zhurawetzky)1 and most recently
claims to be a Mitred Archpriest in a Ukrainian Jurisdiction.
[NOTE: ordained deacon & priest in the old catholic church]
Denis Garrison (m) - (OCCNA & various names) Claims: 1927 charter issued to his church, self incorporated, orthodox. Claims lines from Rome and most if not all orthodox churches, OCR, etc. Excommunicated long ago, Deposed & Anathematized - 1999. Claims to be retired these days. Garrison had incorporated theocacna in Delaware and another state, later gave the Delaware corporation to Holdridge and the state later closed it. None of the independent corporations Garrison established were Chartered by or associated with the original THEOCACNA.
Paul Dolan - (OCCNA) Claims: associated with Garrison, orthodox. Deposed & Anathematized
Paul Stoms (m) - (OCCNA, German-American Orthodox) Claims: associated with Garrison, questionable lines, arrested for selling "degrees", orthodox. After about 6 years he began harassing his former synod claiming he excommunicated the Metropolitan from his chaplains service, that he was never a member of this Church and threatened to sue to release medical records, and more. Deposed and Anathematized
Seraphim Holdridge - (ROCIA) Claims: Uses church name very similar to OCA, has cathedral interior picture on his website but has no such church, claims 1927 Charter, orthodox, renounced his orders then started back up claiming to be a primate. Originally consecrated by Garrison. Garrison had incorporated under the theocacna name in Delaware and another state and gave Holdridge the Del. theocacna corporation. Holdridge failed to pay the annual report fee and the corporation was closed by the state. These independent groups were not chartered by or part of the original THEOCACNA. Unknown
C. James Guthrie - (Varies) Claims: orthodox, Ph.D degree from an Oklahoma College in Chadler, former mental health worker, attacks clergy he was formerly associated with. EXCOMMUNICATED
Patrick Murray - (OCCNA, ROC) Claims: Roman Orthodox Church was chartered by THEOCACNA, OCCNA website claims to have Chartered ROC, associated with Garrison, questionable lines believed from Garrison after he was deposed and anathematized by North American Holy Synod. Spreads rumors & lies. Unknown
Kenneth Lewis, A/K/A Bishop John Cassian of Columbus, Ohio for violating the canons was deposed. Continues in association with another Church making false claims of being under the Patriarch which his presiding bishop denies.
Wallace Condrick - Claims: orthodox, THEOCACNA name and 1927 charter. Unkown
Questionable: Some have a problem with the former actions and associates of;
Andrei S.P. Brennan - (Ukrainian) Claims: formerly associated with Kirkland & Garrison, originally consecrated twice by 1 "bishop" each time 10 months apart. Deposed & Anathematized decree lifted when he claimed to repent and stated he was accepted by a canonical bishop but said he could not name him at that time.
1 Peter II, - Peter Andreas Zhrawetzky was a member of the Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America** under Bishop Joseph (Klymowycz). After the death of Bishop Joseph - Bishop Clement Sherwood was elected to head the Synod. The Synod excommunicated Peter Zhurawetzky, which is public record, who continued his independent ministry mainly in New Jersey.
** The Orthodox Catholic Patriarchate of America is now part of THEOCACNA
1. Any claim to the 1927 Charter or Constitution by independent groups is a lie. These documents belong to The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, Inc. (THEOCACNA) a canonically established orthodox Church Chartered in 1927 by the Synod of Bishop in North America, (Moscow Patriarchate). That Synod appointed Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh to head the new American Church the 1927 Charter was issued to. He incorporated the Church on Feb. 1, 1928 This Church continues today. The Synod did not just issue a charter and say anyone could or should go out and start a Church based on this Charter, that is contrary to the Canons. [Proof - see corporate papers and the Rudder]
2. Cannot be canonical or orthodox if they have been excommunicated, deposed or anathematized according to the canons of the orthodox church. [proof - see Rudder]
3. Most Traditional [ethnic] Orthodox Bishops are not married, they are celibate. [Proof - see Rudder or ask a true (ethnic) orthodox clergyman]. We say "Most" because there have been married bishops in the early [historic] Orthodox Church and a few in the more recent Church such as Abp. Ofiesh and bishop Ignatius Nichols.