Note: Those clergy and laity listed here can have their names removed when they disassociate themselves from OCCNA and prove they have become truly Orthodox.
Subject: The Evil Matrix of Bogus Clergy of Orthodox Catholic Church in North America (OCCNA): Garrison, Brennan, Dowling, Dolan, DuBois, Stoms, Shedrick
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 15:33:13 GMT
Keywords: Denis Garrison, Andrei Brennan, Kristopher Dowling, Paul Dolan, Joseph DuBois, Paul Stoms, William Shedrick
The Evil Matrix of Bogus Clergy of Orthodox Catholic Church in North America (OCCNA)
Bogus Clergy / Valid Priest / Valid Bishop / Excomm (times)
1 Denis Garrison N N Y (3)
1.1 Deborah Garrison - - Y (3)
1.2 Patrick Murray N - Y (2)
1.3 Michael Fischer N - Y (2)
1.4 Janette Fischer - - Y (2)
1.5 Joseph Leschinskie N - Y (2)
1.6 Bernard Schimanski N - Y (2)
1.7 Betty Schimanski - - Y (2)
1.8 David Prestridge N - Y (2)
1.9 Larry Stevenson N - Y (2)
1.10 Loren Osborn N - Y (2)
1.11 Joseph Swaydyn N - Y (2)
1.12 Philip Haynes N - Y (2)
1.13 Gilbert Sanders N - Y (2)
1.14 Donna Jean Muse - - Y (2)
1.15 John Johnson N - Y (2)
1.16 Joel Retzloff N - Y (2)
2 Paul Dolan N N Y (2)
3 Joseph DuBois N N Y (2)
4 Andrei Brennan - N Y (1)
4.1 Anastasia [Niebler] - - Y (1)
4.2 John Gardner N - Y (1)
4.3 R. Sereda N N Y (1)
4.4 S[tephen]M. Arenburg N - Y (1)
4.5 Cheryl Arenburg - - Y (1)
4.6 Michael Zetaruk N - Y (1)
4.7 Jason Valtas N - Y (1)
4.8 Christopher Delaney N - Y (1)
5 Kristopher Dowling - N Y (1)
5.1 Elizabeth Dowling - - Y (1)
5.2 Timothy [Potts] N - Y (1)
5.3 Janet - - Y (1)
5.4 Gabriel N - Y (1)
6 Paul Stoms N N Y (2)
7 William Shedrick N N Y (2)
7.1 Lestine Shedrick - - Y (2)
1. Garrison was priested by David Luther (WOCA) whose orders derive from Duarte Costa, an excommunicated Roman Catholic prelate, and hence are not canonically orthodox (excommunicated bishops are impeded until such time as their excommunication is resolved). Luther later censured, impeded, and excommunicated Garrison for breaking his vows, to which Garrison admits in a letter from Justo Gonzalez (CACINA) which tried improperly to resolve the matter after the fact and without due jurisdiction. Consequently Garrison was not an orthodox priest. Garrison was bishopped by Francis Ryan who did not know Garrison presented himself as an invalid subject (not a valid orthodox priest, and an excommunicated non orthodox priest). When Ryan found out about this, Ryan excommunicated Garrison. Subsequently Garrison would not talk about this last excommunication with Wallace Condrick (AOC). Garrison was excommunicated a third time by [the Holy Synod headed by] Victor Prentice (THEOCACNA).
1.1 Deborah Garrison is a layman (sister) and spouse of Garrison and thus necessarily excommunicate through her spouse and through Garrison.
1.1 Patrick Murray was priested by Garrison (with defective ordinal) and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.2 Michael Fischer was priested by Garrison (with defective ordinal) and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.3 Janette Fischer is a layman (sister) and spouse of Michael Fischer and thus necessarily excommunicate through her spouse and through Garrison.
1.4 Joseph Leschinskie was priested by Garrison (with defective ordinal) and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.5 Bernard Schimanski was priested by Garrison (with defective ordinal) and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.6 Betty Schimanski is a layman (sister) and spouse of Bernard Schimanski and thus necessarily excommunicate through her spouse and through Garrison.
1.7 David Prestridge was priested by Garrison (with defective ordinal) and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.8 Larry Stevenson is a layman (sub deacon) and thus necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.9 Loren Osborn is a layman (brother) and thus necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.10 Joseph Swaydyn is a layman (brother) and thus necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.11 Philip Haynes is a layman (brother) and thus necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.12 Gilbert Sanders is a layman (brother) and thus necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.13 Donna Jean Muse is a layman (sister) and thus necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.14 John Johnson is a layman (brother) and thus necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
1.15 Joel Retzloff is a layman (brother) and thus necessarily excommunicate through Garrison.
2. Dolan's orders derive from Garrison and hence are invalid. Brennan was excommunicated by [the Holy Synod headed by] Victor Prentice (THOCACNA).
3. DuBois' orders derive from Garrison and hence are not valid. Garrison used a defective ordinal as well, thus no co-consecration by assisting bishops was valid. DuBois is necessarily excommunicate through his association with Garrison.
4. Brennan's orders derive from two solo, unrelated bishops (Darrel Grosvold, WR Price) at two different times and hence are not canonical orthodox. The Canadian government does not recognize Brennan's church as valid. No orthodox group in Canada in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople recognizes Brennan as a clergyman. Brennan was excommunicated by [the Holy Synod headed by] Victor Prentice (THEOCACNA). Brennan is also necessarily excommunicate through his association with Garrison.
4.1 Anastasia [Niebler, mother of Stephen M. Arenburg below] is a layman (deaconess) and live in roommate with Brennan and thus necessarily excommunicate through her roommate Brennan.
4.2 John Gardner was priested by Brennan and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through Brennan.
4.3 R. Sereda was priested and bishopped by Brennan and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through his association with Brennan and Garrison.
4.4 Oksana Sereda is a layman (chanter) and thus necessarily excommunicate through her association with R. Sereda and through Brennan.
4.4 S[tephen] M. Arenburg [son of Anastasia above] was priested by Brennan and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through Brennan.
4.5 Cheryl Arenburg is a layman (magistrate) and thus necessarily excommunicate through her association with S.M. Arenburg and through Brennan.
4.6 Michael Zetaruk was deaconned by Brennan and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through his association with R. Sereda and through Brennan.
4.7 Jason Valtas is a layman (assistant) and thus necessarily excommunicate through his association with R. Sereda and through Brennan.
4.8 Christopher Delaney is a layman (instructor) and thus necessarily excommunicate through his association with Brennan.
5. Dowling's orders derive from Brennan and hence are not valid. Dowling's co-consecrator (Kevin Williams) advertises a gay (homosexual) church. Dowling is necessarily excommunicate through his association with Brennan and Garrison.
5.1 Elizabeth Dowling is a layman (deaconess) and spouse of Dowling and thus necessarily excommunicate through her spouse and through association with Brennan.
5.2 Timothy [Potts] was priested by Dowling and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through Dowling and through Brennan.
5.3 Janet is a layman (sister) and spouse of Timothy and thus necessarily excommunicate through her spouse and through association with Dowling and with Brennan.
5.4 Gabriel was priested by Dowling and thus invalid and necessarily excommunicate through Dowling and through Brennan.
6. Stoms' orders derive from Garrison and hence are not valid. Garrison used a defective ordinal as well, thus no co-consecration by assisting bishops was valid. Stoms was excommunicated by [the Holy Synod headed by] Victor Prentice (THEOCACNA). Stoms is also necessarily excommunicate through his association with Garrison.
7. Shedrick's orders derive from Garrison and hence are not valid. Garrison used a defective ordinal as well, thus no co-consecration by assisting bishops was valid. Shedrick is necessarily excommunicate through his association with Garrison.
7.1 Lestine Shedrick is a layman (sister) and spouse of Shedrick and thus necessarily excommunicate through her spouse and through Garrison.
Below is a listing of clergy and laity of OCCNA from http://www.occna.com/md/admin/stpatrick.html
Notice that the laity are pressed into service with such titles as brother and sister.
Orthodox Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore Saint Patrick's Cathedral Parish
Archdiocese of Baltimore:
Archbishop Denis Garrison, OSB - firstname.lastname@example.org Archbishop Denis
Bishop Paul Dolan, OSB - email@example.com (Not presently online.) Bishop Paul
Bishop William Shedrick, OSB - firstname.lastname@example.org Bishop William
Monsignor T. Patrick Murray, OSB - email@example.com Monsignor Patrick
Monsignor Michael T. Fischer, OSB - firstname.lastname@example.org Monsignor Michael
Priest Joseph A. Leschinskie - email@example.com Priest Joseph
Priest Bernard R. Schimanski, OSB - firstname.lastname@example.org Priest Bernard
Priest David E. Prestridge, OSB - email@example.com Priest David
Subdeacon Larry Stevenson, OSB - in care of firstname.lastname@example.org Subdeacon Larry
Brother Loren P. Osborn, OSB - email@example.com Bro. Loren
Sister Janette K. Fischer, OSB - Mikejan_29@hotmail.com Sr. Janet
Brother Joseph W. M. Swaydyn - Joe.Swaydyn@unbounded.com Bro. Joseph
Brother Philip A. Haynes, OSB - firstname.lastname@example.org Bro. Philip
Brother Gilbert O. Sanders, OSB - email@example.com Bro. Gilbert
Sister Donna Jean Muse, OSB - in care of firstname.lastname@example.org Sr. Donna
Sister Betty A. Schimanski, OSB - email@example.com Sister Betty
Brother John J. Johnson, OSB - firstname.lastname@example.org Bro. John
Brother Joel E. Retzloff, OSB - email@example.com Bro. Joel
Below is a similar list of laity, now with the additional title of seminarians from http://www.angelfire.com/ca2/lestine/
Church of the Most Holy Theotokos Mother of Africa Western Rite Orthodox Catholic Church
Brother Loren Osborn, OSB -- Albuquerque, NM
Father Michael Fischer, OSB -- Lagrange, KY
Father T. Patrick Murray, OSB -- Harlem, MT
Sister Janette K. Fisher, OSB -- Lagrange, KY
Father Bernard R. Schimanski, OSB -- Lagrange, KY
Brother Joseph Swaydyn -- Miami, FL
Brother Philip Haynes, OSB -- Brooklyn, NY
What "Father" Timothy Potts above says about himself, from http://www.expage.com/page/detractors:
"Detractors of the Faith and Jurisdiction
"Kooks, Loonies and Internet 'Trolls'"
The Internet is a relatively new media form and there is very little control over what is published. Tracing information can be difficult and costly. Because of this, people have, for some reason that escapes me, used this media to attack others based on little or nothing. I assume they derive some sort of pleasure from attacking their fellow man. Because of this, many on the Internet have used terms such as "Kooks", "Loonies" and Internet "Trolls" to describe people who derive pleasure out of attacking others.
It is this writer's opinion that all things made public on the Internet must be investigated before assuming it is true (even if the information is positive).
You may (or may not) have heard mention of our jurisdiction in an "un-charitable" way on one occasion or another on the Internet.
These rumors are being spread largely by one detractor who is not Orthodox but claims to be . The accusations are of the wildest sort.
Our detractor has won the "Kook of the Month Award" on several occasions on various Internet discussion groups (as well as being banned from them). This person has unleashed all sorts of profound lies and absurd accusations concerning the clergy of our humble jurisdiction.
Attempting to trace Internet slander is very difficult. However, any realistic examination of the facts concerning these accusations will prove them at once to be false and if it weren't for their serious nature they would be outright comical (at times these accusations are comical) :)
The detractor, unfortunately and apparently, spends more time attacking our humble jurisdiction than he spends working out his own salvation.
It was due to this detractor that I was forced to take our Guestbook off of the site as he filled it with all sorts of profanity and all sorts of insults. Oddly enough, this person claims to be Orthodox and also claims to be some kind of "bishop"! It would be a joke if it were not so sad.
Such attacks have included blasphemy and profanity! This person is obviously unbalanced psychologically.
We pray for our enemies as we pray for our friends. We pray that our detractor(s) will find the Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ one day by joining with the Body of Christ; the Orthodox Church and in so doing be freed from the demons that inspire him to work evil.
Kyrie Eleison, Christi Eleison, Kyrie Eleison"
Below is a puff piece written by Joseph Mahomond Swaydyn (firstname.lastname@example.org), and heavily edited by Denis Garrison, which does violence to historical fact, Orthodoxy, and the corporate name of THEOCACNA (The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America, Inc.), under the direction of Metropolitan Victor Prentice, [the Holy Synod of] which excommunicated the names here.
What Joe Swaydyn writes about the above [14 April 1999]:
"My "silly puff piece" was the result of eight months of investigation, including joining their seminary (NOT their jurisdiction.) That was quite clear from the start." [Editor notes: How does one join an allegedly orthodox seminary without joining the jurisdiction -- unless either or both are bogus.]
But then Swaydyn contradicts himself with:
"I had mentioned that I would join less than a day or two ago [ie 12 or 13 April 1999]. I hadn't taken vows."
"I think I was just listed as a brother there honorifically."
OCCNA - What Others Say About Us.
Mavericks of the End Times: A Report on the Orthodox Catholic Church in North America (OCCNA)
by Joe Swaydyn
(February 1999. Reprinted with permission of the author.)
This author first encountered the Orthodox Catholic Church in North America (a shortening of "The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church of North America") by accident while searching through Webspawner's Search Engine for sites with the word "Orthodox" in them. It was an interesting little page on Webspawner I found that discussed the idea of becoming an Orthodox Catholic priest. Having found a similar page previously (which cost about $600, as the ad put it "less than what some spend on cigarette smoking") I decided to have some fun and laugh this one through. I figured this had to do with a Bishop Aftimios Ofiesh (who was apparently the reason the other page existed; the people on that page viewed this man as a saint.)
So I looked for the price tag for the "ordination". I found none. It was apparent that this was actually a missionary group -- they seemed to have little to no desire for money. It was made clear that this church viewed itself as a missionary Church -- and nothing else. The seminary was online (and actually being constructed when I was looking about.) The ordination turned out to be tactile after all (I've heard enough stories of mail-order ordinations) -- you had to travel for altar training and ordination.
My next move was simple. I decided to call upon one of the Bishops listed. As I was from New York (and at the time really wanted to go back) I decided to call their Bishop of Philadelphia, Bishop Paul (Dolan). He turned out to be a rather kind fellow who seemed to know everything in the world about the famous Aftimios Ofiesh. Turns out he had even interviewed his widow. (He sent me tapes of the interview.) "Widow?" says the typical Orthodox reader.
And that's where the story begins.
Aftimios Ofiesh and Jurisdictional Politics
Archbishop +Aftimios (Ofiesh, 1880-1966) is best known for being one of major figures in the development of "Independent" Orthodoxy. I put this in quotes because there is certainly no indication in his own life that such was his actual intent. A young Syrian monk who seemed to basically get into trouble for being too nice to people, Aftimios was eventually selected by the Russian Church to be the senior hierarch for America and develop an autonomous American jurisdiction in 1927 (known as -- yep -- "The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church of North America" or "THEOCACNA"). Communism had taken over in Russia and in one of the last free acts of Metropolitan Sergius of the Russian Church, Aftimios was given complete jurisdiction over all of the Churches in America.
However, in 1927, jurisdictional politics were not quite as "pretty" as they are now. Greeks and Russians openly debated who had primacy over America, and soon the Syrians (to whom Aftimios was originally sent to minister to) entered the fray. The Anglican Church in America at the time viewed herself (!) as the Orthodox Church in America as well. So when Aftimios' jurisdiction, canonically given by the Russian Church (who had the right to release America and make her autonomous--but not autocephalous) came into being, no one really wanted to accept it.
So the next phase began in what would ultimately become Orthodoxy's greatest missionary disaster. Lawsuits and slander campaigns brought down the number of Aftimios' parishes to five. Aftimios himself became concerned with the issues of moral depravity in his diocese, and in response, married. He seemed confident that although he would suffer temporarily, a council would vindicate his action (he was basing his view on the Scriptures, the Apostolic Canons, Orthodox History-- and as much as many "canonical" Orthodox hate to admit it, the surrounding Orthodox. The Russians under Bishop John Kedrovsky--recognized today as the "Patriarchal Parishes in the U.S." in SCOBA) were under a married hierarch-- the discussion of the married episcopate came up in the same synod where the New Calendar was proposed, as well.)
Well, this was really the last blow that was necessary to bring down THEOCACNA. The other Orthodox Church leaders declared that Aftimios was "retired" (which his widow clearly denies; it seems a better way of putting it would be "starved into obscurity".) The problem solved supposedly, the other hierarchs, who clearly had no interest in unity, continued to tear each other apart. And the jurisdictionalism grew. More accusations were levelled, and it is claimed that the Russian Synod deposed Aftimios (but for some reason, Bishop Paul (Dolan), mentioned earlier, has searched the country for information on Aftimios and has never seen such a document.)
Bishop +Ignatius (Nichols), one of the three remaining bishops of THEOCACNA, however, decided to marry as well, seeing no reason to obey the other jursidictions [sic], as he had become the ranking hierarch. The number of bishops increased, and Bp. Ignatius died within two years of Aftimios' marriage. As the number of bishops increased, however, so did the number of churches staking claim to be THEOCACNA. As the splintering continued, and as the ethnic jurisdictions in America realized that THEOCACNA was no longer a threat. Aftimios died in 1966.
Independent Bishops continued to use the lineage argument and the 1927 charter to prove that they were the THEOCACNA. They pointed to lines of succession to prove their point. Aftimios became a pedigree, a show to prove that a real consecration had taken place. The Church continued to survive, weakened by splintering, as the American Orthodox Catholic Church (AOCC).
A Colorful Anastasis
According to the testimony of a funeral service and pilgrimage in 1989, two bishops and a priest of one of the remaining jurisdictions visited the grave of Aftimios and described it as such:
"The funeral services for an hierarch were celebrated over the Saint's grave by two Bishops and a Priest of his Church. Funeral services were also conducted immediately thereafter in the same cemetery for a bereaved Syrian couple who had not been able to obtain the services of a Priest for the husband's mother; in gratitude, they promised to pray regularly at the Saint's grave, not 30 yards from the mother's grave. Archbishop Denis received a spontaneous and instantaneous healing of an intractable skin ailment on his left hand when, in kneeling to reverence the Saint's headstone, his hand merely touched the grave."
This sort of divine protection seems to be precisely what has brought the OCCNA where it is today. Many of the groups based on the AOCC lineage speak of him as some anomaly by which they were brought into existence -- the OCCNA speaks of him as a loving father, and deservedly, as a Saint.
Out of all the Independent jurisdictions, it seems the least concerned with particulars. Search the massive website (now at "http://www.occna.com") for jurisdictional politics. There are none. Orthodoxy, as Aftimios envisioned it (and the Church Fathers as well), is a mystical, but natural way -- the true faith not codified, but lived. In that one sense, the OCCNA has preserved something very few of the others making the claim do -- it's preserved the idea of the Orthodox Church as something everyday, and not a "concept". The priest is not an intellectual elitist who has been to the finest seminary in Rome -- he could well be the local carpenter. Or tentmaker. Or doctor. Or cab driver.
Hence -- seminary is minimalistic. (Before some of our U.S. converts cringe, remember that in some Orthodox countries, they ordain priests in a week.) Parishes are small -- the parish is secondary to the service the priest renders the community as the local priest or bishop.
The Everyday Church
The hierarchs come from a number of places -- with different reasons, lineage, and liturgical usages. Western Rites are not only common in the OCCNA, but encouraged because of its Western location. (St. Aftimios himself was Eastern Rite -- but approved the use of Western texts modified in an Orthodox manner.)
The Old Roman Branch of the Church is headed by Archbishop DENIS (Garrison), who uses an interesting rite known as the Old Roman Rite. What is immediately noticeable about the rite is that it is extremely efficient and direct. He oversaw its development in the 1980's; it is based very carefully (and far more so than the Roman Catholic Novus Ordo which makes the same claim) upon the Liturgy of St. Hippolytus of Rome. He is also the author of the standard canonical defense of married hierarchs used throughout the Independent movement.
Bishop PAUL (Dolan) uses the Franco-Carolingian rite, which is basically the Tridentine Rite pre-schism. As mentioned earlier, he is the researcher par excellence on St. Aftimios, and I am forever indebted to his help.
Archbishop ANDREI (Brennan), the senior hierarch for Canada, was originally a missionary bishop for the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Having established jurisdiction in Canada, he applied for and became a standing member of the OCCNA. He uses the Byzantine Rite.
Abbot-Bishop MAELRUAIN (Dowling) has one of the most fascinating stories in Orthodox America (although he seems to by [sic] rivalled, in that sense, only by the other Bishops in the OCCNA!) Originally Eastern Rite, he began translating the liturgical works of the pre-schism Celtic Church, which by the eleventh century, was decimated by Frankish Rome. As he began to use them exclusively, he saw the need to continue the existence of the rite. He was consecrated into the bishopric primarily by Archbishop +Andrei. Effectively, he is the first Celtic Orthodox Bishop alive in 900 years.
Metropolitan Archbishop PAUL II (Stoms), the Byzantine Rite Exarch, hails from Germany. A Military chaplain from the Orthodox Church in Germany, he was recently the victim of an intense slander campaign (which fell apart recently and quietly on the part of the accusers. His Eminence would like to see this end as quickly as possible. Update 2/21/99: It seems that the State of New Jersey is clearly the persecuting party in this mess. His Eminence PAUL has sought legal assistance in the matter, and he has a strong case. The fact that state governments are still getting involved in religious issues that have nothing to do with the LAW, despite our constitution, is a sad testament to the human failures in an otherwise excellent governmental system.)
And so on.
"That These Dead Bones Rise"
Archbishop DENIS, recorded as Primate XVII of the Church from St. Aftimios, seems to be more concerned with the maintenance of the original sees of THEOCACNA. This makes perfect sense -- but considering the size of the Church, it's extremely inconvenient. Convenience, however, is not the issue with any of the Church's members.
In that sense, the issue of the survival of the OCCNA seems far larger than that which it appears. Within its small size (although I have now watched it double in size in a year) is the dream that America will one day be just like the rest of the Orthodox world -- fully Orthodox in her heart. It's a dream that supersedes even many of our modern views .... patriotism has not been a strong point with this writer, and religious relativism has touched every American. But this Church, though virtually dead at a number of points throughout its history, comes back.
There is an eschatological dimension to this Church as well. Because of its size, it is fairly uncompromising on moral issues (those in the small Old Calendar jurisdictions should be able to grasp this fact well) and seems realistic toward the popular perception of Christianity. The Church's members are quite aware that their position of refusing to give up on America but also refusing to just join the crowd of other Orthodox in areas of ecumenism places them in position to be the front line of fire when Christianity is attacked on a popular level.
But in this way, the Church is quite unworried. When your Church buildings have been taken away by your brethren, you have nothing to lose except your soul. The clergy of the OCCNA don't seem keen on giving up that easily. These men are fighters -- and resist even making their own existences comfortable.
When I started this study months ago, I brought the "Ofieshites" up to an OCA priest I knew. He said that these folks knew how to "regularize" themselves, that they knew how to square with the rest of Orthodoxy. But as I thought about it: what if Mark of Ephesus, who refused to submit when the Orthodox world bought into a union with Rome, "regularized" himself? What if Maximos the Confessor, the lone bulwark against the heresy of Monothelitism, "regularized" himself?
What does "regularizing" mean? Joining SCOBA? Denying their own existence for the sake of a comfortable parish lifestyle? Going to a seminary for 8 years to become "accredited" -- but having trouble remembering a simple fast day?
Sadly, in America, this is so. This is "regularizing" people. Turning our priests into professors. Spending $20,000 on vestments for a feastday in Russia -- but letting a homeless man starve. Making sure our Orthodox temples are perfectly faced East -- and paying an extra ten thousand to fix five inches. Yelling about the heresies of "non-canonical" Orthodox -- and then giving Monophysites Holy Communion. That good priest I spoke to was right. These are not "regular" Bishops.
I daresay an "irregular" bishop -- or a bunch of them, in a time of ecumenistic syncretism and apostasy based on worldliness and greed, makes for a very regular Orthodoxy. When the Church worldwide, and as a whole in America, begins to sit and join those to whom Christ made clear must be avoided, the Church metamorphasizes -- and slowly restores herself to health, based on the purity of Orthodoxy, lived through right mind and behavior. That's the concept I joined the Church on -- that the faith is the standard by which we judge.
NOTE: I really was not biased when I started this.