[orthodox-synod] Archbishop Aftimios
- In a message dated 2/1/2000 9:26:50 AM Eastern Standard Time,
<< Instead, if I know the print medium, they may focuse upon Bishop AFTIMIOS,
who was, in fact, sent here by Moscow. He discovered girls. He left the
Church and married. Then, he made bishops. >>
The idea that Archbishop was involved in lots of uncanonical consecrations is
a common misunderstanding -- but still a misunderstanding. Archbishop
Aftimios consecrated exactly four bishops:
1) Bishop Emmanuel (Abo-Hatab) as Bishop of Montreal, in 1927. After the
break between Archbishop Aftimios and Metropolitan Platon, Bishop Emmanuel
joined Metropolitan Platon. He died in 1933.
2) Bishop Sophronios (Bishara) as Bishop of Los Angeles, in 1928. After
Archbishop Aftimios and Bishop Ignatius both married, Bishop Sophronios
declared them both deposed, and proclaimed himself president of the American
Synod. He was on friendly terms with the Sergianists and the Renovationists,
and consecrated Nicholas Kedrovsky as a "Living Church" bishop. The orders of
various people you've heard of, like Joachim Souris, Arsenios Saltas, and (I
think) Pangratios of Queens can be traced to Bishop Sophronios.
3) Bishop Joseph (Zuk) for the Ukrainians in 1932. He died in 1934, and I
think the churches under him ended up under the EP.
4) Bishop Ignatius (William Albest Nichols) for the Wstern Rite. He married
two months after Archbishop Aftimios did, and continue to act as a bishop,
including a few of consecrations. His most notable consecrations were George
Winslow Plummer, a Rosicrucian and Freemason, and Alexander Tyler Turner, who
ended up as a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese.
Although all kinds of groups can trace themselves back to Sophronios and/or
Ignatius, these are the only consecrations Aftimios had anything to do with,
and they all occurred BEFORE his marriage. His difficulties with Metropolitan
Platon had to do with the fact that the Episcopal Church didn't like the idea
of Aftimios' "American Orthodox" jurisdiction, because they considered
themselves the American form of Orthodoxy. Metropolitan Platon, like
Archbishop Anthony Bishara, depended on the Episcopal Church for financial
support, and Archbishop Aftimios was highly critical of the Episcopal
Church's pretensions to Orthodoxy. Metr. Platon broke with Aftimios largely
to please the Episcopalians. That took place several years before Aftimios
His widow says that he hoped for a restoration of the married episcopate, and
married hoping to force a canonical trial. Instead, he was summarily deposed
by both Sophronios Bishara and the EP, and ignored by just about everybody
else. But he didn't perform any consecrations after his marriage.
There is an article called "The Life of the Thrice Blessed Archbishop
Aftimios Ofiesh," by Archpriest John Warren Morris of St. Nicholas Antiochian
Mission, Shreveport, Louisiana, at:
Several of the "American Orthodox" groups recognize Aftimios as a saint, and
the Antiochians seem to take a favorable view. That's certainly debatable.
But he's not responsible for the multitude of groups who claim apostolic
succession for him. That was largely the work of Archbishop Vladimir (Walter)
Propheta, who claimed succession from both Sophronios and Ignatius, and who
may have consecrated in the neighborhood of 75 bishops.
- Thank you for that, Patrick.
See how stories get started? I've even read Father John (his friends used to
call him "Boris Morris," on my honor!) Morris's work "Thrice Blessed. . . ."
So, for me, there is no excuse! Forgive me for perpetuating a myth. To
make it worse, I used to be a journalist, with some pretensions to accuracy
and concern therefore.
With reference to the truth (which is quite bad enough, by itself): As a
former monk, now married, and an old friend of mine, is wont to say: "Oh,
the wild and wooly ways of Orthodoxy."