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AOC - what is it?

observer

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Forgive me if this has been covered before but what is this AOC?  Is it vagantes or does it have some connections with any canonical church? I see they award doctorates in theology.
 

Aristocles

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observer said:
Forgive me if this has been covered before but what is this AOC? Is it vagantes or does it have some connections with any canonical church? I see they award doctorates in theology.
That would be more my question to you...what does AOC stand for? Then we can give you an answer, hopefully.
 

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Antiochion Orthodox Church?

A thought just occured to me - it could be African Orthodox Church, which I think is a pseudo-"Orthodox" group loosely associated with the Episcopal church, started sometime early in the 1900's.  I recall the name Marcus Garvey being associated with it.
 

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As far as I know, the Antiochian Orthodox Church is Canonical and a member of SCOBA.  For more information on the Church, visit their website www.antiochian.org .  They are EO.

As far as the African Orthodox Church, I know nothing about them.  If they are connected with Marcus Garvey, it is probably an African Seperatist Church.  Marcus Garvey was a leading proponent of the "Back to Africa Movement."  This movement was the influence of such things as the Rastafarian church and Nation Of Islam.  Like I said, I don't know anything about them.
 

Aristocles

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I believe there is an "American Orthodox Church" as well; status- questionable.

Until observer qualifies the question, we're just guessing.
 

observer

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Sorry about that!  American Orthodox Catholic Church with a seminary in Oregon offering degrees in Orthodox Education. They claim to have apostolic succession through MP or Patriarch Tikhon.
 

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SetFree said:
As far as the African Orthodox Church, I know nothing about them. If they are connected with Marcus Garvey, it is probably an African Seperatist Church. Marcus Garvey was a leading proponent of the "Back to Africa Movement." This movement was the influence of such things as the Rastafarian church and Nation Of Islam. Like I said, I don't know anything about them.
I'm pretty sure they called themselves the African Orthodox Church at one point, but that's another topic.  I think the Orthodox Church of "St." John Coltrane is an offshoot as well.
 

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Vagante.  That is made clear by explicit claims to apostolic succession.

In IC XC
Samer
 

Irish Melkite

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observer said:
Sorry about that! American Orthodox Catholic Church with a seminary in Oregon offering degrees in Orthodox Education. They claim to have apostolic succession through MP or Patriarch Tikhon.
Observer,

Word of advice. Run, do not walk, FROM not to this reputed institution of higher learning.

The one certainty is that this "Church", as Sam suggests, is an ecclesia vagante. What is less certain is just which ecclesia vagante it is. I know of at least 6 extant groups that currently use or have used the name American Orthodox Catholic Church (as well as several that, to the best of my knowledge, are now defunct - it is one of the most popular names in this genre ::)), but none of them has a seminary or a distinct, major organized presence in Oregon. If you have a link to a website for the "Church" or "seminary", the formal name of the "seminary", or the name of the group's "hierarch", I'd be most interested, as vagante are somewhat a specialty of mine.

Just to give you an idea how far afield these are from Orthodoxy or Catholicism, among the groups that use or have used the name are:

THEOCACNA (The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic And Apostolic Church in North America), presently claims ownership of the name as a Service Mark (SM) and indeed has long used American Orthodox Catholic Church as a short name for its corporation. His Beatitude Metropolitan Archbishop Victor, Patriarch & Primate, etc., etc., fits the description of claiming apostolic succession from Patriarch Tikhon, among many others, through Aftimios Ofiesh, but I'm unaware that THEOCACNA has a seminary anywhere.

The American Orthodox Church, a/k/a the North American Orthodox Church, a/k/a Western Orthodox Church in America, a/k/a Orthodox Catholic Church of the Americas, a/k/a Irvine Community Church of Canada, a/k/a Federation of Orthodox and Catholics, a/k/a International Federation of Orthodox Catholics, uses the name American Orthodox Catholic Church as an alternative name for its California and New Mexico corporations. Their Metropolitan Archbishop & Primate, Joseph Thaddeus, OSB, also claims apostolic succession through the lines cited above. They do have a seminary, at least on paper but, last I knew, it was operated out of New Mexico.

The American Orthodox Catholic Church - Propheta Jurisdiction, a/k/a The National Orthodox Catholic Church, a/k/a Divine Word Ministries, a/k/a The Celtic Metropolia of America, its subordinate entity - The Coptic Orthodox Catholic Church, and The Autonomous Conference of Orthodox Bishops, under Patriarch Samuel I, the Metropolitan Primate, and his subordinate Archbishop (Abba) Anthony are focused in NY (other than their Coptic jurisdiction, which consists of a single church, in North Augusta, SC) and don't have a seminary of which I'm aware.

The American Orthodox Catholic Church - Western Rite Jurisdiction, a/k/a American Orthodox Catholic Church - Western Rite Diocese of New York, a/k/a American Independent Catholic Church, a/k/a Universal Catholic Church, is headed by Archbishop Joseph, the Metropolitan Primate, whose episcopal genealogy traces through Rene Vilatte and Walter Propheta, the latter of whom claimed Russian Orthodox orders among his lines. They have neither any brick and mortar seminaries nor any institutions in Oregon, last time I checked.

The Syro-Russian Orthodox Catholic Church - Romano-Byzantine Synod a/k/a Syro-Russian Orthodox Catholic Church, originally used the name American Orthodox Catholic Church but, as far as I know, no longer does so. Metropolitan Archbishop Hierarch Stephen doesn't claim the Moscow Patriarchate as his principal line of apostolic succession, but it's in there somewhere. They do have a seminary in Washington State, but no presence in OR of which I'm aware.

The United American Orthodox Catholic Church under Bishop David claims similar lines to most of those above (they are popular lines, as you can see ;D ). Their seminary, however, is in Missouri.

The following description is from one of the groups above, it is beautifully ambiguous and essentially applicable to all of them, so I thought it was worth quoting here. They are an:

autocephalic, autonomous, independent body of Churches under one head. We embrace for celebration all rites of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church ... Roman, Anglican, Old Catholic, Celtic and Orthodox.

In simple terms, we are an autonomous Synod of Faith Communities; though a part of the Independent Movement, we are not of the same movement. We do not identify with the mainstream of this movement. We exist to bring the Church to the origiality of faith and belief as practiced and spread through the ministry of the Apostles.

Each Jurisdiction, Diocese and Institute of Consecrated Life remains autonomous in their goverment; united at the same time under the protection of the Metropolitan Primate ... .
Other free advice - if you think you're looking at info from an institution affiliated with any of the canonical Orthodox Churches, check the Church's main webpage; you should be able to find links on all of them to their seminaries and most of their other institutions. Same thing applies with regard to the "non-canonical", "schismatic", but mainstream Orthodox Churches; their websites also reflect those facilities that have official ties to them.

Many years,

Neil
 

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Thank you Neil. I'm not attracted to these people, but have some concerns about another matter.  Anyway thanks again. The group in question is under Joseph OSB, XYZ...They have a mission in Montana.
 

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If it was up to the priests here in Montana, he wouldn't have a mission here.
 

Elisha

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Irish Melkite said:
The following description is from one of the groups above, it is beautifully ambiguous and essentially applicable to all of them, so I thought it was worth quoting here.  They are an:
[Beavis]You said phallic...hehe.[/Beavis]

Anyways, I remember coming across some site a couple of years ago that listed around 100 such vagante groups.  The moral of the story seemed to be that if they have a really long name (like that really long THEOCNA or whatever), then it is a vagante group.
 

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Elisha said:
I remember coming across some site a couple of years ago that listed around 100 such vagante groups. The moral of the story seemed to be that if they have a really long name (like that really long THEOCNA or whatever), then it is a vagante group.
Elisha,

Actually there's a few sites where you can peruse lists of these groups, some are run by folks in the genre, others by watchdogs. Most include links - but the websites disappear faster than urban storefront churches, as names change, "hierarchs" excommunicate one another while vying for control, etc.. Here's four for your edification and/or amusement (note that "Catholic" and "Orthodox" are interchangeable and/or merged terms in the minds of all these people, who as often as not employ both in styling their ecclesial empires):

This listing is the work of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Antioch - Malabar Rite (which is neither Catholic, of Antioch, nor connected with the Malabarese, except in their own minds):

Directory of Independent Catholic Jurisdictions

This site is operated by Father Tony Begonja, an "independent Anglican priest" and a character in his own right (and rite ;D ), who (to his credit) acknowledges at least some of what goes on in the "movement" as bizarre. It's a huge site and can be fascinating reading; it includes photos and many mini-bios of the players in the "independent" world:

Your Complete Guide to the World of Autocephalous ("Independent-Movement") Churches in the Apostolic Succession

This site is the work of Al Green, an Orthodox layman; some of the group descriptions include very humorous editorial commentary:

Religious Groups That Use "Orthodox" In Their Names But Are Not Canoncal Eastern Orthodox Churches

This site belongs to Terrance Boyle, a Catholic layman; he used to have a very extensive listing, but has refocused more recently to describing some of the lineages claimed by those who trumpet their apostolic succession:

Outline of Episcopi Vagantes

As to your comment on how to identify a vagante church, the website of a parish in the Orthodox Church of the Phillippines has a page devoted to this topic.  While there are a few generalizations with which I might take issue, it is extremely well-written and on-target in most respects.  See:

Caution: On Independent "orthodox catholic" Groups

Many years,

Neil
 

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Irish Melkite,

You wrote in part: "The American Orthodox Catholic Church - Propheta Jurisdiction, a/k/a The National Orthodox Catholic Church, a/k/a Divine Word Ministries, a/k/a The Celtic Metropolia of America, its subordinate entity - The Coptic Orthodox Catholic Church, and The Autonomous Conference of Orthodox Bishops, under Patriarch Samuel I, the Metropolitan Primate, and his subordinate Archbishop (Abba) Anthony are focused in NY (other than their Coptic jurisdiction, which consists of a single church, in North Augusta, SC) and don't have a seminary of which I'm aware."

Your mention of a Coptic jurisdiction, including a church in North Augusta, S.C., caught my eye because I live in nearby Augusta, Ga. (just across the Savannah River).

Are you sure that "Coptic" church exists? I've never heard of it, nor have I seen a Coptic church listed in the local Yellow Pages. If the church exists, it must be small enough to meet in someone's house.

To my knowledge, North Augusta lacks an Orthodox church. Augusta has a Greek Orthodox Church (OCA), a Syrian Orthodox Church (Malankara), and a Melkite Catholic Church.

In Christ,
Mathetes
 

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mathetes said:
Your mention of a Coptic jurisdiction, including a church in North Augusta, S.C., caught my eye because I live in nearby Augusta, Ga. (just across the Savannah River).

Are you sure that "Coptic" church exists? I've never heard of it, nor have I seen a Coptic church listed in the local Yellow Pages.
Mathetes,

Am I sure it exists? One is never sure with ecclesia vagante whether they or their institutions exist.

If the church exists, it must be small enough to meet in someone's house.
Is it small enough to meet in someone's house? Very possibly, since more than one episcopus vagante has his (or her) cathedral in their family room or garage.

To my knowledge, North Augusta lacks an Orthodox church.
Yes, well, even if this is there, North Augusta still lacks an Orthodox church.

Supposedly, the church in question (which I doubt that my Coptic Orthodox or Coptic Catholic brethren would find to meet their understanding of Coptic Christianity) is St. Peter's Coptic Orthodox Catholic Church (or just St. Peter's Coptic Orthodox Church, depends on where one reads from). Their website, rather sparse on info, is at http://www.saint-peters.us/ and they are reportedly located at 212 Plaza Place, North Augusta, SC 29841. Telephone 803-474-3112.

If you decide to go check this one out, I'd be very interested in hearing what you find.

Many years,

Neil
 

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Neil, you're quite a detective!

The church's address, 212 Plaza Place Drive, looks to be in an older residential area near the North Augusta Plaza Shopping Center. I'm curious, but also concerned about keeping my distance. When I used *67 to phone the "church" without leaving my number on a caller ID, a man simply answered, "Hello," without mentioning St. Peter's. The white pages in the Augusta-North Augusta phone directory don't have a listing for a church named "St. Peter's."

I plan to drive by the address when I'm in the neighborhood again, but I fully expect to find an old house and nothing more.

In Christ,
Mathetes
 

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Mathetes,

A bit more detective work has produced a photo of Archbishop Abuna Athony, the Vice-Patriarch of the National Orthodox Catholic Church and the pastor of St. Peter's Oratory, as it's also known.  And, since the same phone number is also listed for Abuna Lynn "Boots" Boyce, a "priest" or priestess of the church, I'm guessing that Archbishop Anthony's surname may also be Boyce.

You can, if you'd like, view the entire hierarchy and clergy of the Church - well, not quite all of them, as photos of the Deaconess in SC and the Candidate who resides in Nigeria aren't included.

Many years,

Neil
 

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Bagpiper,
  If you converted to Orthodoxy, then you, of all people, know it takes a little more than saying it to become Orthodox.  I am going to talk to a Priest on tuesday and will probably begin my Catechumenate soon.  Patience, Bagpiper, Patience. ::)

I put Longing to be, because I am not yet a catechumen, and, up to now, had no chance to become such.  But things are now falling into place.
 

mathetes

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Neil,

Thanks for your links to the pix of Archbishop Anthony and others.  I've just returned from 212 Plaza Place, a modest second-floor apartment in a neighborhood where I wouldn't care to be at night.  There was nothing on the door or windows to suggest an archbishop or vice-patriarch lives there, but then the apartment lease no doubt says nothing about using the place for a church.

From what I've seen, I'd guess the National Orthodox Catholic Church exists primarily in cyberspace.

In Christ,
Mathetes
 
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Elisha said:
[Beavis]You said phallic...hehe.[/Beavis]

Anyways, I remember coming across some site a couple of years ago that listed around 100 such vagante groups. The moral of the story seemed to be that if they have a really long name (like that really long THEOCNA or whatever), then it is a vagante group.
Actually, not so.
I belong to the American Carpatho-Rusyn Greek Catholic Orthodox Diocese in the U.S.A., commonly abbreviated to ACROD.  Our diocesan name is long enough and weird enough to be deemed vagante, by your definitions;  however, we are fully canonical - our metropolitan a member of SCOBA - and jurisdictionally under the EP.
 

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Vasya Davidovich said:
Actually, not so.
I belong to the American Carpatho-Rusyn Greek Catholic Orthodox Diocese in the U.S.A., commonly abbreviated to ACROD. Our diocesan name is long enough and weird enough to be deemed vagante, by your definitions; however, we are fully canonical - our metropolitan a member of SCOBA - and jurisdictionally under the EP.
Vasya,

I think Elisha was being somewhat facetious in his remark, although long and convoluted names, combining words like Catholic and Orthodox in various configurations is a hallmark of such groups, it's hardly the defining characteristic and no one would mistake Metropolitan Nicholas as an episcopus vagante. For a list of common characteristics of such bodies, see my post at the bottom of page 2 of the thread on the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Justice and/or the cautions on the website of an Orthodox parish in the Phillippines.

Many years,

Neil
 
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Irish Melkite said:
Vasya,

I think Elisha was being somewhat facetious in his remark, although long and convoluted names, combining words like Catholic and Orthodox in various configurations is a hallmark of such groups, it's hardly the defining characteristic and no one would mistake Metropolitan Nicholas as an episcopus vagante. For a list of common characteristics of such bodies, see my post at the bottom of page 2 of the thread on the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Justice and/or the cautions on the website of an Orthodox parish in the Phillippines.

Many years,

Neil
Hi, Neil.
Very likely he was.  However, for those (like myself) that cannot read sarcasm or facetiousness unless it is pointed out with neon letters a foot high...  I thought it might be helpful to contradict my good brother Elisha, lest another fall into error through misreading of the quote.  In sum, I thought it helpful to indicate that long convoluted names do not necessarily a vagante make.  Granted, I may save only one person from condemning my diocese out of hand (the hypothetical erring "another"), and thoroughly annoy others in the process for making a redundant post.  However, I feel that one person's increased wisdom is worth a moment of mild aggravation on your part.  ;)
-Vasya.
 

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Vasya Davidovich said:
However, I feel that one person's increased wisdom is worth a moment of mild aggravation on your part. ;)
Vasya,

Actually, I agree with you, except for the fact of you thinking that there was any aggravation on my part :) - none at all. I was merely trying to allay your concerns. I have the utmost respect for your Church and for Metropolitan Nicholas, whom I find to be extremely highly regarded in all circles (besides, one of your parishes makes the best pirohi in the Northeast ;D ).

Many years,

Neil
 

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Several Entities use the name "American Orthodox Church":

American Orthodox Church (OCA)
An alternate name for the "Orthodox Church in America," along with "The Orthodox Church in America" and "The Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America." The name "American Orthodox Church" may be more common in Russian than in English, as the Sretensky Monastery's website uses Американская Православная Церковь for the OCA. (http://www.pravoslavie.ru/cgi-bin/sykon/client/display.pl?sid=707)

According to New York's Religious Corporations Law, Article 5-C., CHURCHES OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA, § 105. Definitions:
An "American Orthodox church", as that term is used anywhere in this article, is a church, cathedral, chapel, congregation, society, parish, committee or other religious organization founded and established for the purpose and with the intent of adhering to, and being subject to the administrative jurisdiction of said mission, diocese, autonomous metropolitan district or autocephalous church hereinabove defined as the Orthodox Church in America.

American Orthodox Church (general term)
A general term for all the Orthodox Church's jurisdictions as a whole in America, as in the book "The American Orthodox Church: A History of its Beginnings" by George Michalopulos.


American Orthodox Church (Oriental Orthodox)
A name associated with the Indian(Malankara) Orthodox Church at http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,27254.msg428823.html#msg428823


American Orthodox Church (Philippines, canonical?)
A church set up in America by the "Orthodox Church of the Philippines." I can't tell if this refers to the Antiochian Orthodox Church of the Philippines or the Patriarchal Exarchate of the Philippines, which is a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. And I can't tell if this AOC church is the same as Propheta's church below.
The American Orthodox Church was established in 1981 by Harold Donovan as the Orthodox American Catholic Church, Diocese of the Ozarks under a charter from the Orthodox Church of the Philippines... in 1982, Donovan was reconsecrated by Archbishop John A. Christian of the American Orthodox Catholic Church (Propheta) in order to establish formal continuity with the original American Orthodox Church established by Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh in the 1920s. Donovan took the religious name of the late archbishop and is currently known as Archbishop Aftimios Donovan. In 1983, Archbishop Christian, in cooperation with the Orthodox Church in the Philippines, established an exarchate named the American Orthodox Church.

The liturgy of St. Germain is used and sacraments are administered according to the American Rite of St. Germain, an abbreviated and modified formula based upon the Byzantine Rite.

The exarchate retains formal ties to both the Orthodox Church in the Philippines and the American Orthodox Catholic Church headed by Archbishop Christian. Its parish work includes two missions in Los Angeles, one to Oriental-Americans and one to Hispanic-Americans.

Educational Facilities: Seminary of the Orthodox Catholic Church in the Philippines, Manila, Philippines.
Periodicals: The Orthodox Catholic. Send orders to Box 389, Ozark, MO 65721.

From http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ear_01/ear_01_00050.html

American Orthodox Church (Propheta, noncanonical)
The name that the anti-Raskol website uses for Propheta's "American Orthodox Catholic Church."
The "American orthodox Church" (Propheta) was founded in 1964 by mitered archpriest Walter Propheta, a former cleric of the Ukrainian Greek-Orthodox Church in America, an American eparchy of the Constantinople Patriarchate)
From: http://www.anti-raskol.ru/grup/186

American Orthodox Church (Thaddeus, noncanonical)

The only group for which Pokrov uses "American Orthodox Church" as a proper noun: http://www.pokrov.org/display.asp?ds=Group&id=277
Also known as the North American Orthodox Church, the church is located in Idaho and/or New Mexico. AOC/NAOC's leader is Joseph Thaddeus, and its website is http://www.apostle1.com/


American Orthodox Church (Maryland, noncanonical)

A split-off from THEOCACNA, that appears separate from those above.
The American Orthodox Church was founded in 1992 by four former bishops of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America. Two of the bishops, Dennis Garrison and Paul Vincent Dolan had, at one time, been Primate-Metropolitan of THEOCACNA. The new denomination is Orthodox in faith and practice, and continues the vision an American Orthodoxy first enunciated by Abp. Aftimios Ofiesh.

As organized, the church has four dioceses: Baltimore (Mary-land), headed by Archbishop Garrison; Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), headed by Archbishop Dolan; Hickory (North Carolina), headed by Bp. D. Michael Martinat; and the Diocese of the Ozarks, headed by Bp. Victor Prentice.

From: http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ear_01/ear_01_00050.html

American Orthodox Church (HOCNA , noncanonical)
A name HOCNA's Seattle Cathedral uses-- Saint Nectarios American Orthodox Church http://www.orthodoxpress.org/parish/necthist.htm . HOCNA is a Greek Old Calendar church that left ROCOR in 1987-88, apparently during allegations of severe immorality.
 
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