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Western Orthodoxy Restored

A Short History of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South

America and the British Isles1

The Beginning
The Catholic truth has been preserved by the Orthodox Catholic Church, whilst
Roman Catholicism introduced innovations both in doctrine and discipline into the
old common deposit of truth. "No Popery" was a cry raised in the East five
centuries before the Reformation propagated it to the West. "No Popery! No
Protestantism!" is our cry, and we hope to awake all who seek after truth based on
a solid foundation, based on the Church which Christ founded and not man.
The Church has many branches. There is an Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church,
and there is a Western Orthodox Catholic Church (although now disfigured by
Romish errors, but to be purified and restored by God's help). Within the Eastern
Church there is a Greek, a Russian Church. Within the restored Orthodox Catholic
Church of the West there will be an Italian, a Gallican, a Germanic, an Anglican
Church. Every nationality will have its Catholic Orthodox Church according to its
national usages, but based on the common Catholic doctrine and holy canons.
Without the full truth there can be no claim to Catholicity. He who accepts one
truth and denies the other, or sticks to one truth as being fundamental, and
1 Adapted from Lux Veritatis: A History of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of
Western Europe and the Americas Dcn Joseph Suaiden. 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Dcn Joseph Suaiden.

dispenses with others as being accessory, or unimportant, or doubtful, or even

injurious to sound beliefsuch a one is no Catholic 2.

With these words, in 1866, Joseph Julian Overbeck, a former Roman

Catholic priest who converted to the Orthodox Church--which until
that time had been thought of since the schism as the Eastern
Church,--made a unique request in his book Catholic Orthodoxy and
Ango-Catholicism that would change the relations between East and
West forever-- he discussed the creation of a Western Orthodox Synod,
which would use the ancient ritual of the West and would operate
independently. Certainly his request was realistic; he was content to
form Western rite parishes which would join the Russian Synod until
such time as they could have a Bishop, and finally a Synod of three
Bishops3. As Overbeck's resources were limited, and the Roman Mass
had remained unchanged since the 16th century, he surmised that for
a beginning, the Roman Mass could simply be fully purified of its errors
(since for the most part it was untouched, but with minor
modifications based on the approval of the Church 4). The Russian
2 Catholic orthodoxy and Anglo-Catholicism: A Word about Intercommunion between
the English and the Orthodox Churches, Joseph Julian Overbeck, Trbner, 1866, pp.
3 Orthodox Catholic Review, III, No. 1-6 (January-June, 1871), 47-48, as cited in
Abramtsov, "The Western Rite and the Eastern Church", Univ. of Pittsburgh, 1961.
4 Overbeck, "Outlines of the Constitution of the Orthodox Catholic Church of the
West", as cited in Abramtsov. "Thus the first thing of the Synod would be to license a
Western priest validly ordained and conforming to Orthodoxy 1. to celebrate the
Liturgy as found in the Missale Romanum (without the Elevation after the words of
the Institution), of course the Masses of modern saints excluded; 2. to confess the
faithful; to administer the Holy Communion under both kinds; to baptize by trine
immersion; to solemnize the sacrament of matrimony; and to dispense the sacrament
of the Unction of the sick (not to be limited to the hopeless state of the dying). For the
celebration of the Liturgy the Synod would supply an Antiminsion. The Liturgy and
the other services would be held in the vernacular tongue, but the official language

Church agreed with his assertion, and provisionally allowed for a

purified Roman Mass to be used.
By 1870's, a number of disaffected Roman Catholic clergy (including
Bishops) had decided to abandon union with Rome altogether, and seek
communion with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Many of the "Old Catholics", a group that had formed in protest of the
false dogma of Papal Infallibility, looked to Orthodoxy for their
protection, and this grouping was mentioned in the Patriarchal
Encyclical of 1895, in response to Pope Leo XIII on reunion with Rome,
as follows:
With these and such facts in view, the peoples of the West, becoming gradually
civilized by the diffusion of letters, began to protest against innovations, and to
demand (as was done in the fifteenth century at the Councils of Constance and
Basle) the return to the ecclesiastical constitution of the first centuries, to which,
by the grace of God, the orthodox Churches throughout the East and North,
which alone now form the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Christ, the
pillar and ground of the truth, remain, and will always remain, faithful. The
same was done in the seventeenth century by the learned Gallican theologians,
and in the eighteenth by the bishops of Germany; and in this present century of
science and criticism, the Christian conscience rose up in one body in the year
1870, in the persons of the celebrated clerics and theologians of Germany, on
used in documents, Councils of the Western Church, &c., would remain the Latin.
The sacerdotal garments (now partly curtailed and disfigured) to be restored to their
primitive Western shape and simplicity. No opera-music, but the dignified Gregorian
chant. Only icons to be used in Church. The Horae canonicae to be purified from
Romish stain; and to be said in full length by the Regular Clergy (Monks), but "ritu
paschali" by the Secular clergy."

account of the novel dogma of the infallibility of the Popes, issued by the Vatican
Council, a consequence of which rising is seen in the formation of the separate
religious communities of the old Catholics, who, having disowned the papacy, are
quite independent of it.5

Thus began the formation of the Western Orthodox movement, an

expression of the ancient Apostolic Faith according to the liturgical
customs of the Western peoples.
Meanwhile, the Old Catholics, at the reunion conferences of Bonn and
Cologne, had demonstrated, at least to Overbeck, that in their minds
the concept of one Church had not been clearly defined, thus leading to
the branch theory popular among Anglicanism. And in fact, at the
second Bonn conference, Overbeck had demonstrated the reality of the
situation by attempting to make the number of Ecumenical Councils
the first clause of agreement between all Church bodies. He also
revealed at the meeting that an Anglican cleric who had gone to
Orthodoxy did not in fact accept the Seventh Ecumenical Council
Meanwhile, as the negotiations between Anglicanism, the Old
Catholics, and the Orthodox Church failed, increasing numbers of
people tried to find a spiritual home in the Eastern Church. Many of
these attempts were failures, and will not be covered within the scope
of this booklet, such as the consecration of Fr. Rene Vilatte by the
5 Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895, Par. xix.
6 OCR, VII (Part I, 1878), 33-35; Cf. Moss, Old Catholic Movement, p. 256, cited in
Abramstov, above.

Syrian Monophysites, which ended with Vilatte's union with Rome.

By the early 1900's, Western Orthodoxy had already developed a small
foothold in Europe and the United States. As well, thriving Greek,
Syrian, and Russian missions had developed under the protection of
the Holy Russian Synod. This had to be stopped at all costs by those
who stood most at risk-- the Church of England, which tried to destroy
Joseph Julian Overbeck. In the earliest of ecumenical overtures, which
the Eastern Bishops at times naively trusted to be signs of long-lost
"Christian brotherhood", it is made clear that their express wish is to
never see the formation of a Western Orthodox Church but to join all
"Apostolic Churches" into communion with them, the logical
conclusion of their "branch theory".
Meanwhile, through their control of
Freemasory internationally, the British throne
placed an agent within the hierarchy of the
Orthodox Church. That agent's name was
Meletios Metaxakis7.
Meletios Metaxis (1871-1935)
33rd Degree Freemason: Archbishop of Athens (1918-1920) and Creator
of the Greek Archdiocese of America, Patriarch of Constantinople (19211923), Alexandria (1926-1935)

7 Internet Citation: Grand Lodge of Greece, As far as proof that Meletios was
in fact a Mason, there are numerous monographs on the subject, but most telling is
that he was openly listed (and is to this day) as a member of the Greek Masonic
"Harmonia" lodge according to the Grand Lodge of Greece.

The incalculable amount of damage Meletios Metaxakis singlehandedly

brought into the Church through his introduction of the New Calendar,
as well as his ecumenical reforms, is well-known enough that it
requires no space here8.
For our purposes, only one thing is needed for notation here: Meletios
single-handedly attempted to change the Orthodox Church's view on
the "validity" of the Anglican Episcopate, recognizing them as part of
the Church9. For the Anglicans in America, their ultimate goal would
be stated at their meeting in St Louis, Missouri, confirming Meletios'
If all concur, Episcopal Bishops can have oversight of Greek parishes here when
there is no Greek Bishop and the Greek Hierarchy so requests, and there can be
other interchanges of assistance. ("Eastern Patriarch recognizes Bishops", The
New York Times, Sept. 17, 1922)

Trials for Orthodoxy and Resistance in Greece and Russia

Meanwhile, the Church in Russia was undergoing a far worse trial: the
8 The author recommends the following: Macris, George P. 1986. The Orthodox Church
and the ecumenical movement during the period 1920-1969. Seattle, Wash: St. Nectarios
9 In fact, at least two national official Churches continue to recognize Anglican
orders as a result of those attempts: and here:

Communists had martyred the Tsar of Russia, and were intent on

turning Russia into an atheist state. Already they had created a
renovationist "living Church" to destroy the official Church under the
newly-restored Patriarchate under St Tikhon of Moscow. The Russian
Synod was collapsing, and agents of the Soviet State, under the aegis of
the "Living Church", were attempting to destroy the Orthodox Mission
in America. The renovationist reforms of the "Living Church" were not
lost on Meletios and his Anglican allies, who chose to recognize the
renovationists as the official Church of Russia, and "deposed" the
Patriarch at the "Pan-Orthodox Council" of 1923.
However, the Russian Church Abroad, composed of Bishops who were
cut off from their dioceses due to the revolution, rejected these claims,
and continued to support St Tikhon. The Living Church managed to
take control of the Russian Cathedral of St Nicholas in New York, and it
has remained under the control of the official Russian Church since
then, though the "Living Church" has been officially dissolved in favor
of the more conservative, state-sponsored Moscow Patriarchate,
restored by Stalin in 1943. The Church Abroad, by contrast, rejected
the Moscow Patriarchate, arguing that it was a tool for the militantly
atheist regime. The effects that this schism would have upon
Orthodoxy in Western Europe and North America, and the growth of
Western Orthodoxy, are the subject of the next chapter.
In Greece, the situation was significantly different. After the
Archbishopric of Athens imposed the New (Papal) Calendar upon the

people, many refused to attend the state Churches. In 1924, a miracle

confirmed the faith of the people: a cross appeared in the sky that
could be seen for many miles during the feast of the exaltation of the
Holy Cross. By 1935, three Bishops had left the state Church to form
the True Orthodox Church of Greece.
By the 1930's, a number of French theologians began to appeal to the
Moscow Patriarchate for recognition of their historic ritual, as well as
the use of a reconstructed Gallican liturgy.
This made perfect sense; the Russian Church had historically placed
Churches in the West under her jurisdiction for some time. The
missionary work of St Innocent of Unalaska (later Metropolitan of
Moscow) and St Tikhon of America (later Patriarch of Russia) had
created Western parishes in the Americas; by the turn of the 19th
century, there were Russian parishes throughout the Americas, as well
as Europe. Russian theologians showed a keen interest in restoring
Orthodoxy throughout the West up until the time of the revolution,
and by the 1930's, the Russian Church Abroad had established even
more parishes for emigre Russians on western soil.
By the 1930's, the Anglicans had already made successful overtures to
Constantinople for recognition of their church. Meanwhile,
Westerners who wanted nothing to do with such a scheme continued
to turn to Russia, although Soviet. And the Russians were happy to
oblige. By the 1950's, dozens of Western-rite (mostly in France) and

mixed-use parishes had formed under the Moscow Patriarchate in

Europe and America, using the Roman ritual as clarified by Overbeck.
The work of Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) in England and Archbishop
John (Wendland) of the Moscow Patriarchate bore substantial fruit in
terms of restoring ancient usages among the parishes. In America,
Archbishop John of the Patriarchate allowed the use of Rome and
Sarum, as well as Mozarabic ritual in Western rite parishes.
Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) ordained Fr Eulogius (Hessler) using
the Ambrosian Rite of Milan.
The reasons for the Soviet Patriarchate taking such a deep interest in
Western rites seems at times unclear. Metropolitan John (LoBue) of the
Milan Synod's Eastern Archdiocese, speculates that in fact, while
Archbishop John of the Patriarchate had been doing a good work, it
seemed to have been driven not so much by fidelity to the canons (as
even the Western Orthodox tradition was at times ignored for what
was popular, such as in the case of the use of the New Calendar) as he
was by getting as many parishes under the control of the Patriarchate
as possible. Whatever the case may be, with the rise of the Second
Vatican Council, many more parishes, this time disaffected Roman
Catholics, joined the Patriarchate, in the heart of the Roman Church
itself-- in Italy and Western Europe. In the heyday of ecumenism, this
could not last forever.
Vladimir Moss, no friend of the Milan Synod, acknowledges what
transpired with Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) in an open letter of

June, 2008:
....Some Italian parishes in Sardinia came under his omophorion when he was
exarch for Western Europe. However, these former papists in their zeal for
Orthodoxy began to attack the Pope. Then Metropolitan Anthony (as he told me
personally) received a phone call from Metropolitan Juvenaly of Tula (Agent
Adamant). Drop your Italian parishes, said Juvenaly. We are having
negotiations with the Pope over the uniate question, and he has laid it down as a
condition of the success of the negotiations that you drop these parishes. So he
dropped them...10

By 1970, with the declaration that Roman Catholics could receive

communion in Patriarchal parishes 11, the Western-rite and mixed
usage parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate were left to fend for
themselves, having been placed outside of the communion of the
Patriarchate through no fault of their own.The parishes of Europe
and America, no longer having a vital link to each other through the
Patriarchate, sought out ways to fix the problem of survival on their
In America, the situation was somewhat different, due to the intense
jurisdictional splitting that occurred in the 1920's and 1930's.
10 Moss, Open Letter to Valery Lukianov, June 2008. Moss argues that the parishes went
to the Cyprianites. This only partially is true in the case of Sardinia, but not all of
Italy, and there was no official "Cyprianite" body until much later.
Pogodin, Archimandrite Alexis, Appendices, Vestnik Russkogo Khristianskogo
vizheniya (Messenger of the Russian Christian Movement) Paris-New York,
Moscow, Nos. 173 (I-1996) and 174 (II-1996/I-1997). The Patriarchal Synods
decision was on Dec. 16, 1969 and confirmed in the Journal of the Moscow
Patriarchate in 1983.


Independent Bishops were on the rise, due to the actions of the Sovietsponsored "Living Church" and members of the "Holy Eastern
Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church of North America". This body
would have other effects on American Orthodoxy, through the
elevation of Ignatius (Nichols), a Western Rite Bishop who would
proceed to consecrate more Bishops with the help of the Living
Church12. This fact, combined with waves of immigration from other
countries, created even more jurisdictions in America, that made the
average American convert confused as to where to turn.
In 1934, Father William (Francis Brothers) asked and was granted the
freedom to act as an Orthodox "Old Catholic" Bishop by the Soviet
Patriarchate, and was made a Bishop, like many others during this
chaotic period, at St Nicholas Cathedral, by now a hotly disputed New
York property among the Russians. Father Raphael Johnson, a writer in
the Milan Synod who has studied the life of the Synod's American
Bishops in depth, briefly explained what occurred:
Metropolitan +William (+1979), was consecrated at the St. Nicholas Russian
Orthodox Cathedral in New York in 1934 and received into the Russian Orthodox
Patriarchate. William was then named exarch for the western rite under the
12 Despite miserable attempts on the part of the official Churches to rehabilitate the
memory and work of Abp Aftimios Ofiesh and Ignatius Nichols, the fact remains that
both men, consecrated as Bishops, married (requiring the canonical deposition from
office which in fact occurred), and ended with Nichols consecrating a number of
strange individuals to the "episcopate", such as two Rosicrucians, George Winslow
Plummer, and Stanislaus DeWitow. From this proud "heritage" came Bishop
Alexander Turner, whose group then became part of the Antiochian Diocese in
America, with Turned being accepted as a simple priest, thus necessitating such work
in rehabilitation.


Patriarchate of Moscow. However, it was through the recently emigrated Bishop

+Palladios that William left the KGB dominated hierarchy and repented of his
association with them. Like the fraudulent autocephaly for the OCA, the
Patriarchate (at the time under Alexei I) was using the fact that America,
English speaking western rite Orthodox were under the care and protection of
the Moscow Patriarchate as a means of manipulating global opinion....13
After +Williams repentance, he joined the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Exile,
which at the time was under Constantinople, and eventually, the western rite
had its own synod under +William, himself under the direction of +Palladios.
Ultimately, the Ukrainians in America broke with Constantinople under the
sordid reign of Demetrius of the Phanar. The Ukrainians in America were
scandalized by the Phanars recognition of the Soviet puppet church, as well as
its recognition (in 1973) of the Roman papacy as a sister church. The fact
remains that the Ukrainians for a long time withstood patiently the sins of the
Phanar, and only in 1973 did the Ukrainians (now post-Palladios) withdraw their
recognition of the Phanar, which played into the hands of the ever-ambitious
and aggressive Iakovos of New York14.

In actual fact, while the Ukrainians waited until 1973 to make a

decision on whether to stay or leave Constantinople, the Western
parishes-- which were now incorporated as the "Synod of Orthodox
Bishops of the Western Rite" through the assistance of Abp Palladios
(Rudenko)-- who, with Abp William, elevated of a set of traditional
Western Orthodox Bishops, ceased communications with
Constantinople in 196915.
13 Metropolitan William both joined and left the Moscow Patriarchate in the 1960's.
14 Johnson, Fr Matthew Raphael. "Archbishop Palladios and the Ukrainian Western
Rite", The Orthodox Medievalist Website (, August 2008
15 It was also in this year that Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) of ROCOR both


It was only shortly thereafter that this Church, now isolated and
reduced in size, began delving into the work of studying, translating
and promoting pre-schismatic Western ritual, which finally bore fruit
in the early 1990's with the publication of complete service texts of the
Sarum16 use of the Roman Rite, the first complete service books in the
West which far predated the Tridentine ritual and reflected pre-schism
Orthodox Western use.
In Europe, the situation was grave; by the 1970's, the Patriarchal
Parishes of Moscow were so heavily involved in ecumenism it appeared
that there was no hope. As well, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
Russia's European presence was in many places not nearly as strict as
that in other countries.
So it was no surprise that when Joao Rocha, a convert priest of the
Russian Church Abroad under Archbishop Anthony of Geneva, applied
to join the Old Caldendar Church of Greece under Archbishop
Auxentios in 1978, he was immediately recieved in and baptized (as
was common in Greek practice.) He was then reordained by
Archbishop Auxentios before being made a Bishop of the newlyestablished diocese of Lisbon on June 18, 1978 by Archbishop
Auxentios, along with three other Bishops of the Synod: Maximos of
wrote the first Sorrowful Epistle, and officially recognized the consecrations of the
Greek Old Calendarists' Bishops at the hands of ROCOR Bishops.
16 The Sarum use of the Roman Rite is a collection of local uses dating back to the mid11th century, the time of the schism between East and West.


Kephalonia, Gerasimos of Thebes, and Kallinkos of Lamia. 17

Archbishop Auxentios of Athens (+1994)

Primate of the True Orthodox Church of Greece,

The restoration of an Orthodox diocese of Lisbon was itself a

provocative act for two reasons. An Orthodox had not held the see of
Lisbon (originally erected in the fourth century) since the city was lay
waste by the Moors in 716. There were Bishops of Lisbon during the
Mozarabic period, but it is unclear as to whether they could take
possession of their sees. The restoration of the diocese of Lisbon was in
1147, well after the great schism. (The elevation of the "Patriarchate"
did not occur until centuries after the great schism). Secondly, unlike
17 Vladimir Moss, in a number of documents, makes two claims that we will deal with
individually. On the one hand, Moss claims that Fr Joao Rosha was upset with the fact
that no Portuguese diocese was created in ROCOR. Certainly this would not be
enough to have the True Orthodox Church of Greece not only accept in Fr Joao, but
then suddenly consecrate him Bishop for Portugal. The answer can be found in the
fact that Fr Joao likely recognized, as Moss himself does in other publications, that
Archbishop Anthony of Geneva was, at the time, a rare but very involved ROCOR
ecumenist (Fr Alexander Lebedeff pointed out that Archbishop Anthony went as an
observer to the Second Vatican Council), and would do little that would upset the
Roman Church.


previous elevations of Bishops by the Orthodox in Western Europe,

which were more along the lines of national embassies in Roman or
Protestant countries, this was specifically the erection of a parallel
Orthodox see in a Roman country, which had significant missionary

Archbishop Gabriel of Lisbon

First Post-Schism Restored Archbishop of Western
Orthodoxy, 1978

Thus, for the first time since the Roman schism of 1054, the parties in
question applied Canon CXIX of Carthage, which states:
It seemed good that if anyone after the laws should convert any place to
Catholic unity and retain it for three years without opposition, it should not be
taken away from him afterwards. If however there was during those three
years a bishop who could claim it and was silent, he shall lose the opportunity.
But if there was no bishop, no prejudice shall happen to the see, but it shall be
lawful when the place that had none shall receive a bishop, to make the claim
within three years of that day.

It soon became clear throughout Europe what was happening, and a

general negative tone began to prevail in other quarters within the
official Orthodox Church. Archbishop Anthony of Geneva was angered
because of what had taken place in "his" jurisdiction. It should be
noted that Archbishop Anthony of Geneva was only "against
ecumenism" by association within the ROCOR. In practice, he acted
rather differently. The ROCOR's current apologists note that Anthony
of Geneva was the head of a delegation that arrived to observe at the
Second Vatican Council of the Roman Church.
In 1984, to assist Archbishop Gabriel in the adminstration of the
rapidly-increasing Church of Western Europe, Archbishops Auxentios
and Gabriel elevated Bp Tiago of Coimbra as vicar for the Portuguese
Archdiocese on March 17, 1984. Again, the Coimbra diocese also has its
roots in Orthodox Western history, its first Bishop being Lucentius of
Coimbra, who was present at the first Council of Braga.


Bp Tiago of Coimbra

The Church was no longer simply encompassing Portugal. The many

parishes formerly under the Moscow Patriarchate looking for a safe
haven against ecumenism applied to come under the omophor of the
Portuguese Bishops. Thus the Archbishop saw the reality of what was
happening in Europe and acted on it. Meanwhile, the very creation of
the Portuguese dioceses, restoring ancient and Orthodox sees, became
distasteful to many in the True Orthodox Church of Greece. Realizing
the dangerous situation the convert Bishops were in, Archbishop
Auxentios decided to act. Advising the Portuguese Bishops, he
explained "if you stay with the Greeks, you will never find peace".
The Portuguese Bishops acted quickly, and with the blessing of their
First-Hierarch: On the 9th and the 23rd of September (Old Style), the


Bishops elevated Bishop Eulogius to the see of Milan, Italy and Bishop
Gregorio (Bacolini, +January 20, 1997 OS) to the see of Turin, Italy.

The Western Orthodox Bishops Given Autonomy

On September 27, 1984, sixty-nine years after the Miracle of the Cross
in Athens, the Archbishop blessed the Western European Church, with
a tomos of autonomy:
I, Auxentius, by Gods grace Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, acting within the
boundaries of our territory of Western Europe (which I created on June 7, 1978) have
decided to give permission to the Metropolia of Portugal, Spain and Western Europe to
govern itself, having as their principal headquarters the God-protected metropolitan city
of Lisbon. This Metropolis will be under the direction of the GOC of Greece.
P.S. The above Metropolitan with his vicar bishops is obliged to present himself to the
Hierarchical Synod each October18.

On September 30, 1984, the Western European Synod elevated

Theodore of Evora in Portugal.
18 The full name of the Synod, the "Autonomous Orthodox Synod of Western Europe
and the Americas", itself has a unique origin. According to Archbishop John of New
York and New Jersey, the name was decided upon in Synod in 1990, with the
elevation of Bp Lazar (Puhalo). When they entered for a year into communion with
Patriarch Volodymr, he asked them to change it to "and Canada" for less confusion.
After they broke communion with the Ukrainians in 1995, they reverted back to the
older name. However, the name used for incorporation was decided upon in Synod,
and never used in the official document by Archbishop Auxentios.
The moniker "Synod of Milan", however, developed through constant reference to
Metropolitan Eulogius of Milan, although in fact the original first hierarch of the
Synod was in Portugal. Popular legend attributes the first common use of this name
to a former hieromonk of the Holy Synod.


On October 31, 1987, the Synod consecrated Bishop Vigile to the see of
Paris, France, giving the Autonomous Western European Metropolia
seven Bishops by the end of 1987.
On February 2, 1995, Bishop Basilio of Ostia was consecrated to the
Episcopacy. He would remain at the side of the helm of the
Autonomous Synod, eventually elevated to the status of Archbishop,
until 2004.
On 19th December 1995 Metropolitan Evloghios of Milan, Archbishop
Vigile of Paris, and Bishop Basilio of Ostia consecrated Archimandrite
Vladimiro as titular Bishop of San Giulio d'Orta. The story of Bishop
Vladimiro is interesting since he retired as a Bishop after admitted
difficulties in translating the ancient Rite of St Ambrose of Milan into
Italian, which was then used but once a year. However, he remained a
part of the Synod.
On 7th February 1997 Metropolitan Evloghios and Bishop Vladimiro
consecrated Archimandrite Nectarios as titular Bishop of Cividale dei
Friuli. He departed for the Ecumenical Patriarchate a few years later
and was received as a Bishop.
On 3rd May 1998 Metropolitan Evloghios and Bishop Marco


consecrated Archimandrite Victrice as Bishop of Lausanne in


America and Canada

In 1997, the two remaining bishops of the Synod of Orthodox Bishops
of the Western Rite, Archbishops John of New York and Hilarion of
Austin, isolated from Constantinople due to Ecumenism and isolated
from Antioch due to the innovations of their "Western rite vicariate" 19,
appealed with their parishes, naturally, to the Autonomous Synod of
Western Europe and the Americas, and were received in through
chierothesia (at the request of the Americans) to correct any canonical
deficiencies in their elevations to the episcopate. They were then on
February 16, 1997, installed as Archbishop Hilarion of Austin, senior
hierarch for the Americas, and Archbishop John of New York and New
On 17th May 1998 Metropolitan Evloghios, together with Archbishops
Basilio, Hilarion, and John, Metropolitan Auxentios of Aegina, and
Bishop Marco, consecrated Archimandrite Pavlos titular Bishop of
Kavkas and Vicar Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York and New
Jersey. He was then named ruling Bishop of Maspeth.

Western Orthodoxy's Future in the Modern Day

19 The Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate continues to the present day to present Roman
Catholic and Protestant services with minor modifications as Orthodox.
Unfortunately, this can also be found now in the parishes of the ROCOR that joined
with the Moscow Patriarchate.


Due to the increased visibility of the Milan Synod as a True Orthodox

body which refrained from communion with innovators, communion
and contacts with other Traditionalists increased, while liberals in
the Synod grew increasingly vexed with a rise of Traditional Orthodox
behavior in Europe and America, consequently making deals with
certain World Orthodox quarters to come under their protection. The
past few years have thus seen the original Synod now split into two
parts: one small and submissive to the Moscow Patriarchate,
destroying Her mission of Free Orthodox Traditionalist Parishes in the
Western Lands, and the other establishing and strengthening Her
communion while preserving her missionary spirit.
In 2010 Metropolitan Anghelos of Avlonos and Boetia, who had entered
into communion with Metropolitan Evloghios of Milan the previous
year, established the Synod of the True Orthodox Church of the Patristic
Calendar (
). The position of the Synod was in some ways

similar to that of other TOC jurisdictions, with the exception that it

refrained from communion with the others until a Pan-Orthodox
Council of the True Orthodox in Greece could be called, restoring all
previous bonds of communion between the jurisdictionally splintered
True Orthodox. It was immediately made clear that the Synod of Milan
and the Greek Synod viewed each other as equals.
The new Greek Synod took an interest in developments in Romania and

Bulgaria, and immediately assisted in the establishment of a functional

True Orthodox Synod in Bulgaria. Further, due to the request of a
Seraphimo-Gennadite Catacomb Bishop in Bukovina, which is split
between Romania and Ukraine, full communion was established with
his Metropolitanate as well.
Further, communion was established with a number of Orthodox
parishes in Latin America, and the Patristic Synod received in
Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Ecuador and his parishes in 2010.
In February of 2011, discussions were held between the True Orthodox
Synod in Greece and the True Orthodox Church of Russia under
Metropolitan Raphael (Prokopiev), with approximately 80 parishes in
Russia. They describe the occurences as follows:
How admirable Your Gifts are, Our All-Holy Mother Theotokos, we could
rightfully cried our towards Her, for the Lavish Grace She granted us during this
period of time!
As all of the Ecclesiastic World already know, our Holy Synod was established by
the Will of God, obviously, since we had made everything possible in our powers
to find out a viable ecclesiastic course. Since then, we proceed very carefully and
after much of prayer, having the tactic of the "Open Door", like Apostle Paul used
to do. As a result, we are -first of all- in the pleasant position to announce that
the Hierarchs consisting our Holy Synod, are already 7, after the join ing of two
famous (for their spiritual work) Caucasian Hierarchs: Metropolitan of Abhazia
and Sconditsky IOATHAM and (future-be) Metropolitan of Tbilishi and
Khartlinsky CHRISTOPHOR. But for them there will be an extended article in the


near future...
A big, wide opened and very clear Door, has been opened for us, with the Blessing
of our Lord. His almighty Hand, led us in an Historical Ecclesiastic Communion.
Here is the Chronicle of this unique event:
In the beginning of February, our Metropolitan together with His Vicar, Bishop
Porfyrios of Martyropolis, visited Moscow especially for this matter. Because,
since the middle January, we had a very immediate and clear proposition for
Ecclesiastic Communion, coming from the Legendary Catacomb Church
(nowadays Genuine Orthodox Church of Russia) under the Omoforion of His
Sanctity, Metropolitan Raphael. Being to Moscow, we were proposed to discuss
face to face this issue.
In the first place, the Archisecretary of this Holy Synod, Archimandrite Daniel,
visited us to our Hotel and gave to us all the documents about the Russian Synod.
Being satisfied with what he read, our Metropolitan agreed to proceed further
more.So, we continued our discuss, at the Director's of Foreign Affairs,
Metropolitan Sergii's resident. His Eminence proposed we arrange a CoCelebration. After a short discussion, we ended up like this:
1. We would study carefully the documents.
2. Then we could arrange a Co-Celebration in Athens for establishing the
3. Finally, we would arrange a major Co-Celebration in Moscow, for the
confirmation of the Communion.
The very next day, we started applying this schedule.
And first of all, a few words for the Russian Church itself.


This very church, is coming from the historic Church of Catacombs. The CC was
founded by two Metropolitans: Joseph of Petrogrand and Kyril Smirnof, with the
written permission of St Patriarch Tychon. Joseph and Kyril were exeuted in
1937. (They recently Canonized as SAINTS by the Russian Patriarchate). Then,
other Churches from Abroad, helped them by concecrating Bishops for them.
Such Churches were, Ukrainian Autocephalous Church, Patriarchate of Georgia
even the ROCOR (Metr. Vitalii). Nowadays' Bishops, come from this very line,
having canonical succession. As a proof, the Russian state has recognized the
canonicity of this particular Synod, by registering it, which is a unique act of
Finding out all these, our Metropolitan was pleased enough to give his blessing
for the first Co-celebration. Thus, on 26 of March, we (the present Holy Synod)
under the leadership of our Father, went to the International Hellenic Aeroport
to welcome the Russian Delegation, consisting of :
Metropolitan of Mavrovouni and Exarch in Balkans, SERGIOS.
Metropolitan of Kiev and Galikia and Exarch of Ukraina, ANDREI.
Archibishop of Tver and Kashini, MARK.
Archibishop of Volokolam, ANDREI.
Archimandrit Daniel Mogutnov, Chief Secretary of the Holy Russian Synod
Subdeacon Oleg and Subdeacon Dimitry.
Having welcome them, we went to our Synodical Monastery of Theogennitoros
where our Clergy welcome also the Hierarchs. A Monastic Trapeza followed.
The next day, Sunday of Cross Veneration, the majestic event of the impressive
Co-Celebration occured.


During the Matins, the ritual of Signing the Document of Agreement for
Communion, took place. Metropolitan Sergii on behalf of the Russian Church and
Bishop Porfyrii on behalf of the Greek Church, signed the Document, after His
Beatitude our President Mgr Angelos, blessed the Communion by reading a
special prayer.

The Synod in Europe and the Synod in the Americas

Meanwhile, in December of 2010, Milan made a proposal to grant the
American Dioceses autonomy. The proposal was accepted, and plans
were devised to compose the Tomos granting same.
On February 13/26, 2011, Archbishop John of New York was given a
Tomos (Decreto #582) for the Dioceses of America by the Synod of
Milan, granting them full autonomy as a Metropolitanate and extended
jurisdiction over the Americas and the British Isles:
We, Evloghios, by the grace of God, Metropolitan of Aquileia and Archbishop of
Milan, First Hierarch of the Holy Synod, acting within the boundaries of Our
territory of Western Europe and the Americas and with the agreement of our
brother Hierarchs of the Holy Synod, do hereby grant permission to the Orthodox
Metropolitan Church of North and South America and the British Isles to selfgovern, as their Principal Headquarters the God-protected Metropolitan City of
New York.
The Metropolitan of New York shall perform his holy duty to the churches,
communities and parishes which would be directed to him and his brother
Hierarchs of the Metropolis. This Metropolis will be under the primacy of the


Orthodox Metropolitan Church of Milan and Aquileia.

We further nominate and bless the present ruling Archbishop of New York, the
Archbishop John as the First Hierarch of the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolitan
Church of North and South America and the British Isles of the Synod of Milan
and Aquileia, and bequeath to him the rank of Metropolitan and the appellation
of His Beatitude.
This has been done in our Holy Synod for Western Europe the day of the
celebration Saint Evloghios, Pope and Patriarch 26/13 - II - 2011.
Evloghios I
First Hierarch of the Holy Synod
Archbishop of Milan and Metropolitan of Aquileia
H. B. Metropolitan John, Fanourios, Bishop of Lincoln

With the Tomos in hand, the new Metropolitan began the dual task of
strengthening the bonds of communion between Milan's regional
Sister-Churches in Greece, Russia, and Bulgaria, as well as defining
certain requirements for new clergy entering into the Synod, such as
the formal rejection of ecumenism, modernism, and Sergianism.
Although Metropolitan John had made his position clear concerning
refusal to commune with World Orthodoxy for a number of years, the
American Dioceses had long had a largely quiet dispute between the
traditionalists and modernists looking for an Old Calendarist Synod to


gain the appearance of legitimacy, the silent battle only rearing its
head publicly occasionally on the Internet.
The Synod eventually learned the extent of the organization of the
modernists: approximately a half-dozen clergy were working to try to
bring the Synod under the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate
without the knowledge of the Bishop. What appeared to be a random
group of modernists in the Metropolia were in fact an organized body,
in some cases secretly commemorating Metropolitan Hilarion of the
Moscow Patriarchate (in one case for a couple of years) 20.
In response to the continual discovery of members of this hidden
group of Moscow Patriarchate loyalists, a provisional document was
introduced for discussion and ratification rejecting ecumenism,
Sergianism, modernism and the New Calendar, and made publicly
known on the new Metropolia's website. Immediately isolated clergy
who secretly had embraced ecumenism and Sergianism (in the name of
friendship with World Orthodoxy) began to protest and plan to
leave, assuming that the document would require their signature. (In
fact, the document only applied to new entrants.)
Milan Responds
In response to the joyful announcement of communion, Milan's
chancery office (also known as Archbishop Abundius of Lecco) made
20 In one case this secret illegal commemoration had gone on for almost three years; in
another, approximately six months.


an immediate statement that it rejected communion with any branch

of the True Orthodox Church in Russia, and further that Milan was also
negotiating for its entrance into the Moscow Patriarchate's Moldovan
branch. Further, on certain social networking sites, Archbishop
Abundius highlighted television interviews between himself and
reporters in Romania discussing the need for recognition of
homosexuality in Ortodoxy21.
Immediately the Greek Church under Metropolitan Anghelos and the
Bulgarian Church under Metropolitan Damaskinos protested Milan's
sudden announcement of the negotiations. Many Americans also
immediately protested the negotiations, to which in response Milan
announced that as they were now an autonomous Metropolia, they had
nothing further to do with them, removing the Bishops from the Milan
Synod's website. In response, the American Metropolia responded by
acknowledging the break in communion, and discussing further
responses with the Sister Churches.
Metropolitan John immediately confirmed with the heads of the Sister
Churches that Milan's actions did not involved the American
Metropolia and that communion with them would remain. As well, the
new Metropolitan went to Greece to confirm his retained communion
with them and strengthen their bonds in the face of the Milan Synod's
sudden entrance into dialogue with the Moscow Patriarchate.
21 There are a number of Romanian and Italian-language magazines available which
detail the activities of Bp Abundius, sadly, to the present day. After the Americans
protested, they were informed the issue would be dealt with by Milan. It never was.


In typical Soviet fashion, the Moscow Patriarchate stated they were

largely uninvolved in the negotiations, opting to have any receptions
taking place through the independent ROCOR-Moscow Patriarchate
Bishops22. Further, Metropolitan Evloghios, according to phone
conversations with Greek and American Bishops, indicated that he had
no control over these actions and nothing to do with them; further he
stated he never had any intention of breaking communion with
By June, discussions began over how to ultimately deal with Milan and
the European Synod's sudden moves to be received into the Soviet
Patriarchate. On June 25/July 8, 2011, lacking any options in the face of
the brazen support which the Synod in Italy now showed towards the
Sergianist Moscow Patriarchate, the True Orthodox Church of the
Patristic Calendar officially ended her communion with the Milan
The American Metropolia's position, being the remaining part of the
Milan Synod that has not bent the knee to Baal, is that the American
Metropolia can act temporarily in the stead of Milan as Western
Primate, and ultimately work towards the establishment of a locum
tenens (and an eventual hierarchy) for Western Europe, restoring the
work that began with the establishment of native Western European
22 Although the word of negotiations were public on the Milan Synod's websites, the
only person receiving in clergy from the Milan Synod appears to be Metropolitan
Hilarion of ROCOR.


hierarchy 33 years ago. Though reduced in size, the Free Milanese

are now at liberty to assist in the preservation and growth of the
Church throughout the world.

True, Ancient Western Orthodox Christianity Today: An

Invitation to the True Church of Jesus Christ
During these days, when many people can be confused by claims of
Western Orthodoxy and Western Rite Orthodoxy, all Orthodox
Christians have the assurance and sure comfort of the Holy Fathers as
our guides. Between independent groups and canonical Western
Rite Orthodox who scandalize people with their innovations and
strange heretical rituals, for many it seems almost impossible to
become a Western Orthodox Christian in our day and age. Sometimes it
seems wiser to simply go to an Eastern Church and relearn Christianity
all over again. We have a sure guide in the great Saint of the Russian
Church, St John of Shanghai, who said Never, never, never let anyone
tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The
West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is
far older than any of her heresies.
But this does not answer the question: which Western Orthodox
comprise the True Church? Do not despair! In the midst of confusion
over what is the True Church of the West, one need only look to the
Church Fathers to see the answer, for St Vincent of Lerins clarified it
best and for all times in the Commonitorium:

Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken,
that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by
all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense Catholic, which, as the
name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all
universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality,
antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one
faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses;
antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is
manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers;
consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the
consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of
almost all priests and doctors.

Thus, having Tradition as our sure guide, we invite all of those in the
West who seek the True Church to return to Her and to rejoice in the
Truth (1 Cor 13:6). We invite all Westerners to return to their ancestral
home, in the traditions that nourished their forefathers before the
Western schism, to receive the Body of Christ, the medicine of
Immortality, who, as Our True Shepherd, for love of the sheep, went to
face the death which was threatening the sheep, that being himself captured
he might by new device lead captive the Devil, who is the author of death;
being conquered, might conquer; being slain, might punish; and by dying
might open to the sheep a way of conquering death (St Gregory
... and that way, O reader, is open to you today!


For more information about True Western Orthodox Churches in North

America, call or write:
The Abbey of the Holy Name
100 Abbey Lane
West Milford, NJ
For more information about Western Orthodox Tradition, and Defense of
the True Church, visit:
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