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Aftimios Ofiesh

155 bytes added, 13:59, July 14, 2006
One of the groups which now traces itself to Aftimios characterizes the situation differently: "We are not under and do not have a patriarch as head of this Church since the ethnic patriarchal orthodox bodies all turned their backs on this Church and use the marriage of Abp. Aftimios as the reason, although most had already refused to recognize this Church and its authority in the New World."[]
The biography by Ofiesh's widow Mariam claims that Aftimios fully intended to function as a married bishop, having that intent even before he met Mariam.
Whatever the case, relations between the small jurisdiction created by Aftimios and the mainstream Orthodox Church were not regularized following his marriage and ''de facto'' deposition from the episcopacy. Since that time, numerous and still multiplying lines of succession of ''[[episcopi vagantes]]'' continue to persist which all trace their roots to Aftimios (mainly through Ignatius Nichols), many of whom regard him as a [[saint]].[][] Some of those bishops are married men, as well, which is a continual stumbling block to their unity with the mainstream Church, which has for centuries maintained a celibate episcopacy.
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