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Aftimios Ofiesh

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[[Image:Aftimios Ofiesh.gif|right|frame|Aftimios Ofiesh]]
'''Aftimios Ofiesh''' (1880-1966, né Abdullah Aftimios Ofiesh, names sometimes spelled variously as "Oftimios," "Ofeish," or "Ofiesch") was an early 20th century Orthodox [[bishop]] in America, serving as the immediate successor to St. [[Raphael of Brooklyn]] under the auspices of the [[Church of Russia]]. He held the title ''Bishop of Brooklyn'' from 1917 until April of 1933, when he married, thus [[deposition|deposing]] himself from the episcopacy. He is perhaps best known in our day as being the source of numerous lines of succession of ''[[episcopi vagantes]]'' and led the [[American Orthodox Catholic Church]] for most of its existence. He died in 1966.
Following the untimely death of St. [[Raphael of Brooklyn]] in 1915, [[Archimandrite ]] Aftimios (Ofiesh) was elected to serve as his replacement in caring for the Arab Orthodox faithful in America under the [[Church of Russia]]'s canonical authority. He was consecrated by Archbishop [[Evdokim (Meschersky) of the Aleutians|Evdokim (Meschersky)]] as an [[auxiliary bishop]] in 1917 with the title of ''Bishop of Brooklyn''. In 1923, in recognition for his work in America, he was elevated by Metropolitan [[Platon (Rozhdestvensky) of New York]] to the rank of [[archbishop]].
In 1924, in the canonical chaos of American Orthodoxy following the onset of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the Arab Orthodox faithful split into two factions, one which wished to go under the canonical authority of the [[Church of Antioch]] and another which wished to stay faithful to the [[Church of Russia]]. The former group was organized by Bishop [[Victor (Abu Assaly) of New York]], thus beginning the official presence of the Church of Antioch on American soil.
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