Genuine Orthodox Church of America

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The Genuine Orthodox Church of America (GOCA) is an independent Old Calendarist jurisdiction based in Buena Vista, Colorado, which sees itself as the only legitimate Orthodox church in America. It is not in communion with any Orthodox body. However, it has in the past claimed to maintain communion with the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece, headed by Abp. Makarios of Athens. Both Archbishop Makarios himself and his synod have repeatedly stated in official documents that they have no association whatsoever with this group. The GOAC is headed by Abp. Gregory (George) of Denver.

The GOAC was formed out of a group originally under the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, which later joined three Greek Old Calendarist jurisdictions rapidly in succession (namely, that of Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Athens, the short-lived Synod of Kallinikos of the Duodecanese and Archbishop Makarios of Athens), followed by the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church (ROAC) (2000), and is now independent following the ROAC's deposition and excommunication of Abp. Gregory (2004).[1][2] With its history of being a part of various jurisdictions, the Genuine Orthodox Church of America tends to be in a constant state of hostility toward its former affiliations.

The jurisdiction's primate, Gregory (George) of Denver (born an Antiochian), who was consecrated to the episcopacy in the ROAC, claims to be "the only hierarch in the United States who has remained free of any communion or union with this heresy of Ecumenism who has valid apostolic succession," and thus claims "to be truly canonical."[3]

In 2007, Archbishop Gregory received Archbishop Ambrose (Moran-Dolgorouky) of New York City, one of many episcopi vagantes who claim to have been consecrated by independent Ukrainian bishops, into the GOCA. After his reception, he participated in the consecration of Archimandrite John (Egan) as Bishop of Colorado Springs, along with Archbishop Gregory, on January 6, 2008. Since the reception of a bishop can only be canonically accomplished by a synod, Archbishop Gregory initially claimed that Archbishop Makarios of Athens gave him verbal consent for the reception over the telephone. This was vehemently denied by both Archbishop Makarios and his Synod of Bishops. Six months later, Archbishop Ambrose left the GOCA and returned to his former status as an independent bishop. Since the consecration of Bishop John was administered by only two bishops, one of whom was uncanonically received into the Church and possessed questionable apostolic succession, the GOCA has become completely isolated from other Old Calendarist communities. A number of members of those communities issued condemnations immediately after his unjustified separation from the ROAC.

The GOCA currently has two bishops, 2 monastic communities, and 4 mission parishes in the United States, plus oversees 29 parishes in the Congo, Uganda, Brazil, Italy, and Bulgaria.

The jurisdiction is supported mainly by profits from the iconography and publishing work of its two monastic centers, Dormition Skete and Holy Apostles Convent, both in Buena Vista.


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