HOCNA Formally Embraces Name-Worshipping Heresy

For those readers just catching up a timeline is available of the events that led to HOCNA’s departure from the Orthodox Church.

On October 10, a new circular entitled “Divergent Teachings” was issued by HOCNA, where the heresy of Name-Worshipping was fully embraced. NFTU received a copy of the document only today.

We are attaching the document, where it is now obvious that the HOCNA leadership has embraced the condemned 20th century teaching of Anthony Bulatovich that God’s Name is constituent of His Energies.

The document contains the following line, confirming their position clearly: “[we believe] That created letters, sounds and random or accidental thoughts about God must not be deified. Further, they believe that these letters or sounds must not be used for occult or magical purposes.” The fact that they now believe that letters and sounds can be deified, and CAN be used for occult purposes, means they believe God can be summoned through pronunciation.

In short, HOCNA has abandoned Orthodoxy and joined itself to something else.

The document is here.

Metropolitan Moses of Portland responded in a letter today as follows:

Beloved Christians, 

Greetings in the Lord.

I just received the HOCNA pronouncement titled, “Divergent Teachings,” defending “name-glorifying.”

I wish to share with you some thoughts regarding their false reasoning.

“Divergent Teachings,” is just a rehash of their former false claims. They misuse quotes from the Holy Fathers in exactly the same way that Metropolitan misused quotes during the “Awake Sleeper” controversy.

First quote:
“We follow in the footsteps of the Holy Fathers.”
(Fourth Ecumenical Council)

Until they sign off on a document declaring that they reject the teachings of Antony Bulatovich he is their “Father” to the exclusion of the authentic Holy Fathers. They have consistently refused to do this.

Fr. Maximos pointed this out in the conclusion of his article titled, “Smokescreens” with the following words:

In our days, the name-worshippers are proving themselves worthy followers of their predecessors in heresy. By attempting to shift the focus of the debate onto the expressions of the Russian Synod, they are avoiding the real question: what is their own confession of faith? If they truly are Orthodox Christians, they can demonstrate it quickly and easily by just accepting the condemnations which the Church has published against name-worshipping. Let them proclaim loudly that the name of God is not an uncreated energy of God, but a created symbol given to us by Holy Scripture and the Fathers which expresses the inexpressible insofar as human language is capable. Let them denounce the errors of Bulatovich and the deluded monks of Mount Athos who followed him into heresy. Then we will believe that they are in truth Orthodox Christians and not members of a heretical sect.

Thus, either Bulatovich is a heretic or we are heretics.

If the present day HOCNA name-worshipping bishops reject the Constantinopolitan Resolutions of 1912 and 1913 and the Russian Synod of 1913 as heretical, they necessarily also claim that these local Churches ceased to be Orthodox in the same way the Monophysites or any other heretical groups fell away from the Church. In other words, they are saying that Metropolitan Antony was a heretic along with his successors, Metropolitan Anastassy and Metropolitan Philaret and the Russian Church Outside of Russia was never a legitimate Church. If you follow their argument to its conclusion, then all bishops and deacons and priests who were ordained or regularized by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are actually laymen. More than that, their false claims also assert that none of their baptisms or liturgies were valid.

This creates a problem for the HOCNA bishops that they seem to not understand. If the Holy Synod of Russia, the Optina Elders, Metropolitan Antony, Metropolitan Anastassy, Metropolitan Philaret and the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Governing Body of Mount Athos were all wrong, Metropolitan Ephraim is actually George Spanos and Metropolitan Makarios is Constantine Katre because their ordinations were invalid. According to their reasoning, the Genuine Orthodox Christian Church in Greece does not exist and there never was an Archbishop Akakios of Athens or an Archbishop Auxentius of Athens.

The one sentence reply to their nonsense is to tell everyone that when the present day bishops of HOCNA defend the teachings of Antony Bulatovich and claim the Russian Church fell into heresy in 1913 Metropolitan Ephraim and Metropolitan Makarios proclaim that they are actually not bishops, but rather they are laymen.

In Christ,


As an editorial note, because of this new position, we can no longer endorse HOCNA as a True Orthodox body. We will remove their links from our general listings as well as from our resources. As general editor, I am sorry for any confusion this may cause. I’d also like to add that this event has turned an ordinary Friday into one of the saddest days in my Orthodox life.

We will continue to cover the events of the TOC-Kallinikos and the demise of HOCNA as they occur, including recent events.