Russian Orthodox Church in America

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The Russian Orthodox Church in America (ROCIA) is a Russian Orthodox Christian group that claims continuation from the Russian Orthodox Church through Patriarchal Ukase and Synodal Charter.

The Russian Orthodox Church in America, in its predecessor body, chose not to be a member of the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas. The Russian Orthodox Church in America is a walled off Church that holds a policy like other Churches listed as in resistance, communing the faithful but not con-celebrating among the other Local Churches.

The Russian Orthodox Church in America's status is unclear to most Orthodox hierarchs and clergy, although many ROCIA faithful and priests have been received into other Orthodox Churches including the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). As the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church in America do not seek to con-celebrate with the hierarchs of other Churches (in fact avoiding sacerdotal contact, seeking to remain walled off), the exact standing of ROCIA's hierarchs remains unclear. The bishops belonging to the Synod and the historical founders of the Russian Orthodox Church in America are considered to be episcopi vagantes by many, although they are never listed in any reliable list of such bishops and have been historically recognized as "canonical" Orthodox bishops.

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in America views the subject of canonicity differently than the viewpoint of the major Orthodox Churches in the United States. Although invited to join the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the early 1960s, the Synod maintains that since it was given sole oversight of the Orthodox Christians in the Western Hemisphere, it cannot yield that responsibility by joining what is merely a working group.

Metropolitan Symeon, Archbishop of Denver and the West currently chairs the Holy Synod, being the successor of Metropolitan Vladimir of the Carolinas, who is retired. Metropolitan Symeon was consecrated by Archbishop Paul of Philadelphia with the assistance of all the members of the Church's Holy Synod in Delaware in June 1988 and enthroned as Primate by the Holy Synod meeting in South Carolina in June 1989.

As its Autonomy/Autocephaly was not recognized at the time of its creation, the Russian Orthodox Church in America remains unrecognized by most other Orthodox Churches.

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