I am normally disinclined to write about ecclesiastical gossip on Opus Publicum, especially when it involves the fringes of either the Catholic or Orthodox churches. However, this one is too good to pass up. Although there are very few concrete details at the moment, it appears that Bishop Ambrose (Moran), a (former?) member of the Old Calendarist Genuine Orthodox Church in America (GOCA), has aligned himself with the so-called “Resistance,” a very loose confederation of traditionalist Catholic priests de facto headed by former Society of St. Pius X Bishop Richard Williamson. Moran, as the story goes, was either “received” or “consecrated” by the head of GOCA, a move that initially sparked outrage among some traditionalist Orthodox due, ironically enough, to its “uncanonical” nature. The story later surfaced that Moran had already been a bishop in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (a point that remains unclear), though the YouTube video linked above indicates that he was, in fact, consecrated clandestinely by Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, the saintly head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. One can easily imagine why hyper-traditionalist Orthodox wouldn’t want that fact coming to light.
Perhaps Moran had a falling out with GOCA since he is now pledging to assist the traditionalist Catholic movement and, aside from some remarks that he had worked with some Ukrainian Orthodox back in the 1970s and 80s, makes no mention of any direct Orthodox affiliation. Certain traditionalist Catholics are, naturally, going nuts over this, albeit for all of the wrong reasons. That the “Resistance” could even think of interacting with a bishop (loosely) associated with the Orthodox is beyond the pale. Beyond the pale—or beyond comprehension—as well is the reality that the borderlands between Greek Catholicism and Orthodoxy have shifted considerably over the centuries; if there is a wall between the two confessions, it’s a porous one. None of this is to say that Moran should have anything to do with the “Resistance” or any other traditionalist movement that routinely demonstrates flagrant contempt toward Rome, but there you have it.
Strange times these be.