Bishop Ambrose Moran – The Plot Thickens

I apologize (slightly), but I’ve become intrigued by the case of one Bishop Ambrose Moran whose murky background and somewhat preposterous story of being consecrated a bishop by Patriarch Josyf Slipyj has sent several persons — myself included — digging into the complicated history of late-20th Century Eastern Christianity. As I stated in my previous post on the matter, it appears that Ambrose was never a member of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), either as a priest or a bishop. This has not stopped Ambrose from trying to shore up his tale, however. A new web-log, presumably run by the good bishop, has now popped up with photos and documents which superficially appear to support his claim to both UGCC incardination and episcopal consecration. It has been noted, however, that the “William Moran” whose name appears on some of the documents and whose pictures have been used may not in fact be Ambrose Moran, but rather a brother or some other relative. How that all shakes out remains to be seen.

What can be seen right now, however, is Bishop Ambrose (Amvrosij)’s website for the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the USA, which seems to have been his “ecclesiastical home” prior to aligning himself with the Roman Catholic traditionalist movement known as the “Resistance.” Three quick points need to be made here.

First, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the USA is not the same as either the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) or the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (UOC-USA). The UAOC is an independent Orthodox church without canonical recognition while the UOC-USA is under the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Although there are some who believe Ambrose was, for a time, associated with the UAOC, this information cannot be verified with any certainty at this point.

Second, the mailing address for Ambrose’s Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the USA is a PO Box located in Buena Vista, Colorado. Buena Vista is the home of the so-called Genuine Orthodox Church of America (GOCA), a hub for vagante Orthodox bishops. Ambrose was at one time received into the GOCA, though it appears he has parted company with them.

And last, no member of the UGCC I have contacted has ever met Bishop Ambrose, and only one had any knowledge of him period. As more concrete information comes to light, I will be sure to post it in due course.



  1. […] was part of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church appears to be a mistake. Please see the follow-up post on this matter for more […]

  2. alienus dilectus
    October 6, 2015

    I looked at blog with the photos and documents. There’s something strange about the photo of Ambrose and Cardinal Slipyj. Something just not right. It looks doctored to me. The sunlight and shadows don’t seem correct.

    Also, why in the photos labeled “Bishop Ambrose in Toronto, Canada. Also in the picture are: a Jesuit Deacon (name unknown), a Fr. Dr. Bilainculi and two Catholic priest-professors at the University of Toronto” is he not wearing the sakkos? He looks more like a mitred archpriest.

    1. Athanasius McVay
      October 7, 2015

      It’s a complete fake

  3. Dale
    October 6, 2015

    One should also mention that the Ukrainian group that he professes to have belonged to is not the Autochephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church based in the Ukraine, and the third largest Orthodox grouping there. They also have a presence in the United States. The group he headed seems to be not too much more than a paper-organization. He seems to be a complete charlatan.

    1. Dale
      October 6, 2015

      Sorry, Gabriel, I noticed that you did indeed point this out.

  4. Adam DeVille
    October 6, 2015

    I’ve handled documents from the Toronto chancery signed by the late Bp. Isidore of blessed memory. The typeface and letterhead on this blog are the same so far as I recall, and the bishop’s signature also, but I am not an expert in these matters and would not swear to their matching under oath. I have never heard of this character before, nor in any of my reading (which admittedly is not exhaustive) of UGCC history, including its very careful efforts to preserve apostolic succession in the Soviet period, have I ever come across this man. Making this seem even more suspicious that that no UGCC bishop (nor, for that matter, any Catholic bishop in my experience) takes to the Internet to protest/demonstrate his lineage and ordination in this way. The only ones who do this, in my experience, are those whose “legitimacy” is indeed suspect. Me thinks he doth protest too much. But I await correction/confirmation/clarification from friends in the UGCC who know this history much more than I do.

    1. Athanasius McVay
      October 7, 2015

      the signatures are clearly forged, as is the letterhead. Slipyj did not issue documents in this form, and never in English!

  5. Martin Pryor
    October 7, 2015

    The photos appear to depict Moran at various times and places. Could it be that he was dismissed, for whatever reason, from the UGCC and then began a “flirtation” with Orthodoxy, only to return to the Roman orbit via the “Resistance”.

  6. vivacristorey2
    October 8, 2015

    There’s an arrogant jerk who calls himself “Pablo the Mexican” who seems to a kind of ugly baggage on the “Resistance”, and he is really into visuals, full stop out on the graphics. He probably has a lot to do with this. Like mutual support for bottom-feeders.

  7. […] among traditionalist Roman Catholics concerning the background of one Bishop Ambrose Moran (see here, here, and here) has brought back into the open how little some (perhaps many) traditionalists […]

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