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.