Does the Orthodox Church have a Pope?

by St. Nikolai Velimorivich

Well, oh yes! It has its own Pope, greater than all popes and patriarch in the world. It has had and will have from the beginning to the end of the ages. This is the same pope invoked by all Christ’s Apostles, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom and reason, the Spirit of God’s comfort and power. He is the true pope of Christ’s Church, without ….or change without disputations or elections, with no precursor or successor.

Moreover, fortunately, there is a document, written by their own hands, where we observe that the Apostles recognized/confessed the Holy Spirit as their chosen patron and pope.
At the first Council in Jerusalem, the Apostles had written these famous words:

It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us. (Acts.15, 28)

It is obvious that the Apostles put the Holy Spirit before and over them. Before this and each of their meetings, they used to pray and invoke Him. Have not the leaders of the Church done the same thing until nowadays? Every time they meet, first of all, they remember of their infallible pope-the Holy Spirit. They invoke Him with fear before all their work and obey to Him without any condition. Not only the leaders of the Church but also the leaders of the Orthodox states, the ministries and the members of the Parliament first used to invoke the Holy Spirit and than began their work as civil authorities. Similarly, also did and do the school leaders.

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You know that, at the beginning of their school work, they go to church with their students for invoking the Holy Spirit… All Benefactor, Almighty and All Wise handles, invigorates and inspires all of them: the Church, the State and those who work into the educational system. And He governs all people in all deeds, not brutally like the earthly dictators but like a father, with wisdom and love. He is our father through the Baptism we received.

And you know that the Greek word “papa” means father. Indeed it means, ethically and historically felt, that the Holy Spirit is our father, our pope. Then, what should it be necessary for the Orthodox Church to have another father or pope? Isn’t Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself who has advertised us to avoid the earthly fathers, the stepfathers? He, nineteenth centuries ago, ordered us:

And do not call anyone on earth ‘father’ (being read: pope), for you have one Father and He is in Heaven. (Mt. 23:9)

I wish you health and the peace of God.



Extracted from the Saint’s book: “Missionary Letters”

About Fr. John A. Peck

Director of the Preachers Institute, priest in the Orthodox Church in America, award-winning graphic designer and media consultant, and non-profit administrator.
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