On the Infallible Pope of Orthodoxy

St. Nikolai Velimirovich 1880-1956

Orthodoxy does have its own Pope, older than all the popes and patriarchs in the world. It had Him from the beginning and it will have him to the end of time. That is the same Pope whom all the Apostles of Christ called upon. The Holy Spirit. The Spirit of wisdom and reason, the Spirit of comfort and the power of God — He is the true Pope of Christ’s Church always and forever and without a substitution or replacement, without dispute or choice, without a predecessor and successor. And that the Apostles recognized the Holy Spirit as their highest leader and pope is attested by a document written by their own hands at the First Apostolic Council in Jerusalem, which says these important words: For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us (Acts 15:28). It is apparent that the Apostles placed the Holy Spirit before and above themselves. Before this and every meeting they prayed to Him, called upon Him, submitted themselves completely to Him. Do not all the elders of the Orthodox Church do this to this day?

Whenever the councils meet they first remember their infallible Pope: the Holy Spirit. They call upon Him with fear and trembling before beginning any work and they comletely submit themselves to Him. This is not only done by the Church elders but also by government officials in Orthodox countries, ministers and senators, who would always first call the Holy Spirit and would then begin their work in the counsels or senates. The schools elders have also always done the same. Do you know that at the beginning of the school day they call uon the Holy Spirit together with their students? And the All-Good, All-Powerful and All-Wise Holy Spirit guides everything, strengthens everthing, inspires everything: the Church, the state and the education system. And He governs everyone in everything, but not through force like earthly dictators but rather like a father, with wisdom and love. He is our father through the baptism we were baptized with. And you know that the Greek word “pope” means “father”. So, by the true, historical and moral meaning the Holy Spirit is our father, our Pope. Then why would the Orthodox Church need another father or pope? Did the Lord Christ not warn us to be wary of earthly popes and fathers? He commanded nineteen centuries ago: And call no man your father (pope) upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (Mat. 23:9)

Peace and health from God to you. (Missionary Letters of Saint Nikolai Velimirovich: Part 1. Letter 48)