Organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations since 2019

The foundation of the Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark

Papa Rutherford I (Johnson), PhD, ALM
Foundation President and CEO

Papa Rutherford Johnson is the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicos and shepherds the Apostolic See of Sts. Stephen and Mark.  He is an accomplished leader, educator, and clergyman with more than a quarter-century of international diplomatic and executive experience. He focuses on empowering others to build transformational collaborations while improving the quality of lives. As a seasoned chief executive and compassionate clergyman, he is noted for his positive, metric-driven, people-centered approach that leads teams to exceed expectations, and for his unique personal ability to build donor relationships.  For example, he regularly builds, mentors, and leads teams that provide invited expert policy advice to the United Nations General Assembly and Economic and Social Council regarding some of the most pressing humanitarian, economic, sustainability, and social issues the world faces today.  He also served as an Observer at a G20 Summit. 

His diverse training and education includes a PhD from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, a Master of Liberal Arts degree in the field of sustainability from the Harvard University Extension School, Graduate Certificates in Corporate Sustainability & Innovation, Social Justice, and Business Communications also from the Harvard Extension School, a Certificate in Sustainable Business Strategy from the Harvard Business School Online, and a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degree in economics and physics respectiely from the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as an STD and JCD from Pontifical Georgian College, the principal seminary of the Imperial Roman Church. In 2018, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. In 2022, Papa Rutherford received international recognition for his university teaching work as a regional recipient of the Teaching Excellence Award from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

For more information, please see the complete biography.
For information on speaking engagements, please see this page.



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The Stato Pontificio Imperiale di Rome-Rutenia constitutes an ecclesiastical sovereignty by right of Rome as heir to the Roman Empire with an independent government in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (as the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church). Additionally, the church is of the Pontifical Orthodox Old Catholic faith and descends from the See of Utrecht, which was granted autonomy in 1145 by Pope Eugene III and confirmed in 1520 by Pope St. Leo X in the Bull Debitum Pastoralis. As the sole successor of Pope St. Leo X and temporal successor of St. Peter the Apostle, the Catholicate and Patriarchate are fully Catholic and holds the same canonical authority as the Roman Communion (Vatican). The Catholicate and Patriarchate are the ecclesiastical successor to temporal Rome, the temporal patrimony of the Roman Empire claimed historically by right of the papacy. The succession passed to the Catholicate after Benedict XVI by right of Rome and Florence, with the Papa-Catholicos of Rome-Ruthenia with papal authority as temporal successor of St. Peter, and the Pope-Bishop of Rome as spiritual successor of St. Peter and de facto sovereign of the Vatican City-State. Although administratively independent, the Apostolic See embraces as brethren other Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican bodies, such as the current Roman Communion (commonly referred to as the Roman Catholic Church), the Anglican Ordinariate, Eastern Orthodox Churches, and the Anglican Communion. The Imperial Roman Church is defined as the Gallo-Russo-Byzantine Catholicate, the Anglican Patriarchate of Rome, and the churches of all Bishops recognised by the Catholicate. The governments of the modern republics of Italy, German, France, Switzerland, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and the United States, and of the modern kingdoms of Great Britain and Spain, as well as the European Union and all other civil states, are not affiliated with the Stato Pontificio government in exile.

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