His Holiness Bishop Rutherford I Ralphovich of Rome-Ruthenia is the Papa-Catholicos of the Catholicate of Rome-Ruthenia and Supreme Pontiff of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. He is an accomplished leader, educator, and clergyman with more than a quarter-century of international diplomatic and executive experience. Bishop Rutherford focuses on empowering others to build transformational collaborations while improving the quality of lives. By his office, the Bishop is the ceremonial head of the Pontifical Walsingham Guard. He is 266th in succession from St. Peter the Apostle as Prince of the Romans, 74th Grand Duke of Ruthenia, 142nd in Gallican-Antioch succession from St. Peter, 169th in Greco-Russian succession from St. Andrew the First-Called, 145th in Armenian succession from Saints Thaddeus and Bartholomew, and 116th in Syrian-Antioch succession from St. Thomas the Apostle. Although he neither controls nor seeks to control political territory, the Church he leads is a sovereign state unto itself.


Bishop Rutherford I as a child in the courtyard of
the Church of the Annunciation in Nazarath.


Bishop Rutherford visits the Holy City of Jerusalem as a youth in
the 1980s to walk in the footsteps of Christ.


The Rock of Calvary, where Christ was crucified,
when visited by Bishop Rutherford  in the 1980s.


At the Armenian altar in the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem.

  As a seasoned chief executive and compassionate clergyman, His Holiness 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.


  Throughout his service to others, Bishop Rutherford continues to prioritize authentic diversity, equity, and inclusion, fostering a sense of belonging for everyone. Characteristically versatile, he is experienced in government, diplomatic, and academic settings, turning challenges into opportunities.


  Bishop Rutherford’s approach adapts to the circumstances and needs of the organization and others to achieve maximum team effectiveness and optimal benefit to stakeholders. His leadership has brought several organizations to global prominence. As an educator, he works to bring the best out of his students, preparing them for success beyond the classroom.


The United Roman-Ruthenian Church serves people around the world,
regardless of race, nationality, or religious affiliation.

   Bishop Rutherford is also a behavioural scientist, specialising in behavioural and psychological economics. His diverse training and education includes degrees from Harvard University Extension School, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, as well as from Pontifical Georgian College, the principal seminary of the United Roman-Ruthenian Church. Having lived and worked around the world, he maintains a global outlook and a human focus.

  A popular international speaker, consultant, and author, His Holiness’s academic research interests include environmental and social sustainability, behavioral economics, and the economics of culture and religion. Bishop Rutherford is a retired high-altitude alpine mountaineer and is a qualified mariner with additional certifications in navigation and maritime search and rescue. H.H. is married to Hanna Alexandrovna.   


Bishop Rutherford, then as a younger layman, with the Right Reverend Bishop James Pollard Clark,
who started him in priestly formation. Bishop Clark was a graduate of Yale University
and the University of the South. His diverse international group of friends and acquaintances
included Franz, Duke of Bavaria, Empress Zita of Austria-Hungary, and
Archduke Otto, Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary.


Some principal Apostolic predecessors of Bishop Rutherford.
Top L-R: Archbishop Aftimios (Russian Orthodox), Mar Julius (Syrian-Malankara Orthodox),
Patriarch Mar Ignatius Peter III of Antioch, Metropolitan Alexander I (African Orthodox Church)
Centre L-R: Bishop Edwin Caudill (Anglican Diocese of the Southwest),
Mar Athanasius (Greek Melkite Catholic Church), Archbishop Carfora (Old Roman Catholic Church),
Cardinal Barberini (Roman Catholic Church).
Bottom L-R: Patriarch Sergei of Moscow (Russian Orthodox),
Metropolitan Makariy of Moscow (Russian Orthodox), Mar Antonius Joseph I (Melkite Catholic),
Cardinal Cardinal Arcoverde de   Albuquerque-Calvacanti,
Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Roman Catholic Church).

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Bishop Rutherford I and Hanna Alexandrovna


Equestrian, High-altitude mountaineering, and Sailing


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