Don Rutherford I in his titular Church
of Santa Maria Antiqua in Rome as Cardinal Deacon.

H.I.R.H. Count Don Rutherford Cardinal Johnson, Count of Sainte Animie serves as Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarch, Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church. As successor to Pope Leo X, he is the senior ecclesiastical dynast of the Patriarchal States, the titular patrimony of the See of St. Stephen comprising the historic regions of Etruria (Tuscany), Trier, Mainz, and Würzburg in the ancient Holy Roman Empire. The church he shepherds is a non-parochial Imperial Old Roman Catholic personal patriarchate with Anglican patrimony focused on its mandate of mission, service, and charity.

The Cardinal's service in the church began as a child in the choir and as an altar server. In the ordained ministry, his work centres on the mission-based purpose of the Patriarchate. In 2011, Don Rutherford was elected Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarch by the Patriarchal Electors. By virtue of that office he holds the honorific titles of Cardinal Deacon in camera persona of Santa Maria Antiqua, Archprince-Bishop of St. Stephen, titular Archbishop i.p.i of Leopontopolis, titular Elector of Würzburg in the Holy Roman Empire, 3rd Cardinal Prince of Florence in succession from Pope Leo X and Ferdinando I de' Medici, and 108th Imperial Vice-King of Italy in the Holy Roman Empire in succession from Countess Matilda, Margravine of Tuscany. As an administrator, the Cardinal works to enable and support the vocations of those who are called to the Patriarchate's unique ministry. In dedication to maintaining quality, he is diligently involved in the pastoral, theological, canonical, and liturgical training of the Patriarchate's clergy. He has also spearheaded efforts to maintain traditional liturgy in a sustainable fashion so that it may continue to enrich future generations.

The Cardinal also represents the Patriarchate through diplomatic efforts with governments, ecclesiastical jurisdictions, and other organizations. Given the unique mission-oriented nature of the Stephenian Patriarchate, Don Rutherford remains highly involved with its various outreach ministries and its own and affiliated charitable organizations.

Like any priest, the Cardinal's primary and most important function is the celebration of the Holy Mass. He administers the sacraments of the Church and also continues to make hospital visits and engage in pastoral counseling as needed.

Above: The Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican, with the Chair of St. Peter in Rome visible.
The Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarchate is successor to Pope Leo X.

Ministry Pages:

Left: Conferral of First Tonsure to a new cleric. Right: Imparting the Apostolic Blessing.

Celebrating the Holy Mass.

Meeting with the Prefect-General of the Imperial Patriarchate.

Authored Works


Humanitarian Service



Religious Ministry



Walsingham Guard

Global Economics

Global Ecclesial Charities


Official Website of Don Rutherford Cardinal Johnson, Count of Sainte Animie,
Prc. of Florence, Archprc. of St. Stephen, Anglo-Italian Imperial Patriarch

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The Anglo-Italian Imperial Religious and Military Patriarchate in memory of St. Stephen, Old Holy Roman Church of the English Rite, is an ancient, autonomous, semi-autocephalous Imperial Old Roman Catholic Patriarchate with Anglican patrimony descended from the Roman Catholic See of Utrecht. The See of Utrecht has remained independent since 1145, when the Holy See in Rome granted autonomy. Modernly known as the Anglican Rite Roman Catholic Church (ARRCC), the Imperial Patriarchate is faithful to the magisterium of eternal Rome and the eternal One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman Church. Although administratively independent, the See embraces as brethren other Catholic and Anglican bodies, such as the current Roman Communion (commonly referred to as the Roman Catholic Church), the Anglican Ordinariate, and the Anglican Communion.