His Eminence, Metropolitan John of Nicaea, Former Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland

His Eminence, Metropolitan John of Nicaea, retired former Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland, fell asleep in the Lord here on July 1, 2010.

A convert to Orthodox Christianity, Metropolitan John served as the Primate of the Autonomous Finnish Church from 1987 until his voluntary resignation in 2001, at which time he was named Metropolitan of Nicaea, a titular See of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Born John Wilho Rinne in Turku, Finland on August 16, 1923, he received a doctorate in theology from Finland’s Abo Akademi University in 1966. He completed studies in canon law at the University of Thessaloniki in 1971. He received monastic tonsure at the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian on the Island of Patmos in 1967. Following his ordination to the diaconate and priesthood at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, he was consecrated Bishop of Lapland, Auxiliary to the Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland, in 1969, a position he held until 1987.

Metropolitan John’s ministry was unique. Multilingual, he was a theologian, translator, author, and internationally renowned expert in canon law. He also participated in various ecumenical endeavors. He received numerous Church and civil awards. While his views were often criticized, he will be remembered by the Finnish faithful as “a caring and respected shepherd,” according to the web site of the Orthodox Church in Finland at www.ort.fi.

May Metropolitan John’s memory be eternal!