Born John Wilho Rinne, Elder John was born in Turku, Finland on [[August 16]], 1923. He pursued his theological education in Finland, New York, England, Greece, and the Soviet Union. He received a doctorate in theology from the Abo Akademi University in Finland in 1966 followed by studies in [[canon law]] from Aristotle University of Thessalonica in 1971. After graduation he taught theology at a number of high schools and universities in Finland.
In 1967, he was [[tonsure]]d a [[monk]] at the [[Monastery of St. John the Theologian (Patmos, Greece)|Monastery of St. John the Theologian]] on the Island of Patmos. Subsequently, he was [[ordination|ordained]] a [[deacon]] and then [[priest]] at the patriarchate in Istanbul. On [[May 26]], 1969, Fr. John was [[consecration of a bishop|consecrated]] Bishop of Lapland, an [[auxiliary bishop]] of the Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland. In October 1987, Bp. John was elected Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland, a position he held until he voluntarily resigned in 2001.