Members of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders
Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev, Russia
Archbishop Alfeyev is the Chairman of the Inter-Christian Affairs of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate. He is the author of 250 publications including 30 books in six languages. He holds a doctoral degree in philosophy from Oxford and a doctorate in theology from St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. Archbishop Alfeyev is an accomplished musician, whose religious oratorios have been performed in Rome, Moscow and other venues. He is the former Bishop of Vienna and Austria, and was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop in April 2009. In 2010, he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Turkey
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is the 270th successor to the Apostle Andrew and spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. Since ascending the Ecumenical Throne on November 2nd, 1991, he has tirelessly pursued the vision of his enthronement message – spiritual revival, Orthodox unity, Christian reconciliation, interfaith tolerance and coexistence, protection of the environment and a world united in peace, justice, solidarity and love. His Holiness is represented on the Steering Commitee of Elijah Institute through Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias.
Prior Isabelle Flye-Saintmarie, Israel
Sr. Isabelle Flye Sainte Marie is prioress of the monastic family of Bethlehem, the Assumption of the Virgin and St. Bruno. The monastic family consists of 28 houses in 14 countries. The characteristic of this monastic family consists of a liturgical life, silence, solitude and fraternal communion in deep listening to the gospel.
The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Former Presiding Bishop, USA
Frank Griswold was elected to a nine-year term as Presiding Bishop at the 1997 General Convention and invested in January 1998. He serves as Primate and chief pastor of the Episcopal Church, president of the House of Bishops, president and chief executive officer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, and president or chair of numerous Episcopal Church boards and agencies.
Katharine Henderson, USA
The Rev. Dr. Katharine Rhodes Henderson is President of Auburn Seminary, New York, a thinkact tank that combines research, education, media and movement building. Author of God’s Troublemakers: How Women of Faith are Changing the World (Continuum, 2006), Henderson has pioneered programs for excellence in religious and progressive moral leadership in the public square. She is a bridge-builder between the Christian, Jewish and Muslim world and is particularly involved in debates around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She has spearheaded innovative educational programs including gathering young leaders from war-torn countries to practice conflict resolution and multifaith understanding (Face to Face/Faith to Faith). Henderson is a regular contributor to The Washington Post’s “On Faith” forum and has appeared in outlets including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Crain’s New York Business and NPR’s On the Media.
Dimitra Koukoura, Greece
Professor Dimitra Koukoura was appointed lecturer on Homiletics and Communication at “Aristotle” University of Thessaloniki in 1993 and was the first and only woman in the Department of Theology. She currently teaches Homiletics and Church Communication, Rhetorics, Introduction to Theology and Women’s Issues. She has published seven books and numerous articles in multiple languages. She has been involved in the ecumenical movement for the 25 last years, attending the three last WCC Assemblies, representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate and she is a member of the Faith and Order Plenary Commission and F&O Standing Commission and member of the Commission Churches in Dialogue – CEC (2004-2009). She represents the WCC on the steering committee of Global Christian Forum. She is fluent in English, French and Italian and understands Spanish and Russian.
Bishop Lennart Koskinen, Sweden
Lennart K. Koskinen is Bishop of Visby and the Church of Sweden overseas. A student of eastern and western philosophy, Sanskrit and Greek, he received his PhD in theology in 1980, and has served as lecturer in philosophy of religion. He has served as Dean of the Cathedral of Stockholm and assistant to the Bishop of Stockholm, where he was responsible for social-ethical questions, contacts with civil society and international dialogue. He represented Archbishop K.G. Hammar at the First Meeting of the Board of World Religious Leaders.
His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias, USA
His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas (Lulias) of Dardanellia was the inaugural Metropolitan of Hong Kong and Southeast Asia and is now serving as Director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute. Metropolitan Nikitas Lulias is the permanent representative of Patriarch Bartholomew to the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders.
The Very Reverend June Osborne, England
June Osborne is the Dean of Salisbury and as such she is the most senior woman in the Church of England, the senior priest of the Salisbury Diocese and responsible for Salisbury Cathedral. She represents the Church of England on the Board of World Religious Leaders. Rev Osborne has previously worked in parishes in some of the poorest urban areas of London and Birmingham and spent many years in different roles in the Church of England’s General Synod. She currently takes a particular interest in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan where she has responsibility for training their deans. She is married to a barrister and has two children who both studied at Oxford University.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Austria
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn is an Austrian Cardinal of the Catholic Church and theologian. He currently serves as the Archbishop of Vienna and President of the Austrian Bishops Conference. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998. Cardinal Schonborn is active in dialogue with the Orthodox Churches and has a keen interest in Jewish-Christian relations. He is an original thinker and often expresses fresh views on important public issues.
Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, India
Telesphore Placidus Toppo is a Cardinal Priest and Archbishop of Ranchi in the Roman Catholic Church. He is the first Adivasi Indian to be created a Cardinal. Born the 8th of 10 children, Toppo studied at St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi and Theology at the Urbanianum, Rome. After a stint at Torpa, as Headmaster of St Joseph’s School and Director of the Lievens Vocational Center, Toppo was ordained bishop for the diocese of Dumka and soon tranferred to Ranchi as Archbishop. A polyglot, Toppo speaks Oraon, Hindi, Sadri, English, and Italian. Toppo was made Cardinal by Pope John Paul II on 21 October 2003. He is the current president of CBCI (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India).
Abbot Primate Notker Wolf OSB, Italy
Dr. Notker Wolf OSB served as the ninth Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation of the Order of Saint Benedict. He was elected to his position as Abbot Primate in 2000 and ended his final term in 2016. In November 2009 the Abbot Primate received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Saint Anselm College. He has written many books, with his latest (April 2012) concerning the issue of living an environmentally sustainable life for both a good future for the earth as well as for the individual in a spiritual/holistic fashion. He is also a musician who has performed both traditional Benedictine music and Christian rock since 1981, including at least 4 CDs. He plays electric guitar for the rock group Feedback.
Archbishop Boutrous Mouallem, Israel
His Excellency Archbishop Boutrous Mouallem (retired) was ordained as Metropolite of Sao Paulo and all of Brazil in 1990. He was appointed by Paul VI and later confirmed by John Paul II as the only Oriental Catholic member in the committee of the Catholic-Orthodox Theological dialogue. Archbishop Mouallem was active in many interfaith initiatives, including participating at the first International Christian-Jewish Conference in 1994. He was appointed Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galilee in 1998 and published over 40 books in Arabic and Portuguese.
Past Members of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders
Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia, Vatican (1923- 2014)
Jorge Maria Cardinal Mejia has served as Secretary of the College of Cardinals and Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church. He has taught Sacred Scripture, Biblical Greek, Hebrew and Archeology, as well as serving as the Director of the Catholic Journal Criterio for over 20 years. He received the red biretta and the deaconry of S. Girolama della Carita, in 2001. Cardinal Mejia heads the Vatican delegation to the dialogue with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, USA
Cardinal McCarrick is an eminent leader in the Catholic Church and a distinguished human rights advocate. He serves as Chairman of the Domestic Policy Committee for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and is a founding member of the Papal Foundation. In December 2000, he was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights by President George W. Bush. In February 2001, Archbishop McCarrick was elevated to the College of Cardinals. Cardinal McCarrick retired from the EBWRL in 2009.
Bishop Baerbel Wartenberg-Potter, Germany
Right Reverend Bishop Baerbel Wartenberg-Potter is the Bishop of Holstein-Luebeck, North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany. She has served as the Chairperson of the Joint Working Group of Christian Churches of Germany and the Director of the World Council of Churches’ project on Women in Church and Society. Bishop Wartenberg-Potter retired from her office in 2007.
Patriarch Mesrob II, Turkey
Patriarch Mesrob II was elected the 84th Armenian Patriarch of Istanbul & All Turkey in 1998. Before his enthronement he served as Patriarchal Locum Tenens and Chairman of the Patriarchal Synod. He has taught Ecunmenical Theology at St. Thomas Aquinas University in Rome and Old Testament Studies at the Armenian Theological Seminary in Jerusalem.
Additional Leaders Who have Participated in Elijah Events
Pope John Paul II
Karol Jozef Wojtya , known as John Paul II since his October 16, 1978 election to the papacy, was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Cracow Poland, on May 18, 1920. Since the start of his Pontificate, Pope John Paul II has completed 102 pastoral visits outside of Italy and 144 within Italy . His principal documents include 14 encyclicals, 15 apostolic exhortations , 11 apostolic constitutions and 43 apostolic letters. The Pope has also published three books : “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” (October 1994); “Gift and Mystery: On the 50th Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination” (November 1996) and “Roman Tryptych – Meditations”, a book of poems (March 2003).
Pope Benedikt XVI
Pope Benedict XVI was Pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013. He was elected pope on 19 April 2005, was inaugurated on 24 April 2005 and resigned on 28 February 2013.
In 2009, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land which had historical significance for Jews and Catholics. His message placed between the stones of the Western Wall read: “God of all the ages, on my visit to Jerusalem, the “City of Peace”, spiritual home to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, I bring before you the joys, the hopes and the aspirations, the trials, the suffering and the pain of all your people throughout the world. God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, hear the cry of the afflicted, the fearful, the bereft; send your peace upon this Holy Land, upon the Middle East, upon the entire human family; stir the hearts of all who call upon your name to walk humbly in the path of justice and compassion. “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.” (Lamentations 3:25)
Archbishop Aristarkos, Jerusalem
Secretary General of the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Patriarche of Jerusalem.
Bishop Gali Bali, India
Bishop Bali is the Bishop of Gundur, India. He holds a doctoral degree in Theology. Prior to his Episcopal ordination in 1984, Bishop Bali was a Professor of Sacred Scriptures in St. John’s Regional Seminary in Hyderbad. He is a published author on the Church’s place in India. The Bishop is presently the Chairman of the CBCI Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism. Bishop Bali represents Cardinal Toppo.
Archbishop Dr. Elias Chacour, Israel
Archbishop Dr. Elias Chacour served as Archbishop of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth and all Galilee of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. He is vice president of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, and the founder of the Mar Elias Educational Institutions in Northern Israel. Archbishop Chacour is the recipient of the prestigious World Methodist Peace Award and the Niwano Peace Prize.
Br. Thomas Josef Goetz, Germany
Br. Josef Thomas Josef Goetz OSB is the former Secretary of the German Commission of MID – Monastic Interrreligious Dialogue. He is member of the Board of the European-Network for Buddhist-Christian studies and of the Board of the Institute Occurso for the Dialogue of Religions. As a Benedictine monk, he has spent 30 years engaged in monastic interreligious dialogue. He studied mathematics, physics in Munich and Catholic Theology in France and has published in Buddhist-Christian Dialogue. He is a former co-Principal and is still a teacher and the Head of the Administration of the Archabbey of St.Ottillien. Br. Goetz represents Board member Abbot Notker.
Bishop Boulous Marcuzzo
Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo was born in San Polo di Piave, Italy. He studied philosophy and theology at the Major Patriarchal Seminary in Beit Jala. He was ordained a priest on June 22, 1969. He worked as a chaplain in Beit Jala in the West Bank, in Ramallah and in Malakal in southern Sudan, including as director of the minor seminary. Marcuzzo was also teacher at the Minor Seminary of the Latin Patriarchate in Beit Jala. 1977-1980 he studied Dogmatic theology at the Pontifical Lateran University and theology of spirituality at the Teresianum in Rome. After he obtained a doctorate, Marcuzzo became a lecturer and rector at the Major Seminary in Beit Jala and was on the faculty of Bethlehem University.
In 1993 Marcuzzo was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem as Titular bishop of Siminina. He was consecrated bishop on the hands of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah on 3 July 1993 in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. From 29 October 1994 he became titular bishop of Emmaus-Nicopolis. He resides in Nazareth as patriarchal vicar for Israel. Bishop Marcuzzo is fluent in Arabic, French, English, German and Hebrew.
Bishop Sahak Masalian, Turkey
His Eminence Bishop Sahak Mashalian was born in Istanbul in 1962, ordained as a priest in 1992 and as a bishop in 2008. He holds academic degrees of a Licence in Philosophy (Istanbul University), BD in Theology (Louvein University) and MA in Sprituality (Dublin Milltown Institute). He worked in Istanbul as a priest and itenary preacher, in Jerusalem as a monk, a religious teacher and a principal of the local Secondary School Tarkmanchats, and in Armenia as a lecturer and a dean of the Theological University of the Holy Etchmiadzin. Now He is the Director of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul and a lecturer in Armenian College Sahakian.
His Eminence Paul Cardinal Shan, Taiwan
His Eminence Paul Cardinal Shan, the Bishop of Kaohsiung since 1991, has been an active member in religious education and theological councils. He was ordained a priest in 1955 and has served as a religious educator and minister in the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. In 1998, Shan was appointed Cardinal by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Shan is also Chair of the Board of Trustees at Fu Jen Catholic University.
Bishop William Shomali
Most Rev. William H. Shomali – Auxiliary Bishop and Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine. Born May 15 , 1959 in Beit Sahour, Palestine; ordained Priest June 24, 1972; appointed Bishop March 29, 2010 and ordained on May 27, 2010 in Bethlehem.
Bishop Krister Stendahl
Prof. Bishop Krister Stendahl (21 April 1921 – 15 April 2008) was a Swedish theologian and New Testament scholar, and Church of Sweden Bishop of Stockholm. He also served as professor and professor emeritus at Harvard Divinity School.
Father MD Thomas, India
Father Thomas is the National Director of the Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue in the Catholic Bishop’s Conference in India. He has worked in the area of interreligious dialogue for the past 17 years, delivering lectures worldwide. Father Thomas also has a doctorate in Hindi literature. His book, entitled “Kabeer and Christian Thought”, was awarded by the Hindi Academy, Delhi. Fr. Thomas represents Cardinal Toppo at the present meeting.
Archbishop Fouad Twal, Jerusalem
Archbishop Twal is the Roman Catholic archbishop and Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. He was ordained a priest in 1966 and was appointed the vicar of Ramallah. In 1972 he entered the Pontifical Lateran University where he studied for a doctorate in canon law. He was appointed the prelate of the territorial prelature of Tunis in May 1992 and was consecrated to the episcopate later that year. In 1995 the territorial prelature was elevated to become the Diocese of Tunis, and he was made an archbishop ad personam. In 2005 he was named the coadjutor Archbishop of Jerusalem and in 2008 he became Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo, Spain
Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo O.F.M. has served as Archbishop of Seville since 1982 and has been an ordained priest since 1960. He presides over the Episcopal Commission of Missions and Cooperation between the Churches in the Spanish Episcopal Conference and was previously President of the Episcopal Commission of Superior Bishops. Cardinal Vallejo is a recipient of the Favorite Son of Andalusia Award.