Kaarlo Kalliala

Kaarlo Lauri Juhani Kalliala (born 3 November 1952 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish theologian and the Bishop of the Turku Archdiocese.

The Right Reverend

Kaarlo Kalliala
Bishop of Turku
ChurchEvangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
Elected28 October 2010
PredecessorKari Mäkinen
Consecration6 January 2011
by Kari Mäkinen
Personal details
Born (1952-11-03) 3 November 1952
Helsinki, Finland
Alma materUniversity of Helsinki


Kalliala has studied theology at the Helsinki University and received a Master's degree in 1977. His thesis in dogmatics focused on Karl Rahner's theology of sacramental reality. Kalliala continued his graduate studies in Rahner's thought while serving as an Assistant in Dogmatic Theology at the Helsinki University in 1979–1982. Kalliala earned a Licentiate in theology from the University of Helsinki in 1982.[1]

Ordained ministry

After having received his Master's degree, Kalliala was ordained priest in Vaasa in 1977. He was appointed a parish priest in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in the parishes of Alahärmä and Kaskinen in 1977–1978. Kalliala served as the Finnish Port Chaplain in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 1983–1989. He returned to Finland in 1989 and served as the Director of Diaconia at the Turku and Kaarina Parish Union in 1989–1998. This period was marked by a severe economic depression in Finland that caused grave societal challenges. These pressures were particularly met in the field of diaconia (a Greek word meaning Christian social practice and the call to serve the poor and oppressed) and Christian social responsibility. After his tenure as the Director of Diaconia Kalliala was appointed the Dean of the Archdiocesan Chapter in 1998–2010.[1]

Bishop of the Turku Archdiocese

Kalliala was elected as the Bishop of the Turku Archdiocese on 28 October 2010, and consecrated and installed in the Turku Cathedral on Epiphany, 6 January 2011.[1][2][3]

Since 1998, there have been two diocesan bishops in the Turku Archdiocese: the Bishop of Turku Archdiocese and the Archbishop of Turku and Finland. Neither of the two is a suffragan as there are no suffragan bishops in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Episcopal oversight of the Archdiocese is shared between the Bishop and the Archbishop. According to the decision of the ELCF General Synod, the area of the primary oversight of the Bishop of Turku Archdiocese consists of 42 parishes, whereas the Archbishop's primary diocesan oversight covers the deanery of Turku which consists of 9 parishes. Moreover, the Bishop of Turku Archdiocese is in charge of the day-to-day running of the Diocesan Chapter.[1]

As a Bishop, Kalliala has a particular interest in interreligious dialogue and in diaconia. He is the chairperson of the consultative committee of the diaconia and served as the chair of the ELCF committee on developing diaconia and pastoral care in 2012-2016. Kalliala is a member of the European Council of Religious Leaders, ECRL, and is the chair of Committee for Interfaith Relations. In addition to his other related positions, Kalliala is past chair (2017–19) and past vice chair (2013–17) of the board of the National Council of Religions in Finland, CORE, whose aim is to advance the harmony of the religions in Finland.[1]

Bishop Kalliala is interested in the theology of spirituality, mysticism and communication.[4] Kalliala was a long time editor-in-chief for the Turku Archdiocese periodical "Tuore oliivipuun lehti" ('Fresh olive leaf' following a translation from the Latin Medieval hymn to St Henry of Finland, "Ramus virens olivarum"). Kalliala is active in social media and a frequent columnist in Turun Sanomat, Maaseudun tulevaisuus and other newspapers.[5][6][7]

Personal life

Kalliala is married to the Revd Provost Eija Kalliala (Ilkka), and they have two adult children.[8]


  1. "Piispa - Turun arkkihiippakunta". piispakaarlokalliala.fi/. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  2. "Kaarlo Kalliala valittiin Turun piispaksi". Yle.fi. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  3. "Kuvat.ts.fi - TS Galleria - Kaarlo Kalliala vihittiin Turun piispan virkaan - Piispan viran tunnukset". Kuvat.ts.fi. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  4. "Mystiikka ja kokemuksellisuus kiehtovat nykypäivän kristittyä". Valomerkki.fi. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  5. "Vihapuhe ja vuorovaikutus". Ts.fi. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 22, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Monikulttuuristunut yhteiskunta vaatii uskontojen ymmärtämistä". Hs.fi. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  8. "Kaarlo Kalliala valittiin Turun piispaksi - Evl.fi - Suomen ev.lut. kirkko". Evl.fi. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
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