Former Patriarch of Syrian Catholic Church dies in Rome

Syrian-born Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud, died in Rome at the age of 81 this past weekend. Cardinal Daoud was the retired head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Eastern Churches and the former patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church.

In a condolence message to the current Syriac Catholic patriarch, Pope Benedict called the Cardinal a “faithful pastor who devoted himself with faith and generosity to the service of the people of God.”

Cardinal Daoud was born in Meskene, Syria in 1930. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1954 and received a degree in Canon Law from Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University. He was elected Bishop of Cairo in 1977 and Archbishop of Homs in 1994. In 1998 he was elected patriarch of Antioch and served in that capacity until 2001 when Pope John Paul II named him head of the congregation for Eastern Churches.

Photo courtesy of CNS: Cardinal Daoud embraces John Paul II during the consistory ceremony of Feb. 21, 2001