.- Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud, the former patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church, died in Rome on April 7, the morning of Holy Saturday.
Pope Benedict XVI remembered the 81-year-old cardinal in prayer and praised him in a telegram to the current Syrian patriarch, Ignace Youssif II Younan.
“I wish to express to you my union in prayer with your Patriarchal Church, with the family of the deceased cardinal and with all those who are affected by this bereavement,” the Pope said.
The Pope prayed that God will welcome “this faithful pastor” into his joy and peace. He said the cardinal “dedicated himself with faith and generosity to the service of the People of God.”
In 2007, Cardinal Daoud retired as prefect emeritus of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Eastern Churches.
There are about 132,000 faithful in the Syrian Catholic Church, according to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. The largest populations of Syrian Catholics are in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.