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    » 12/05/2012, 00.00

    SYRIA

    Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius IV Hazim dies



    He had been in poor health for months. In the past year, he had fought with fellow Christians and Muslims to end the civil war. The patriarch was famous in Lebanon and Syria for his pastoral work among young Orthodox.

    Damascus (AsiaNews) - His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV (Hazim), primate of the Greek-Orthodox of Antioch and All the East, has died. He was 91 and had been ailing for some time. In recent months, he had made several appeals for peace in syria, devastated by civil war between Bashar al-Assad's army and the rebel Free Syrian Army.

    Local sources remember his ceaseless work to stop the slaughter, along with Catholic prelates and Muslim leaders. In one of his appeal, he said, "A countless number of Arab Muslims and Christians, men, women and children, fall victims of bombs every day. Hospitals are full of injured people." As Arabs of Syria, "regardless of our religion, we have the right to live in peace in our country. [. . .] We invite all Syrians in the name of the one true God, to decide to live together in our blessed home. We hope that all international organizations help us to ensure peace, stability and reconciliation."

    The patriarch was born in 1920 in the village of Muharda, near the city of Hama, Syria. In 1936, he moved to Beirut, where he became an altar server in a local parish.

    In 1945 he graduated from the American University of Beirut, and from 1949 to 1953 studied at the Saint Sergius Theological Institute in Paris.

    On his return to Lebanon, he was ordained hieromonk. In 1942, he became one of the founders of the influential Orthodox Youth Movement in Lebanon and Syria, which has done much to renew youthful participation in Church life.

    After returning from France in 1953, His Beatitude became one of the organisers of Syndesmos, the worldwide Brotherhood of Orthodox Youth. In 1961, he was ordained bishop of Palmyra and patriarchal vicar.

    In 1970, the future patriarch was appointed metropolitan of Latakia (Laodicea). Nine years later, On 8 July 1979, he was elected primate of the Church of Antioch.

    During his life, Ignatius IV published many books and articles on theology. For this, he was made an honorary doctor by the Sorbonne and the University of Minsk (Belarus).

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    See also

    03/05/2005 SYRIA
    Stronger ties with the Catholic Church, says Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim
    During Easter Mass in Damascus, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch urged the faithful to renew their faith in the future and expressed a desire for a single calendar for all Christians.

    11/07/2005 SYRIA - LEBANON
    Re-establish normal Syro-Lebanese relations, says the Patriarch of Antioch
    Ignatius IV Hazim, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, in his visit to Lebanon, has invited young people "to work together in every which way for Lebanon's renaissance and help preserve a Christian presence, its witness and mission" in the country.

    24/03/2014 VATICAN - SYRIA - INDIA
    Pope: with Patriarch Zakka's death, the Christian world has lost one of its leaders, a man of dialogue and peace
    In his message, Francis remembers the patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East who just passed away. An "observer" at the Second Vatican Council, the patriarch helped boost ties among Christians, in particular with the Catholic Church. He also had a strong relationship with India. In Kerala, the Syriac Orthodox Church has declared 40 days of mourning.

    25/07/2006 LEBANON
    Time to lay the groundwork for an enduring pace in the Mideast, says Rice
    On the eve of the Rome conference, calls for a ceasefire and appeals for help to the population multiply; so do demands for long-lasting solutions to the region's historic divisions. Lebanese PM Siniora is set to visit the Vatican. Patriarch Hazim calls on Syrians to welcome their Lebanese brothers.

    17/01/2013 VATICAN - SYRIA
    For Syriac Catholic patriarch of Antioch, US, EU and Gulf states stir hatred in Syria
    For Ignatius Joseph III Younan, a Christian presence in Syria is essential for confessional reconciliation between Alawis and Sunnis. Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for Aleppo university blast that killed 87. The violence of Muslim extremists and government forces could wipe out Syria forever. Patriarch calls on young Christians to stay in the Middle East to be witnesses of peace.



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