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Pope names Syrian Patriarch to key Vatican post
    Pope John Paul II on Saturday named an Eastern rite patriarch to head a major Vatican office, a post previously held by cardinals of the Latin rite.
    He appointed Patriarch Ignace Moussa I Daoud of Antioch of the Syrians, as prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Patriarch Ignace, who will probably be created a cardinal at the next consistory, is replacing Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, 77, who resigned for reasons of age.
    Patriarch Ignace Moussa I Daoud, 70, born in Syria, finished his canon law studies in Rome at the Pontifical Lateran University. He was named bishop of the See of Cairo of the Syrians in 1977. In 1994 he was promoted to the Archeparchy of Homs-Hama of the Syrians. Four years later, in 1998, the Catholic-Syrian Sacred Synod of Antioch elected him patriarch.
    This Vatican congregation has the task of being a unifying link with the Eastern Catholic Churches to foster their growth, safeguard their rights, and maintain the Eastern Christian tradition alive and whole in the Catholic Church, along with the liturgical and spiritual patrimony of the Latin Church.