Ignatius Gabriel I Tappouni

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His Beatitude
Mar Ignatius Gabriel I Tappouni
Cardinal Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians
Ignatius Gabriel I Tappouni.gif
Church Syriac Catholic Church
See Antioch
Installed July 15, 1929
Term ended January 29, 1968
Predecessor Ignatius Ephrem II Rahmani
Successor Ignatius Antony II Hayyek
Ordination Nov 3, 1902 (Priest)
Consecration Jan 19, 1913 (Bishop)
by Ephrem II Rahmani
Created Cardinal December 16, 1935
by Pope Pius XI
Rank Cardinal-Priest (1935-1965);
Cardinal-Bishop Patriarch (1965-1968)
Personal details
Birth name Abdul-Ahad Dawood Tappouni
Born November 3, 1879
Mosul, Iraq
Died January 29, 1968(1968-01-29) (aged 88)
Beirut, Lebanon

Mar Ignatius Gabriel I Tappouni (Arabic: جبرائيل تبّوني, French: Ignace-Gabriel I Tappouni) (November 3, 1879 – January 29, 1968) was a leading prelate of the Syriac Catholic Church. He served as Patriarch of Antioch from 1929 to 1968, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1935.


Born Abdul-Ahad Dawood Tappouni, Baptized as Leo Gabriel, Tappouni was born in Mosul (in modern Iraq) and there studied at the Syro-Chaldean Dominican Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood on November 3, 1902, taking the name Dominic. After teaching at the same seminary until 1908, Tappouni was then made Secretary of the Apostolic Delegation to Mesopotamia.

On September 12, 1912, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Danaba and the Chaldean Apostolic Vicar of Mardin. Tappouni was reassigned to Titular Bishop of Batnae dei Siri on January 19, 1913, which was the same date he received his episcopal consecration from Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem II Rahmani. At his consecration he took the name Theophile Gabriel. During World War I, he was imprisoned by the Ottoman Turks in Aleppo during an Ottoman campaign to slaughter Christians. Many people attempted to interfere and negotiate for Tappouni's release, including Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria.

After his release, he was named Archbishop of Aleppo by Patriarch Rahmani on February 24, 1921. On 24 June of the same year, Tappouni was unanimously chosen by the Syrian Synod to replace the late Rahmani as Patriarch of Antioch and thus leader of the Syriac Catholic Church. Pope Pius XI confirmed his election on the following July 15, and created him Cardinal Priest of Ss. XII Apostoli by Pope Pius XI in the consistory of December 16, 1935. Tappouni, who took the name Ignatius Gabriel, was the first Eastern Rite prelate to be raised to the College of Cardinals since the reign of Pope Leo XIII.[a]

Tappouni was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 1939 papal conclave, which selected Pope Pius XII, and again voted in the 1958 conclave, which selected Pope John XXIII. From 1962 to 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council, and sat on its Board of Presidency. After serving as a cardinal elector in the 1963 conclave, Tappouni resigned his cardinalitial title (Ss. XII Apostoli) on February 11, 1965,[1] and was raised to the rank of cardinal bishop. Cardinal Tappouni's resignation was made pursuant to Pope Paul VI's motu propio Ad Purpuratorum Patrum issued on February 11, 1965 which decreed that Eastern Patriarchs who are elevated to the College of Cardinals would be made cardinal bishops, ranked after the suburbicarian cardinal-bishops, but not part of the Roman clergy and would not be assigned any Roman church or deaconry, their patriarchal see instead becoming their cardinalitial see.[2][3]

He died in Beirut at age 88, and is buried at the Syriac Catholic cathedral there.

Theologically conservative, Tappouni urged Cardinal Giuseppe Siri to put forward his candidacy at the conclave of 1963.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Prior to Patriarch Tappouni, the last Eastern Catholic prelate to be elevated to the College of Cardinals was Sylvester Sembratovych, archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church who was made Cardinal-Priest of Santo Stefano al Monte Celio by Pope Leo XIII on November 29, 1895.


  1. ^ "Ignace Gabriel I Cardinal Tappouni". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  2. ^ "Tappouni, Ignace Gabriel I". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 
  3. ^ "Ad Purpuratorum Patrum". The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 2013-05-27. 


  • The Journal of The Syriac Catholic Parish of Aleppo.
  • Pham, John-Peter. "Heirs of the Fisherman: Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession". Oxford University Press, 2007.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Pietro La Fontaine
Cardinal-Priest of Ss. XX Apostoli
Succeeded by
Francesco Roberti
Preceded by
Ignatius Ephrem II Rahmani
Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrian Catholic Church
Succeeded by
Ignatius Antony II Hayyek