Isidore de Souza

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Isidore de Souza (4 April 1934 – 13 March 1999) was a Beninese priest who was Archbishop of Cotonou from 1990 to 1999.

He was born into the aristocratic De Souza family of Ouidah on 4 April 1934. He went on to study in Abidjan and Rome.[1] He was ordained a priest on 8 July 1962. De Souza was appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Cotonou on 17 July 1981 and became Archbishop on 27 December 1990.[2] He led the National Conference in February 1990, which was convened to address economic issues but returned Benin to democracy. He was instrumental in preventing the army from disbanding it.[3] De Souza served as the chairman of the High Council of the Republic from March 1990 to April 1991, setting up the presidential election and a new constitution. He persuaded President Mathieu Kerekou to accept the decisions of the council and return Benin to civilian rule.[1] De Souza was the chairman of the Regional Episcopal Conference of Francophone West Africa from 1997 to his death.[4] He died on 13 March 1999 in Ouidah.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Houngnikpo & Decalo 2013, p. 139
  2. ^ Isidore de Souza Catholic Hierarchy
  3. ^ Houngnikpo & Decalo 2013, p. 109
  4. ^ Nouveau visage et nouveau nom pour le site de l'Eglise catholique en France (in French)


  • Houngnikpo, Mathurin; Decalo, Samuel (2013). Historical Dictionary of Benin. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0810871718.