The Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East, His Holiness Khanania Dinkha IV, died yesterday, reported the Assyrian International News Agency.
At 10:04 a.m. at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, the 111th patriarch of the Church of the East passed away from a virus infection and pneumonia.
Until a new patriarch is elected, the Bishop of India, Mar Aprim Mooken, will serve as acting patriarch.
The Church leader was consecrated as Patriarch on October 17, 1976. Having served 39 years at his post, his tenure was the tenth longest in Church history.
Born in Iraq on Sept. 15, 1935, he would be ordained a priest on July 15, 1957 and appointed to the ministry in Urmia, Iran.
On February 11, 1962, he was consecrated as bishop, and, after Patriarch Eshai Shimun was assassinated in 1976, he became patriarch.
Patriarch Dinkha IV is credited with rebuilding the church, which had neared the brink of destruction after the assassination of his predecessor.
He is also recognized for having translated portions of the liturgy from classical Assyrian Syriac to modern Assyrian and for having brought stability and peace to a church in turmoil.
Because of political instability in Iraq, the patriarch moved the Holy See of the Church of the East to a suburb of Chicago called Morton Grove.