Stéphanos I Sidarouss, CM (February 22, 1904—August 23, 1987) was a Cardinal and leader of the Coptic Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic sui juris particular church of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Patriarch of Alexandria from 1958 to 1986, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1965.


Stéphanos I Sidarouss was born in Cairo, and later entered the Congregation of the Mission, more commonly known as the Lazarists. He was educated at houses of studies belonging to his religious order in France, where he was ordained to the priesthood on July 22, 1939, in Dax. Sidarouss then taught at the seminary of Évreux and at the scholasticates of Dax and Montmagny until 1946. From 1946 to 1947, he was director of the Ecclesiastical Institute of Catholic Copts in Tantah, Egypt.

On August 9, 1947, Sidarouss was elected Auxiliary Bishop of the Eparchy of Alexandria and Titular Bishop of Sais. He received his episcopal consecration on January 25, 1948 from Patriarch Marco II Khouzam, with Bishops Alexandros Scandar and Pierre Dib serving as co-consecrators. Sidarouss was later elected Patriarch of Alexandria, and thus primate of the Coptic Catholic Church, on May 10, 1958, and attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965.

Pope Paul VI created him a Cardinal Bishop in the consistory of February 22, 1965, which happened to be his sixty-first birthday. As with all members of the Eastern hierarchy, Sidarouss did not assume a titular church of Rome upon his elevation to the College of Cardinals. He expressed his opinion that the Latin Rite would be unwise to ordain non-celibate men, believing married priests may become too absorbed with family matters, at the Synod of Bishops in 1971[1].

The Patriarch was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the conclaves of August and October 1978, which selected Popes John Paul I and John Paul II respectively. He lost the right to participate in any future conclaves upon reaching the age of eighty on February 22, 1984, and resigned the patriarchate on May 24, 1986, after twenty-eight years of service.

Cardinal Sidarouss later died in his native Cairo, at age 83.


  1. TIME Magazine. Strengthening Paul's Hand October 18, 1971

External links

Preceded by
Marco II Khouzam
Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria
Succeeded by
Stéphanos II Ghattas, CM

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