Institute of Theology

Font Size


Born Edward Idris Cassidy on July 5, 1924, in Sydney, Australia, Cardinal Cassidy is currently the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

Prior to entering the priesthood, Cassidy spent three years working for the Ministry of Road Transport in New South Wales. In 1943, he entered St. Columba's Seminary, Springwood, and a year later was promoted to St. Patrick's College, Manly. He was ordained to the priesthood in St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, on July 23, 1949.

From 1950 to 1952, Cassidy served as assistant priest in the parish of Yenda in the Diocese of Wagga Wagga. In 1952 Cassidy was sent to Rome to study Canon Law at the Lateran University; in 1955 he was awarded a doctorate in Canon Law summa cum laude for a historical and juridical study on the ecclesiastical figure of the Apostolic Delegate.

From 1953 to 1955, Cassidy was a student of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Piazza della Minerva. After receiving a diploma in diplomatic studies, he joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See.

Cardinal Cassidy's first posting was to the Apostolic Internunciature in India (1955-1962), followed by five years with the Apostolic Nunciature in Dublin (1962 to 1967); two years in El Salvador (1967 to 1969), and a year in Argentina.

In 1970, Pope Paul VI appointed him Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the Republic of China, conferring on him at the same time the Titular See of Amantia and the title of Archbishop. He received Episcopal ordination in Rome in November 1970.

In 1972 Archbishop Cassidy was named the first Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the newly independent Bangladesh and Apostolic Delegate to Burma.

In 1979 he relinquished these posts when he was appointed Apostolic Delegate to Southern Africa and Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Lesotho, a post he held until 1984 when he was transferred to The Hague as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the Netherlands.

In 1988 Pope John Paul II named Cassidy as Substitute of the Secretariat of State, and in 1989 named him President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

In 1991, the Pope named Cassidy Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Via Lata.

In 1994 the Pope also appointed him a member of the President's Council of the newly formed Central Committee for the Jubilee Year 2000 and in March 1995 he was named a member of the General Secretariat's Council for the Special Assembly of the Bishops' Synod for Lebanon.

He is fluent in English, Italian, French and Spanish.

Back to Cardinal Cassidy's Page

Contact us
Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology
The University of Balamand

Address: Monastery of Balamand, PO Box 100, Tripoli, Lebanon
Tel: 00961 (0) 6 930 305 - Fax: 00961 (0) 6 930 304
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright (c) 1999 - 2011