Haig, a Catholic who served as US secretary of state, dies at age 85

BALTIMORE (CNS) — Alexander M. Haig Jr., former U.S. secretary of state and retired four-star general who served as a top adviser to three presidents, died Feb. 20 of complications from an infection. He was 85.

Haig, who was Catholic, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he was surrounded by family members.

Although funeral and burial arrangements had not been announced, Haig’s brother, Jesuit Father Francis Haig, a retired physics professor at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, told The New York Times that the Army was coordinating a Mass at Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Va., and interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

The priest, a former president of LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., and Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, said the services for his brother would likely be delayed for about two weeks.

Alexander Haig, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, served as secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan and White House chief of staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He made a run for president in 1988 but failed to win the Republican nomination.