In memoriam: Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos (1929-2018)

In memoriam: Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos (1929-2018)

Throwback post: “All the parishes” should have the Traditional Latin Mass!

Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos passed away on the 17th of May, 2018, according to the Colombian Bishops’ Conference. He was 88. We ask all of our readers to pray and have Masses said for the repose of his soul.

Before going to Rome to head the Congregation for the Clergy, he was a bishop in his native Colombia for 25 years. The impact that he made can be seen in the glowing tribute (Cardinal who humbled a drugs baron) written for him in 1999 by his notoriously Leftist compatriot Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It includes the legendary story of his confrontation with Pablo Escobar.

It is far more likely though that he will long be remembered for his many words and deeds on behalf of the cause of what he himself called the “Gregorian Rite”, and for the faithful attached to it. He served as President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” from 2000 to 2009, and arguably was its most effective President ever. At the very least he was the one most oustpoken in defending the rights of Traditionalists in the Church, and the Gregorian Rite itself. It may very well be said that he was the man behind the eventual promulgation of Summorum Pontificum by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.
He celebrated more Pontifical Masses according to the 1962 Missal than his predecessors as PCED President, including the Solemn Pontifical Mass that he celebrated in Santa Maria Maggiore on May 24, 2003 in the presence of 5 other Cardinals, an Archbishop, 2 Bishops and 3,000 faithful. It was the first Solemn Pontifical Mass according to the 1962 Missal to be celebrated in any of the Major Basilicas since the liturgical reforms of Paul VI. To mark the coming into effect of Summorum Pontificum he celebrated a Solemn Pontifical Mass in the Lower Church at the Basilica of the Holy House of Loreto on September 14, 2007. As late as 2013 and 2016 he celebrated Pontifical Masses for the annual Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage to Rome.
His cordial attitude towards the Society of St. Pius X was indispensable to forming the necessary atmosphere for the resumption of the dialogue between them and the Vatican. Again and again he underlined that the SSPX is neither schismatic nor heretical, and his PCED Secretary (Msgr. Camille Perl) declared that it was permissible to attend Mass at SSPX chapels, and that this satisfied the Sunday obligation. His Presidency of the PCED saw the regularization of the Traditionalist clergy of Campos, Brazil and their establishment as the Personal Apostolic Administration of St. John Vianney (2001-2002), and the canonical regularization of the Oasis of Jesus (2007) and the former Transalpine Redemptorists (2008), now the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer.
In 2008 he affirmed at a press conference in London that it was Pope Benedict’s desire that the Traditional Latin Mass be said in every parish. The original Catholic News Service article reporting this is now hard to find, but has been preserved by the blog Sancte Pater:

Pope would like Tridentine Mass in each parish, Vatican official says

By Simon Caldwell

Catholic News Service

LONDON (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI would like every Catholic parish in the world to celebrate a regular Tridentine-rite Mass, a Vatican cardinal has said.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos also told a June 14 press conference in London that the Vatican was writing to all seminaries to ask that candidates to the priesthood are trained to celebrate Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Latin rite, also known as the Tridentine Mass, restricted from the 1970s until July 2007 when Pope Benedict lifted some of those limits.

The cardinal, who was visiting London at the invitation of the Latin Mass Society, a British Catholic group committed to promoting Mass in the Tridentine rite of the 1962 Roman Missal, said it was “absolute ignorance” to think that the pope was trying to reverse the reforms of the Second Vatican Council by encouraging use of the rite.

“The Holy Father, who is a theologian and who was (involved) in the preparation for the council, is acting exactly in the way of the council, offering with freedom the different kinds of celebration,” he said.

“The Holy Father is not returning to the past; he is taking a treasure from the past to offer it alongside the rich celebration of the new rite,” the cardinal added.

When asked by a journalist if the pope wanted to see “many ordinary parishes” making provision for the Tridentine Mass, Cardinal Castrillon, a Colombian, said: “All the parishes. Not many, all the parishes, because this is a gift of God.

“He (Pope Benedict) offers these riches, and it is very important for new generations to know the past of the church,” said Cardinal Castrillon, president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” which works to help separated traditionalist Catholics return to the church. “This kind of worship is so noble, so beautiful,” he said. “The worship, the music, the architecture, the painting, makes a whole that is a treasure. The Holy Father is willing to offer to all the people this possibility, not only for the few groups who demand it but so that everybody knows this way of celebrating the Eucharist in the Catholic Church.”

He also said his commission, which also is responsible for overseeing the application of “Summorum Pontificum,” the 2007 papal decree authorizing the universal use of the Tridentine rite, was in the process of writing to seminaries not only to equip seminarians to celebrate Mass in Latin but to understand the theology, the philosophy and the language of such Masses.

The cardinal said parishes could use catechism classes to prepare Catholics to celebrate such Masses every Sunday so they could “appreciate the power of the silence, the power of the sacred way in front of God, the deep theology, to discover how and why the priest represents the person of Christ and to pray with the priest.”

In “Summorum Pontificum,” Pope Benedict indicated that Tridentine Masses should be made available in every parish where groups of the faithful desire it and where a priest has been trained to celebrate it. He also said the Mass from the Roman Missal in use since 1970 remains the ordinary form of the Mass, while the celebration of the Tridentine Mass is the extraordinary form.

The document did not require all parishes to automatically establish a Tridentine Mass schedule, but it said that where “a group of faithful attached to the previous liturgical tradition exists stably,” the pastor should “willingly accede” to their request to make the Mass available.

Cardinal Castrillon told the press conference, however, that a stable group could mean just three or four people who were not necessarily drawn from the same parish.

Later in the day, Cardinal Castrillon celebrated the first pontifical high Mass in the Tridentine rite in London’s Westminster Cathedral in 39 years. The event drew a congregation of more than 1,500 people, including young families. None of the English or Welsh bishops attended.

Damian Thompson’s article on this press conference is still online: Latin Mass to return to England and Wales.

Thompson’s full transcript of the Cardinal’s press conference in London, and his various responses regarding Summorum Pontificum, can be found here: Traditional Mass for ‘all the parishes’.

This echoed his earlier statement on the need to make the TLM a normal part of parish life:

The cardinal said that parishes and priests should make available the Extraordinary Form so that “everyone may have access to this treasure of the ancient liturgy of the Church.” He also stressed that, “even if it is not specifically asked for, or requested” it should be provided.  Interestingly, he added that the Pope wants this Mass to become normal in parishes, so that “young communities can also become familiar with this rite.”

Going though his old interviews, homilies and speeches touching on the Traditional Latin Mass is an exercise in reviewing how far the movement for the Traditional Latin Mass has come since the pre-Summorum days, and how far it still has to go. Below is a selection of his statements:

Homily of Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Basilica of St Mary Major, 24 May 2003

Interview With Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos (L’Osservatore Romano, March 28, 2008)

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos on the Traditional Latin Mass (sometime in 2008, video)

Interview following FSSP Ordinations – 30 May 2008

1) Address to the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales and 2) Homily during the Pontifical Mass in Westminster Cathedral, June 14, 2008. (Please scroll down the page to find both texts.)

Homily of Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos on the 20th anniversary of the FSSP, October 18, 2008

Homily at Mass for the FIUV XXth General Assembly, November 5, 2011  

Cardinal Castrillon: The Lefebvrians never made a complete schism, March 29, 2017 (video)

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