Latin Mass Crowd Ousts Cardinal

CNS provides us with a story that allows us to see that while our church is quite diverse in terms of liturgical preferences (e.g. Latin mass vs. post-Vatican II liturgy), that we can all unite over our response to one sad event in our church’s history: The sexual abuse scandal.

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The group organizing the first pontifical solemn high Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington in 45 years announced it was replacing as the main celebrant a cardinal criticized for his handling of a clergy sex abuse case.

Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who was scheduled to celebrate the April 24 Mass, made international headlines when a letter he wrote years earlier surfaced, in which he praised a French bishop for refusing to report an accused pedophile priest to police, even though French law required him to do so.

The Maryland-based Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy did not list a specific reason for choosing a different celebrant for the Mass honoring Pope Benedict XVI’s fifth anniversary as pope.

However, the announcement came a day after a Chicago-based group of survivors of clergy sexual abuse had called on the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI and Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl to stop Cardinal Castrillon, the retired head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, from celebrating the Mass.

“This action will help maintain the solemnity, reverence and beauty of the Mass,” the Paulus Institute said in a statement issued April 21. “We are in the process of seeking another bishop to celebrate a Pontifical Solemn Mass on Saturday and are confident that one will agree. However, in any event, a beautiful, dignified traditional Latin Mass will be celebrated.”

Indeed. I almost want to go to this and I actually will be in DC on that day at a wedding.

Vatican Distances Itself From Cardinal’s Praise of Sex Abuse Defender

John Allen at NCR has this bombshell of a report in which the Vatican seriously distanced themselves from Columbian Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, who according to reports praised a Bishop for refusing to report a priest who abused a child.

In effect, the Vatican statement suggests that Castrillón Hoyos was part of the problem which then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, eventually solved.

The letter, first published by the French Catholic publication Golias, is addressed to Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux-Lisieux, France, who was eventually sentenced to three months in prison for refusing to report a French priest, Fr. René Bissey, who was convicted in October 2000 for sexual abuse of eleven minor boys between 1989 and 1996.

Castrillón Hoyos’s letter congratulates Pican for not repoting Bissey to the French police and civil authorities. In the version published by Golias, it reads: “I rejoice to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and all the others bishops of the world, preferred prison rather than denouncing one of his sons, a priest.”

Tonight’s Vatican statement suggests that Castrillón Hoyos’s attitude was part of the reason that then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, pressed for a more aggressive policy on the removal of predator priests.

In effect the then Cardinal Ratzinger was the one who instituted much of the reforms with regards to sexual abuse and Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos opposed those reforms saying that it ignored the idea that priests could be reformed and are in need of forgiveness.

The latter I’d agree with but the former is psychologically impossible.

If you’re looking for a fall guy for the sexual abuse crisis, look for more guys like this. Because it’s pretty telling when the Vatican decides not to defend one of their own Bishops.