Rorate Caeli

Castrillón Hoyos' short interview

In a short interview with the French news agency I.Media, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos does not answer fully the questions which are on many minds. Excerpts (the interview is copyrighted) below:


I.Media: Does not this gesture [the foundation of the Institute of the Good Shepherd] put in danger the negotiations with the Fraternity of Saint Pius X?

Cardinal [Castrillón] Hoyos: I do not quite see the logic of this question. Why would a gesture such as the erection of the Institute of the Good Shepherd, accomplished under the sign of reconciliation and of a full communion restored with the Church, put in question another process, which itself should be accomplished with the sign of reconciliation and full communion? ...

I.Media: The Mass of Saint Pius V seems strengthened as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Is that the case?

Cardinal [Castrillón] Hoyos: This question also seems to me to go beyond what has actually happened. ... The rite of Saint Pius V has never been excluded from the life of the Church, and that is why the ancient rite was given as a proper rite to this institute, both to its members as well as to the faithful who seek [the institute], as to many other ecclesial realities.


  1. Anonymous8:16 PM

    This is probably an obvious statement, but it sounds like he knows something we dont.

    Anyone else get that feeling?

  2. Indeed, BB.

    He's a wily old fox, is His Eminence.

  3. Fox? More like a weasel.

  4. it seems typical of Rome...vague, ambigious answers to direct questions, an equally vague more-or-less encouraged rumour of 'something' happening in november....all setting optimistic trads to get all hopeful, and then probably get kicked in the teeth again....

  5. the first answer can be read at two levels :
    - the standard way for any hierarch to speak in riddles, a sort pious gibberish dialect like "communion"... void of real meaning (technically dodging the question).
    - a signal to Bp Fellay, Rome or at least the Cardinal is still open for further talks with SSPX in spite of this creation.

    the second answer is more complex with two possible and contradictory meanings :
    - first meaning is underlining the immediate answer : to say TLM has been "strengthened" is "to go beyond what has actually happened". So TLM has not been strengthened, it is just the usual ..."as to many other ecclesial realities". In this case, the September decree is final, business as usual.
    - the opposite meaning is also possible ; this time underlining the second sentence : TLM "has never been excluded from the life of the Church" (echo of the 2003 homily). Which has yet to be stated by a canonically authoritative document and then this is a discreet sign the document could be published.

    The art to suggest very mixed messages : this is a masterpiece.

  6. Alsaticus: Interesting analysis. Do you think it is possible, given the state of the Church in France, that the new Institute is a small bitter pill for the French bishops to swallow--in other words, although they don't like it, the accept it in principle. So, that further developments of the freeing of the Mass or of fuller communion with the SSPX is only a matter of quantity, not principle?

  7. He certainly is disingenuous claiming that the ancient right has never been excluded from the life of the church. They tried assiduously to lay it to rest eternally but the manoeuvres have never succeeded.

    Now that the tide has turned against the liberal trend there are official moves to attempt to control renaissant Tradition. The Institute in Bordeaux looks increasingly like a divide and rule strategy.

    Elsewhere, even "Ecclesia Dei" has been ignored, shunned or exploited by bishops with their various aggendas. The results of this papal body have yielded precious little fruit. It is Traditionalist organisations and independents who have produced the greatest and most fruitive defence of The Latin Mass.

    Moreover, the whole affair here manifests the absolute ecclesiastical bankruptcy of the French episcopate who sit astride the ruin of The Roman Catholic Church in France and its virtual state of independence from papal authority. Pope Benedict XVI is not the only post-conciliar pontiff who has trouble with them.
    Their arrogance contrasts sharply with church attendance figures at less than 5% of French Catholics (87% of the population) and the disastrous collapse of numerous parishes and seminaries throughout France. Islam is overtaking the post-conciliar church in France. This will soon be a reality. Anyone who bothers to study closely what has been going on in the various dioceses there can only be scandalised at the systematic disobedience which occurs.

    One well-televised public celebration of The Latin Mass by The Holy Father will solve the problem at one stroke of the Angelus bell.

  8. to franzjosf

    your idea is a possibility but do not forget Good Shepherd isn't the first one : several small "bitter pills" have been ingested by the Church in France FSSP, ICR, FSVF, Benedictine monasteries, Canons of the Mother of God. The second response of cardinal Hoyos is diluting the new institute in a wider trad landscape and this is true for France : you have a great variety of situations among the "indulters", it's very similar to the US situation.
    The "bitter pills" strategy could then imply we won't have a general decision like freedom for TLM in a short term perspective.

    to mack
    the French episcopate is not in a "virtual state of independence from papal authority", you have a very distorted representation : no "Pope Benedict XVI is not the only post-conciliar pontiff who has trouble with them" ; as for the favorite stereotype of the so-called French "arrogance" huum, our Lord Jesus responded to you in the Gospel when He taught about the timber blocking someone eyes...
    The French episcopate is much more "ultramontane", at least superficially, than you think and French bishops do not like to express frontal opposition to the Holy See : you are mixing up with Dutch Church in the 1970's or with a cardinal Martini (Italian) or with an Abp Quinn (American).
    The outburst of Bordeaux is very exceptional, not at all a common use ; besides, it is the Vicar general who is lashing at Rome not the cardinal-archbishop. On the contrary, even if a majority of French bishops are against any reconciliation with SSPX, against any PAA, against any trad institute whatsoever, against TLM freedom, they were clear enough in the April 2006 statement they will accept the pope's decision. It's a sign "independent" (not Roman, not SSPX) trad communities are a tiny minority in the French trad movement, totally marginalized, when they play a significant role in the USA. French trads have kept a sense of "hierarchical authority" in the Church and I think it's not limited to trads.

  9. "It is Traditionalist organisations and independents who have produced the greatest and most fruitive defence of The Latin Mass."

    No, all the "independents" have done (at least in the U.S.) is make the Latin Mass seem sectarian and schismatic, like something only an oddball would care about. As for Ecclesia Dei, it is, among other things, a Traditionalist organisation.

  10. Of coarse I agree with you Jordan, but I do think that some "independents" have greater apologetical ability than others. Fr. Cekada the Sedevacantist, for instance, is pretty talented in this regard. I think he has produced some of the strongest arguments in favor of the traditional order that are available.

    His argument against SSPX's "schizophrenic" (his word) approach to the Church's ordinary teaching authority is difficult to argue with.

    Cekada's brand of sedevacantism is sectarian and schismatic, but it also produces some of "the greatest and most fruitive defences of the Latin Mass." These two assertions aren't necessarily incompatible.

  11. Fruitive? What's this "fruitive"?

    Does somebody here work with ICEL?

  12. Moretben- We may or may not work for ICEL, but clearly you do not work for Websters.

    Fruitive is perfectly legitimate word, which means virtually the same thing as fruitful, except the connotation of "fruitive" seems to stress potentiality (i.e. the ability to bear fruit) whereas "fruitful" emphasizes actuality (i.e. producing good fruit).

  13. Thank you "with-Peter".

    How could anyone who works with ICEL produce fruitive work?


    Ecclesia Dei is not as traditional as some here appear to believe. I once saw a printed pamphlet from this commission which had "Ecclesia Die", significantly.

    Considering many of the liturgical abuses dogging its services such as altar girls, use of vernacular language, use of lay ministers/ministresses and other flagrant corruptions, it has also provided some scheming hierarchs with a trojan horse to subvert the traditional movement.
    Let us have The Latin Mass not some modernistic mongrel.

  14. Well, Mack, after a rocky start, we seem to be having quite a boom in our relationship. Let me ask, how do you get such detailed global information for Ecclesia Dei? My experience, which is admittedly quite limited, is that these communities to be quite faithful in implementing the 1962 Missal.

    What is your opinion of Cardinal Castrillon de la Hoyos? He has always struck me as an exceedingly humble and intelligent man? In truth, I must admit that I was really hoping that he was going to be elected as John Paul's successor. After the the 1997 promulgation of the masterfully well done General Directory for Catechesis, I really thought he'd get serious consideration.


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