Rorate Caeli

Castrillón speaks: "The Holy Father will extend the permission"

In an interview published by the Argentinian periodical Panorama Católico Internacional (the Argentinian edition of the German monthly Kirchliche Umschau), a translation of which is given below. The interview was first published by El Catolicismo, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Bogotá, Colombia.

By Victor Ricardo Moreno Holguín, Pbro. [Presbyter]
Rome Correspondent


What is the current challenge in "Ecclesia Dei"?

We take care of those who did not wish to follow Archbishop Lefebvre -- which is not exactly a schism [sic]. With our jurisdiction in the name of the Pope, we have established institutes in France and Germany and we have incardinated the returning clergy. We must follow the life of this clergy and of these communities, the fraternities of Saint Peter [sic].

What about those who remain with Lefebvre?

The Saint Pius X associations are in a process of reinsertion [original text is unclear: "Están las asociaciones San Pío X, para su proceso de reinserción"]: with permanent visits and a correspondence which asks for the ancient rite. They are 500 priests and 600 thousand faithful, a growing number, with monasteries and seminaries, some of them full. [sic]

The rite of the Mass today gathers the faithful around the altar, inculturating itself in their reality and language. Will the rite of Saint Pius X, with the priest with his back to the faithful and prayed in Latin, return?

The great love of Christ is the Eucharist, it is not fair that it divide us. The Mass of Saint Pius V was celebrated for more than a thousand years. It was never forbidden. [sic] Even if I do not understand the words, it is not as if I understand much more when I say "This is my Body" and see a piece of bread: only the Faith makes me believe in the present Christ. The Holy Father will extend the permission for this celebration, which is not in opposition to the one of today.

Is it not a step backwards?

I celebrate it nowadays, and, in the first part, in which I make the homily, I am looking at the faithful, who are my brethren, whom I must teach; afterwards, I represent the faithful: let us now [turn] towards God, there is our goal, to give praise to God, and we are all together. It is not a step backwards, it is preserving an asset without opposing it to another.

To make the Mass attractive and joyful to the youth of this culture of the image, there have been initiatives such as the "Disco Mass", and dances of erotic origin were seen in Africa. Is [the Traditional Mass] a solution [original text: "remedio"] to stop these abuses?

It is an element, not "the solution". The new liturgy has not been "the solution". Were our churches fuller or emptier before? They have been emptied! It is true that not only due to this, but the Mass becomes one among several other rites of the world, and to strike what is sacred is a grave matter. The meaning of "Sacrifice" was forgotten. The Eucharist carries [us] to the Resurrection, but through Passion and Death. It is a feast of the spirit, for our redemption. The most important for Jesus was not eating with Him, but eating Him.


Share with hope...

... Hope? To keep working to welcome with an embrace these 500 priests of Lefebvre, in the unity of Faith and love which Jesus Christ gave us.

The complete interview was not translated due to copyright reasons. All answers related to the Traditional Latin Mass and with the Traditionalist priests and faithful were duly translated.


  1. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Since somebody mentioned the date of Feb 22 as the date, here is what Fr. Z posted on his blog as a comment:

    ALL: I received a note from Robert Moynighan of Inside The Vatican about this. He wrote:

    “Just an intuition. May be later in the spring, at Easter time, but now I think it will come out soon, due to an interview Archbishop Ranjith just gave to us, which I will forward to you early next week.”

  2. Anonymous2:30 PM

    'The Holy Father will extend the permission for [the Traditional Rite], which is not in opposition to the one of today.'

    Archbishop Lefebvre:
    'And we have the precise conviction that this new rite of Mass expresses a new faith, a faith which is not ours, a faith which is not the Catholic Faith. This New Mass is a symbol, is an expression, is an image of a new faith, of a Modernist faith.' (29 June 1976)

    How do we reconcile these positions?

  3. Anonymous2:33 PM

    To avoid confusion, I am the second "anonymous said..." above.

  4. Anonymous3:17 PM

    Yes, and to avoid any further confusion, I am the first anonymous not to be confused with the second alleged anonymous. And please... remember that this is all off the record.

  5. Anonymous3:36 PM

    In a recent communication, Mgnr Perl says that things will happen 'soon'. Ah, the agony of it all! Patience, patience, patience.

    I think the 22nd may well be the date, since the feast of the Chair of Peter would have special significance for the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre. Just one day into Lent our penance of four decades would be over!

  6. Anonymous3:37 PM

    What can "reconciliation" with the SSPX mean if one follows the logic of Archbishop Lefebvre's position:

    a) The New Mass expresses a faith that is not the Catholic faith, but a Modernist faith.

    b) The current Pope celebrates the New Mass, not the Traditional Mass.

    c) The current Pope is a Modernist.

    How does the SSPX maintain the logic of their founder's position and remain loyal to the current Pope?

    If Archbishop Lefebvre was wrong, then he was gravely wrong. If he was right, then Castrillon is whistling past the graveyard.

  7. Anonymous3:42 PM

    If reconciliation with the SSPX is an objective, then we must realize that wider permission for the Old Rite is only half the problem, and the easier half at that. The more difficult half of the problem is what to do with the New Rite.

  8. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Let's face it: the New Rite, not the Old, is the white elephant in the corner of the room.

  9. "I represent the faithful: let us now [turn] towards God, there is our goal, to give praise to God, and we are all together."

    Truly beautiful words, Your Eminence. One does not need "disco Masses" or other such nonsense when you have symbolism par excellence together with thousand-year-old mystery! Let us all pray together that our Holy Father releases the motu proprio sooner rather than later, and with as few restrictions as possible (read "no restrictions").

  10. Anonymous4:21 PM

    "The new liturgy has not been "the solution". Were our churches fuller or emptier before? They have been emptied!"

    I can't believe that His Eminence said this publically. The tide has officially turned.

  11. Anonymous4:29 PM

    The good Cardinal’s words simply do not stand up to examination.
    “We (the Ecclesia Dei Commission) take care of those who did not wish to follow Archbishop Lefebvre” - Why then does this commission have within its ranks such anti-traditionalists as Cardinals Levada and Ricard?
    “take care of” – in most cases this amounts to a Mass every fifth Sunday of the month, at 3.30 in the afternoon, in an out-of-the-way cemetery chapel in danger of collapse?
    “(SSPX) is not exactly in schism” – Come on, either it is or it isn’t; surely the Cardinal is well-acquainted with Classical logic and the law of the excluded middle.
    “We have established institutes in France and Germany” – the Institute of the Good Shepherd in Lyons has since its inception been under constant attack, led by…you guessed it, Cardinal Ricard; the German Institute is based in Berlin and has only four priests.
    “The Saint Pius X associations are in a process of reinsertion” – evidence?
    “The Mass of St. Pius V was never forbidden” – the Mass of Pius V is, as the Cardinal knows full well, forbidden on a daily basis by most bishops throughout the world, in clear disobedience to JPII’s call for the wide and generous application of permission.
    I am close to despair over the whole issue. We are urged to be patient, but some of us have been patient for thirty seven years; the Lord’s patience was considerably shorter when he drove the money-changers out of the Temple. It has become a feature of this Papacy that the Holy Father never speaks of liberalising the old rite of Mass without linking it to negotiations with the SSPX. Surely it is high time that concrete measures were taken to provide for the needs of those suffering Catholics who, in spite of everything, have elected to remain loyal to the mainstream church and are deprived every week of their entitlement to Mass in the old rite?

  12. There is much good meat in this interview, especially the concessions regarding the "new liturgy".

    This is a major step forward - especially if one considers the correspondence between Cardinal Hoyos and Bishop Fellay over the past few years.

    Nonetheless, things must proceed carefully - step by step. The best approach I would suggest is 1) a release of the Mass, to free the priest from persecution; and 2) to correct the more blatant abuses, and questionable aspects of the "new liturgy" as soon as possible. The Holy Ghost would do the rest. If the New Mass is meant to live and thrive - it will. If not, then it will go and die a natural death. This is precisely why the various modernist hierarchies oppose any liberalization. They are very well aware of the power of the Mass, and they rightfully fear it. Let us now see some action!!

    Another point. Doctrinally, and irrespective of the SSPX, the Church will have to confront the inevitable issue of the Public law of the Church - is it in Sacred Scripture that the will of God is the pluralistic state, built on Hobbesian-Lockean political ideology? Or, is it in Sacred Scripture that Christ is Lord of Lord and King of Kings (c.f. Quas Primas)?

    Obviously the cockle will continue to grow with the wheat, but Christ as the nexus of political life is the
    Catholic ideal.

    Let us continue to pray unceasingly for the Holy Father, for Cardinal Hoyos and all those in authority in the Church. Every age, is an age of miracles.

  13. Every age, is an age of miracles.

    Mirabile dictu! Pascendi, thanks for stating that truth!

  14. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Here is how one can reconcile the two positions mentioned above: say that Lefebreve was wrong, but becuase of his formation, background experience and so forth, was not culpably so.

    This would be, no doubt, a kick in the teeth to traditionalists, but the logic of his quoted statement, leads towards the total undermining of the church's claim to infallibility in matters of faith and morals. We are then left as orphans.

  15. Anonymous7:23 PM

    I, for one, have noticed a HUGE and important difference since Benedict took the helm. Many of my friends are very devout Catholics, but know nothing of the faith beyond its modern American form- that is its post-Vatican II, anti-historical manifestation. For them, to call any of the officially mandated post-concilliary changes into question during the JPII era was both a distraction from the real battle with liberals, and a manifestation of the same disloyalty to authority that got us into this mess. After all, if the changes were so bad, how could SO MANY bishops, cardinals, and theologians, and even Popes, be complicit? JPII also taught the people to ignore the local bishop's nonsense, and look to the source. And while the man's theology and leadership was sometimes questionable, his devotion to Christ, to Mary, to the Eucharist, to prayer, etc., etc., never was. It was saintly. The joy that entered a room with him was palpable (I sat next to a crew of Sister of Charity who burst into tears of laughter and joy when he entered St. Peter's for a mass. Everyone felt it.)

    Now the unwavering fifial loyalty that they showed JPII as their beloved Papa, has carried over, by logical necessity, to the man who kept many of our traditionalist claims alive within the mainstream Church (no not perfectly, and not all of them). It does not hurt that he was the Pope's trusted defender in all things orthodox! In other words, many devout Catholics can no longer logically dismiss all traditional arguments, when some of those arguments are clearly expressed by the Pope himself.

    The people I know are waking up to the fact that they have been defending very vigorously that of which they knew little, and are starting to open up to the traditionalist perspective as the real logical alternative to liberal modernism, as they should have known if they read any encyclicals written before 1960. (There is a parallel in the NO Church to the so-called "via media" of the Anglican Church- it eventually forces a true follower to pick a side, copmrmise and moderation can not be values unto themselves.)

    It seems that part of our job in this, is to present the traditionalist argument as attracitvely as possible when the opportunity presents itself.

    As far as Castrillon's words... as someone mentioned above, can't we be excited that high Vatican officials are starting to think and speak such thoughts publicly! This is a big deal, because when people at the top speak, they give legitimacy to those on the ground who suspected such things, but respected the Church's authority.

    Many of the devout NO Catholics, are in the end of the day, loyal sons and daughters of the Church. They are following the Church as it was presented to them, and they will come around to the traditionalist perspective, if it is offered and supported by the heirarchy. So let us pray that it is!

  16. Archbishop Lefebvre did not say the New Rite official Latin Books were expressing Modernism explicitly. He said the New Rite had become a SYMBOL for modernism, a partisan symbol for those adhering to the "synthesis of all heresies" therefore. He used the word "New Mass" sociologically and generically too and intertwined. So it serves no goal to attack the Saintly Archbishop (Cardinal Oddi: "a holy man").

    Indeed, sociologically and in reality the "New Masses" are expression of anti-Catholic, modernist, anti-dogma "faith" (rather: apostasy).

    I know however from his actions and letters that he did not mean the official Latin Rites, though tainted by the erroneous intentions of the Bugnini commission and possibly even of Paul VI himself (1993, Radio COurtoisie, Jean Guitton: "Paul VI wanted the Catholic Mass to be brought as close as possible to the Calvinist Mass"), were heretical, invalid or explicitly modernist. Of course the revisions were a consequence of the "spirit of change" which is indeed uncatholic (Pope Pius X: true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators but men of Tradition). But the Archbishop never declared them heretical or modernist in and of themselves. Even though the rite itself is a "bastard rite" (indeed from the intentions), it is still a rite of Mass. An illegitimate child is a bastard, but itself not guilty (its "creators" are), and it remains a child and even a full human person with equal worth as a royal legitimate child has - at least in God's eyes they are equal in value. The same wording the Archbishop Lefebvre used for the New Rite. Clear words.

    And the Vatican officials even see themselves that the New Rite was a mistake, at least Hoyos does, and that the "Springtime" is an atomic winter after the V2-bomb (V2, former German missile from World War II, and shortening of Vaticánum II).

    But I want actions - not nice words.

    Empty words have been there from the Vatican since fourty years. And I will néver accept the Traditional Roman Rite in a pantheon of world religions, Assisi conferences, schismatism, modernism, liturgical innovations, denominations, ecumenical commissions, as an equal expression of the "divine spark" the gnostic error of modernism blasphemously asserts all Faith to be.

    Just wait and see.

  17. Pax,you are so right and what you say is true.I think the sad story of the past is that indeed many high Vatican authorities and some bishops in this country while publicly praising the fruits of the NO privately said the opposite.Noone would tell the emperor(the modern liturgical reform) that he had no clothes for fear of being seen as "anti-VaticanII" and noone would dare say that the moderliturgical reforms contravene the council.Then Came Ratzinger with the Pope's blessing to tell the truth openly.

  18. I guess the lifting of the so-called excommunications of 1988 is also near, then?

    If heretical patriarchs get their lifted during fourty years, we should get 'ours' (of our high priests and leaders) lifted easily too.

    If they are serious about the Roman Catholic Church, in Faith ánd Unity. (From which His Excellency Lefebvre never split away. Hé did not introduce changes and novelties.)

    But I fear it's a long way.

    Like Rev. Reginald Foster O.Carm.Disc. said in an appallingly offensive tone: If the pope frees (as if the perennial Roman Rite could be forbidden ever) "all hell will break loose" (as if he is publishing a threat from "progressive" May-1968 revolutionaries in the Vatican City).

    That won't be nice. Such "hell" in the Eternal City and near the Sacred See of St. Peter and the saint's shrine.

  19. I see this Panorama Católico is the equivalent of Mr Mersch's well-known Kirchliche Umschau (which is favourable and close to the SSPX, and a very serious, non-polemical, edifying and recommendable great magazine in newspaper format), was the Cardinal Hoyos merely speaking to pacify "traditionalists"?

    Why does he not speak to Ivan Cardinal Dias in the same words? Why did he speak of "return" to the bossom of the Church, as if the Indian seminarians had ever left the Roman Catholic Church by entering an SSPX Seminary!

    Why this doublespeak?

    Again, just wait and see.

    As it is said in German: "Eine Schwalbe macht noch längst keinen Sommer" ("One swallow does not make it summer time")

  20. Anonymous8:29 PM

    The "One Swallow" comment comes originally from Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics.

  21. I celebrate it nowadays

    This is remarkable (and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who noticed), because a year or so ago Card. Castrillon was asked which Mass he celebrated and he replied that habitually he celebrated the Novus Ordo and that it was spiritually fulfilling for him.

  22. How do we reconcile these positions?

    By adopting the position Msgr. Lefebvre took prior to 1976.

  23. Anonymous8:45 PM

    There is a correction to be made, thanks to the vigilant eye of Secretum Meum Mihi: the interview was first published by the Colombian periodical "El Catolicismo", printed by the Archdiocese of Bogotá.

    We will add this correction to the actual post as soon as Blogger stops forcing us to join "New Blogger".

  24. Amemus said:
    "I see this Panorama Católico is the equivalent of Mr Mersch's well-known Kirchliche Umschau (which is favourable and close to the SSPX, and a very serious, non-polemical, edifying and recommendable great magazine in newspaper format), was the Cardinal Hoyos merely speaking to pacify "traditionalists"?"

    Well, the original interview was made by father Victor Moreno, the Rome correspondent of "El Catolicismo", the magazine of the Archdiocese of Bogota. I think it was published on the first days of january.

    The link is here:

    Quite interesting: Cadinal Hoyos' declarations were made to a semi-official magazine...

  25. Or we can reconcile them by following the reasoning of the Abbe de Nantes and the Phalange, e.g.

  26. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Of all the popes, Pope Peter I is the greatest of the great. It would be the perfect day for the battle of the two masses to be on the road to resolution. Let us pray for Pope Benedict XVI to have the resolution of Peter, the most orthodox, the most Roman and the most Catholic of them all!!!

  27. His Eminence Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos says:

    ". . .¿Esperanza? seguir trabajando para acoger con un abrazo a esos 500 curas de Lefevre, en unidad de fe y amor que Jesucristo nos mandó." He says ¿hope?, to continue to work to welcome those 500 priests of Lefevbre, in the unity of faith and love that Jesus Christ sent us.

    Well there is an apothegm in spanish that says: "OBRAS SON AMORES Y NO BUENAS RAZONES", which roughly translate as "DEEDS ARE LOVE AND NOT GOOD REASONS".

    In other words, besides nice words and wishes, what is needed are concrete actions that correspond to those good wishes.

    In my humble opinion this will entail:

    1) that in the legal document to be published regarding the Tridentine Rite it is clearly stated that which the Cardinal does not cese to repeat: that the Tridentine Mass was never abolished nor prohibited, neither by the II Vatican Council, nor by the conciliar popes.

    2) that the Tridentine Rite and its spirituality have a lawful and rightful place in the life of the church, and that because of its history, it deserves to be available (both the rite and its spirituality) to all those catholic of the Latin Church that wishes to.

    Without these basic actions, the wistful words of His Eminence carry the danger of being empty words.

  28. . . .the wishful words of His Eminence carry the danger of being empty words.

  29. Anonymous5:25 PM

    You are completely correct, Pax. Many of the ordinary faithful, in the US at least, are only doing what they have been told to do.

    There is movement afoot, as you say, to realize a bigger reality which encompasses the current time but encloses a more traditional understanding of the Mass and of the church herself.

    As flawed as was PJP2, this he helped us to attain. PBXVI reinforces.

    The reform of the reform is inevitable, no matter what the timetable. The history will be fascinating when set down. I hope I see a fair amount of it in my lifetime, starting with the release of the Mass and the first and most important "rearrangement" this year, I hope.

  30. I simply wish to express my astonishment at what a blessing this blog in general, and this thread in particular, has become for me.

    May God, Who knows the secrets of graces bestowed in secret, richly bless the contributors to this discussion, who have severally helped me attend to the formation of a more Catholic conscience.

  31. Transfinitum, I second that.

  32. "Not exactly a schism"

    What I wonder is what exactly it is? When Castrillon uses these words is he just being non-polemical in his language or does he mean something substantive?

  33. "Diplomatic" in his language. I think this better represents what I am saying than "non polemical"

    My suspicion is that Castrillon is being little more than diplomatic in saying that SSPX is "not exactly" in schism. It seems to me that they are suffering all the consequences of being "exactly" in schism. Somebody, correct me if I am wrong, please.

  34. The good Cardinal says that it isn't exactly a schism because it isn't. The SSPX bishops act as auxiliary bishops: they confirm and ordain. Schismatics set up Ordinaries with territorial authority that are parallel to the Roman Catholic Dioceses. The SSPX pray for the Roman Catholic Ordinary and the Supreme Pontiff at all Masses, unlike the Schismatic Anglicans and the various Orthodox sects. The SSPX have impaired, or less-than-perfect, communion with the Holy See, but they are not full-blown schismatics.

  35. Well said, Franzjosf.

    Moreover, Bishop Fellay and Co. are not the ones who are detonating the Faith in dioceses worldwide.

    Let us all, without fail, keep Pope Benedict in our daily prayers.

  36. Anonymous7:40 AM

    What an encouraging interview!

  37. Thank you, FranzJosef, I accept and agree with your interpretation


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