Rorate Caeli

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos speaks out

From the Italian blog Fides et Forma, with very slight editing. Emphases mine:

SZ: You say that you didn't know about the Williamson's interview. What would the Pope have done if he had known about it?

Hoyos: I would speculate no hypotheses about what the pope would have to do. I am just referring to what he knew, as the lifting of the excommunication was made public. At this moment none of us knew nothing about Bishop Williamson's statements. None of us! And no one had the duty to know it!

SZ: Do you share the positions of the SSPX?

Castrillon Hoyos: The members of SSPX think that they are defending the truth about sacred tradition and that they can not be excommunicated for it. This can be understandable, even if I do not share this opinion. For it is indisputable that they have broken a fundamental law of the Church.

SZ: Have you ever asked yourself whether your decisions may have political consequences?

Castrillon Hoyos: The excommunication of four bishops, is not a political act. It is an act of mercy. It is therefore a pastoral-theological problem, not an interference of the church in the political sphere. So I do not concern myself. My job is not to judge a brother bishop. That is the task of the Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

SZ: But the Catholic Church has an opinion on antisemitism and the holocaust.

Castrillon Hoyos: The rejection by the Church of the very unjust violence which Jewish people were subjected to is quite clear. Such racial genocide is an immoral crime against humanity.

SZ: Why then did you not stop the lifting of the excommunication of a Holocaust denier?

Castrillon Hoyos: Williamson was excommunicated because of his illegitimate episcopal ordination, not because of his theories, judgments or statements about the Holocaust. Seeing the matter in the other way is a German mistake!
SZ: you didn't even know (about the opinion of Williamson) in 2009?
Castrillón Hoyos: I only know that the STV interviewed him on the occasion of a deacon ordination. And I got only on Feb. 5th informed about what he said in it. The Nunciature gave me the information in a sealed envelope.
Sz: Now the Bishop of Stockholm Anders Arborelius states that he informed the Nunciature in Stockholm as early as in November 2008.
Castrillón Hoyos: I deplore this untrustworthy (German: inseriös) statement a lot, because it is false. It is a slander (Gr.: Verleumdung)to spread out this kind of information. We save all the documents we get in digital form. Bishop Arborelius should say how, whom, and when he passed the information on, and whether it was passed on in written form or orally.
SZ: The Magazine Spiegel reported the interview of Williamson in 2008. Nobody reads it in the Vatican?
Castrillón Hoyos: It is possible that the German department in the Secretary of States knew about this report. I didn't.
SZ: Father Fellay, the General of the SSPX, might have known already what Williamson said in Interview, if we believe the letter he sent to the STV on the 21st. Jan., in order to prevent the series from being broadcasted.
Castrillón Hoyos: I know nothing about this.
SZ: Williamson said, he got to know you during a lunch?
Castrillón Hoyos: I had at that time just become the President of Ecclesia Dei. And there I saw in midsummer a group of persons in cassocks, so I asked my secretary to inform himself about this group. He told me they are Lefebvrists. So I invited them to me.
SZ: What was your impression of them?
Castrillón Hoyos: That they are good people, but sometimes too much fixed upon the idea that all evil in the world has the reform to the Council as its source. As I tried to relax the atmosphere and joked that if I would choose a language for Mass, I would take the Aramaic, the language of Christ, as I didn't know who had the bad idea to change the language of the Lord against the language of His persecutors. They found it a very bad joke. After this meeting it came the dialog with JPII, and then another dialog in Aug. 2005, with Pope Benedict.
SZ: Can you make a picture of Richard Williamson?
Castrillón Hoyos: He is a honest man, somewhat eccentric. Not silly, but obsessive and stubborn.
SZ: An honest man?
Castrillón Hoyos: He speaks out what he thinks. Williamson appears to me not like someone who want to cheat. Rather, he is a uncomplicated person who holds extreme positions: but with a simple and honest belief in them.
SZ: Cardinal Battista Re felt cheated by you.
Castrillón Hoyos: As far as I know, he has never said this. But I know well that he has said some incautious words about me to the press. So I wrote him a letter, in which I said if anybody had known about the Williamson Holocaust-interview beforehand, it must be he alone. He was for many years in the Secretariat of the State. Today he is the head of the bishops' congregation. It is his task to watch over the bishops.
SZ: Did this scandal changed your relationship to the Pope?
Castrillón Hoyos: Yes, to the good! We have worked together hand in hand, not only because he is the Vicar of Christ, but also he is a first class theologian, a defender of the Faith, he has always trust in me. This has not been changed.
SZ: Did you feel yourself hurt by the media?
Castrillón Hoyos: I had a lot of experience with the media and got now a thick skin. I never asked for emendations, because it is useless. The truth will finds its own way. And the only truth is that what I just told you.
The original Italian article on Fides et Forma: CASTRILLON: QUELLA DI ARBORELIUS E’ UNA "CALUNNIA"
The Wiener Zeitung's English-language article: Fierce disputes among bishops