The National Catholic Review

The Vatican cardinal whose contempt for civil authorities was revealed last week in a 2001 letter to a French bishop has been disinvited by a traditionalist Catholic group who wanted him to celebrate a Old Rite Mass at the Cathedral in Washington DC.

The Paulus Institute, who had spent three years preparing the Solemn Mass, said they had agreed to cancel the event because of protests by the abuse survivors' network SNAP. 

I've written for the Guardian about Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos's "perfect society" mentality which seems to me one of the principal causes of the sex abuse crisis.

Because what it reveals is a clericalist mindset that the Church was supposed to have abandoned at the Second Vatican Council. When Castrillón writes that "the relationship between a bishop and his priests is not a professional one, but a sacramental one which creates very special bonds of spiritual paternity" he is saying nothing surprising. But as a justification for a bishop not informing the police of his priest's crimes, it is deeply shocking.

This view of the Church as a societas perfecta – a community complete unto itself; unaccountable to, and without needing to refer to, wider society – was one that prevailed in the 1950s, which the Second Vatican Council rejected. Unsurprisingly, Cardinal Castrillón has long been a leading light in the move to restore the liturgical rite that existed before the Council.

I go on to say how this mentality can flourish particularly where the state is weak; and to conclude that it is providential that a German -- in other words, from a country where the state and law are strong -- should be occupying the Chair of St Peter.

But it will be hard for people not to conclude that Cardinal Castrillon's preconciliar mentality on this issue has nothing to do with his promotion of preconciliar liturgy.

The Paulus Institute had a chance to distance the traditionalist movement from the clericalist hauteur which has protected abusive priests. They could have withdrawn the invitation and expressed concern at last week's revelations, disassociating liturgical traditionalism from authoritarian clericalism. But they missed it.

Austen Ivereigh


Jim McCrea | 4/25/2010 - 4:43pm
The comment above is not surprising from a generation of seminarians who are enamored by cappae magna, birettas, lacy garments, Latin mumblings and chanting, etc.
They tend to forget that the priests involved in the 1960s and 1970s were, in the main, trained in a seminary system and church that was autocratic, totally controlling, enamored with cappae magna, birettas, lacy garments, Latin mumblings and chanting, and, most of all, a "Father Knows Best" attitude.
"Those new JPII types think they were God’s gift to the ages."
So young, so self-assured, so know-it-all, so in love with being an Ontologically Changed Priesty Boy.  So much B.S.
Also, sorry Jeff, but comment #22 did not address the fallacy of concidence = causality.  I have been around a long time and have never seen a "clown mass."  But I have seen lots of "Let's Get Into Our High Drag" masses with lots of prancing and mincing - all in the name of Jesus, of course!
Jeff Bagnell | 4/25/2010 - 7:25am
Another perspective, from a Weekly Standard article:
‘What else did you expect from that generation?” one young seminarian sneered when I asked him about the priest scandals. “Those old 1960s and 1970s types thought they were God’s gift to the ages. That they were smarter, better, more spiritual than anyone else had ever been. They said they didn’t need the old supervision and rules—the old wisdom about human behavior—that Catholicism had built up over centuries of experience. And, yeah, so, of course, when they finally got some power of their own, they ruined the liturgy, they wrecked the churches, and they buggered little boys. None of it should have been a surprise.”
Jeff Bagnell | 4/25/2010 - 6:10am
Oh yes the guitar and clown masses had nothing to do with it.  It was the Beatles.   
Jim McCrea | 4/24/2010 - 6:57pm
"… the introduction of the vernacular has been followed by a mass exodus from church …"
Ah, yes, the old coincidence = causality mantra.
There was mass exodus from the church because JXXIII opened the third Fatima prophecy in 1960, but it wasn’t revealed until 2000.
There was mass exodus from the church because JXXIII died and PVI became pope. 
There was mass exodus from the church because in February 1964 the Beatles arrive in New York greeted by 10,000 screaming fans.
There was mass exodus from the church because on July 29, 1966 the teenybop magazine "DATEbook" published an excerpt of an earlier John Lennon interview where he stated that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus."
There was mass exodus from the church because on May 6, 1963, the Harvard Corporation voted to relieve Timothy Leary from further teaching duties and to terminate his salary as of April 30, 1963.
There was mass exodus from the church because in July 1964, President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making segregation in public facilities and discrimination in employment illegal.
There was mass exodus from the church because in March 1965, Martin Luther King called for boycott of Alabama on TV.
There was mass exodus from the church because in August 1966, Quotations of Chairman Mao also called the little red book is published in China.
Jeff Bagnell | 4/23/2010 - 8:26pm
I'll look at it.  I recognize that other cultural shifts were occurring but the drop off after Vatican II and the novus ordo is fairly dramatic.  In Europe now you have 5% of Catholics going to mass now, it's unbelievable.  It reminds me of a line from the Godfather III, the scene with Michael Corleone and the cardinal.   The cardinal takes a stone out of a fountain and breaks it in two and says "Look at this stone, it has been lying in the water a very long time, but see in the center perfectly dry.  The same thing has happened to men in Europe.  For centuries they have been surrounded by Christ, but Christ has not penetrated, Christ does not live in them."  Probably the best scene in the movie.
Vince Killoran | 4/23/2010 - 12:58pm
Let's put a little empirical evidence into play in this discussion.  There are several scholarly studies on the issue, the most recent being one last year by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life called "Faith in Flux."
According to that study people did not leave the Church because of clown masses and guitar music.
Jeff Bagnell | 4/23/2010 - 11:24am
I'm familiar with the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, but this situation doesn't fit within it.  There is too much evidence connecting the dramatic change in the liturgy and guitar and clown masses with the mass exodus.  To ignore this connection falls into the category of "there are none so blind as those who will not see."  However, haec olim meminisse juvabit.  
Mark Harden | 4/22/2010 - 3:36pm
''French law recognizes the seal of the confessional as part of a protected category of “professional secrets,” but makes an exception for crimes committed against minors.''
Right. That's why the bishop applauded by Castrillon was in fact jailed for his religious beliefs in not breaking the Seal of Confession. Do you support the French law in this matter?
''Castrillion does not site confession in his letter to the bishop either.''
Because the entire issue of why the bishop supported the priest was implicit in Castrillon's commendation. Or do you mean to say that Castrillon publicly supported the bishop specifically because he sheltered a child abuser!? Rather than because the bishop stood up against a law of the French government oppressing religious freedom?
''...[base, unsubstantiated slander against Castrillon cited from...wikipedia!]...''
Spare us.
Anonymous | 4/22/2010 - 1:56pm
Paul; The Vatican is not backing Castrillion on the confession issue. as John Allen wrote;
'Some analysts have questioned whether the sanctity of the confessional directly applies in this case, since Pican said in 2001 that he had discussed the case with the victims and with another priest. French law recognizes the seal of the confessional as part of a protected category of “professional secrets,” but makes an exception for crimes committed against minors.'
Castrillion does not site confession in his letter to the bishop either.He brings it up only in his excuse while throwing JPII under the bus. Hey Castrillion show us the memo to/from JPII .. I say let his Eminence go back to Columbia and beg money from drug lords as reported. .. He also claims he sneaked past Pablo Escobar's body guards[as a milkman] and after revealing himself heard Escobar's confession. [I thought you were not to say when ,who or why you heard someones confession] see his great stories in   ..Wikopedia.  By the way the clown Mass 'defense' gives me hope reform is on the way..  
Jeff Bagnell | 4/22/2010 - 11:27am
Regardless of your great service in WWII (and I think hundreds of thousands of catholics were traveling internationally in that period; it wasn't the stone age...), the fact remains that the introduction of the vernacular has been followed by a mass exodus from church.  The statistics are there for everyone to read.  
Do we want to continue with guitar and clown masses?  Is that the solution?  People have voted with their feet.
James Lindsay | 4/22/2010 - 11:12am
The issue is not the seal of the confessional, since using confession to dodge responsibility before the civil law is not acceptable - the Penance for such conduct should always be to turn yourself in outside the confessional to both the bishop and the civil authorities - just as it is for murder. No agreement to repent and turn oneself over - no absolution.
Mark Harden | 4/22/2010 - 10:25am
The letter from Castrillon was supporting the bishop for his adherence to the Seal of Confession, not for protecting a child abuser.'
Do you really consider the sanctity of the confessional to be an issue of ''clericalism''?
Jeff Bagnell | 4/22/2010 - 10:09am
C'mon George, was it really so awful for 1000 years?  Why was John Adams so impressed with it when he visited France?  
Latin was used in my understanding as a sign of the Church's universality.  You would walk into any church in the world in the period before Vatican II and feel right at home.  
George Purnell | 4/22/2010 - 10:05am
I am a 78-year-old Catholic who has often served the Latin mass, and who knew exactly when to stand, kneel, genuflect, or sit down; and knew the significance of each action. I knew why the vestments colours changed. Now I know that all such ornamentation is a hindrance to religion. Thoreau was correct: ''Never do anything which requires special clothes.'' The purple dresses of cardinals, the white skirt of the pope, the fancy hats of the bishops, and the pretty colours of priests at mass, are all aposematic.
Latin was means of making religion more difficult for the hoi polloi to understand, and thus made the clergy seem wiser. The dignity and beauty of the old mass is a joke to us who can recall the speed with which it was gabbled. Hilaire Belloc suspecte4d any priest of heresy who took more than 20 minutes to say mass. In ''The Path to Rome'' he was favourably impressed by mass in 17 minutes.
Jeff Bagnell | 4/22/2010 - 9:01am
I appreciate the clarification.  I like the extraordinary rite once in a while, but I also can't stand clericalism.
I think an ongoing problem is the unnatural cleaving of the Church in two before and after Vatican II.  As Ratzinger said many times, there is only one Church, and Vatican II was not a mega-council; it defined no new doctrine, and I'm not aware that it changed the Church's understanding of herself in any way.  In fact as I recall Gaudium et Spes or Lumen Gentium expressly states that no doctrine was being changed?  I'd have to go back and look 
Austen Ivereigh | 4/22/2010 - 7:59am
Thanks for those corrections, Brian - I was basing that information on the NYT report which talks of cancellation, and should have checked.
I agree that love of traditional liturgy and clericalism do not (necessarily) go together, but the Old Rite does express a preconciliar ecclesiology, which Sacrosanctum Concilium overturned. The difficulty for liturgical traditionalists is that their two best-known advocates in Rome have been Cardinals Castrillon and Law. My point was only that the Paulus people had the opportunity to disassociate what might otherwise be linked.
Brian Thompson | 4/22/2010 - 7:20am
A few corrections:
The Mass will be at the Basilica National Shrine, not the Cathedral in DC.
Also, unless somthing changed since last night around 11, the Mass is still happening, but the Paulus people are looking to find a new bishop to do it.
I think the cardinal made an epically bad move in saying what he did, and I hope he is corrected emphatically.
Now, I have no special devotion to the Extraordinary Form. The few times I experienced it, I liked it and engaged it just as if I went to a Divine Liturgy or a Maronite Liturgy or other such celebration. It is part of the wonderful diversity of the Church, and should never be seen as an icon of authoritarian clericalism. Indeed, I do not see clericalism really being a problem among most of the traditionalists I know. Yes, they have a sound sense of the differing roles and functions of the laity and clergy, but not in a way which is authoritarian or holds up clergy at the cost of the rest of us faithful.
We should just let the whole "nostalgic reactionism vs aimless progressivism" thing die. The upcoming generation does not see things that way, we should consciously not drag them into this sad and scandalous conflict.
Theresa Maccarone | 4/23/2010 - 7:02am
A recent news wire report from Colombia states that Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos has publicly denied that he was "banned" from the DC Mass, but decidied for himself to not celebrate the Latin Mass this Saturday.
 "Yesterday (Wednesday) in the evening, I decided I wasn't going to go. They told me there were difficulties, that they couldn't fully guarantee my security, so I decided to tell the organizors it would be better to cancel," Castrillon told Colombian radio station LA FM."
Brace yourselfs. In the same radio interview, the Cardinal also "denies having congratulated the French bishop, claiming that the controversy is based on false information. "I will not defend criminals who abuse a minor in any way, because I am with the Church," he told the radio station."
Here is the link:
George Purnell | 4/22/2010 - 3:52pm
Jeff S. your statement that the ''introduction of the vernacular has been followed by a mass exodus from church'' is an example of the false logic of post hoc ergo propter hoc. I could have used the vernacular, but I think you believe quiquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
Mark Harden | 4/22/2010 - 12:33pm
"The issue is not the seal of the confessional, since using confession to dodge responsibility before the civil law is not acceptable - the Penance for such conduct should always be to turn yourself in outside the confessional"
Well, if we were talking about the abusing priest, that would be an appropriate comment. But we are talking about the condemnation of Cardinal Castrillon for supporting the bishop because he refused to reveal to civil authorities something the bishop had discovered under the Seal of Confession.
Do you think Castrillon was wrong to support the bishop for not breaching the Seal of Confession?
Anonymous | 4/22/2010 - 11:12am
Maybe now that Hoyos-Casrillion  will not appear, the magna cappa won't either.  Clericalism lives and breathes with the garments as George Purnell suggests. Hey I'm 78 too .. listen to your elders. As comparing Berrigan's actions with the French Bishop  hiding an abusive priest. please don't. and it was not anything to do about 'confession' either.  If it follows most abuse cases the priest lied to the bishops face that 'I am innocent'  Yes for the one tenth of one percent of Catholic world travelers  You would walk into any church in the world in the period before Vatican II and feel right at home.   Latin must have been a nice surprise. Get a book.  When my brother soldiers went across France and Germany in 1944 the only sound they heard coming from  the  village churches was machine gun/sniper fire.
Jeff Bagnell | 4/22/2010 - 4:40am
I'm sorry but is this an attempt to lay the blame for the sexual abuse crisis on those favoring restoration of Latin in the liturgy?  That is more than a stretch.  It's comical.  The abuse crisis was fomented and exacerbated by the post-conciliar mentality of "let's let the psychiatrists handle it" wherein the bishops surrendered their better judgment to lay professionals, who insisted that problems like ephebophilia could be "treated" and cured.  This has nothing to do with the mentality prevailing in the Church before Vatican II, and here's a good question to ask on that topic:  how long do you think someone like Pius XII would have tolerated homosexual individuals in the clergy who were coming on to young boys and teenagers?  Do you think he would have surrendered his judgment to the "science" of psychiatry.  No.  

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