We have $160,303 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Cardinal Castrillon denies advance knowledge of Bishop Williamson's views

Catholic World News - September 25, 2009

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos has heatedly denied a report that he had been informed about the extreme views of Bishop Richard Williamson prior to the January 2009 announcement that the Pope was lifting the excommunications of Williamson and other bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

In a Swedish television broadcast earlier this week, Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm disclosed that he was aware of Bishop Williamson's statements questioning the severity of the Holocaust, and had alerted Vatican officials to those statements. But Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos-- who, as president of the Ecclesia Dei commission at that time, was primarily responsible for Vatican talks with the SSPX, told the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung that it was "calumny" to say that he had been informed of Williamson's views.

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos indicated that the records of the Ecclesia Dei commission would corroborate his statement, noting that "we keep archive copies of all the documents that we receive, in digital form." He indicated that he was not informed of Bishop Williamson's views until after the Pope lifted the excommunications.

The cardinal's statement left open the possibility that Archbishop Arborelius had communicated his concerns to another Vatican office, and the message had not been passed along to the Ecclesia Dei commission. The Swedish bishop reportedly informed the apostolic nuncio in Stockholm, who would ordinarily make his own report to the Secretariat of State. In fact, in his interview with the German newspaper, Cardinal Castrillon himself pointed a finger at the Secretariat of State. When Suddeutsche Zeitung noted that Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re "felt cheated" because Cardinal Castrillon had not warned his colleagues about Williamson's extremism, Cardinal Castrillon replied that he had not heard that accusation directly, but was aware that Cardinal Re "said some incautious words about me to the press." The Colombian prelate continued:

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.

However, Cardinal Castrillon reminded his German interviewer that the controversy over Bishop Williamson's remarks had distracted attention from the Pope's true reasons for lifting the excommunications:

Williamson was excommunicated because of his illegitimate episcopal ordination, not because of his theories, judgments or statements about the Holocaust.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($160,303 to go):
$200,000.00 $39,696.72
80% 20%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Links: Think like a poet, academia's black sheep, Marion Cotillard on feminism October 12
Adapting Christianity? October 12
The Synod's choice: change the marketing campaign or change the product? October 12
The Synod Continues October 9
Why Pope Francis cannot win on sexual abuse October 9

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5