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Facing protests, former Vatican prefect to be replaced as celebrant for traditional liturgy in DC

April 21, 2010

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the former prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, has backed away from plans to preside at a Pontifical Mass at the National Shrine in Washington, DC. Sex-abuse victims had protested the scheduled appearance by the Colombian prelate, after the publication of a 2001 letter in which Cardinal Castrillon praised a French bishop for withholding evidence of a priest's sexual abuse.

The Paulus Institute, which is sponsoring the traditional liturgy, said that another bishop would be asked to preside at the April 24 liturgical celebration. The Institute said that it had reached an agreement with Cardinal Castrillon that another prelate should preside in order to "maintain the solemnity, reverence and beauty of the Mass." This will be the first public celebration of the traditional Latin Mass in the National Shrine in almost 50 years.

Sex-abuse victims had asked Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, to block Cardinal Castrillon from celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy. Archbishop Wuerl was unavailable for comment, but a spokesman pointed out that a cardinal does not need permission to celebrate Mass in the archdiocese.


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