venerdì 25 settembre 2009


by Francesco Colafemmina

As it was easy to demonstrate, Cardinal Castrillon reveals himself a real Cardinal, i.e. a man that (instead of other small men) dress in red just to remember that blood that he is ready to spout for the Church of Christ. Above all the Cardinal isn't a naive and despite his old age (80) he's well experienced with softwares and computers (maybe so well experienced to send no one email to journalists...).
Castrillon clarifies to Suddeutsche Zeitung in a long interview his position. That of Arborelius is for him simply a "slander" - as anticipated also here on Wiener Zeitung website. And he adds "I'm sorry but this allegation is really doubtful, since is wrong (...) we store all the documents we received in digital format. Bishop Arborelius must tell us how, who, and when communicated this report and if this happened in written or oral form. ".
As I already said it will be right to search the responsible in the office of the Secretariat of State that has the duty to manage the relationship with Apostolic Nuncios: The First Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State! In which drawer of that office was missing the report on the Williamson "affair" sent by Arborelius?
Then Castrillon add about his relationship with Benedict XVI: "We always worked together closely. The Pope is an excellent theologian, a champion of the faith, a friend that always trust in me." You can also read here this interview to the Cardinal published by Pontifex.

The complete interview to Castrillon of Suddeutsche Zeitung is now available here:

In an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung Hoyos take position:

SZ: You were strongly criticized in Germany.

Hoyos: In Germany? Who did criticizes me in Germany?

SZ: You present yourself as the first responsible of the scadal of Richard Williamson, member of the SSPX, at the beginning of this year.

Hoyos: I don't care at all about what was said. For me, it's a sign that a country, a press and a public, that I believe at bottom honest, are not well informed.

SZ: What do you mean?

Hoyos: I mean that it seems that you don't know what is and in what consist the right of the Church. This means that everyone let take himself in a media whirlwind or a local hipersensibility, that we understand and respect.

SZ: So, what happened?

Hoyos: Marcel Lefevre made an act of rebellion when in 1988 he ordered four bishops without the papal mandate. It was a schismatic act and in consequence of this the four members of the SSPX were excommunicated together with Mons. Lefebvre. That's all. Both JP II and Benedict XVI were engaged in order to solve this conflict. For the rest, what was said lay on a foundamental ignorance of the intentions and the acts of the Pope.

SZ: Also in the Vatican the rapprochement process with SSPX was criticized.

Hoyos: The only aim of the Pope was to reduce the schism. Mons. Lefebvre was dead and those ordered by hom asked the revocation of the excommunication. The Pope accepted, after long consultations. And we, the bishops, must support the Pope, above all when the theme is a so foundamental one as that of Unity.

SZ: Which was your role in the rapprochement with SSPX?

Hoyos: In 2000 started the dialogue between Rome and the Fraternity, dialogue closely followed by Card. Ratzinger. After a meeting lead in 2001 by JPII, all the present Cardinals showed themselves in favour of this process. They explained that the excommunicated brothers weren't heretics or schismatics themselves, despite they committed a schismatic act. About their relationship with the Council, were underlined some difficulties of some interpretations of religious freedom and ecumenism. The Commission Ecclesia Dei, that I lead from 2000 until past July, had to analize this problem, nothing else.

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

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.

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?

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: It's simply a german mistake? There are different opinions in the Church.

Hoyos: In fact, in the Church there were critical reactions. Is what the Pope indicated in a letter addressed to all the bishops of the wordl. But the Pope of course is not alone: is so to speak surrounded by the episcopate. He didn't act by ignorance. The fact that other variables come into this matter, is another thing.

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: Since 1989 Mons. Williamson denied in a sermon the gas chamber for the jewish. You couldn't know it before?

Hoyos: Don't say since... At that time Mons. Williamson was a young bishop that acted outside the Church and without legal legitimacy. In 1989 the young bishop shared his opinion on a book that proposed an historical analysis of Holocaust that many of us don't approve. But maybe all must know that book? No one is obliged to read all the works that are published, and above all when they are on such specific themes.

SZ: But the words of Williamson were clear: "no one jewish was killed in gas chamber! That were lies, lies, lies! The Jewish invented Holocaust". From 1987 to 1991, you were president of the Episcopal Council of Latin America: at that time the position of Williamson was known in Argentina. And however you didn't know it?

Hoyos: At that time I knew about him what i knew about Maradona. I just learned the existence of Maradona only when I was in Rome. I learned something about Williamson only in 2000. What I can tell you is however that nor the Curia, nor the Congregation for Bishops, nor the Secretariat of Statem nor the Nuncios, nor the Canadian, German, Swiss, Austrian , French and Holland Episcopate, said nothing about Mons. Williamson to Ecclesia Dei Commission.

SZ: Neither on January 2009?

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 that I kept.

SZ: Since January 21st a fax arrived in the Vatican with the report on the Williamson interview.

Hoyos: We just learned it on February 5th. I made to myself this question many time: if the interview was made on november 2008, why it was broadcasted on January 21st? Apparently they awaited that the decree of revocation of the excommunication was signed on January 14th. Why this?

SZ: What do you think?

Hoyos: I don't love too much speculations.

Sz: Now the Bishop of Stockholm Anders Arborelius states that he informed the Nunciature in Stockholm as early as in November 2008.

Castrillón: 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.

(This is the original text: SZ: Jetzt behauptet der Stockholmer Bischof Anders Arborelius, er habe shon im November 2008 die Stockholmer Nuntiatur über Williamsons Holocaust-Leugnung informiert.
Hoyos: Ich bedauere diese unseriöse Äußerung sehr, denn sie ist falsh. Diese Information zu verbreiten, ist eine Verleumdung. Wir speichern alle Dokumente, die wir bekommen, in digitaler Form. Bischof Arborelius sollte also sagen, wie, wem, und wann er das mitgeteilt hat, und ob das schriftlich oder mündlich geschah.)

SZ: The Magazine Spiegel reported the interview of Williamson in 2008. Nobody reads it in the Vatican?

Castrillón: 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 21th. Jan., in order to prevent the series from being broadcasted.

Castrillón: I know nothing about this.

SZ: Williamson said, he got to know you during a lunch?

Castrillón: 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: 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 at that time?

Castrillón: He is a honest man, somewhat eccentric. Not silly, but obsessive and stubborn.

SZ: An honest man?

Castrillón: 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: When the scandal came out even the Speaker of the Holy See attacked you publicly.

Hoyos: Father Lombardi made to a french journalist an bold commen on myself, but then he retracted his accusation. He offered his excusation to me and we must underline this point: at that moment he didn't act on the Pope's request.

SZ: Cardinal Battista Re felt cheated by you.

Castrillón: 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: 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: You affirmed that the debate on the existance of gas chamber isn't a moral matter, but just historical. Can you explain it?

Hoyos: The genocide of the jewish nation is an act morally reprehensible, as much as torture. But to affirm that there were 5 dead instead of 10 is not a moral judgement but an historical mistake.

SZ: Williamson denies the attempt to annihilate the jewish people.

Hoyos: in my opinion he didn't denies the genocide. He reduced it. It's an historical matter. The moral problem is exclusively on the level of the racist genocide.

SZ: What would the Vatican have done if Williamson didn't minimize the Holocaust, but just denied it?
Hoyos: Negationism doesn't touch the essence of the Church. It's a solvable problem. Is the same problem of those that doen't condemn trrorism or defend those that practice abortion. Mons. Williamson is still subjected to SSPX, that can go up to the prohibition to enter in a church or to celebrate a Mass, for lack of judgement.

SZ: You will restart in the same way?
Hoyos: Exactly!

SZ: Did you feel yourself hurt by the media?
Castrillón: 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.

2 commenti:

Francesco Colafemmina ha detto...

Thanks a looooot!

Can you ps send me an email to


Anonimo ha detto...

Bravo Cardinal! Dicho como un verdadero Colombiano! Sin disculpas!