Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos Twofold Appreciation of Reactions to Motu Proprio

Source: FSSPX News


In an interview granted to the Osservatore Romano, in his March 28 edition, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, gave a twofold appreciation on the reactions to the Motu Proprio. In inverted proportions, according as he spoke of the bishops’ reactions or of the traditionalists’, he minimized the hostility of the former, and magnified the satisfaction of the latter, forgetting that animosity from miters and croziers can hardly cause enthusiasm on the part of the faithful who are its unhappy victims.

According to him, the difficulties which arose from the bishops’ attitude are only exceptions, because most of them agree with the pope’s decision. The difficulties are rather of a practical order: we must make them understand that it is not a return to the past, but a real progress, since the Motu Proprio places two riches -- the ordinary and the extraordinary forms -- at their disposal, whereas up to now, they had only one. Certainly, problems arose, but in a positive sense. For instance, the case of a celebrant who would not have the requisite preparation or cultural sensitivity, for there are priests who come from linguistic areas far remote from Latinity.  This is not a refusal, but merely the exposition of a real difficulty which must be overcome.  This is why the Commission Ecclesia Dei is thinking about ways of helping seminaries and dioceses to give  training for celebrating the traditional Mass, according to modalities which are still being studied.

Cardinal Hoyos affirmed that the difficulties met with are rather to be ascribed to a lack of understanding of the Motu Proprio on  the part of those for whom it is meant: priests and faithful. Thus some ask permission to celebrate or attend the Tridentine Mass, as if it were a concession or an exception, whereas the papal document is clear: there is no need of permission. Benedict XVI gives to all priests the possibility of celebrating the traditional Mass and to the faithful the right to attend this rite according to the conditions specified in the Motu Proprio.

Concerning Catholics attached to the Tridentine Mass, the Columbian prelate stated that, thanks to the Motu Proprio many have asked to return to full communion and some have already returned. But he only mentioned the thirty Sisters from the Oasis of Jesus Priest, in Spain, and spoke about groups of Americans, Germans, and French whose situations might be in the process of regularization, but he gave no further detail. He evoked the cases of priests from the Society of Saint Pius X who have already signed a formula of adhesion necessary for their re-integration, but for most of them, the signatures were given before the Motu Proprio.

Regarding the Second Vatican Council, in the cardinal’s eyes, the criticism leveled at it by the SSPX is concerned with the lack of clarity of certain texts, which opens the way to an interpretation diverging from traditional doctrine. According to him, the difficulties are merely interpretative, or concern some ecumenical gestures, but not the teaching of Vatican II itself. Consequently, he considered that this is a matter of theological debates which can take place within the Church, where there are already several discussions going on to interpret conciliar texts. Nothing prevents such discussions from going on with groups who return to full communion. (Source: Osservatore Romano)


Our comment: “Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos very Optimistic” read the header from Apic news agency. We would add: diplomatically irenic, and displaying a cunning which is akin to a maneuver. We would prefer the realism of straight talk for which yes is yes, and no is no.

No, bishops do not misunderstand the scope of the Motu Proprio. In full awareness they are striving to make it void, by granting indult Masses parsimoniously, or in other words traditional liturgy with freedom under high surveillance.

No, the criticism of the Council by the SSPX is not a mere matter of subjective interpretation. Faced with numberless hermeneutics, there remains the objectivity of conciliar documents concerning religious liberty, collegiality and ecumenism which, before being a series of “gestures,” is a doctrine refuted by the constant Tradition of the Church.

Yes, the bishops of the SSPX acknowledge the historical existence of Vatican II, but they never varied in their criticism of the errors of that council. And Bishop Bernard Fellay did not broach the subject of the acknowledgment of Vatican II with Pope John Paul II nor with his successor.