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Darío Castrillón Hoyos: Wikis


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Styles of
Darío Castrillón Hoyos
CardinalCoA PioM.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Bucaramanga (Emeritus)

Darío Castrillón Hoyos (born 4 July 1929) is a Colombian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He was Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy from 1996 to 2006, and served as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei from 2000 until his retirement in 2009. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998.


Early life

Born in Medellín, Darío Castrillón Hoyos attended the seminaries in Antioquia and Santa Rosa de Osos before going to Rome to study at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Alfonso Carinci on 26 October 1952, in the basilica of Ss. XII Apostoli. He finished his studies at the Gregorian, from where he obtained a doctorate in canon law and specialization in religious sociology, political economics, and ethical economics. Castrillón Hoyos also studied at the Sociological Faculty of the University of Louvain in Belgium.

Upon returning to Colombia, he served as a curate for two rural parishes in Yarumal from 1954 to 1971. He then served as director of Cursillos, of the national pastoral program, and of the Legion of Mary. After becoming an official in the diocesan curia of Santa Rosa de Osos, Castrillón was made director of radiophonic schools. In 1959 he became the diocesan delegate of Catholic Action, and also worked as ecclesiastical assistant to the Catholic Workers Youth. He did catechetical and curial work before serving as General Secretary of the Colombian Episcopal Conference.


On 2 June 1971, Castrillón Hoyos was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Pereira and Titular Bishop of Villa Regis by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 18 July from Archbishop Angelo Palmas, with Archbishop Anibal Muñoz Duque and Bishop Baltasar Alvarez Restrepo serving as co-consecrators. Castrillón Hoyos succeeded Alvarez Restrepo as Bishop of Pereira on July 1, 1976.

During his time as Bishop of Pereira, Castrillón Hoyos was reported to have walked the streets at night to help feed abandoned children.[1] While many Latin American bishops refused to accept contributions from suspected drug lords, Castrillón Hoyos accepted donations for his diocese's charities, arguing that by accepting the funds, they would be diverted from funding crime and instead used to help the poor and needy. He said that when accepting such donations, he had warned the donors personally that their donations "would not save their souls".[1] Castrillón Hoyos once disguised himself as a milkman to gain access to the home of drug lord Pablo Escobar, and after revealing himself, the bishop successfully persuaded Escobar to confess his sins.[1][2] Castrillón Hoyos also served as Secretary General (1983-1987) and then President (1987-1991) of the Latin American Episcopal Conference, where he took a hard line stance opposing liberation theology, which was popular among leftist Latin American bishops at that time.

Castrillón Hoyos was advanced to Archbishop of Bucaramanga on 16 December 1992. He remained in that post until 15 June 1996, when he became Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy in the Roman Curia. In this capacity, he was responsible for the celebrations commemorating the 50th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's priestly ordination that November.


John Paul II created him Cardinal Deacon of SS. Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano in the consistory of 21 February 1998. Two days later, on 23 February, Castrillón Hoyos was promoted to full Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. On 26 October of that same year he served as papal envoy to the signing of the peace accord between Peru and Ecuador to settle their border dispute. During his tenure as Prefect, he expressed his disapproval of the zero-tolerance policy of the American bishops towards paedophile priests, saying that the bishops ignored such "fundamental principles of the Church" as forgiveness and conversion[3]. On 14 April 2000, he replaced Angelo Felici as President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Curial office that handles the Vatican's relations with Traditionalist groups such as the Society of St. Pius X.

Upon the death of John Paul II on 2 April 2005, Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos and all major Vatican officials, in accord with custom, automatically lost their positions during the sede vacante. He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected John Paul's successor Pope Benedict XVI, and was himself considered papabile—a possible successor to the papacy. Pope Benedict later confirmed him as Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei on the following 21 April.

On 31 October 2006, the Cardinal resigned as head of the Congregation for the Clergy, but remained as President of Ecclesia Dei. He became Protodeacon, or the senior Cardinal Deacon, on 23 February 2007, and later participated in the May 2007 general conference of the Latin American Episcopal Conference, also attended by Pope Benedict, in Brazil. On 27 June 2007, Castrillón, along with several other prelates, attended a briefing at the Apostolic Palace on Pope Benedict's impending motu proprio granting greater freedom to the Tridentine Mass.[4] On March 1, 2008 Castrillón was elevated to Cardinal-Priest. His titular deaconry Ss. Nominis Mariae ad forum Traiani (Italian: Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano) was elevated pro hac vice to title. Hoyos' successor as Cardinal protodeacon is Agostino Cacciavillan.

He was appointed Grand Prior of the Constantinian Order of St George by HRH Infante don Carlos, Duke of Calabria, on 27 February 2004. On 13 September 2007 Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos was interviewed by Vatican Radio about the implementation of Pope Benedict's motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. [5]


Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos retired on 8 July 2009. On the same day, Pope Benedict issued the motu proprio Ecclesiae Unitatem, which attached the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. As a result of the motu proprio, William Levada, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, became ex officio the President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. [1]

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos told the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung that it was a "calumny" to say that he had been informed of Richard Williamson's negationist views, in response to allegations by bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm that the Holy See had prior knowledge of the controversy. He has argued that if anyone in the Vatican should have known about the matter, it was not himself but rather Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, due to the fact that Re is responsible for the Congregation of Bishops, which oversees information about bishops and prelates. [6][7]


External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
José Tomás Sánchez
Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
15 June 1996 –31 October 2006
Succeeded by
Cláudio Hummes
Preceded by
Angelo Felici
President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
14 April 2000 –8 July 2009
Succeeded by
William Joseph Levada
Preceded by
Jorge Medina Estévez
Cardinal Protodeacon
23 February 2007 – 1 March 2008
Succeeded by
Agostino Cacciavillan


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