.- Cardinal DarÃo CastrillÃ³n Hoyos will not celebrate a Solemn High Mass in honor of Pope Benedictâs pontifical anniversary, following recent reports that the prelate endorsed a clerical sex abuse cover up.
Cardinal DarÃo CastrillÃ³n Hoyos of Colombia was originally asked to participate in marking the fifth anniversary of the inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI, by celebrating a traditional Latin Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on April 24.
However, last week the French magazine Golias published a letter from Sept. 8, 2001 that featured the cardinal applauding Bishop Pierre Pican for refusing to report an abusive priest to the civil authorities. The priest, Abbot RenÃ¨ Bissey, was sentenced in 1998 to 18 years in prison for his abuses of minors, while Bishop Pican later received a three month sentence for withholding information.
Cardinal CastrillÃ³n has since claimed that the late John Paul II approved of his letter. On April 17, Reuters reported the cardinal as saying that the âThe Holy Father authorized me to send this letter to all bishops in the world and publish it on the internet.â
In response to the recently reported scandal, the Paulus Institute, which is coordinating the Mass, said in a April 21 statement that after âconsultationâ with the cardinal, both have âagreed to seek another celebrant.â
âThis action will help maintain the solemnity, reverence and beauty of the Mass,â the statement added.
âWe are in the process of seeking another Bishop to celebrate a Pontifical Solemn Mass on Saturday and are confident that one will agree,â continued the statement. âHowever, in any event, a beautiful, dignified Traditional Latin Mass will be celebrated at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Saturday at 1PM and will be the first time in nearly a half century this has occurred.â
Paul King, president of the Paulus Institute, reiterated to the New York Times on Tuesday that both the cardinal and the institute agreed on the decision to find another celebrant. King expressed his concerns regarding security issues as well as the potential for the recent reports to distract from the event.
âIt becomes the center of attention, when the center of attention should be at the main altar,â he said.