Sunday, June 15, 2008

My new hero

Wearing yards of red silk, lace and gloves one might not believe the Cardinal bites open his own beer bottles and wrestles crocodiles but read this article from the Washington Post of 2005.
Do you possibly think his zeal might have something to do with the ......... err, old errr? He is obviously not a man to be thwarted. There are some interesting accounts on other blogs on his press conference.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, 75, leads the Vatican's office for priests. He has since retired from this job and heads Ecclesia Dei. Although dozens of priests have been killed in Italy (?) for straightforward talk, Castrillon has a reputation for courage and outspokenness.
Over the years, he has called on a Colombian president whose election campaign was financed by drug traffickers to step down, branded lawmakers bribed by traffickers a national disgrace and urged voters to reject a presidential candidate because he supported the right to divorce.

In Pereira, a city in the coffee-growing region where he spent 22 years as a bishop, Castrillon is remembered as fearless in action as well as words. He would walk at night through the streets of the mountain town with a huge cup of hot coffee and bread for the beggars and mentally ill people who slept on the sidewalks.
From his pulpit, Castrillon accused Pereira police of killing prostitutes, street children and beggars in a lethal "social cleansing" program.
Castrillon once met with leading Medellin cocaine trafficker Pablo Escobar to ask him to surrender. Apparently he went disguised as a milkman and made him go to confession. Escobar refused and in 1993 was shot to death by police. Castrillon also rode on horseback to several meetings with guerrillas in the jungles and was instrumental in peace talks that ended with the demobilization of the M-19 guerrilla group.


PeterHWright said...

Many thanks to Fr. Ray for this post.

I'd really no idea Cardinal Castrillon was such a tough guy !

Let the naysayers and opponents of Summorum Pontificum take note. Not a man to be thwarted, indeed !

Mulier Fortis said...

Priests killed in Italy for speaking out??? Surely not!

Fr Ray Blake said...

It is from the Washington Post, but I can't think of any, not in the last 20 years.
Mafi threats maybe.

Anonymous said...

On the French news some months ago they showed an Italian priest who had dared to speak out against the mafia. He now has to have bodyguards even when he is celebrating Mass.

Mulier Fortis said...

I assumed it was a misprint, and they meant Columbia...

John Paul said...

Excellent post & blog btw.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about killed, but I do know that Italian priests involved in stopping the trade from Eastern Europe and Africa in women for the sex "industry", are under constant threat.

Fr Peter said...

Hello, Father. Greetings from Colombia. A few years ago, the Archbishop of Cali was murdered here, as was the Bishop of Arauca, as well as numerous priests, religious, seminarians and catechists and lay faithful. Fortunately, things are considerably better now, and the street-children with whom I work are not targeted for "social cleansing". For me, as a British priest (formerly an Anglican) now based in Medellín, it is inspiring to be incardinated in a part of the world where even Archbishops have to lay down their lives for the Gospel. It should be no surprise that Cardinal Castrillon is so forthright.