VOTF Also Applauds the Pope’s Acceptance of Moriarty Resignation

Contact: Donna Doucette, Executive Director, dbdoucette@votf.org, (617) 686-3757

For Immediate Release

April 22, 2010 – Boston—Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos is the latest Catholic bishop to reveal that his understanding of how to prevent child sex abuse in the Church is flawed. Castrillón Hoyos set aside plans to preside at a pontifical Latin Mass in Washington, D.C., in the wake of news reports that in 2001 he applauded Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeax-Lisieux for refusing to report an abusive priest to the civil authorities:

“I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration,” Castrillón Hoyos said in a letter to Bishop Pican, who received a short suspended sentence for failure to report child sex abuse. “You have acted well,” the Cardinal said, “and I am pleased to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and of all other bishops in the world, preferred prison to denouncing his son and priest.”

The priest thus shielded by Bishop Pican, whom Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos found so worthy of support, had at the time of the letter been sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting 10 children and raping another. Castrillón Hoyos has made it clear that he still believes what he wrote in the 2001 letter, announcing in Spain last week that he had sent the original letter to all bishops with the approval of Pope John Paul II.

Voice of the Faithful calls on the Cardinal to repudiate the views he expressed in the 2001 letter and hold himself accountable for his own failure to understand the need to protect children from sex abuse by clerics. In doing so, Castrillón Hoyos would be more in step with recent actions in Ireland, where resignation of another bishop has been accepted.

“Voice of the Faithful commends Pope Benedict XVI for accepting the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty of Ireland’s Kildare Diocese,” said Dan Bartley, president of Voice of the Faithful. “This is a concrete demonstration of the accountability our Church needs. We call on Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos to hold himself accountable as well, and retract in public the views expressed in his 2001 letter.”

For more information about the VOTF, please email Donna at dbdoucette@votf.org or call 617-686-3757

Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) is a lay organization formed in 2002 in response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. It now includes more than 150 Parish Voice affiliates and 30,000 members who seek to gain greater lay input into the governance and guidance of the Church.