The Vatican cardinal whose contempt for civil authorities was revealed last week in a 2001 letter to a French bishop has been disinvited by a traditionalist Catholic group who wanted him to celebrate a Old Rite Mass at the Cathedral in Washington DC.
The Paulus Institute, who had spent three years preparing the Solemn Mass, said they had agreed to cancel the event because of protests by the abuse survivors' network SNAP.
I've written for the Guardian about Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos's "perfect society" mentality which seems to me one of the principal causes of the sex abuse crisis.
Because what it reveals is a clericalist mindset that the Church was supposed to have abandoned at the Second Vatican Council. When Castrillón writes that "the relationship between a bishop and his priests is not a professional one, but a sacramental one which creates very special bonds of spiritual paternity" he is saying nothing surprising. But as a justification for a bishop not informing the police of his priest's crimes, it is deeply shocking.
This view of the Church as a societas perfecta – a community complete unto itself; unaccountable to, and without needing to refer to, wider society – was one that prevailed in the 1950s, which the Second Vatican Council rejected. Unsurprisingly, Cardinal Castrillón has long been a leading light in the move to restore the liturgical rite that existed before the Council.
I go on to say how this mentality can flourish particularly where the state is weak; and to conclude that it is providential that a German -- in other words, from a country where the state and law are strong -- should be occupying the Chair of St Peter.
But it will be hard for people not to conclude that Cardinal Castrillon's preconciliar mentality on this issue has nothing to do with his promotion of preconciliar liturgy.
The Paulus Institute had a chance to distance the traditionalist movement from the clericalist hauteur which has protected abusive priests. They could have withdrawn the invitation and expressed concern at last week's revelations, disassociating liturgical traditionalism from authoritarian clericalism. But they missed it.