Colombian cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, emeritus president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, died in Rome tonight, aged 89.
He was born in Medellín on July 4th 1929. Ordained priest on October 26th 1952 for the diocese of Santa Rosa de Osos, he completed his studies in Rome, at Università Gregoriana, where he took a postgraduate degree in canon law. Back home, he was involved in lots of pastoral services, until, on June 2nd 1971, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of mgr. Álvarez Restrepo, bishop of Pereira, whom he replaced on July 1st 1976. From 1983 to 1987, he was general secretary of Celam, the Latin American Bishops Commission, and was appointed president of such organisation for the following four years (1987-1991). On December 16th 1992, John Paul II appointed him archbishop of Bucaramanga.
Then, the Pope called him to Vatican City: on June 15th 1996, he was actually appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy (a position he held until 2006). At the Consistory of February 21st 1998, he was made cardinal-deacon for Santa Maria al Foro Traiano. On April 13th 2000, he was appointed president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, a position he held until July 8th 2009.
In giving the news, the Colombian Bishops Conference (Cec) “joins in prayer” for his eternal rest. The president of Cec, mgr. Oscar Urbina Ortega, states: “May Christ Resurrected welcome into the eternal Kingdom he who generously served Him as the pastor of God’s people”.