With countless others, I’ve been remembering Dario Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos upon his passing. He is probably most known for two acts, confronting drug baron Pablo Escobar and for being a major influence behind restoring the Extraordinary (Latin) Form of the Mass, especially the Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI in 2007 that in effect restored said Form.
It is hard to say which act took more courage.
Remembering the late Cardinal causes me to remember attending the Pontifical Mass at the2007 Latin Mass Society Conference at Merton Oxford. It was very providential that I got to attend as I had happened to arrive that week for studies and did not even know about the conference until the day before.
And even then I did not fully realize the importance of this conference and its Pontifical Mass. Less than two months before, on July 7th, 2007, Pope Benedict issued his Summorum Pontificum making the Latin Mass more accessible to the whole Roman Catholic Church. It came into effect just over two weeks after the conference on September 14th. The conference’s purpose was to train priests to perform that Extraordinary Form of the Mass. Yes, I was aware of those basic facts at the time. But when one is in the middle of something historic, one sometimes does not really get that one is in the middle of something historic! That was certainly the case for me.
And it did not occur to me then that it may have been the first time a Latin Mass was said in the College of Merton College since the Elizabethan Settlement. But they so like Latin at Oxford, I cannot be sure of that. More certain is that it was the first time a Tridentine Mass was said at Merton since Queen Mary.
Those were joyous days indeed for traditionalists in and outside the Roman Catholic Church, me certainly included. I do not think most Catholics realized how good they had it under Benedict at the time.