Cardinal Deacon of SS. Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano
Cardinal Darío CASTRILLÓN HOYOS , Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei , was born on 4 July 1929 in Medellín, Colombia. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Medellín on 26 October 1952 following his theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, where he also earned a doctorate in canon law. He also specialized in religious sociology, political economy and ethics in economy.
He served as a curate in two rural parishes, director of the Cursillo movement and delegate for Catholic Action. He also taught canon law at the Free Civil University and was General Secretary of the Colombian Bishops’ Conference.
On 2 June 1971, he was elected titular Bishop of Villa del re and Coadjutor of Pereira and succeeded the Bishop on 1 July 1976. He received episcopal ordination on 18 July 1971.
From 1983 to 1987 he was General Secretary of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) and President of the same Council from 1987 to 1991.
Named Archbishop of Bucaramanga on 16 December 1992, he was called by the Holy Father to head the Congregation for the Clergy on 15 June 1996 as Pro-Prefect.
As a Delegate of the Colombian Bishops’ Conference, he participated in the Latin American Bishops’ General Conferences held in Puebla and Medellín.
On 15 November 1996, he offered a splendid reflection by presenting the book "Dono e Mistero" of John Paul II. Also, as Pro-Prefect of the Congregation, he organized personally the celebration of John Paul II’s 50 years as priest.
On 18 September 1997, he presented the General Directory for Catechesis and on 17 October 1997 at the conclusion of the International Catechetic Congress, he presented to the Holy Father – the first catechist of the Church – the fruits of those intense days of work. The Congress was an eloquent sign of the need for announcing in an adequate way to the men of our time the Word of God in its integrity and purity.
During the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops held from 16 November to 12 December 1998 he served as President Delegate and member of the post-synodal Council.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 February 1998. Diaconate of Most Holy Name of Mary on the Forum Traiano.
Archbishop of Bucaramanga, 16 December 1992 to 15 June 1996.
Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, 23 February 1998.
President of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei', 13 April 2000.