Cardinal Sarah: “I Denounce the Crisis of Faith of a Betraying Clergy”


In the last few days Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, was in Belgium for a presentation on his book, “God or Nothing.” He responded to certain tendencies to modify Catholic morality, in particular in regard to marriage and the family, as well as the teaching on life. May certain of his words be read as a response to the recent remarks of German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, of the Vice-President of the German Bishops’ Conference Franz Josef Bode, and of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna?

It seems the answer is yes. Speaking to a church full of people, including the Apostolic Nuncio Cardinal De Kesel, Mayor Woluwé-Saint Pierre, and Abbot Philippe Mawet, in charge of French-speaking pastoral ministry, who had criticized Sarah’s book a few days earlier in an article in the left-leaning daily Libre Belgique, the cardinal called out the ideologies and pressure groups that “with powerful financial means and ties to the media, attack the natural purpose of marriage and commit themselves to destroying the family unit.”

But the cardinal from Guinea, speaking in one of the most devastated local Churches of all of Europe, was not afraid to include tough words directed towards his brothers in the episcopate. “Some high-ranking prelates, above all those coming from opulent nations, are working to cause modifications to Christian morality with regard to the absolute respect for life from conception until natural death, the question of the divorced and civilly remarried, and other problematic family situations. These ‘guardians of the faith’ however ought not to lose sight of the fact that the problem posed by the fragmentation of the ends of marriage is a problem of natural morality.” But the cardinal did not stop there. He continued calmly: “The great derivations became manifest when some prelates or Catholic intellectuals began to say or write ‘a green light for abortion,’ ‘a green light for euthanasia.’ Now, from the moment that Catholics abandon the teaching of Jesus and the Magisterium of the Church, they contribute to the destruction of the natural institution of marriage as well as the family and it is now the entire human family which finds itself fractured by this new betrayal on the part of priests.”

In this year in which the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Humanae Vitae is being celebrated, without making any effort to hide or water down his words, the cardinal spoke quite strongly: “The Church needs to turn to the encyclical Humanae Vitae of Paul VI as well as to the teachings of John Paul II and Benedict XVI on these vital questions for the human race. Pope Francis himself remains in the same line with his predecessors when he emphasizes the union between the Gospel of love and the Gospel of peace. The Church needs to affirm with strength and without ambiguity the Magisterial weight of all of this teaching, display clearly its continuity [with the Tradition] and protect this treasure from the predators of this world without God [in which we live].

In an interview given to Cathobel, Cardinal Sarah testified that the Church today ought to face up to great questions, and above all to “her fidelity to Jesus, to his Gospel, to the teaching which she has always received from the first popes, from the councils…and this is not evident, because the Church desires to adapt herself to the cultural context, to modern culture.”

And then on faith: “Faith has become lacking, not only on the level of the people of God but also among those responsible for the Church, sometimes we can ask ourselves if we really have faith.”  Cardinal Sarah recalled the episode of the [priest who omitted the] Creed at Mass, Fr. Fredo Olivero, and concluded: “I think that today there may be a great crisis of faith and also a great crisis of our personal relationship with God.”

And on Europe? “Not only is the West losing its soul, but it is committing suicide, because a tree without roots is condemned to death. I think that the West cannot renounce its roots, which created its culture and its values.” The cardinal continued: “There are chilling things happening in the West. I think that a parliament which authorizes the death of an innocent baby, without defense, is committing a grave act of violence against the human person. When abortion is imposed, especially on nations in the developing world, saying that if they do not accept it they will no longer receive aid, it is an act of violence. And it is no surprise. When God is abandoned, man is also abandoned; there is no longer a clear vision of who man is. This is a great anthropological crisis in the West. And it leads to people being treated like objects.”

Originally published at La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino.

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15 Responses to Cardinal Sarah: “I Denounce the Crisis of Faith of a Betraying Clergy”

  1. How long before Cardinal Sarah goes the way of others who have supported and defended Church teaching and the Gospel?


  2. Mary Salmond says:

    Brilliant words.I thank God for Cardinal Sarah’s leadership and especially in such a deprived area. He’s made their faith strong in all their adversaties.


  3. Toad says:

    Cardinal Sarah deserves to be the next Pope.


  4. kathleen says:

    What a valiant and holy prelate we have in Cardinal Sarah! His calling out of the treacherous bishops on their betrayal of Catholic dogma and tradition is proof that here (at least) we have a true Apostle of Christ. So few cardinals have had the holy courage to do so. Also, Cardinal Sarah’s generous nod in the direction of Pope Francis will – we hope and pray – safeguard him against any papal reprisals for his orthodox defence of the Faith.

    I was wondering who this unknown (to me) prelate Abbot Philippe Mawet was, and how he could possibly criticise Card. Sarah’s outstanding book “God or Nothing”, so I looked him up. It appears he is another of those old progressives stuck in the ecumaniac madness of the ‘spirit of Vatican II’. On a French-speaking site I found this… (my translation with a little help from ‘Google Translate’, so perhaps not perfect):

    “I know it’s the title of one of his [Card. Sarah] books, but in the name of my faith and my fidelity to the Church, I absolutely can not subscribe to such a proposal. a catchy slogan, besides the fact that this title is the antithesis of the Gospel*, this way of presenting the Christian faith seems to me to be disrespectful (and even totally disrespectful) of all our brothers and sisters who do not share our faith.” […]
    Philippe Mawet says he respects the faith path of the Guinean cardinal “but he can hardly conclude that unbelievers are in the ‘nothing’, that is to say in nothingness”.
    Fr Mawet believes that “this type of affirmation can have serious consequences at the pastoral level** in a world where we must take into account the absence (or refusal***) of God in a ‘significant’ number of our contemporaries.”

    * (“antithesis of the Gospel*”) – this is untrue. It is the absolute “thesis of the Gospel”!
    ** nothing at the so-called “pastoral level” can EVER contradict Catholic Doctrine.
    *** “refusal of God” leads souls to Hell!

    This Abbot appears to be an outright Modernist!


  5. Mary Salmond says:

    This maybe the second time i agree with toad!
    Thanks, Kathleen, for searching for Mawet. Helpful. Hadn’t seen the name before either.


  6. Crow says:

    I too, agree with Toad. I pray that the Church would have such a pope as Cardinal Sarah.


  7. geoffkiernan says:

    “I too agree with Toad”….. What is going on here? Have we misread him all this time? Or is this a case of crying wolf in reverse? With respect to the green beast I will have to have a lot more proof before I accept his endorsement of Cardinal Sarah. Or is this his ‘kiss’ of death? This is a favorite tactic of those that ‘speak with forked tongue.’
    I can be convinced but not just Yet…. Kathleen….anyone????
    At this point I prefer, that he simply forgot to insert a Question Mark or a smiley face.There is a catch there somewhere.


  8. Toad says:

    Not at all, Geoff.
    Like everyone else on here, I am currently savouring the reign of pope Francis. Seldom a dull moment.
    But I equally anticipate Pope Sarah’s head-on assault on the capering, lip-sticked, rouged, and mascara-adorned Vatican Mafia – his restoring altar rails and altar boys, banishing altar girls and guitars, turning the priest back around the right way, telling adulterers where to get off, ensuring The Poor Are With Us Always – banning women from reading the lesson, abolishing the ‘sign of peace,’ and decreeing the Latin Mass compulsory from now on.
    Big fun! Blood bath!. And who doesn’t relish the prospect of one of them?
    Can’t wait really.
    ...But I suppose we will just have to.


  9. Mary Salmond says:

    Geoff: i agree that that was a tease from Toad, but i took the bait anyway. He will come back with lashing words in the near future!


  10. Mary Salmond says:

    There it is, the DIG! The jab! The parry!


  11. kathleen says:

    Yes, there we have it (^), Geoff and Mary, – Toad’s hope that Cardinal Sarah be elected the next Pope has nothing to do with the great Cardinal’s holiness and Catholic orthodoxy… who as pope would weed out the gays and heretic infiltrators, thus getting the Holy Catholic Church back on track again. Instead it is a gleeful anticipation of a clash between traditional (read, faithful) Catholics and the liberal, Protestant-minded progressives! Toad fancies being a witness to what he presumes will be a “blood bath”! Hmmm…

    However, Cardinal Sarah, were he to be elected the next Pope, would indeed rectify most of the list of errors Toad quotes above… errors and unCatholic-like changes that have caused such pain and heartache to all true Catholics in the last few decades.
    You surely got that one right, Toad 😉!

    Then he who laughs last….


  12. Mary Salmond says:

    Bravo, Kathleen! Nothing is as it seems with Spittle!


  13. Toad says:

    ”Nothing is as it seems with Spittle”
    I might get that printed as a bumper-sticker. Thanks for the thought, Mary.

    Which reminds me: I somehow managed to overlook possibly the most significant inaugural event for Pope Sarah: The Grand Re-Opening of Hell. Under Old Management. Leering, Sadistic, Demons all tarted up, teeth newly and horrifically filed , fur brushed, to a glossy sheen, coal- black faces freshly burnished to an inky and dazzling shine, pitchforks freshly sharpened to needle points. Step right up, you unrepentant sinners – we’re back in the eternal damnation business! Line forms on the right!, folks. It’s like we’ve never been away!

    (Oh, come on. All this fond teasing is simply intended to make people laugh – and encourage a healthy readership. I mean no harm Well, not very often.)


  14. Toad says:

    ”Then he who laughs last….”
    Has the last laugh – eh, Kathleen?
    (Why is it never ‘she’? All priests laughing?)


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