Recently, OnePeterFive reported about Cardinal Robert Sarah – the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments – and his mid-August visit to the French region of the Vendée which still stands in history for a courageous resistance against the French Revolution’s attempts to stamp out the Catholic Faith. We had then translated parts of a 12 August homily delivered by the African cardinal in Puy du Fou, an historical site of the Vendée. Today, we wish to sum up some of the important thoughts which Cardinal Sarah expressed in his homily on the following day – 13 August – in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de L’Assomption of Luçon. (Once more with gratitude, we owe it to the French Catholic website, Riposte Catholique, for bringing this text to our attention.)
In his 13 August homily, Cardinal Sarah discusses the readings of the day which speak about the scene with Jesus and His disciples in the boat in a great wind. Thus it happened that Cardinal Sarah was also commenting here on an image that had just been used by the ex-pope Benedict XVI when speaking about the Church as a boat sometimes seemingly “on the verge of capsizing.” And, indeed, Cardinal Sarah’s own words do appear to resonate or reinforce Pope Benedict’s own reflections. Cardinal Sarah said:
The readings of this Sunday Mass give us occasion to meditate on our Faith, and thus on the presence of God in our life. The first reading tells us frankly that God is not in the hurricane whose force and violence crack mountains and bruise the rocks, nor in the earthquakes nor in the crashes of thunder. He was neither in the fire nor in the noises – those with which our ears are saturated in our world of media frenzy and [our world] of vapid and all-too-often demagogic discourse.
After describing our secular world, Cardinal Sarah importantly applies this image of disorder also to our Church as he continues, by saying:
But it is not only the world which lives in the frenzy and in the vapid and demagogic discourse. The Church herself, in her doctrinal and moral teaching, lives today in a cacophony, in the confusion of theses, in the duplicity, in the double or triple truth, in an avalanche of interpretations and a pastoral demagogy which one could consider to be a great ecclesiastical disorder. [my emphasis]
Cardinal Sarah compares this situation in the Church with a “darkening, an eclipse of the decisive contribution of Revelation to morality.” He adds, saying that we have the “tendency to forget – with the return to the casuistic and our multiple pastoral plans or accompaniments – that God is present in the intimacy of our soul, in the murmur of a light breeze, in the depths of our heart.” God, according to Cardinal Sarah, is a “silent God,” he is a “tender and merciful God, slow to anger and full of love and truth.” The Triune God, says the prelate, “comes to us by marching through the sea of our doubts, our incertitudes, and even our treasons, our resignation and our refusal to believe and to love.”
Later in his homily, Cardinal Sarah returns to the image of a “barque beaten by the winds” which has
always been perceived, by the Church Fathers, as an image of the Church which advances, here below, in rowing against the counter-currents, in the middle of difficulties and of all kinds of tests – in particular persecutions. The day of our Baptism, we entered that barque which has a name: the Church.
Cardinal Sarah once more laments the current situation in the Church when he says:
Unfortunately, there are these cleavages that arrive. There are priests and religious that are even humanely and spiritually more impoverished than certain laymen who are of great human nobility and of great Christian humility, and completely dedicated to God.
Like the Apostles in the boat, we, too, might at times have fear, says Sarah, but Christ tells us “Don’t be afraid.” Today, as the cardinal adds, Christ again says to all of us: “Come!” But in order to get to Him, explains Cardinal Sarah, we sometimes have “to pass through the waters of tests and sufferings.” If we feel weak in this situation, the prelate recommends for us to imitate Christ who went into the mountains in order to pray. We find ourselves today in the midst of persecutions – the terrible ones in the Middle East, but also the ones that the Christians currently have to endure in the West for preserving Christ’s integral teaching. It is in this context of the persecutions that the prelate returns to the situation in the Church when he says:
Even in the Church – by lack of understanding, by ignorance, and also out of fear of appearing too “rigid” or “outdated” in the tribunal of the media, or of public opinion – certain people would prefer to choose only one part of the Gospels and of the Church’s teaching, by omitting that which troubles the “good conscience” of contemporary man who has been liberated from what one now calls the “prejudices” of religion. Under the [French] revolutionary Terror, one still spoke of “superstitions.”
But, Cardinal Sarah reminds us Catholics of our spiritual duty by saying:
Not any more to bear the cross of persecution would mean no longer to be a disciple of Jesus Our Lord Who is the Truth and the Eternal Life and Who asks from us the total giving of ourselves, up to the pardoning of offenses and up to the love of our enemies.
Cardinal Sarah reminds us that “our Faith is being fortified through such tests when our barque is being beaten by the waves of contestation and of opposition from the new prophets of the idolatry of a false humanism.” It is here that the Prefect for Divine Worship ardently calls upon the Blessed Mother to help us maintain our Faith in the middle of all these challenges and tests.
Let us then be further inspired by Cardinal Sarah’s words – also about suffering as a source of strength – and let us always turn with trust to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May she help us endure the crosses that God allows us to have, and may her Heart also soon triumph as she conditionally promised.
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.
“The Church herself, in her doctrinal and moral teaching, lives today in a cacophony, in the confusion of theses, in the duplicity, in the double or triple truth, in an avalanche of interpretations and a pastoral demagogy which one could consider to be a great ecclesiastical disorder.”
Preach it, Eminence!! We need to hear much more of this sort of talk!
The poor Catholic pewsitter so needs to be strengthened and encouraged. He/she has been battered almost senseless by faithless thugs in clerical garb. Over the past 50 years, the faithful Catholic has been overwhelmed by a never-ending series of scandals. We’ve been scandalized out the wazoo by liturgical upheaval, catechetical chaos, heretical homilies, moral confusion, priests and religious abandoning their vocations, churches closing, sex abuse and now by a potty-mouthed pope who ridicules and insults faithful Catholics on an almost daily basis and seems to delight in sneering at the simple faith of our fathers.
Scandal, scandal, scandal……that’s all we get. We ask for confirmation in the faith but instead we get nothing but scandal shoved in our faces.
…and we are the ones to blame!…
He does indeed say some good stuff every now and then.
I will begin to trust these guys when they directly and pointedly attack the heretics by name.
I’m totally distrust this Cardinal. Communication cheap, action count.
The supernatural faith we have – a preview of what Heaven has to offer – how anyone who should know better (PF) could be so enamored with “the world” is beyond comprehension and can only be explained by the evil one. Stay faithful, pray the rosary, and be consoled that we know who wins in the end ✝️
Sign the dubia, Your Eminence.
Don’t just sign it, confront the heresy! Tell Francis to his face. Then proclaim it from a cupola at the Vatican.
It’s a big joke? Where’s he hiding when “Dubia” cardinals look for him?
No way, man. I liky my job.
And I’d rather see him remain in his job instead of being axed as King Francis is liable to do. He’s walking a fine line and I don’t envy him. Rather than condemning and mocking him, how about praying for him?
Staying in your job and doing next to nothing in it is just as well as being removed from the job. You’re right, we do need to pray for all our bishops, but it’s getting really exhausting to keep making excuses for them.
If all he did was next to nothing I might agree with you. The truth is he is all over Europe and elsewhere defending the Faith and teaching correct doctrine right in the Pope’s face. I think you’re being unduly harsh with him. Save it for Cupich and the rest of the stooges. If it’s too exhausting, take a rest and do something else.
I’ll give Cupich my ire, I’ll give Sarah my disappointment. Perhaps if enough people share their disappointment instead of dropping cover for him, he’ll get the idea he needs to do his job and oppose error.
Oh, if only Cardinal Sarah would have been chosen as our holy father…!!
Why? He’s fully signed up to the errors of Vatican II.
Yea. There’s a great analysis of the incredible blindness, in regards to the liturgy, of Cardinal Sarah by Chris Ferreira over at the Fatima Network. If Cardinal Sarah was pope I imagine the restoration of the Faith would be put off for another 20 years. They all are Vatican II “yes men”. Such a shame.
I fail to see any signs of heroic virtue on the part of Cardinal Sarah. Although his fandom is forever being stoked over at the popular “gluttony and simony page” (let the reader understand) he’s simply not doing his duty to protect the Sacraments of Marriage and Holy Communion from the effects of AL.
He doesn’t have the ability to bypass the pope. If he tried, he’d follow,the same the path as Mueller: erode power gradually, embarras at any opportunity and then remove at the end of term.
So he sits back and does nothing. It’s his job to oppose error, no matter the source. Mueller failed miserably at his job, Sarah is doing no better.
I enjoy your comments and respect your opinion (in fact, I feel that way about this entire community no matter what others may think…) so I ask without disrespect: what CAN he do? What do you expect him to do?
To my mind, he speaks out courageously and unapologetically. I guess he could have signed the Dubia but then perhaps there may be more to the Dubia than meets the eye. Perhaps several cardinals wished to affix their names but may have be counseled against doing so by the very signers, who may have viewed themselves more or less as spent forces any way. Perhaps they figured it was better not to give the pope the pretext to eliminate all who oppose but instead serve more as a thorn in his side, a pebble in his shoe.
Maybe I am correct, perhaps not. But one thing I know to be true is that I do not know the inner workings, the intricacies of the Vatican. Were it me, I would have come out against AL with my head down and hands up but then I am, in boxing lingo, a fighter, not a boxer (e.g. I don’t fight strategically).
Yes, the political maneuverings are indeed beyond us. But it’s more than that. The things he HAS said have been seriously disappointing. In fact, I would argue that his equivocacy on liturgy is actually the greatest threat to the TLM that exists today.
Why can’t people see that?
He’s a front man in defending PF. What he has changed around that makes him an trustworthy person.
Agree, but then Cardinal Sarah would have done the right thing. Isn’t that what we are looking for from our Church leaders? To speak up rather than simply worry about staying employed?
I don’t think we have a faithful Cardinal that is NOT a yes man to Vatican ll. Even Burke adheres to the Counsel. The only prelate that I can see that even wants to go back and pick it apart is Bishop Athanasius Schneider. Unless of course you want to get into the discussion about the SSPX which according to some is still separated from Rome and illegitimate.
Well, yeah, it is. Their mass is still illicit. Do they still re-baptize and re-confirm people who move from the RCC to their denomination? If so, that’s a problem. You might also note that Pope Francis decided to consider SSPX confessions and marriages as legitimate in conjunction with the year of mercy.
I wouldn’t get too excited about that, though, because he’s probably going to be announcing the same and more with regard to the Lutherans any day now..,,..
Also pope “yes man.”
A great Cardinal!
Great talk, no action.
The Church needs her own Trump. Make the Church Great Again.
Please, please avoid these political metaphors and analogies. These have little or nothing to do with the situation in the Church, nor with its resolution.
Peter Santos is in no way “equating” Our Lord, secular or otherwise, to Donald Trump. It is your interpretation of his comment that is false.
“In a secular sense”.
It’s a great pity that people do not bother to read what is written.
Actually, leaving out the specifics of doctrine and politics, the parallels are striking.
Catholic prelates/Republican politicians always compromising with their supposed enemies.
Catholic prelates/Republican politicians supporting positions that are never fought for.
Church/Nation in a state of moral collapse.
Current Pope/ex-President Obama who condemns everything associated with the success of his organization and praises the organization’s enemies and condemns the organization’s friends and supports positions past leaders condemned.
Only thing lacking at this point is a new Pope who mimics Trumps attempt to rebuild the flailing about organization.
Which WILL result in a rebellion in the Church just like we see from the supposed members of the leader’s group in the nation.
She already has. He is the Lord Jesus Christ.
I no longer trust any of these men.
When I read of Sarah’s solution to the liturgical crisis being a syncretism of the NO w/ the Latin Mass that pretty much did it for me. Who out there believes that the “best” from each would be taken and “blended”?
In the Church today?
Especially when the “best” of the NO are the parts left over from the TLM.
Thus whatever is grabbed from the NO that isn’t part of the TLM is going to be poison added to the well water.
I confess, I do not understand a single Catholic prelate. I dont understand their culture, their thinking, especially their actions. I get the strong feeling that these are people who spend the lives searching for battles to lose and enemies to capitulate to.
Even when they say something great…or a bunch of things great…just wait a while for them to utterly erase everything you THOUGHT they believed in.
Truly, the account of the Hebrew spies in Canaan comes to mind. It’s as if ALL of them, their entire generation needs to die in the desert before the Promised Land can be granted to the wandering tribes. MAYBE there is a Joshua and a Caleb out there. Maybe. If so, I don’t know who they are.
May God save the Catholic Church.
RodH writes, “I confess, I do not understand a single Catholic prelate. I dont understand their culture, their thinking, especially their actions. I get the strong feeling that these are people who spend the lives searching for battles to lose and enemies to capitulate to.”
Agree. 110 percent.
They always find safe way to talk only, and try to avoid confrontation with the pope, and have no guts to defend Christ’s teachings and Church’s doctrines of Eucharist and marriage. Lord, straight them up.
Too much talk – not enough action.
The removal of PF is long overdue.
Wouldn’t it be a justified act of God to have this holy priest elected to the Chair of Peter in the near future?
Oh baby would there be a house cleaning. One gets the feeling that Cardinal Sarah doesn’t care about proprieties or niceties or customary ways of conduct: he is a man of God and would demand that the Curia be stocked with like minded men.
It would be terrific.
I get a distinctly different sense from Sarah. I suspect he’d be another Pope Benedict. Says some good things, but ultimately upholds the status quo. In fact, with his recent comments about the liturgy, him being pope might be the greatest threat to the TLM yet…
I think he would be a great disappointment to all those who propose such an idea… he’s no hero. He’s just not a complete and total traitor.
“Just not a complete and total traitor” is way over the top, Jafin. Is he a 98% semi-traitor? Cardinal Sarah is the Prefect of a major Congregation of the Curia. When he speaks, he must speak to all the faithful. There are far more priests and bishops wedded to the NO than to TLM. You seem to be okay with alienating them all and creating a further separation between the two. What is your harsh judgment of him based on?
Personally, just returning to the faithful receiving on their knees and on the tongue is a good start. Rome wasn’t built in a day, y’know.
Cardinal Sarah is a Conciliar sympathizing, modernism influenced, conservative prelate. The fact that so many look at him as the best next pope shows just how pathetic our options are. Sure, he won’t compromise on settled doctrine, but neither did John Paul II or Benedict XVI. They just allowed the modernists and revolutionaries to run rough-shod through the church. Cardinal Sarah as pope would be a repeat of the exact same thing. Throughout all the insanity going on surrounding AL he has been utterly silent. Then he says a couple good things about the liturgy, says Fr. James Martin, SJ might be a little off, and suddenly everyone bursts out in joy at how he’d be a great next pope. Before the AL controversy, I held him in high esteem; as the AL nonsense picked up speed and the dubia came out, he said nothing and I began to wonder; then he came out with his nonsense a month or so ago about reform of the reform that isn’t reform of the reform, but mutual enrichment, and I realized for certain he’s just like all the rest.
Yes, he encourages good liturgical ideas for the NO. But when push comes to shove, he just sits quietly in the corner and talks about better days. I’m sorry, but he’s no hero. He’s simply not a traitor, like so many other prelates are.
Very well said. Thanks for exposing him as a talkative baloney.
Bravo! So helpful to have a Cardinal talk about the cacophony. I’m a “revert” to the Catholic faith and after 30 years or so away I am seeking my salvation in the church – so I’m serious, I’m not back just to entertain myself, I’m following the advice of Phillipians 2 to work out my salvation with fear and trembling and aware of Peter’s admonition to be vigilant because satan prowls around seeking to destroy souls. So, there is all the noise and rock concerts I could ever want out in the world with nonstop media going in banks and stores and streets. That is NOT what I go to church for. I want communion – communion with Jesus Christ, a strengthening of my relationship with Him, as well as “formation” of me through frequent participation in the the liturgy and sacraments. I am lucky because I actually found one parish in driving distance that did not rip out its kneeling rails and has the beautiful tabernacle shining on the altar – a silence and reverence and holiness pervades there. I’ve only attended what they call the NO Mass but it is lovely there – quiet, the music is more like Gregorian chant, the bells ring at consecration, incense is liberally used. There are extraordinary Masses in latin everyday at certain times but I haven’t yet experienced those, though I plan to.
I think that while I deplore modernism and am disturbed by the banality of what’s become of the Mass in so many of our churches, I also respect church teachings about the respect due to the Pope and so I admire how Cardinal Sarah is obeying church teaching while admonishing and teaching as he does here without, like some, bashing the head of our church, the Pope, in the media or to the sheep. Most of the Catholics I have met since I’ve been back, aren’t even aware that communion in the hand is not the right way and only allowed by an Indult — they are obviously very used to that, and to rock bands on the altar and women dressing like they have a job on the street corner. I’ve noticed the church teachings talk about not freaking out the sheep when changes are made. I think that’s why the Cardinal is speaking of a gradual change. I am impatient for the beauty and nobility of our Church to return and am beseeching our Lady through the rosary to help us, and asking God the Father and Jesus Christ to save His church! I love Cardinal Sarah! I’m praying for him. I’m so so grateful. By the way, I have spoken to apostate Catholics who have tried to go back to the church and hated what they found which was so alien and not “Catholic” – if they wanted to go to a Protestant church they’d go there, not a strange imitation. So the loud fraternity of the current rock band masses are seen as some kind of outreach, they are turning off Catholics who might otherwise return and we need them to come back.
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