Great moments with Card. Sarah!

Cardinal_Robert_SarahThere is a great article at the Italian Il Foglio with pithy quotes from one of my favorite Cardinals, His Eminence Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.  I can only offer a few morsels, since I am getting ready for a flight.

“Se si considera l’eucarestia come un pasto da condividere, da cui nessuno può essere escluso, allora si perde il senso del Mistero … If you consider the Eucharist to be like a meal to be shared, from which no one can be excluded, then the sense of Mystery is lost…”

“Se si pensa che anche nel rito del Battesimo non si menziona più la parola ‘fede’, quando ai genitori viene domandato cosa si chiede per il bambino alla Chiesa di Dio, si comprende l’entità del problema …. I bambini fanno disegni e non imparano nulla, non vanno a messa…. If you consider also that in the rite of Baptism the word ‘faith’ isn’t mentioned, when parents are asked what they ask for their child from the Church of God, you grasp the core of the problem… Children draw pictures and learn nothing, they don’t go to Mass…”

By the way, in the traditional rite of baptism, at the very beginning, when the priest asks what the parents ask they respond, “Faith”.

Speaking about the way bishops and priests mislead people…

“Inganniamo la gente parlando di misericordia senza sapere quel che vuol dire la parola. Il Signore perdona i peccati, ma se ci pentiamo … We deceive the people when speaking about mercy without knowing what the word means. The Lord forgives sins, but we repent of them…”

“E’ sbagliato per la Chiesa usare il vocabolario delle Nazioni Unite. Noi abbiamo un nostro vocabolario… It’s a mistake for the Church to use the vocabulary of the United Nations. We have our own vocabulary.”

“Il problema non è che ci sono pochi preti, quanto capire se quei preti sono davvero sacerdoti di Cristo… The problem isn’t that there are few priests, as much as to know if these priests are truly priests of Christ”. Note the shift from “preti” to “sacerdoti”.

This guy’s great.

Fr. Z Kudos!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. jfk03 says:

    Father, my Italian is not so hot. When you get a chance, could you translate the Cardinal’s remarks into Latin?

  2. StWinefride says:

    Dom Gérard Calvet, in the introduction to his book “Une règle de vie” quotes Gustave Thibon:

    “Ne croyez pas au briseurs de règles qui parlent au nom de l’amour. Là où la règle est brisée, l’amour avorte.”

    “Do not believe those who break rules in the name of love. When a rule is broken, love fails”.

  3. The Masked Chicken says:

    Fr. Z translated the Italian into English after each snippet in the post.

  4. Cody says:

    It bothers me how few have seemed to notice the Pelagianism present in most baptism catechesis, homilies, etc.

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    If only we had more Cardinals and Bishops like Cardinal Sarah, speaking out as an entire nation goes over the cliff, Ireland, who seems poised to be the first nation to vote for gay marriage, if polls are to be believed. What will be the ramifications of this dreadful decision, and there are Bishops in that country saying it is “not a sin” to vote for it. How children will suffer. How families will suffer. How Ireland will ultimately suffer.
    The silence is deafening. God help us.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    “By the way, in the traditional rite of baptism, at the very beginning, when the priest asks what the parents ask they respond, ‘Faith'”.

    I believe that the response “Faith” is one of many options in baptisms in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

  7. Robbie says:

    I’m not sure how Cardinal Sarah slipped through the filter, but, boy, is he moving up the list of those I would hope to see as a future pope.

  8. juergensen says:

    Pray that Cardinal Sarah is the next pope, and that he deals mercifully but firmly with the heretics from Germany.

  9. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “It’s a mistake for the Church to use the vocabulary of the United Nations. We have our own vocabulary.”

    If Cardinal Sarah did not have this interview in mind, he might well have:

  10. Papabile says:

    This is from the 1969 Baptismal rite…. The optional responses are not included in the base text, but part of the rubric. I currently to not have access to my latin copy as I am at work. I will have to confirm it’s a real translation of the rubric.

    76. First the celebrant questions the parents:

    Celebrant: What name do you give your child? (or: have you given?)

    Parents: N.

    Celebrant: What do you ask of God’s Church for N.?

    Parents: Baptism.

    77. The celebrant may choose other words for this dialogue. The first reply may be given by someone other than the parents if local custom gives him the right to name the child.

    In the second response the parents may use other words, such as, “faith,” or “the grace of Christ,” or “entrance into the Church,” or “eternal life.”

    The celebrant speaks to the parents in these or similar words:

  11. SaintJude6 says:

    I tried to use “eternal life” at the Baptism of my second child (Novus Ordo) and was corrected by the priest to say “Baptism.” It seemed odd to me at the time, but he had been a priest longer than I had been alive.

  12. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    Cardinal Sarah recently published in France a book called Dieu ou rien (God or Nothing). The English edition will be published in the Fall by Ignatius Press. It is a memoir of his eventful life, including being at the top of the execution list of the Communist dictator of his homeland. Then it moves into his comments on the current scene, pithy and clear-eyed.

    You can get the Kindle edition at

    I will not say he is papabile because he who goes into a conclave a pope comes out a cardinal, but oh, my.

  13. eulogos says:

    I said “faith” at the baptism of my children. I didn’t know that the old rite had that as the answer until my 8th, when the priest used the old rite. It was just the true desire of my heart, and I saw it there as an option, so I used it. One priest baptized 7 of my nine. I explained to the one who baptized the last one that I always said “faith” and he had no problem with it.
    Susan Peterson

  14. Titus says:

    Nobody ever says “faith” in a N.O. baptism: “baptism” is the word printed in all the booklets. The rubric that allows the dialogue to be whatever the participants feel like is merely the garden-variety antinomianism that afflicts almost every part of all of the modern liturgical books: “in these or similar words.” That’s supposed to make it better?

    That said, in the old rites the parents do not respond “faith.” The sponsor does, addressed in the child’s name. The godparent actually had something to do in those rites; the modern books make him a curious but wholly vestigial oddity. The modern baptismal rite is as bad as any effectual sacramental ritual performed as written can be.

  15. Maynardus says:

    I know of at least two priests who routinely use the older rite of Baptism exclusively – not just upon request, or just for the ‘traddies’ – out of similar concerns. Both have told me that families have been nothing other than complimentary. Interestingly enough, nobody seems to have realized – despite the prayers in Latin – that it’s the “old” rite… I take that as a reflection upon the no-two-churches-the-same experience that so many Catholics have with the post-Conciliar liturgical forms…

  16. Benedict Joseph says:

    And this is the voice of the Church “…we need not pay too much attention to…” ? I can think of a reasonably important Chair I would like to see Cardinal Sarah occupying. Bravo, Cardinal Sarah! Speak with persistence and God reward you.

  17. andia says:

    I wish my Italian was better, or my French, I would love to read his words with out needing translation.

  18. Norah says:

    Cody, I am sure that you used the word “Pelagianism” not to make others seem dumb but because you assumed that most people reading this blog would understand the word. I am not one of those unfortunately. Could you please tell me what is Pelagianism?

  19. Persistant says:

    The possibility of having an African pope somewhere in the future is really appealing.

  20. ghp95134 says:

    Norah: …Could you please tell me what is Pelagianism?

    Google is our friend:
    In case you are having problems with your connection, the first paragraph reads:

    Pelagianism is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without special Divine aid. Pelagius taught that the human will, as created with its abilities by God, was sufficient to live a sinless life, although he believed that God’s grace assisted every good work. Pelagianism has come to be identified with the view, (whether Pelagius agreed or not), that human beings can earn salvation by their own efforts. This theological theory is named after the British monk Pelagius (354 – 420 or 440), although he denied, at least at some point in his life, many of the doctrines associated with his name.


  21. Grumpy Beggar says:

    For Norah , this might help a bit- it’s from Fr. John Hardon’s MODERN CATHOLIC DICTIONARY

    Heretical teaching on grace of Pelagius (355-425), the English or Irish lay monk who first propagated his views in Rome in the time of Pope Anastasius (reigned 399-401). He was scandalized at St. Augustine’s teaching on the need for grace to remain chaste, arguing that this imperiled man’s use of his own free will. Pelagius wrote and spoke extensively and was several times condemned by Church councils during his lifetime, notably the Councils of Carthage and Mileve in 416, confirmed the following year by Pope Innocent I. Pelagius deceived the next Pope, Zozimus, who at first exonerated the heretic, but soon (418) retracted his decision. Pelagianism is a cluster of doctrinal errors, some of which have plagued the Church ever since. Its principal tenets are: 1. Adam would have died even if he had not sinned; 2. Adam’s fall injured only himself and at worst affected his posterity by giving them a bad example; 3. newborn children are in the same condition as Adam before he fell; 4. mankind will not die because of Adam’s sin or rise on the Last Day because of Christ’s redemption 5. the law of ancient Israel no less than the Gospel offers equal opportunity to reach heaven. As Pelagianism later developed, it totally denied the supernatural order and the necessity of grace for salvation.

  22. asperges says:

    What a splendid man. A realist and clearly someone to watch. But does he have any influence with the Pope?

    I was recently privileged to be godfather to a child in the old rite of baptism. The power of the rite, its exactitude, fidelity and exorcisms were very striking, whereas the new rite is tedious and much less clear.

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