Robert Card. Sarah, Terror of Libs

Cardinal_Robert_SarahFrom the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald.  This is a terrific summary of the hate launched by liberals at Card. Sarah.  We owe the writer debt of thanks for piecing this together for the record.   He exposes a nasty fever-swamp.  It is unpleasant, but ugliness must be exposed before it can be corrected.

Why Cardinal Sarah terrifies his critics

Cardinal Sarah’s opponents have attacked his views and called for his sacking. His response has been a gracious silence

A growing crowd wants Cardinal Robert Sarah’s head on a platter. Open a liberal Catholic periodical and you are likely to find a call for the dismissal of the Guinean cardinal who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship: “It’s past time for [Pope Francis] to replace Cardinal Sarah” (Maureen Fiedler, National Catholic Reporter); [Talk about “high time”…] “New wine might be needed at the Congregation for Divine Worship” (Christopher Lamb, the Tablet); “Curia officials who refuse to get with Francis’s programme should leave. Or the Pope should send them somewhere else” (Robert Mickens, Commonweal); “Francis must put his foot down. Cardinals like Robert Sarah … may feel that with a papacy heading in the wrong direction, foot-dragging is a duty. But that does not mean Francis has to put up with them” (The Editors, the Tablet).  [I’m pretty sure that the lib model for the Curia under Pope Francis is something like a full assembly of the Party in the Great Hall of the People for a meeting with the N. Korean dictator.  The unison clapping is pretty impressive. Mickens reasons for hating Sarah are obvious.  But he has a strong hate streak, it seems.  Remember how he wished death on Benedict XVI, which lead to his being sacked by The Tablet.]

Sarah was not always treated as the most dangerous man in Christendom. When he was appointed to his post by Pope Francis in 2014, he enjoyed the goodwill even of those who criticise him today. Mickens described him as “unambitious, a good listener and, despite showing a clear conservative side since coming to Rome … a ‘Vatican II man’ ” [And then the Cardinal spoke up about certain issues….]. Lamb was told by his sources that Sarah was someone liberals could like, the kind of bishop who was sympathetic to “inculturation”. John Allen summed up the consensus around the Vatican: Sarah was a low-profile bishop, “warm, funny and modest”.

All that changed on October 6, 2015, the third day of the contentious synod on the family. The synod fathers were riven by the seemingly competing demands of reaching out to people who felt stigmatised by the Church’s sexual teaching and boldly proclaiming truth to a hostile world. In what has come to be known as the “apocalyptic beasts” speech, Sarah insisted that both were possible. “We are not contending against creatures of flesh and blood,” he told his brother bishops. “We need to be inclusive and welcoming to all that is human.” But the Church must still proclaim the truth in the face of two great challenges. “On the one hand, the idolatry of Western freedom; on the other, Islamic fundamentalism: atheistic secularism versus religious fanaticism.” [Benedict XVI made the same point in his first Letter for the World Day for Peace.]

As a young priest, Sarah studied at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem and planned a dissertation on “Isaiah, Chapters 9-11, in Light of Northwestern Semitic Linguistics: Ugaritic, Phoenician and Punic”. So it is no surprise that he employed biblical language to make his point. Western freedom and Islamic fundamentalism, he told the assembly, were like two “apocalyptic beasts”. The image comes from the Book of Revelation, which describes how two beasts will attack the Church. The first comes out of the sea with seven heads, 10 horns, and blasphemy on its lips. The second rises out of the land performing great wonders, and persuades the world to worship the first.

This strange dynamic – one monstrous threat leading men to embrace the other – is what Sarah sees at work in our own time. Fear of religious repression induces some to worship an idolatrous freedom. (I recall the time I found myself the only man left sitting when Ayaan Hirsi Ali ended a speech by asking her audience to give an ovation “To blasphemy!”) On the other hand, attacks on human nature tempt some to embrace the false reassurance of religious fundamentalism, which has its most horrible expression under the black flag of ISIS. Each evil tempts those who fear it to succumb to its opposite. As with communism and Nazism in the 20th century, both must be resisted.

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, head of the Polish bishops’ conference, wrote that Sarah’s intervention was made at a “very high theological and intellectual level”, but others seemed to miss its meaning altogether. Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane decried the use of “apocalyptic language”. (One wonders what he makes of the rest of John’s Revelation.) “The boys don’t like to be reminded of judgment,” quipped one cardinal after Sarah spoke.

A prominent Vatican watcher wrote to me from Rome: “He stepped in it today by talking about the two beasts of the Apocalypse. His popable stock took a hit.” Fr James Martin SJ claimed that Sarah had violated the Catechism, “which asks us to treat LGBT people with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity’ ”. [Say da magic woid, win a hunnadahlars.]

One sometimes wants to ask whether, for Catholics like Fr Martin, there are any words in which the Church’s sexual teaching can be defended – since they seem never to employ them. Still, the reaction to Sarah’s speech probably had more to do with simple illiteracy than any difference in principle. Cardinal Wilfred Napier of Durban said in the run-up to the synod that Europeans suffer from a “widespread ignorance and rejection not only of Church teaching but also Scripture”. He was right. Those who do not live in Scripture and know its figures first-hand are more likely to view biblical language as irrelevant or inflammatory.

On October 14, a week after Sarah’s speech, Cardinal Walter Kasper complained about African interventions at the synod. “I can only speak of Germany where the great majority wants an opening about divorce and remarriage. It’s the same in Great Britain, it’s everywhere.” Well, not quite everywhere: “With Africa it’s impossible. But they should not tell us too much what to do.”  [Who can forget that moment?  He denied saying it, but Edward Pentin had a recording.]

Kasper’s dismissal of Sarah and the other Africans prompted an immediate outcry. Obianuju Ekeocha, a Nigerian Catholic who campaigns against abortion, wrote: “Imagine my shock today as I read the words of one of the most prominent synod fathers … As an African woman now living in Europe, I am used to having my moral views and values ignored or put down as an ‘African issue’.”

Cardinal Napier agreed: “It’s a real worry to read an expression like ‘the Pope’s Theologian’ applied to Cardinal Kasper … Kasper isn’t very respectful towards the African Church and its leaders.”

Kasper’s statement was like the breaking of a dam. Since then, a great wave of abuse has poured over Sarah. His critics have described him as uppity, uneducated and possibly criminal – or at least in need of a good beating.

Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporterreminded Sarah of his role (“Curial cardinals are, after all, staff, exalted staff, but staff”). La Croix’s Fr William Grim called his work “asinine … patently stupid … red-capped idiocy”. Andrea Grillo, a liberal Italian liturgist, wrote: “Sarah has shown, for years, a significant inadequacy and incompetence in the field of liturgy.”

In the Tablet, Fr Anthony Ruff corrected Sarah. “It would be good if he could study the reforms more deeply and understand, for example, what ‘mystery’ means in Catholic theology.” Massimo Faggioli, a vaticanist who haunts Rome’s gelaterias, innocently observed that Sarah’s apocalyptic beasts speech “would be subject to criminal charges in some countries”. (Having ministered for years under the brutal Marxist dictatorship of Sékou Touré, Sarah hardly needs reminding that open profession of Christian belief can be a crime.) [These libs are so smuggly, morally superior.  They are such a bore.]

After Pope Francis rejected Sarah’s call last year for priests to celebrate mass ad orientem, contempt for Sarah broke out in a shower of blows: “It is highly unusual for the Vatican to publicly slap down a Prince of the Church, yet not entirely surprising given how Cardinal Sarah has operated…” (Christopher LambTablet); “the Pope slapped down Cardinal Sarah quite strongly, with only a bit of face-saving spared him,” (Anthony RuffPray Tell); “Pope slaps down Sarah” (Robert Mickens, on Twitter); “Pope Francis … slapped him down” (Mickens again, in Commonweal); “a further slap-down” (Mickens once more, a few months later in La Croix). Added up, it makes for quite a beating. [I have to hand it to the writer, Michael Schmitz.  I’ll bet that after all this dumpster diving for links – a real service to us – he felt like he had to scrub himself and his keyboard with lye.]

Exchanging charges of insensitivity is probably not the best way to settle doctrinal disputes, [PAY ATTENTION] but the rhetoric of Sarah’s critics reveals something important about Catholic life today: in disputes doctrinal, moral and liturgical, liberal Catholics have become ecclesial nationalists.

Traditional Catholics tend to support consistent doctrinal standards and pastoral approaches regardless of national boundaries. If they do not actually prefer the Latin Mass, they want vernacular translations to track the Latin as closely as possible. They are not scandalised by the way Africans speak of homosexuality or Middle Eastern Christians of Islamism.

Liberal Catholics, meanwhile, campaign for vernacular translation written in idiomatic style and approved by national bishops’ conferences, not by Rome. Local realities require truth to be trimmed whenever it crosses a border. Catholic doctrinal statements should be couched in pastorally sensitive language – sensitive, that is, to the sensibilities of the educated, wealthy West.

One of the advantages of ecclesial nationalism is that it allows liberals to avoid arguing on direct doctrinal grounds, where traditional “rigorists” tend to have the upper hand. If truth must be mediated by local realities, no man in Rome or Abuja will have much say over the faith of Brussels and Stuttgart (this was the point behind Kasper’s dismissal of Africans).

One sees this in writers like Commonweal’s Rita Ferrone, [yawn] who says that rather than heeding Sarah, English speakers should be “trusting our own people and our own wisdom concerning prayer in our native tongue”. The “we” behind that “our” is not global and Catholic, but bourgeois and American.

What if instead of being put back in his place, slapped down and locked up for violating Western speech codes, Sarah becomes pope? [Fun zayn moyl, in Gots oyer!] This is what his critics fear most. Mickens writes of the dark possibility of a “Pius XIII (also known as Robert Sarah)”. Lamb says that Sarah may turn out to be “the first black Pope”. (That would be a beautiful thing – Sarah’s parents, converts in the remote Guinean village of Ourous, assumed that only white men could become priests and laughed when their son said he wanted to go to seminary.) The same well-connected Vatican watcher who told me that Sarah’s stock fell during the synod now says his fortunes are improving. “People have noticed all the attacks, and his gracious refusal to respond in kind.”   [I hope they keep attacking and attacking and attacking.]

It is indeed remarkable that Sarah has suffered this hail of abuse with such grace. In his newly published book The Power of Silence, we hear his stifled cry of anguish:

I painfully experienced assassination by gossip, slander and public humiliation, and I learned that when a person has decided to destroy you, he has no lack of words, spite and hypocrisy; [Mickens, Winters, etc.] falsehood has an immense capacity for constructing arguments, proofs and truths out of sand. When this is the behaviour of men of the Church, and in particular of bishops, the pain is still deeper. But … we must remain calm and silent, asking for the grace never to give in to rancour, hatred and feelings of worthlessness. Let us stand firm in our love for God and for his Church, in humility.

Despite it all, Sarah is a man unbowed. His book reiterates his call for Mass ad orientem and the rest of the “reform of the reform”: “God willing, when he wills and as he wills, the reform of the reform will take place in the liturgy. Despite the gnashing of teeth, it will happen, for the future of the Church is at stake.”  [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

If Sarah has refused to make himself pleasing to those who run Rome, he is not about to serve any other party either. In this wonderfully individual book, he tells old Islamic folktales, dotes on the suffering and weak, and decries military intervention: “How can we not be scandalised and horrified by the action of American and Western governments in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria?” Sarah views these as idolatrous outpourings of blood “in the name of the goddess Democracy” and “in the name of Liberty, another Western goddess”. He opposes the effort to build “a religion without borders and a new global ethics”. [None of those things matter to Mickens, Winters, Martin.  Of course.  Right?]

If that seems hyperbolic, recall that six days after missiles hit Baghdad, Tony Blair sent George W Bush a memo saying, “Our ambition is big: to construct a global agenda around which we can unite the world … to spread our values of freedom, democracy, tolerance.” Sarah views this programme as something close to blasphemy.

He has equally pungent views on the modern economy: “The Church would commit a fatal mistake if she exhausted herself in giving a sort of social face to the modern world that has been unleashed by free-market capitalism.”

War, persecution, exploitation: all these forces are part of a “dictatorship of noise”, whose incessant slogans distract men and discredit the Church. In order to resist it, Sarah turns to the example of Brother Vincent, a recently deceased young man whom Sarah dearly loved. Only if we love and pray like Vincent can we hear la musica callada, the silent music the angels played for John of the Cross. Yes, this book shows that Sarah has a great deal to say: on the mystical life, the Church and world affairs. But for the most part he keeps silence – while the world talks about him.

Matthew Schmitz is literary editor of First Things and a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Card. Sarah’s books.

The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise.



And there this new offering, which might be of special interest to many of Card. Sarah’s critics. He wrote the foreword.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    The distraction that is (homosexual) Fr James Martin is very predictable and getting tiring.

  2. iamlucky13 says:

    If I allow myself to forget how serious this is, there’s some good entertainment here:

    “Fr James Martin SJ claimed that Sarah had violated the Catechism”

    Classic. I’m highly amused how Fr. Martin pulls his Catechism out of the fire just long enough to smack somebody with it, then goes right back to burning it.

    ” La Croix’s Fr William Grim called his work “asinine … patently stupid … red-capped idiocy”.”

    Such eloquence! Such sensitivity! Was there ever a more compelling synthesis of Christian charity and rational argument condensed into fewer words?

    ” Massimo Faggioli, a vaticanist who haunts Rome’s gelaterias, innocently observed that Sarah’s apocalyptic beasts speech ‘would be subject to criminal charges in some countries’.

    Very interesting. Let me try another form of the same argument: in countries where women are sometimes stoned for learning to read and genital mutilation is legal, your statement would get you imprisoned. Therefore, you are wrong.

  3. JustaSinner says:

    Wait, liberals in the Church are anti-black and anti-African? Say it ain’t so…oh, yeah, right, they’re that way in the USA too. Never mind…

  4. JARay says:

    When I finally got my copy of Cardinal Sarah’s book “The Power of Silence” it blew me away! Wow! What a powerful book. He is a great man and an even greater Catholic.

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    A nicely informative piece. There was a lot of information in there, good stuff. Fr. Z. I LOVED your comment about Fr. Martin.
    It can’t be a secret Marxists are violent, and it’s not at all hidden today. They smell blood in the water, they have momentum, and “by any means necessary” means, by any means. They’re brutal, as all fascists must be.
    I am utterly disappointed to read that Cardinal Sarah is against capitalism and military intervention. Capitalism has made it possible for the USA to be extravagantly helpful to other nations and people in need, and military intervention is necessary because, well, brutal regimes don’t succumb to anything else. No tea party was going to get Hitler out, nor is ISIS going to stop doing what they do because liberals throw flower petals. I am sincerely disappointed in his views on these two things. There is no plausible substitute for either one of those. Other methods are a great, big fail.
    I don’t know who will be pope next, or if we will even have need of a pope, which will be a relief. Frankly, I have nothing in common with the liberals mentioned here. They call themselves Catholic and so do I, but it is 100% clear we have very little in common anymore. They have FrancisChurch and I have the Roman Catholic Church.
    I’m just waiting for it to be announced formally, but someone, but I’m ok if those words never come in my lifetime. I will not belong to their version of the Catholic Church. Not now, not ever.

  6. Clinton R. says:

    As usual, the liberal/heretical /apostate faction shows its true colors. The don’t want to be a member of the Church founded by Christ. Rather, they want a ‘church’ fashioned in their own image, a feel good organization that suits their whims and validates their sins. Of course, to the libertines, nothing is a sin except being faithful to Christ and the timeless teachings of His Church. This would be “rigid” and from the “Dark Ages”. We can’t have that. To the liberals, His Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah is a nuisance and a threat to them, with his refusal to acquiesce to their agenda. To them, it is audacious the Cardinal be so focused on Christ during the Mass. Man must be the center of the liturgy. The people must be acknowledged and entertained at every moment. Beliefs should shifted in whatever direction the wind blows. The hatred of Cardinal Sarah is no different than the persecution of the prophets and of Our Lord. Holiness has never been and will never be universally popular.

  7. Kent Wendler says:

    I must confess that I am somewhat puzzled by this “idolatry of Western freedom”. It sounds like a blanket condemnation of “freedom”, but freedom would seem to be necessary in order to freely choose the ultimate Good: i.e., free will.

    Perhaps (and I think this is likely) he (Card. Sarah) is only preaching against the idolatrous choices too many make under this freedom.

    (Dante makes much of these bad choices in The Divine Comedy, and that was in times of much less freedom.)

  8. CatholicMD says:

    If by God’s will Cdl. Sarah is elected pope at the next conclave the lib freak out is going to be legen-dary.

  9. Moro says:

    Let’s face it: they can’t stand the fact that an African wants nothing to do with their Spirit of Vatican II plantation. Just ask Kasper his thoughts on this and you might get a crystal clear answer for a change.

  10. Sam Schmitt says:

    Cardinal Sarah’s record against the Marxist regime in his native Guinea is unimpeachable – reminds me of Karol Wojtyla in Poland. The liberals can say nothing against this man and they know it. His complete and utter freedom in Christ is terrifying to them.

  11. KateD says:

    God bless Cardinal Sarah and his perseverance!


  13. albizzi says:

    Cardinal Sarah’s election to papacy in a next conclave would be a true miracle of the Holy Spirit because the college of cardinals is now filled with Francis-like modernist liberal men.
    I wish Card. Sarah to become Pope, but I am afraid this will not happen.
    I believe in miracles, though. Who knows ?
    Everything is possible with a lot of prayers and fasting, Deo favente.

  14. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    God bless Cardinal Sarah!

  15. GM Thobe says:

    Cardinal Sarah certainly seems to be worthy of the title of “Eminence.” Here’s to many more years for him, and a Pius XIII, Terror of Libs in God’s good time. Thanks for the post, Father Z.

  16. Cliff says:

    As the bomber pilots used to say, you know you are over the target when the flak gets heavy!

    Cardinal Sarah is clearly over the target!

  17. Richard A says:

    I liked this quote from MSW: “Curial cardinals are, after all, staff, exalted staff, but staff”. He’s talking about Cdl. Kasper, right?

  18. Dafyd says:

    There was a ecclesial nationalist movement in England in the 1500s. It doesn’t end well.

  19. THREEHEARTS says:

    mike hurcum writes
    I am extremely dischuffed at being constantly called traditional. I want to be known and accepted as a practicing historical Catholic, named deeply religious and pious. I follow as best I can the old law wherein God told his people how he wanted to be treated and thence the new law fulfilled as promised. I would like to see the Church and the state of grace it was in when Christ ascended and his mother assumed, returned to us without all the sillies and foolishness (obstinacy) that abounds. Let the churches be as The Word wanted them to be built and how the reserved sacrifices were to be stored and separated, Just I write as the Word of God directed our forerunners to do. Who the priests were and how they and they only could enter the Tabernacle and how they were to be dressed and what the materials and oils were to be used. Un-historical catholics do not give a damn, cannot and will not are words that come to mind. I believe that, for or when, I am to receive Him I must semi-prostrate myself, fully would mean I could not see Him, who chose such a dreadful painful passion and death, so I could receive Him. The faith of so many catholics is so shallow and it is getting more dreadful so, daily. How many priests for example can tell you or are either disgusted or frightened to say how many catholics saunter up to the missing separation (altar rails) between the sanctuary and the body of the Church (nave) and are not seeing or believing this is the Divinity of Christ they are receiving, or actually do receive is the most magnificent gift any man has given to God. Just who do these priests and people think they are? Equal to Jesus they say after all bro are you not my brother?

  20. Geoffrey says:

    ‘Sarah views these as idolatrous outpourings of blood “in the name of the goddess Democracy” and “in the name of Liberty, another Western goddess”’.


  21. aliceinstpaul says:

    My guess is this is more of a translation issue. I think the issues is the decline of “liberty” into libertinism and license, rather than the true good of free will.

    I also found the apocalyptic monsters interesting as I see the directionality the other way. The leftist anti Christian world is pushing Islam on us with its immigration policies and it’s acceptance of the hijab, FGM, and “stay inside at night and segregate by sex if you don’t want to be raped” policies.

  22. iamlucky13 says:

    “Cardinal Sarah’s election to papacy in a next conclave would be a true miracle of the Holy Spirit because the college of cardinals is now filled with Francis-like modernist liberal men.”

    While of a radically different character, I was pretty much certain that Trump being elected to the presidency would take a miracle. The predominance of liberal viewpoints in the media and elsewhere had me convinced those more scared of Clinton than of Trump were too few to keep the former out of the office.

    In retrospect, it seems more like they were brow beaten, weak, confused, disillusioned with what they were offered, and for other reasons unwilling to speak up before the election.

    But it turned out they were there after all. Our cardinals, though we hope for them to have better courage than the rest of us, are not guaranteed to be so, and face greater pressure than most of us.

    The Synod on the family did not turn out quite the way it seemed engineered to, and I have sensed other hints of concern among soft-spoken bishops about preserving the link between doctrinal and pastoral matters. I like to think Cardinal Sarah is saying things many of them wish they had the courage to say.

    We have a handful of very outspoken critics of Cardinal Sarah and what he stands for who might be involved in the next conclave, but we don’t know the thoughts of most of the rest. I tend to think there are elements of Pope Francis’ papacy with regards to humility and charity that the Cardinals in the last conclave believed the Church needed a reminder of, but I also see it as a very real possibility that a significant number of Cardinals will be looking for a pope with a different pastoral focus whenever the next conclave should occur.

  23. Peter Stuart says:

    How amazing it would be to belong to a church that actually believed what it always believed. That acted like the Faith of the apostles and the martyrs and the saints was worth being pastoral *about*. That gave me something Real to live for and die for. Who wants to die for QueerChurch? I reverted after years of a dismal, hellish life because I thought we were climbing out of that dumpster, not deeper in.

  24. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Mr. Peter Stuart wrote: “How amazing it would be to belong to a church that actually believed what it always believed.”

    Peter, we do believe what we always believed. Please recall that in addition to the Church Militant (we who are here on Earth), the Church Suffering (those in Purgatory) and the Church Triumphant (those in Heaven) are very much parts of Christ’s Body, the Church, and ALL the members of those other columns of the Church do believe as we have always believed. Sadly, however, there are many confused / ignorant persons within the Church Militant, who flatter themselves they are doing us all a big favor by trying to steer us away from the ways of God and toward the ways of Post-modern man. But remember the Israelite people in the desert, when Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments: the people soon fell away from God, made themselves a golden calf to be their “god,” and began to carry on in a most depraved way. Moses, when he came down the mountain with the stone tablets and saw what the people Israel had gotten up to, was so angry with them that he threw down the stone tablets and broke them. This is how fallen man behaves, all too often.

    Jesus gave us the parable of the landowner whose enemy sowed weeds among the landowner’s wheat fields. When the wheat began to grow, so did the wheat, and unfortunately when good crops and weeds grow together, the weeds sometimes starve the good crops, causing them to become stunted and eventually to die. The landowner’s crew asked if he wanted them to pull up the weeds, but the landowner said, “No, leave them alone, for if we pull up the weeds, we’ll pull up the wheat with them. When the harvest time comes, then we’ll collect the wheat and we’ll also gather the weeds into bundles to be thrown into the fire.”

    The Church has understood this parable to answer the question about why Jesus allows determined evildoers to remain among his followers: Jesus Himself will sort us out according to his or her deeds on the Judgement Day that comes to each of us when we pass away from Earth. Until then, it is His holy will that the good must suffer the evil to live among us, even within the Church. We don’t argue, and we don’t complain: this is the will of His Divine Majesty, and therefore, it is ultimately for the best. He knows what He is doing far better than we do.

    Trust! Trust in the Lord! Remain steadfast, and wait for the Lord.

    “That acted like the Faith of the apostles and the martyrs and the saints was worth being pastoral *about*. That gave me something Real to live for and die for. ”

    Jesus lived and died for you, Peter, and He would live and die all over again just for you, if he had to. Think of it! God Almighty became flesh, and lived among us, preaching, teaching, and suffering, until His horrific death on a shameful cross – because He wanted to see you, Peter, and many others, to share a foretaste of the happiness awaiting us in Heaven, where we will at last be united with Him, and find all our hopes and dreams fulfilled, all our desires answered.

    All that has been something real to live and die for in the minds of the great martyrs and all the saints . . . and it’s still there and every bit as available to us, too, if we keep our eyes on the Prize, and don’t get too focussed on the weeds that we have to plow through.

    “Who wants to die for QueerChurch? I reverted after years of a dismal, hellish life because I thought we were climbing out of that dumpster, not deeper in.”

    There will always be those within the Church, sadly, who build themselves a golden calf, and worship it, and carry on like wild beats, and call evil good, and good evil. Our job as Christians is to do what the various saints did as they made their ways to Heaven, some during the time of the Apostles, some during the time of the Fathers of the Church, some during the time of the missionaries to all corners of the known world, some during the dawn of Christendom throughout Europe and much of the Middle East, some during the time of the Crusaders, some during the Renaissance, some during the period of the so-called Enlightenment, and so on, down to our own day. Remember that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Don’t be carried away by all kinds of false teaching,” and false teaching has always floated around even within the Church.

    Please don’t be discouraged, Peter. Instead, beginning on this Feast of Our dearest Lord’s Sacred Heart, go to Him, and ask Him to show you the way to Heaven. I promise you, that way won’t differ from the way that the great saints were shown. And please stay close to Our Lady, who will take you by the hand and lead you to your Son, if ever you temporarily lose sight of Him.

    Good luck, Peter, and God bless you.

  25. AnnTherese says:

    “They are such a bore.” I was just thinking the same thing. I am weary and bored from all the unkindness Catholics extend to each other. In the name of God. Keeping Father Z, Cardinal Sarah, and Father Martin in my prayers. God bless everyone.

  26. Peter Stuart says:

    Thanks and blessings to you as well, Marion Ancilla Mariae, and to all the very supportive readers (and master) of this site. Thank you for being patient and reminding me that Christ and His Mother have shed the light of truth on what false teachers darken with their lies. May we all persevere.

  27. Semper Gumby says:

    Great post on the excellent Cardinal Sarah. I have Card. Sarah’s book with me on my current business trip and look forward to finishing it.

    However, Kathleen10 and several others have valid criticism about several paragraphs in this book that display a notable lack of knowledge about the free market and Western military operations against Islamism. Certainly, the book’s translation may be part of the problem here.

    That said, myself and numerous friends and colleagues view his opinions at, for example, page 157 as without merit and, quite frankly, offensive.

    (First, before addressing page 157, Matthew Schmitz in the excerpt above egregiously presents the war against Islamism/regime change through a partisan lens. Schmitz also cherry picks one Blair-Bush memo to make a cheap point. Schmitz makes numerous insightful points in his article, that is not one of them.)

    Anyway, p. 157: “…the bulimic compulsion of the rich and powerful nations to seize the natural resources of weak, poor nations by military violence…” and “Countries and peoples are destroyed… for the sake of purely economic interests.” Curiously, that’s pure Marxist “Blood for Oil” claptrap- though it does appear that Card. Sarah is no Marxist.

    I’d like to suggest to the excellent Card. Sarah several books at a minimum: Fr. Sirico’s “Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy,” Fouad Ajami’s “The Foreigner’s Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqi’s in Iraq,” and Catholic theologian George Weigel’s books and articles on Just War and Jihad that date back to 1991 and the First Gulf War.

    Card. Sarah would also benefit from extensive travel in the Middle East, and also from further research into sectarian violence, certain Arab regimes, Islamism, and the decision-making process of Western politicians, military leaders, and intelligence officials who had a say in policy making in the 1990s and the post-9/11 era.

    Deo Gratias for the excellent Cardinal Sarah and 98% of his book.

  28. dallenl says:

    A couple of minor points. Most scholars believe that we have almost certainly had at least two black African popes and probably a third. Cdl. Sarah’s views on colonialism are informed by his own country’s history and are understandable, if not exactly accurate. The whole Western colonial experience can justifiably be described as less than successful. True, a few, Cecil Rhodes and the British East India Company come to mind, made a good deal of money from their activities, but on balance, it was a negative experience, both financially and in terms of disruption to the colonizer. The military bill alone made most colonies quite unprofitable. The few that were any kind of profitable occurred after being granted dominion status like South Africa or independence status in the case of India. In others, the granting of independence has not proven the social and economic success the natives had hoped for.

  29. Semper Gumby says:

    dallenl: You raise an interesting point about the colonial past, but it appears that that past seems to be of little influence on both Schmitz’s tendentious presentation and on Cdl. Sarah’s idolatrous-outpouring-of-blood-to-Western-goddesses opinion.

    Not to belabor a point but to be more specific: these two gentlemen are invited to take a close look at SSTR operations or the Anbar Awakening, to name just two of many recent examples. No partisan silliness there (well, except the usual during U.S. Congressional hearings), or colonialism, or goddess worship (well, except for some clown Wiccan soldier-mechanic “casting a circle” in the motor pool at Kabul when they should be repairing a truck.)

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