Cardinal Robert Sarah has sent a clear message to Cardinal Walter Kasper and his followers who are generating what looks very much like a schismatic movement within the Catholic Church. Kasper and his group – mainly German – have been “suggesting” that Holy Communion for divorced and remarried people should be condoned by the Church.
Cardinal Sarah is having none of it, stating that “the African Church will strongly oppose any rebellion against the teaching of Jesus and the Magisterium.”
“If some countries are doing this already (giving the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried) they are insulting Christ, it is a desecration of his Body and they are guilty because they are doing it knowingly.”
This is being proposed in the name of Christ’s mercifulness. Sarah comments: “The fact is that we are not precise in using the Christian word ‘mercy’. And without explaining [what this word means] we deceive people. Mercy [makes us] close the eyes not to see sin… The Lord is ready to forgive, but (only) if we come back, and if we are sorry for our sins,” he said. “Christ was merciful but he affirmed that to breach marriage is adultery. We cannot interpret these words differently – it is a sin [to do so] and the sinner without repentance cannot receive the Body of Christ.”
The Cardinal, who is prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, was speaking on May 20 at the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome.
“The challenge for the Church”, he added, “is to fight against the current, with courage and hope without being afraid to raise her voice to denounce the deception, manipulation and false prophets. Over 2,000 years the Church has confronted many headwinds but with the help of the Holy Spirit, her voice was always heard.”
Referring to the Christian’s obligation to go to the periphery, as Pope Francis exhorts, he spoke of the persecuted Christians on those peripheries. “It is easy to go to the outskirts… But who are we going with? If we don’t bring Christ, we bring nothing! I think that the most courageous thing to do is to remain as a Christian, as many Christians are doing right now – they are dying in Pakistan, the Middle East, and Africa.”
Speaking of the secular goliaths of today attacking Christian families at every level, he said, “I am not saying that we shouldn’t go out to bring the Gospel, but the courage we need to bring is that of going against the current because the world no longer tolerates the Gospel.”
The secular goliaths of today are attacking Christian families at every level. “The ongoing debate is drugged” he said, “because oftentimes even the journalists place the Pope against the Curia, which is not true… But people think we are against each other and think that the Pope said he is in favor of giving Communion to the divorced [people] … this is only an interpretation of his words.
“As Ratzinger said, a right that is not based on morality becomes injustice. For this reason it is necessary to keep in mind the context of secularization in which we live… The distancing of whole parts of modern society away from Christianity goes hand in hand with ignorance and the rejection of doctrine and cultural identity.”
“To say that human sexuality does not depend on the identity of man and woman, but a sexual orientation, such as homosexuality, is a dreamlike totalitarianism.”
Echoing what Pope Francis himself has already said, Cardinal Sarah declared that, “Today one of the most dangerous ideologies is that of gender, according to which there are no ontological differences between man and woman, and the male and female identity would not be written in nature. … is a real ideology which negates the reality of things. … I don’t see a future in such deceit.”
“One thing”, he said, “is to respect the homosexual person, who have a right to genuine respect, another thing is to promote homosexuality. Also the divorced-remarried people have a right to genuine respect but the Church cannot promote a new concept of the family. The homosexual people are the first victims of this drift. … The Church’s job is to announce the Christian doctrine and the truth of conjugal love bringing man to full realization.”