Cardinal Sarah Denounces ‘Atheistic’ Western Bishops Who Prefer the World to the Cross

Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah has accused Western bishops of worldliness and of succumbing to the temptation of “practical atheism” as they lose faith in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The former prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments said that so many bishops desired to be “loved by the world” that they have forgotten that Christianity calls them to be “signs of contradiction”.

The 78-year-old cardinal also repeated his criticism of Fiducia Supplicans, the Vatican document that provides for the blessings of couples involved in same-sex unions, insisting that it’s not just traditional African culture but Catholic teaching itself which makes the document unacceptable.

Speaking to the episcopal conference of Cameroon, Cardinal Sarah accused many bishops of “a failure of nerve” when confronted by the successive cultural revolutions convulsing the West.

“Many Western prelates are tetanised [paralysed] by the idea of opposing the world,” the cardinal said. “They dream of being loved by the world; they’ve lost the desire to be a sign of contradiction.”

Cardinal Sarah told the Cameroonian bishops he believes “the Church of our time is experiencing the temptation of atheism”.

“Not intellectual atheism,” he explained, “but that subtle and dangerous state of mind [of] fluid and practical atheism.”

“The latter is a dangerous disease, even if its initial symptoms seem benign,” he said.

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