Catholic World News

Cardinal Sarah sees dangers to Church unity

April 21, 2017

Cardinal Robert Sarah spoke of the “grave risk of fragmentation of the Church” in an interview with the charitable group Aid to the Church in Need.

Cardinal Sarah said that Church unity is “threatened by confusion,” and that without a clear understanding of a common faith, “can slide into dispersion and schism.”

The cardinal, a native of Guinea, discouraged a reference to the “African Church.” He observed that “there is no such thing as an ‘African Church’ and, as distinct from it, a ‘universal Church.’“ He said that an emphasis on “national identities” leads some Catholics to assume that they can decide for themselves on crucial questions of doctrine and morals.

Questioned about the particular challenges that the Church faces in Africa, Cardinal Sarah mentioned disease, war, and hunger. But he also spoke of “the toxic temptations of Western-born ideologies,” and lamented that “Africa has become the dumping ground of contraceptive products, of weapons of mass destructions. And she is also the scene of the organized theft of primary mineral resources.”

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  • Posted by: [email protected] - Apr. 22, 2017 11:40 PM ET USA

    Hooray for the Cardinal's words of wisdom. We are a universal church not a bunch of separate groups prone to doing of feels good and not doctrinally what is right such as what is preached by many German,French and American liberal bishops. It is time for this Pope to have some teachings based on doctrine not feelings.

  • Posted by: feedback - Apr. 22, 2017 10:43 PM ET USA

    Another significant threat to unity of the Church comes from homosexuality of the clergy. It is the elephant in the room. As the homosexualization of popular culture accelerates, the Church's ministers remain practically silent on key moral issues related to homosexuality.

  • Posted by: Rose of Lima - Apr. 21, 2017 7:55 PM ET USA

    Wow! He nailed the American Church's needs as well! The American Church is confused and failing to live as Christ directed us to.

  • Posted by: Jim Hanink - Apr. 21, 2017 7:05 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Sarah's words are a gift...to the universal Church. Let's listen carefully.