Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
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Cardinal Sarah named prefect of Congregation for Divine Worship

November 24, 2014

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Robert Sarah, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, as the new prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The Guinea-born cardinal succeeds Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, who led the Congregation from 2008 until his August appointment as Archbishop of Valencia, Spain.

Pope Francis reportedly offered the new post to Cardinal Sarah during a private audience with the African prelate on November 13. Vatican sources report that the cardinal was reluctant to leave his current position as the head of the Holy See's charitable agency. It has been widely rumored, however, that Cor Unum will be folded into a new Vatican congregation, along with other offices including the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the Pontifical Council for Migrants.

Cardinal Sarah, 69, was ordained to the priesthood in 1969 and became Guinea’s leading prelate in 1979.

In 2001, St. John Paul II appointed him Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. In 2009, he conducted an investigation into the Central African Republic’s clergy that led to the reshaping of the nation’s hierarchy.

In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which provides humanitarian relief on behalf of the Pope. In that capacity, Cardinal Sarah insisted on the primacy of evangelization and the importance of a strong Catholic identity for Catholic charitable institutions.

Last month, at the Synod of Bishops on the family, he led a French-language working group that was particularly critical of the controversial interim synod report.


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