This temptation is present in every age, though manifested in a new language, he said, noting that Cardinal Sarah “forcefully insists” that the Church must not give in to the intellectual fashions of the time.
He said that while a state shouldn’t be a religion, as is currently “horrifically expressed” by ISIS, neither should the state “prescribe to the people secularism as a supposedly neutral world view.”
It’s dangerous, the archbishops said, to think of secularism “as if it is nothing more than a new pseudo-religion, which once again takes up where the totalitarian ideologies of the last century left off in attempting to denounce and ultimately extinguish Christianity – and every other religion – as outdated and useless.”
Archbishop Ganswein called Sarah’s book “radical” in the sense of the word’s Latin origin, “radix,” meaning “root,” because in it the cardinal takes us back to the root of our faith and the true radicalism of the Gospel.
Cardinal Sarah awakens us to the fact “that the new forms of indifference to God are not just mental deviations one can simply ignore. He recognizes an existential threat to human civilization par excellence in the moral transformation of our societies,” he said.
The archbishop cautioned that the Gospel is in danger of being transformed by certain “so-called ‘realities of life,’” and insisted that divine revelation must never be adapted to the world.
“The world wants to devour God,” he said, however, “God wants to win over us and the world.”
Like the archbishop, Cardinal Pell in his speech praised Sarah’s boldness in speaking out on contemporary issues, saying that he is part of the return of “the great African theologians.”
Cardinal Sarah himself spoke to CNA about the blossoming faith in Africa, and expressed his hope that it will continue to grow not only in number, but in depth and fidelity to Christ and the Church’s magisterium.
It’s the goal of many African bishops, he said, “to show that we believe in Christ, we are faithful to him, we are faithful to the magisterium,” and to help people in Europe, “who have a bit lost this fidelity to Christ,” to rediscover that Christ is our life.
God is light and truth, he said, explaining that we need truth in order to live correctly, which is why the African bishops are so eager to help people find God through prayer, and especially through fidelity to the magisterium.
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“The magisterium is the way that will guide us to God. He’s not only rules or things that are against our liberty, our freedom. No. Doctrine is the way of salvation, the way of liberty and freedom and the way to Jesus,” he said.
Cardinal Sarah also offered his thoughts on Pope Francis’ trip to Africa next week, saying he expects the Pope to discover the great richness the continent has to offer.
Francis, he said, “will discover a living faith, perhaps his message will be to encourage Africans to root their faith in Christ, to not forget that Christ is their faith.”