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Vatican City (AFP) - A top African cardinal has described the threat posed by Islamic extremism and western liberal culture as the twin "Beasts of the Apocalypse" comparable to Nazism and communism.
In an intervention at an ongoing synod of bishops on the future of Catholic teaching on the family, Guinean cardinal Robert Sarah reportedly described Islamist militants and western thinking on abortion and homosexuality as sharing "the same demonic origin".
"Theological discernment allows to see in our times two unexpected threats -- almost like the Beasts of the Apocalypse -- from two opposite positions: on one side the idolatry of western freedom, on the other religious fanaticism," said the cardinal, who is one of the leaders of the Church's conservative wing.
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(Rome) Cardinal Robert Sarah, for half a year prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments answered questions for an audience late one May at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family while participating at the presentation of the new series of publications on Family "Famiglia, Lavori in corso."
"If one considers the Eucharist as a common food, from which none may be excluded, then you lose the sense of mystery." That was one of the responses of the African cardinal which unfolded in an intensive travel and giving answers in clear words to questions.
The series for the family was issued with a view to the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family. The plan is to discuss all "hot" issues such as aberrosexuality, sexuality, divorce, artificial insemination, euthanasia, abortion and celibacy. The first three volumes have now been submitted. The first two are from lecturers of the Institute, at the Synod of Bishops in 2014which were not taken into account by the group of Consultors. It was a circumstance which had caused some amazement and criticism. The volume "Eucharist and divorce: changes the doctrine" was presented by José Granados. He is now the Consultant appointed for the second part of the Synod of Bishops. Volume Two: "Different families: Incomplete Expression of the Same Ideal" comes from Stephan Kampowski. The third volume, "What Jesus thinks about the divorced and remarried?" has been published by Professor of New Testament at the Luis Sanchez Navarro from University of San Damaso of Madrid.
"When one Considers that Even in the Baptismal Rite the Word 'Faith' is no Longer Mentioned"
"The West is indeed involved in its own illusions," said Cardinal Sarah in the book presentation. All problems are related to the faith: "When you consider that even the word 'faith' is no longer mentioned in the rite of baptism, when the parents are asked what they ask of God's Church for your child, then you can understand the scope of the problem. "The question is not trivial," says Cardinal Sarah.
The answer of Cardinal recalls words of Pope Benedict XVI. at a meeting with priests of the suburbicarian diocese in summer 2006. In contrast to Cardinal Sarah the pope then lamented an aberration. "Is it normal that a pope finds such a serious shortage, without providing to correct it? Is this renunciation begun with Paul VI., 'normal, which has now turned into arbitrariness?' asked the Roman traditional website Chiesa e postconcilio.
Already Benedict XVI. Revealed the Same Defect - Without Removing It
The criticism of Pope Benedict XVI. and Cardinal Sarah takes place against the background that the answer to the question of what the parents ask for their child from the Church, in most cases is only: "Baptism". In ancient rituals, one said: "Faith". The difference is obvious. In ancient rituals, it was asked further: "And why do you ask for faith?" "So he may have eternal life."
Parents must answer to the question in the current rituals of the new rite not "Baptism". They may rather say: "The grace of Christ"; "Eternal life"; "Inclusion in the Church", "The fact that he is a child of God." If they still give the former answer, then this is connected with the preparation for baptism. An understanding of the sacrament of baptism, which is not some "thing", provided that the the parents are not prepared prior the baptism by the baptizing priest. Therein lies a missionary significance. Otherwise there is a danger that baptism degenerates into a "beautiful family celebration", which is ordered by the parents of the candidate as a service in a parish and has to go smoothly according to their wishes.
"Yes, but" promotes minimalist understanding
Through baptism a person is incorporated into the Mystical Body of Christ. Apart from the grace of faith, it frees especially of original sin. Benedict XVI. made shortly before his resignation an incomprehensible a change in the rite of baptism (see Change in the Rite of Baptism -. Recent Decision of Benedict XVI ), but on this occasion not a few years earlier determined by him, the diminutio mentioned here was corrected.
The Roman Ritual offers, as an essential characteristic of our time, the possibility of different formulations, exceptions, derogations, additions made by the respective Episcopal Conference. "This yes-but seems to have encouraged more minimalist shortening of the understanding of baptism as the faith, that is hardly mentioned, as Cardinal Sarah currently lamented" said Messa in Latino .
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Chiesa e postconcilio / MiL
Image: Chiesa e postconcilio / MiL
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org