This is a fascinating and powerful autobiographical interview of one of the most prominent and outspoken Cardinals appointed by Pope Francis. The biography alone is inspirational. But Cardinal Sarah’s commentary on Christian living in the modern world and his response to the controversial issues of the day—including the upcoming ordinary Synod of Bishops—are profound and invigorating.
Robert Sarah is the only son of a convert Catholic couple who lived in a remote village of Guinea, West Africa. Inspired by the zeal of the Spiritan missionary priests who made great sacrifices to bring the Faith to Africans in the most neglected regions, his parents became Catholics. Robert discerned a call to the priesthood and entered the local seminary, but due to the oppression of the Church by the Communist dictator of Guinea, he had to continue his studies in France and then in nearby Senegal.
He was appointed Archbishop of Conakry, Guinea by John Paul II, becoming the youngest Bishop in the Catholic Church. His predecessor had been imprisoned by the Communist regime for several years, and Archbishop Sarah himself — because of his refusal to be coopted by the President — was at the top of the governments list for assassination when John Paul II called him to Rome to be Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to be the Prefect of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
Here is a sample of his commentary on current issues of the day:
“The idea of putting Magisterial teaching in a beautiful display case while separating it from pastoral practice, which then could evolve along with circumstances, fashions and passions, is a sort of heresy, a dangerous schizophrenic pathology. I therefore solemnly state that the Church in Africa is staunchly opposed to any rebellion against the teaching of Jesus and of the Magisterium . . . The Church of Africa is committed in the name of the Lord Jesus to keeping unchanged the teaching of God and of the Church about the indissolubility of marriage: what God has joined, let no man put asunder.
How could a Synod go back on the constant teaching that was unified and explained in greater depth by Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI ?”
– Cardinal Robert Sarah
POINTS OF INTEREST
• Prominent African Cardinal discusses his life, and the challenging issues facing the Church today
• An inspiring, faith-filled biography of an outspoken Church leader who was a target for assassination
• Presents profound and invigorating commentary by the Cardinal on the controversial issues of the day
• Cardinal Sarah’s strong comments in the book about the upcoming Synod will be of wide interest