Tuesday was the annual National Catholic Prayer breakfast, where the scheduled keynote speakers were Cardinal Robert Sarah and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Cardinal Sarah was appointed by Pope Francis as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2014.
In his address, the Cardinal spoke said that the Church and the world were under assault from demonic forces, as shown by widening social acceptance of homosexuality and marriage equality, as well as in the debates over transgender persons use of bathrooms.
From CNSNews.com (note: this is a conservative site)
“All manner of immorality is not only accepted and tolerated today in advanced societies, it is even promoted as a social good,” the African cardinal said. “The result is hostility to Christians and increasingly, religious persecution.”
“This is not an ideological war between competing ideas,” Sarah told the D.C. gathering. “This is about defending ourselves, children and future generations from the demonic idolatry that says children do not need mothers and fathers. It denies human nature and wants to cut off an entire generation from God.”
“The entire world looks to you, waiting and praying to see what America resolves on the present unprecedented challenges the world faces today. Such is your influence and responsibility,” said the archbishop emeritus of Conakry, Guinea.
“I encourage you to truly make use of the freedom willed by your founding fathers lest you lose it,”
The Cardinal also resorted to clichés about the dangers to children in non-traditional households;
“The rupture of the foundational relationship of someone’s life through separation, divorce or distorted imposters of the family such as co-habitation or same-sex unions is a deep wound that closes the heart to self-giving love into death, and even leads to cynicism and despair. These situations cause damage to the little children through inflicting upon them deep existential doubt about love….
“This is why the devil is so intent on destroying the family. If the family is destroyed, we lose our God-given anthropological foundations, and so find it more difficult to welcome the saving good news of Jesus Christ: self-giving, fruitful love.”
The Roman Catholic church is a big church that enfolds a wide and diverse set of believers. But despite his good PR and desire to shift the narrative about the Roman church, the Pope still presides over a doctrinally-committed leadership comprised of many like Cardinal Sarah. Pope Francis’ off-the-cuff remarks notwithstanding, change is still some ways off.