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Cardinal Robert Sarah speaks at National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

Cardinal Robert Sarah speaks at National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

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.

 

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Tobias Haller

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….

Jesus himself was born into and raised in just such a non-traditional family, and he seems to have developed a strong sense of "self-giving love unto death."

What a shame the Cardinal has closed his heart to the possibilities of grace offered by all who truly love.

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Gregory Orloff

As a single man who chose celibacy over the challenges of marriage, family life and child-rearing, Cardinal Robert Sarah must surely know from whence he speaks, on the basis of practical wisdom gleaned from personal, hands-on experience with such foundational relationships.

Yes, irony intended...

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Bob Bates

The Roman Catholic Church is not, never was, and never will be any friend to LGBT people. My advice to LGBT Catholics has always been to leave the Roman Catholic Church. You can find other Christian denominations, such as the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the ELCA Lutheran Church, or the Presbyterian Church (USA), which have congregations that will welcome you.

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Anne Smith

“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.”

If you read this from a different point of view, the implications are the opposite of what he intended--all manner of immoral behavior on the part of those who claim the Christian Faith and yet promote the lie that God rejects God's own creation in all its diversity is being tolerated in our society, and the evil of continuing to oppress the powerless by rigidly applying the human standards of a human institution increases the difficulty of welcoming the good news. Guess it depends on what you think the good news is, and what our foundational relationships are.

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Paul Woodrum

I have a premonition Sarah who, it seems, would use freedom to oppress, is still more the actual face of Rome than Francis. It takes time for a new narrative to be heard and to take hold. It sounds like Sarah has yet to catch up with the Enlightenment.

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