Cardinal Robert Sarah – Who is he?

 

“I see Cardinal Sarah as the baobab tree, a man of integrity, an old African sage who, as the proverb goes, is leaning against a haystack: if one approaches it, one will draw profit; if one distances oneself, one will be harmed.”
– Father Valéry Sakougri, Burkina Faso

 

La Croix Africa has published an article that take a deeper look at Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. In January 2020, Cardinal Sarah was embroiled in a very public and embarrassing controversary over a book he brought to publication claiming it was co-authored with Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict, however, issued a statement which said he had not co-authored the book on clerical celibacy, but simply contributed an article on the subject for the book. The controversary was explained away as a ‘misunderstanding’.

The controversary, however, has brought attention on the Cardinal who is, paradoxically, said to be close to Pope Francis while also being one of his fiercest critics. 

In the article, ‘The Image Cardinal Robert Sarah cuts in Africa‘, La Croix discovered that across the continent, the Cardinal is not well known amongst the laity, but amongst clergy his is a figure of contrasting opinions. Here are two examples of the latter:

“”I see Cardinal Sarah as the baobab tree, a man of integrity, an old African sage who, as the proverb goes, is leaning against a haystack: if one approaches it, one will draw profit; if one distances oneself, one will be harmed… For me, Cardinal Sarah is a Saint Irenaeus of our times. Like this great defender of the Christian faith in the second century, Cardinal Sarah presents himself as a tireless defender of pure Christian doctrine in our times. In this, he is truly a lover of the Church and an ardent defender of the Catholic faith.”
– Father Valéry Sakougri, Burkina Faso

“Cardinal Sarah appears to be an ideologue who tries — who knows why? — to swim against the tide by preaching a Church that’s frozen in time. He would have no other answer to today’s questions than to invent new ideologies that border on a counterfeit Gospel.”
– Father Francis Barbey, Ivory Coast

To read: ‘The Image Cardinal Robert Sarah cuts in Africa’, click here.