During a recent address to the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, Cardinal Robert Sarah criticized some Western bishops for their alignment with secular values, which he termed as “practical atheism.”

Sarah, who is from Guinea and served as the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship until his retirement in 2021, expressed concern over a growing detachment from traditional Christian doctrines, saying, “Many Western prelates are paralyzed by the idea of opposing the world.”

Cardinal Sarah said this form of atheism “never says its name but infiltrates everything,” subtly eroding the Church’s spiritual fervor. He explained this phenomenon leads to a dilution of faith, where “we pretend to be Christian believers and men of faith, we celebrate religious rites, but in fact we live as pagans and unbelievers.”

Discussing the response of African bishops, especially during the Synod on Synodality, Sarah praised their steadfastness in upholding doctrinal integrity against pressures for cultural adaptations in Church teachings. He emphasized the importance of maintaining doctrinal unity, accusing some of pursuing a “dictatorship of relativism” that threatens to fragment the Church’s universal truth.

Cardinal Sarah urged the global episcopate, particularly the bishops from Africa, to continue defending the foundational truths of the Church.

He stressed that their role is critical in a time when traditional values are under challenge, declaring, “the Church in Africa will soon have to defend the truth of the priesthood and the unity of the faith.”

Editorial credit: PIGAMA / Shutterstock.com
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