Cardinal Robert Sarah on a visit to the Benedictine Abbey of Solesme. Benedict XVI Pope Francis admonishes that the liturgy of the Church is in "good hands" with Cardinal Sarah.
(Rome) At first sight, what seems to be an expression of appreciation is "really a real bomb," according to Riccardo Cascioli, editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Il Timone and the online daily Nuova Bussola Quotidiana,
"With Cardinal Sarah the liturgy is in good hands." Signed: Benedict XVI.
The Pope, who had resigned more than four years ago, has signed a direct defense of Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Roman Congregation for Divine Worship and the Order of the Sacraments. The Cardinal was appointed by Pope Francis, who thus replaced the Ratzingerian Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, but is considered an "operational accident" in the papal circle.
Cardinal Sarah, Defender of the Holy Liturgy
The Cardinal from Guinea represents an even more traditional Church and liturgical understanding than his predecessor, and he is above all more consistent and active. When he became aware of this in the Vatican, Pope Francis began to counteract further appointments and isolate Sarah in his own congregation. After the Cardinal had invited all priests to face liturgical east again at a London conference, giving up the heart of the "Protestant" liturgical form of 1965/1969, the excitement in Rome was so great that Francis himself contradicted Sarah. It says a great deal about the stamina of the black African that he nevertheless held fast to his request and repeated it afterwards.
"Cardinal Sarah has something to say to each of us"
The "eye-catching gesture" of Benedict XVI. Is found in a commentary on the latest book by Cardinal Sarah "La force du silence" (The Power of Silence), which has not yet appeared in German editions. This letter, which will be included in future editions as an afterword, was published yesterday evening by the American side First Things.
Benedict XVI praises Cardinal Sarah's book on a grand scale. He describes the Cardinal as a "spiritual master who speaks to the Lord from the depths of silence: the expression of his inner connection with Him, which is why he has something to say to each of us."
At the end of his letter the Pope, thanking Pope Francis, expressed his thanks for the appointment of "such a spiritual master as head of the Congregation for the Celebration of the Liturgy in the Church".
Defense against creeping disempowerment
This comment is more than just gratitude, according to Cascioli. He wants to protect and defend Cardinal Sarah.
"It is no secret that Cardinal Sarah was effectively deprived of a step by step over the past year, first by the appointment of Congregation members, with the aim of surrounding Sarah with open-minded progressive figures, who rejected the "Reform of the Reform" as described by Benedict XVI, which the Cardinal tried to implement from Guinea; Then the open contradiction of Pope Francis against Sarah's proposal on the direction of celebration; Finally, the reinterpretation of the liturgical texts into the vernacular languages, which hd been entrusted to a commission erected without the knowledge of the Cardinal; And last but not least, steps for an ecumenical Mass which will be undertaken by circumventing the relevant Congregation. "
The "promotion" of Cardinal Cañizares to be Archbishop to Valencia, is a single attack on the pontificate of Benedict XVI. whose efforts were aimed at recovering an understanding of sacredness. Nowhere in the Church is the contrast between a different understanding of the Church clearer than in the liturgy. This is due to the centrality of the sacred liturgy for the life of the Church. This centrality was supported by Benedict XVI. and brought him vigorous criticism from those circles who assert the power of authority over the liturgy.
Benedict's admonition and warning
In the now published epistle to the book by Cardinal Sarah, Benedict XVI offers a reminder:
"As for the interpretation of Scripture, it is also true that the liturgy requires a specific knowledge. In the liturgy, however, it is also true that specialization can fail to be essential if it is not rooted in a profound inner connection with the praying Church, which is constantly learning anew from the Lord, this is adoration."
Therefore the conclusion for Cascioli sounds "like a warning":
"The liturgy is in good hands with Cardinal Sarah, the master of stillness and inner prayer."
Benedict XVI, jumps to Cardinal Sarah's side and make him again the effective head of the worship congregation. There had so far been no such clear intervention in the administration of Pope Francis by the former Pope. Benedict XVI is going on as he has ruled: quiet, reserved, almost shy. Anyone who knows this style of government, and that applies to the entire Vatican, which knows the importance and clarity of this advance. The future epilogue of the book expresses the German Pope's anxiety about "what is happening in the heart of the Church."
It is no coincidence that Benedict XVI. intervenes precisely in the area which, like no other, has determined his pontificate and is convinced that it will decide the decline or recovery of the Church. It was only recently that, on a question of confusion and divisions in the Church, Georg Gänswein had apparently casually replied that Benedict XVI. follows everything closely in the Church. To this Cascioli said:
"Now we see that he begins to discreetly take a few steps."
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: MiL / Riposte catholique (Screenshots)
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