måndag 26 juni 2017

The Power of Silence by Cardinal Sarah

Cardinal Sarah is the Guinean cardinal who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship. He is also the author of The Power of Silence: against the dictatorship of noise, published by Ignatius Press.

The Cardinal has a lot to endure. Last year he put forward the suggestion that priests should return to the practice of ad orientem celebration of Mass. The response from most of the bishops was to advise priests to take no notice. The same line was also pushed by the Vatican; Sarah has run into strong opposition from the liberal wing, some of it verging on the racist.

As a prominent Cardinal he is in the running for Pope. However, given the composition of the College of Cardinals, his election to the papacy is improbable. If he were elected, he could be expected to pick up where Pope Benedict left off but he would then would run into the same problems that Benedict faced.

This is another demonstration of the critical state of the Catholic Church, which seems to be heading for a split as radical as that which happened at the Reformation. This time, the cleavage will be between the wealthy liberal church of the developed world, and the conservative church of the less developed nations. The Catholic church of Europe and the USA, is however, in a state of approaching rapid decline as priests retire and cannot be replaced due to the 40-year dearth of vocations. In some ways, the situation of the Catholic church today is more perilous than it has been since the Great Schism, since we have so changed the liturgy as to deprive the Mass of much of its signifying power.

The Cardinal's book, is, therefore, suitable reading for the times we are passing through, and thoroughly to be recommended.

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