September 29, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – On May 12 I wrote about the exceptional spiritual advice in Cardinal Robert Sarah’s latest book, The Power of Silence. What I did not realize then was that Sarah also excoriates the Francis papacy (the pope, his appointees and strongest followers), by implication, in several places in the book. Sarah understands the hard sayings of Jesus Christ and the sacred duty of pastors to also imitate the Master in this when circumstances require it.
I hope that at least all LifeSite Catholic readers will read these particular excerpts from the book. They are crucial at this time of great disorientation in the Church that is affecting much more than just Catholics in the world.
The Catholic Church has, until Pope Francis, been the world’s most consistent and brightest beacon of truth on Christian moral teachings. Many other Christians, and even persons of non-Christian faiths, have depended on the Catholic Church to promote and defend those Natural Law teachings. They are a necessary foundation for any civilized society.
But now, as Sarah reveals, the Church itself is rapidly sliding into self-destructive worldliness and away from its core mandate from Jesus Christ – to preach the gospel in order to save souls.
Each excerpt below is noted either with a section number or page number, as published in the book. Key phrases from the book are bolded. My comments are in italics.
Cardinal Sarah's indictments in The Power of Silence
31. I will untiringly denounce those who are unfaithful to the promise of their ordination. In order to make themselves known or to impose their personal views (1), both on the theological and the pastoral (2) level, they speak again and again. These clerics repeat the same banal things. I could not affirm that God dwells within them (3).
(1 ) Francis and those he has placed around him have indicated that the pope's often very questionable, if not downright flawed personal views should be considered magisterial teaching.
(2) Francis and his most fervent supporters constantly emphasize that pastoral considerations should supersede doctrinal (truth, moral absolutes) considerations.
(3) A severe rebuke, similar to some that the apostles and many saints have had to state in the past for the good of souls.
31. But they talk (4), and the media love to listen to them (5) in order to [reveal] their ineptitudes, particularly if they declared themselves in favour of the new post humanist ideologies, in the realm of sexuality, the family, and marriage (Amoris Laetitia?). These clerics consider God’s thinking about conjugal life to be an “evangelical ideal”(6). Marriage is no longer a requirement willed by God, modeled and manifested in the nuptial bond between Christ and the Church. Some theologians in their presumptuousness and arrogance go so far as to assert personal opinions that are difficult to reconcile with revelation, tradition, the centuries–old Magisterium of the Church, and the teaching of Christ. Thus, highly amplified by the blaring media, they go so far as to dispute God’s design. (7)
(4) Many have expressed concerns that Pope Francis talks far too much, does not prepare his many public statements and is prone to harmful, poor responses to questions on airplanes or elsewhere.
(5) Pope Francis controversial statements and actions have been very popular among most of the world's mainstream media and among people such as Al Gore, Hilary and Bill Clinton, Elton John, Leonardo DiCaprio, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and very many more such persons who have been consistent, fervent opponents of Catholic moral teachings.
(6) See what Raymond Arroyo and Father Gerald Murray say about the Francis concept of marriage as an “ideal” (subsection Accompaniment and the “ideal”)
(7) Another strong indictment that could also apply to Cardinal Kasper and many of the other very liberal cardinals, bishops clergy, theologians and notable laity most supportive of Francis.
p. 39 Bishops that scatter the sheep that Jesus has entrusted to them will be judged mercilessly and severely by God.
(Vocations have notably declined since the beginning of the Francis papacy, as has attendance at regular papal audiences in Vatican City. In the developed nations Church attendence has been dramatically declining (with some exceptions) and hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of parishes are being closed and sold)
34. Our future is in God’s hands and not in the noisy agitation of human negotiations, even if they may appear useful. Even today, our pastoral strategies without any demands, without an appeal to conversion (8), without a radical return to God, are paths that lead nowhere. They are politically correct games that cannot lead us to the crucified God, our true Liberator.
(8) This refers to some of the most serious errors of the Francis papacy. See “Three bishops launch ‘spiritual crusade’ urging Pope to rebuke Communion for adulterers.”
40. And yet, for two millennia, what a surprising paradox it has been to see so many garrulous theologians, so many noisy popes, so many successors of the Apostles are pretentious and infatuated with their own arguments.
95. Through this asceticism of silence, how can we not understand and appreciate better the lights offered by the different Bible verses? “When words are many, transgression is not lacking” (Prov 10:19). “He who guards his mouth preserves his life; He who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” (Prov 13:3). “Whoever uses too many words will be loathed” (Sir 20:8). “I tell you, on the day of judgement men will render account for every careless word they utter” (Mt 12:36). “Make balances and scales for your words, and make a door and a bolt for your mouth. Beware lest you err with your tongue, lest you fall before him who lies in wait” (Sir 28:25–26).
( Pope Francis and his main clerical and lay supporters have shown themselves to be ruthless, frequently insulting and harshly critical of those who merely respectfully express concerns about any of his statements or decisions)
p.106 Some Christians are forming a coalition to separate Jesus and his doctrine from those who honestly seek the truth (9). He is more and more alone among men who hate him or do not know how to love him because they are in incapable of knowing him as he is. But there will always be a little flock that will want to know him and love him. (See Pope Benedict’s prediction)
(9) This has been one of the most common and severe criticisms of Francis.
214. During conclaves, the spirit points out God’s choice to the Cardinals; the latter must submit to his will and not to human political strategies. If we thwart the Holy Spirit by miserable, petty human calculations, secret meetings, and media consultations, we run headlong into tragedy and we are gravediggers of the divine nature of the church
(There have been serious concerns about forbidden scheming during the conclave that elected Pope Francis.)
215. The rejection of the Spirit is a blasphemy and a mortal sin because it is a matter of rejecting the truth. Without the spirit, the church is in danger of becoming a new tower of Babel. The different and deviant languages drown out the testament of the son of God. Some pretentious, cynical ideologues threaten the truth of Jesus. Confusion, relativism, and chaos point toward to be fatal prospect.
303. In speaking about Vatican II, Benedict XVI had already detailed the conflict between the vision of the Council Fathers and the relativistic, falsely progressive media interpretation… The Church is a faithful, loving mother. She is a mother before she is a hospital facility… She educates teaches and nourishes, concerned about the physical and moral health of the faithful: this, incidentally, is the area covered by the image of the Church as a field hospital (a term Pope Francis often uses to describe the Church).
304. The social mission is fundamental, but the salvation of souls is more important than any other work. Saving souls entails not only caring for them but above all drawing them to God, converting them, so as to bring the prodigal children back to the house of the father of mercies. The primary and fundamental role of the Church today remains the salvation of souls.
(Pope Francis has been criticized for emphasizing worldly issues such as climate change, poverty, unemployment, immigration, etc. far more than the core spiritual mission of the Church given to it by Jesus Christ. He has been severely critical of attempts to convert Orthodox and Protestant or other non-Catholic Christians and even Muslims to the Catholic faith calling it a grave sin to do so. It is likely that has this never been heard from a pope in past Church history.)
305. In a secularized, decadent world, if the Church allows herself to be lured by materialistic, media – savvy, and relativistic sirens, she runs the risk of making Christ's death on the cross for the salvation of souls futile. The Church’s mission is not to solve all the social problems of the world.
(Pope Francis has praised and resurrected forbidden Liberation Theology and its strongly materialistic/Marxist political emphasis. He is also criticized for promoting modernism, condemned by Pope St. Pius X, which relativizes truth according to current social and historical circumstances. The Francis papacy has also been a dedicated exploiter of media and modern Internet opportunities).
310. How many families are decimated in order to impose a Western concept of society…In these anti-chambers of horror, the Church is not spared. She must disappear or change her doctrine and her teachings so as to allow for the emergence of a religion without borders and a new global ethics (10) and said to be consensual, cut off from all the foundational references of revealed truth (doctrine, scripture, catechism, tradition) and yet itself ambivalent and devoid of content.
(10) Francis has strongly advocated globalist goals of open borders, limiting of national sovereignty, massive redistribution of money from rich nations to poor ones and strengthening and establishment of world governance entities – a form of international socialism or what some would call totalitarianism. The Vatican under Francis has been intensely promoting the Paris Climate Change agreement which would bring about many of these revolutionary changes.
p. 194. The narcissism of excessive speech is a temptation from Satan. It results in a form of detestable exteriorization, in which man wallows on the surface of himself, making noise so as to not hear God. It is essential for priests to learn to keep to themselves words and opinions they have not taken the trouble to meditate on, interiorize, and engrave in the depth of their heart. We must preach the word of God and certainly not our petty thoughts!
p. 208 Men no longer want to see themselves as anything but fragile, wounded persons. The impression is given that sin no longer exists; adultery, divorce, cohabitation are no longer to be considered serious sins. They are failures or stages along the way to a distant ideal (Amoris Laetitia).
p. 218 It is urgent for the modern world to regain a faith perspective. Otherwise mankind is headed for destruction. The Church cannot confine herself to a merely social vision. Charity has a spiritual meeting. Charity is closely related to God’s silence.
* p. 222 The Church today is going through unprecedented exterior and into interior trials. Something like an earthquake is seeking to demolish her doctrinal foundations and her centuries-old moral teachings. (Another very strong indictment and a summary of the entire situation.)
p.223 It is necessary to revive staunch adherence to the Catholic faith, it is necessary to proclaim the consistency of the Church at the heart of a world that is in complete upheaval and threatened with collapse. (see Pope Benedict’s statement at Meisner funeral)
Buy and read the book. It is historic, inspiring, instructive and prophetic.