Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea is Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship. Ordained a priest in 1969, Cardinal Sarah became the youngest bishop in the world 10 years later. Pope John Paul II called him to Rome in 2002 to serve as the Secretary for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

Pope Benedict XVI selected him as president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum in 2010, and in 2014 Pope Francis appointed him head of the Vatican dicastery on the liturgy.

Speaking in Benin at the launch of his book ‘God or Nothing’ Cardinal Sarah gave voice to his high hopes for the future of the  Church in Africa. Indeed he believes that it can bring about the renewal of the family across the globe.

‘I have absolute confidence in African culture,’ Cardinal Robert Sarah told the Catholic weekly La Croix du Benin.

‘I have absolute confidence in the faith of the African people, and I am sure Africa will save the family. Africa saved the Holy Family (during the Flight to Egypt) and in these modern times Africa will also save the human family,’ 

Cardinal Sarah’s book  ‘God or Nothing’ covers numerous topics, ranging from political questions to the sex abuse scandal in the Church to the post-modern world’s relationship to God.

Reflecting on whether democracy is an inherently Christian system, Cardinal Sarah responded, ‘Without a doubt there is a Christian conception of the equality of human beings,’ adding that ‘a democracy that contributes to the integral development of man cannot subsist without God.’

One chapter of his book, entitled ‘Cornerstones and false values,’ is dedicated to the family and addresses various pastoral challenges such as the defence of life and marriage.

Concerning the divorced and remarried, the cardinal said: ‘(T)hey find themselves in a situation that objectively contradicts the law of God.’

He also voiced concern about ‘gender ideology,’ saying, ‘My worry is that this is due more to certain governments and international organisations that are trying to impose this philosophy any way they can, sometimes forcibly.’


During a press conference at the Vatican Press Office on Feb. 10, 2015. Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA.

This article can be found in Mirror 0317.