The Guinean prelate of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Robert Sarah, has made some bold remarks at a mass which formed part of the annual Paris-Chartres pilgrimage.
Speaking on the moral and spiritual decline of the West to some 15,000 Catholics at Chartres Cathedral, Sarah said our modern culture has “has embraced the craziest ideologies and has become the target of an ethical terrorism more destructive than the terror of the Islamists.”
He continued: “The Western society, choosing to organize itself without God, has fallen into lies and selfishness.” Though the Bishop asked pilgrims to “forgive him these words,” he argued that “we must be lucid and realistic.”
Sarah lambasted the West’s increased secularization, calling it “a drunken boat in the night which does not have enough love to welcome the children, to protect them in the mother’s womb, no longer knows how to respect the old ones, and accompanies the sick to death.”
“The only thing it has to offer is emptiness and naught,” he continued, as reported by The Tablet.
“Let’s look around us!” Sarah continued in his impassioned homily. “Western society has chosen to establish itself without God. Witness how it is now delivered to the flashy and deceptive lights of a consumer society: to profit at all costs, and frenzied individualism.”
Then, Sarah issued a call to the faithful.
Who will lead so many “wayward souls, lost, sad, worried and lonely” to the light? he implored.
“Are we going to leave them to be delivered to error, to hopeless nihilism, or to aggressive Islamism? We must proclaim to the world that our hope has a name: Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of the world and of humanity! We can no longer be silent!”
“To act according to the truth is first to put God at the centre of our lives,” he urged. “Make the commitment to keep a few minutes of silence every day in order to turn to God, to tell him ‘Lord reign in me! I give you all my life!'”
“Fight any law against nature that would be imposed upon on you, oppose any law against life, against the family. Be of those who take the opposite direction! Dare to go against the grain!” Cardinal Sarah urged, before citing a T.C. Eliot quote:
“In a world of fugitives, the person taking the opposite direction will appear to run away.”
“For us, Christians, the opposite direction is not a place, it is a Person, it is Jesus Christ, our Friend and our Redeemer. A task is especially entrusted to you: to save human love from the tragic drift into which it has fallen: love, which is no longer the gift of oneself, but only the possession of the other – a possession often violently tyrannical.”
Sarah went on to give a real-life example that would inspire the youngsters in attendance. He spoke of Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, who in March took the courageous decision to swap himself for a woman being held hostage by an Islamist terrorist. Beltrame was shot and stabbed to death by the hostage taker.
“Dear friends, we are not called to be mediocre Christians!” Sarah bellowed. “No, God calls us all to the total gift, to the martyrdom of the body or the heart!”
“You, young people of today, will be the saints and the martyrs that the nations are waiting for in a New Evangelisation!”