….Sarah recalled the courageous opposition of the African bishops, and in particular those in Cameroonian, to the Declaration Fiducia supplicans, a document unabashedly criticised by the Guinean cardinal himself (see here). He emphasised that the African episcopate’s opposition had been dismissed as a question of cultural backwardness: ‘Some in the West have wanted to make people believe that you have acted in the name of an African cultural particularism. It is false and ridiculous to attribute such intentions to you! Some have claimed, in a logic of intellectual neo-colonialism, that Africans were ‘not yet’ ready to bless same-sex couples for cultural reasons. As if the West was ahead of the backward Africans’.

The same strategy is likely to be used, according to the cardinal, when at the next Synod an attempt will be made to further overturn important points of Christian doctrine and morality: “They would like to allow the female diaconate in Germany, married priests in Belgium, the confusion between ordained priesthood and baptismal priesthood in the Amazon. Some recently appointed theological experts do not hide their plans. And they will tell you with false politeness: ‘Rest assured, in Africa, we will not impose this kind of innovation on you. You are not culturally ready'”. It was also no different at the Synod on the Family in 2014, when it was the African bishops, led by Sarah and the combative Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, who opposed attempts to permit Communion to remarried divorcees and revolutionise doctrine on intrinsically evil acts, especially homosexual ones. At the time they were mocked by Cardinal Walter Kasper, who came out with the statement that with African bishops one cannot talk about homosexuality, because for them it is a taboo subject.

Fiducia supplicans was a ‘providential’ document, according to that Providence that allows evil to bring about greater good. It somehow brought out the features of the divine plan, always active in history, but always little considered by men. That plan that loves to thwart the wisdom of the world through what is considered foolish by that very ‘wisdom’: “The Church of Africa will soon have to defend the truth of the priesthood and the unity of the faith. The Church of Africa is the voice of the poor, the simple and the small. It is up to her to proclaim the Word of God in the face of the Christians of the West who, because they are rich, believe themselves to be evolved, modern and wise in the wisdom of the world. But ‘the foolishness of God is wiser than men’ (1 Cor 1:25)”.

At the next Synod, it will be especially up to the representatives of the Church of Africa to make their voices heard; in the knowledge that it will be most likely that “despite promises to listen and respect them, their warnings will not be heeded, as we already see today”. That the Synod will be ‘instrumentalised by those who, under cover of listening to one another and ‘conversation in the Spirit’, serve a worldly reform agenda’ is a real danger. Cardinal Sarah’s words.

From the New Daily Compass