Cardinal Robert Sarah is saying that even though Western civilization is on the verge of collapsing — owing to its rejection of God — a great renewal will come from those who are vibrantly living the Catholic faith.
During an April 5 interview highlighting the publication of his latest book The Day Is Far Spent, Cdl. Sarah tells the Catholic Herald that Western civilization is collapsing.
"A West that denies its faith, its history, its roots, and its identity is destined for contempt, for death, and disappearance," warns the Vatican's chief liturgist.
Sarah follows this warning with a description of how the renewal will occur.
"But I would like to point out that everything is prepared for a renewal," he explains. "I see families, monasteries, and parishes that are like oases in the middle of a desert. It is from these oases of faith, liturgy, beauty, and silence that the West will be reborn."
The crisis in the Church is a really a crisis of faith, notes Sarah, owing to bishops and priests focusing on social justice issues rather than passing on the Faith of Christ:
The crisis of the Church is above all a crisis of the faith. ... They urge it not to speak about God, but to throw itself body and soul into social problems: migration, ecology, dialogue, the culture of encounter, the struggle against poverty, for justice and peace. ... The Church is only of interest because she allows us to encounter Jesus. She is only legitimate because she passes on Revelation to us. When the Church becomes overburdened with human structures, it obstructs the light of God shining out in her and through her. ... It would be better to begin by letting her save herself.
The cardinal says the Church has reached a "turning point in history," but the Church Herself is always holy.
The Church is holy in Herself, affirms Sarah, saying, "Our sins and our worldly concerns prevent her holiness from diffusing itself. It is time to put aside all these burdens and allow the Church finally appear as God made Her."
He calls priests to once again be holy and observes that saints are the ones who brought about reform in the past and will do so again in our time.
I am sure that it is the saints who change history. The structures follow afterwards, and do nothing other than perpetuate the what the saints [sic] brought about. ... We need saints who dare to see all things through the eyes of faith, who dare to be enlightened by the light of God.
Watch the panel discuss Cdl. Sarah's solutions to the crisis of Faith in The Download—The West in Crisis.