Vatican-based Guinean Cardinal Offers Five Ways to Deal with “crisis of faith”

Cardinal Robert Sarah speaks alongside Father Guillermo Gutiérrez at the lecture at La Salle University in Mexico City on June 26, 2023. | Credit: La Salle University

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, gave a keynote address June 26 at La Salle University in Mexico City on being “witnesses to the truth in a world in crisis.”

The African cardinal stressed that “today there is so much confusion, so much ambiguity and uncertainty in doctrinal and moral teaching, both outside and inside the Church, especially regarding the identity of Christ and the salvation brought by him.”

The cardinal offered five ways to deal with the current situation.

1. The word of God

The cardinal invited those present to prepare themselves with the word of God in order to fight evil and be well disposed, citing Matthew 4:1–11, where Jesus was led into the desert and tempted by Satan.


Sarah stressed that “our main weapon in spiritual combat is the Word and, therefore, we must know it very well.”

2. Prayer

“The other fundamental weapon is prayer. Pope Benedict gave us a great lesson in the power of prayer in his last 10 years of life,” he noted.

The cardinal encouraged the faithful to not stop praying, going to Mass, or going to confession: “Today we urgently need to reappropriate these divine gifts,” he emphasized.

Sarah also encouraged prayer, reflection, and dialogue with God in silence.

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3. The interior life

“When we withdraw into the desert of the interior life, we discern the truth that creation is at war against man, who claims to care for ecology and defend the environment but at the same time promotes abortion, euthanasia, and homosexuality,” the Guinean prelate said.

4. Silence

“In silence, we enter into the presence of God in our hearts. In the silence, all the noises, the distractions, and even the most legitimate concerns are opportunely relativized, put in relation to the cross, and there the light of the Gospel appears. There, everything is offered to God, including ourselves,” he said.

“It is imperative today to discipline the mind and heart by fixing our gaze on the cross,” he pointed out.


“Modern man has started a terrible war against God and against man: a satanic war. This is why the spiritual battle with evil is part of the Christian life,” he added.

Sarah pointed out that the “man fights to protect nature but at the same time destroys man, marriage, life, and refuses to accept himself in his own identity as a man or a woman.”

“God created us male or female and today we say that everyone can choose to be male or female.”

The African cardinal said “the West has forgotten God and seeks only fleeting pleasure. This has resulted in individuals every day more isolated and with a great existential void.”

5. Inner struggle

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“The struggle of today and every day takes place in the heart and is, as St. Paul says, against the spirits of evil. The demons seek my ruin and my estrangement from God at all costs,” Sarah stressed.

The cardinal affirmed that “with transhumanism we want to augment man, make man a machine, a superman, perhaps deceiving ourselves with becoming immortal, invincible, super intelligent, super powerful, making man a god.”

Transhumanism is an intellectual, cultural, and scientific movement that asserts a moral duty to improve the physical and cognitive capacities of humans and to apply new technologies to eliminate unwanted conditions such as fatigue, pain, disease, aging, and death.

Sarah was scheduled to offer a Mass at the National Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe on June 29 and July 3. 

He was also scheduled to meet with priests from the Primatial Archdiocese of Mexico at the Conciliar Seminary.

The cardinal will be the main speaker at the International Theology Course, an event for priests organized by the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, part of Opus Dei.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.