Words from Cardinal Sarah on the Spiritual Crisis of the West


Just hours after his May 25, 2019 visit to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris and examining its near destruction by fire, H.E Robert Cardinal Sarah gave a Conference at Église Saint François-Xavier to present his latest book, The Day is Far Spent. In the book, he analyzes "the profound crisis of the West, a crisis of faith, a crisis of the Church, of the priesthood, of identity, a crisis of the meaning of man and human life." What he shared in Paris in May is documented by The Catholic World Report and begins as follows:

"This evening I would like to repeat these convictions I hold so deeply, by putting them into the perspective of a moving visit I made yesterday. Just hours ago I was at the cathedral of Notre-Dame of Paris. As I entered the gutted church, and contemplated its ruined vaults, I could not help but see in it a symbol of the situation of Western civilization and of the Church in Europe.

"It is a sad fact: today the Church seems to be engulfed in flames on all sides. We see her ravaged by a conflagration much more destructive than the one that razed the cathedral of Notre-Dame. What is this fire? We must have the courage to name it, because 'to name things wrongly is to add to the misfortune of the world.'"



A cultural identity crisis, Cardinal Sarah writes, is at the root of the problems facing Western societies. "The West no longer knows who it is, because it no longer knows and does not want to know who made it, who established it, as it was and as it is." While making clear the gravity of the present situation, the cardinal demonstrates that it is possible to avoid the hell of a world without God, a world without hope. He calls for a renewal of devotion to Christ through prayer and the practice of virtue.