Cardinal Sarah Appointed Head Of CDW

Some good news for a change. Cardinal Sarah – the outspoken defender of the Sacrament of Communion and of Catholic teaching about sexual perversion – has been appointed head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (note the last words well). As V II Cardinals go, Sarah is certainly orthodox and conservative, i.e. Catholic.

Thankfully, I have not noticed anyone (up to now) trying to persuade us that this appointments shows that Francis is A Good, Orthodox, Conservative Pope People Do Not Understand. That time has, I think, gone forever.

Personally, I am not ready to give the man the least shred of credibility, whomever he may appoint. The man obviously hasn't changed, so our view of the danger he represents will not change, either. Why has Francis, then, chosen Sarah, of all people, for the position? My spontaneous thoughts:

1) He needs some prestigious African prelate near him to avoid the accusation of ignoring that Continent. Therefore, he puts an African at the top of what Africans do worst: liturgy. It minimises the damage for Francis, at least. How bad Sarah is in liturgical matters is also to be seen. Tornielli seems to trust him in liturgical matters too, which is a good sign. But this here is also an anti-Kasperite in the middle of the Vatican, which can never hurt.

2) Francis wants to show that he can reward outspoken prelates, as long as they do not criticise him personally. Burke out, Sarah in. A conservative in the Curia like before, but a less uncomfortable one for Francis. For now, at least.

3) He wants to divide the anti-Kasperite fraction, sending them partly to the wilderness and partly to Rome. I do not think it will ever work; but he might think so. A genius, he ain't.

4) He has given up on his revolutionary project. He is old, and it has become clear to him he will not be able to attempt any “revolution” without a huge, long conflict; a conflict which would doom his papacy for all centuries to come. He will continue to talk rubbish, of course; but no revolution. This seems to me, for the moment, only a possibility; but I do not consider it such a remote one.

Old, he is. Hypocrite, he is. Vain, he most certainly is. This one isn't the born and bred ideologue, the hero uncaring of the consequences, the Che Guevara of doctrinal demolition. This one is… a Jesuit. He will be strong with the weak and weak with the strong with the same easiness with which you breathe.

Time will tell. Let us not get too enthusiastic. The one in power is still TMAHICH. But he is clearly in the defensive now.

Today, we did get some good news. I cannot imagine any way in which bringing Sarah in can be seen as a sign of Francis' strength. No, it is a sign of Francis' weakness. He must appease the Catholics, lest he ends like the turkey at thanksgiving. He must bring in some African. He must give signals of normality. The bombardment of criticism since the Synod has not ceased, and in the meantime even the readers of the “Huffington Post” know he has put himself in a lot of trouble.

At the Synod, Francis has taken a pump gun and has shot himself in the leg. He is now trying to regain the face he has lost. It won't be easy.

It's too soon to say that Francis has thrown in the towel. But it is certainly enough to say that he is under great pressure, and must now act to avoid that the pressure becomes intolerable.


Posted on November 25, 2014, in Catholicism, Dissent, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Perhaps there has been a coup d’état or something like it. Francis never looked so unlike himself. Prithee Francis thou lookest pale, hast thou been visited by the spirits of those murdered Franciscans again? Whence comes this strange appointment?
    Oh yes, I believe in “God’s surprises” that Francis is fond of mentioning and I couldn’t be happier that they all seem to be going against him.

  2. Another possible explanation that, sadly, I find all too easy to agree is a possibility:

  3. Hi,

    Here is my take. The really clever guys are trying to do with cd. Sarah at the CDW what they did with Erdo at the Secret Synod.

    I agree that Francis is a wounded animal. The weakness can be seen in that Francis was too scared to put Piero Marini at the head. Bugnini loses again.


    • I get the point, but personally I very much doubt it would succeed. I also notice Erdo was a big coward when he decided to sign the document, but he was also the one who openly ridiculed Forte and put the avalanche into motion.

      Having said that, I haven’t much hope in Sarah as a liturgist. As I have written, I think this is what Africans doworst.


      P.s. your link was suggested to me by another reader before you did. You are getting an audience, big time…

    • I totally agree w/r/t Sarah. No sense for the liturgy what so ever. But what will be interesting to watch is how the office politics play out with all those bugnini’ites. Should make for interesting posts. And Fr. Huckwinkel also noticed the same thing. And both posts got picked up on Pew Sitter, so that drove views for a couple of day.
      ps The guys at Pew Sitter must like me. Had three posts already picked up. And it looks like I have secret admirers over at Fr. Z. blog. But I can’t seem to figure out from where that traffic is originating.

    • You mean Fr Hunwicke?

      As to the traffic, it is so, that as people get in touch with your blog, they will keep coming back to it if they like the product. Therefore, you will notice that many of the hits are from search engines (because people remember “S.Armaticus” or “Sarmaticus”) or are directly linked (because people remember your internet address or have it in their favourite list).
      It’s a virtuous circle, as when you get more read more people will draw attention to your post. When you make it to “Pewsitter” you are, basically, mainstream sensible Catholic fare. Which, for a blog as young as yours, is a very remarkable achievement.

      In time, you will notice even the sire that refers most to you (people linking to your site from a link from their site) do not make more than two or three percent of your total readership in a given day. This is good, because it means that you have a well-spread readership who read you because they know who you are and what you write, not because they have casually followed a link to your site.

      Still, the referrals are nice, because they work as a trampoline to boost your readership basis.


    • Yes Fr Hunwicke.

      Ok. Understand.

      Will focus on the search engines. The Tags are obviously important. Anything else that I can do?


    • Categories and tags are, as you say, important. Try to get short titles that contains the key words (good for the search engines). I personally would try to get a “rhythm” that I try to keep, say: one post a day, or the like, and try to stick to it, as I think it builds fidelity more easily if the readers thinks “let’s see what is new on XYZ site”. I would also try to pick one standard (say: between 400 and 700 words, with occasional exceptions) and stick to that, instead of having the 3,000 words monster after four days of radio silence.

      For the rest, it seems to me you are doing everything right.


  4. The problem there is the second man of Cardinal Sarah, a bugniniano. And please du not take in consideration whatever Tornielli may say.. Just consider valid Magister and Tosatti.

    • That will be for Sarah to dispose of, if he thinks fit, and risk the conflict that might come his way. I have a hunch that Sarah isn’t the one who runs away from conflicts. But as I have just said, I don’t think he will pleasantly surprise us as a liturgist.


  5. I don’t see Pope Francis ever giving up on his continual fight to empty the Faith of all meaning and content, and to eliminate all submission to objective, rational morality. St John Vianney, pray for us.

    • Ah, I am much more optimistic there.

      I do not think that Francis has an ideology going beyond himself. Whatever he does, he does it for the sake of his own self-aggrandizement. Might he be a true Communist at heart, he would learn to shut up when he sees that it procures him too much hostility for a sustained period of time.
      But I might be wrong, of course.

  6. In other news, “Strasbourg [is] empty… The Pope did not wish to see the Alsatians. The Alsatians did not wish to see the Pope. A visit [that was] as short as it was… sad.” — Jean-Marie Guénois. Apparently not so “approachable” or “popular” after all?

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