The Church would ignore the “real crisis” she faces today if she focuses on social justice issues rather than her basic mission to evangelize, Cardinal Robert Sarah warns in a newly-published interview.
“The Church is gravely mistaken as to the nature of the real crisis if she thinks that her essential mission is to offer solutions to all the political problems relating to justice, peace, poverty, the reception of migrants, etc. while neglecting evangelisation,” the cardinal told Aid to the Church in Need on April 18.
Sarah, who is the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said that while the Church “cannot disassociate herself from the human problems,” she will ultimately “fail in her mission” if she forgets her real purpose.
The cardinal quoted Yahya Pallavicini, an Italian and former Catholic who converted to Islam, to drive home his point: “If the Church, with the obsession she has today with the values of justice, social rights and the struggle against poverty, ends up as a result by forgetting her contemplative soul, she will fail in her mission and she will be abandoned by a great many of her faithful, owing to the fact that they will no longer recognize in her what constitutes her specific mission.”
The Church’s mission is summed by Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel when he sent his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This mission, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, means “proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God.”
Sarah’s remarks are interesting given the emphasis Pope Francis has placed on the Church working with migrants and refugees. In his addresses to world leaders, Pope Francis frequently highlights political problems, such as migration, with little mention of Christ or the Church’s evangelical call.
SOURCE: Pete Baklinski