African cardinal says Western prelates have lost their nerve

An African cardinal widely seen as a conservative critic of Pope Francis and styled by some as a possible candidate for the papacy himself has warned of what he described as a “practical atheism” taking hold within the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea also repeated his criticism of Fiducia Supplicans, the recent Vatican document authorising blessings of couples involved in same-sex unions, insisting that it’s not just traditional African culture but Catholic teaching itself which makes the document unacceptable.

Speaking to the episcopal conference of Cameroon, Cardinal Sarah, the Vatican’s former top official for liturgy, criticised Western bishops for their reluctance to oppose secular worldly values, accusing them of a failure of nerve.

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