|Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments|
Robert Cardinal Sarah, then an Archbishop, in 2009
|Appointed||23 November 2014|
|Predecessor||Antonio Cañizares Llovera|
|Other posts||Cardinal-Deacon of San Giovanni Bosco in via Tuscolana|
|Ordination||20 July 1969
by Raymond-Maria Tchidimbo
|Consecration||8 December 1979
by Giovanni Benelli
|Created Cardinal||20 November 2010|
15 June 1945 |
|Motto||sufficit tibi gratia mea|
|Coat of arms|
|Reference style||His Eminence|
|Spoken style||Your Eminence|
Robert Sarah (born 15 June 1945) is a Guinean priest and Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was appointed as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis on 23 November 2014. He previously served as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
Early life and schooling
Sarah was born in 1945 in French Guinea and studied at Ourous. In 1957, at age 12, he entered the Seminary of Bingerville in Ivory Coast. On 2 October 1958, Guinea became independent after the referendum of 28 September. The Guinean seminarians who were studying in Bingerville returned to the new country and entered the Seminary of Dixinn in 1960 for one year. On 15 August 1961, the Democratic Party of Guinea nationalised all private Catholic schools, including the seminary.
After staying in their respective parishes, the seminarians, including Sarah, gathered at the locals of the parish of Sainte Croix, Kindia, waiting for the opening of Seminary Jean XXIII, situated 135 kilometers from Conakry. After obtaining a baccalaureate in 1964, Sarah was sent to France to study at the Grand Seminary at Nancy. Because of the political relations between France and Guinea, he went to Sébikotane, Sénégal, to finish his theological studies. Later that year he studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained a licentiate in theology; and at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum of Jerusalem, where he obtained a licentiate in Sacred Scriptures. Sarah returned to Guinea in 1974.
Robert Sarah was ordained to the priesthood on 20 July 1969, aged 24, and incardinated in the diocese of Conakry. A decade later, at age 34, he was appointed as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Conakry on 13 August 1979 by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on 8 December 1979 by Giovanni Cardinal Benelli.
He served as the ordinary of the Archdiocese of Conakry until his appointment by Pope John Paul II as the Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on 1 October 2001. In October 2010 he was appointed as President of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" replacing Paul Cardinal Cordes, whose resignation had been accepted for age-related reasons. Cordes had served as president since 1995. In his new role as archbishop he was charged with organising Catholic relief around the world. He became the second African appointed by Pope Benedict to lead a Vatican dicastary. The first was Peter Cardinal Turkson of Ghana who was appointed as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in 2009.
On 1 September 2010 Sarah criticised Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's call for Islam to become the religion of all of Europe, labelling it disrespectful to the Pope and Catholic Italy. Sarah stated: “To speak of the European continent converting to Islam makes no sense because it is the people alone who decide consciously to be Christian, Muslim or to follow other religions”.
On 20 November 2010, Pope Benedict XVI created and proclaimed him Cardinal-Deacon of San Giovanni Bosco in via Tuscolana. He has voting rights in papal conclaves until his 80th birthday. On 29 December 2010, Sarah was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Pontifical Council for the Laity and Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He speaks French, English and Italian fluently.
|Catholic Church titles|
Raymond-Maria Tchidimbo CSSp
|Archbishop of Conakry
13 August 1979–1 October 2001
Marcello Zago OMI
|Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
1 October 2001–7 October 2010
Savio Hon Tai-Fai SDB
|President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum
7 October 2010–23 November 2014
Antonio Cañizares Llovera
|Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
23 November 2014-present