Robert Sarah

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His Eminence
Robert Sarah
President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum
Hoogeerwaarde Kanunnik Vanhoutten 2009.jpg
Robert Cardinal Sarah, then an Archbishop, in 2009
Appointed7 October 2010
PredecessorPaul Josef Cordes
Other postsCardinal-Deacon of San Giovanni Bosco in via Tuscolana
Orders
Ordination20 July 1969
by Raymond-Maria Tchidimbo
Consecration8 December 1979
by Giovanni Benelli
Created Cardinal20 November 2010
RankCardinal-Deacon
Personal details
Born(1945-06-15) 15 June 1945 (age 69)
Ourous, Guinea
NationalityGuinean
DenominationRoman Catholic
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Mottosufficit tibi gratia mea
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His Eminence
Robert Sarah
President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum
Hoogeerwaarde Kanunnik Vanhoutten 2009.jpg
Robert Cardinal Sarah, then an Archbishop, in 2009
Appointed7 October 2010
PredecessorPaul Josef Cordes
Other postsCardinal-Deacon of San Giovanni Bosco in via Tuscolana
Orders
Ordination20 July 1969
by Raymond-Maria Tchidimbo
Consecration8 December 1979
by Giovanni Benelli
Created Cardinal20 November 2010
RankCardinal-Deacon
Personal details
Born(1945-06-15) 15 June 1945 (age 69)
Ourous, Guinea
NationalityGuinean
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post
Mottosufficit tibi gratia mea
Coat of arms
Styles of
Robert Sarah
Coat of arms of Robert Sarah.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal

Robert Sarah (born 15 June 1945) is a Guinean priest and Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was appointed as President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum by Pope Benedict XVI on 7 October 2010.[1] He previously served as secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Early life and schooling[edit]

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 seminarists 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Priestly career[edit]

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.[citation needed]

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.[2] 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”.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Sources[edit]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Raymond-Maria Tchidimbo CSSp
Archbishop of Conakry
13 August 1979–1 October 2001
Succeeded by
Vincent Coulibaly
Preceded by
Marcello Zago OMI
Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
1 October 2001–7 October 2010
Succeeded by
Savio Hon Tai-Fai SDB
Preceded by
Paul Cordes
President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum
7 October 2010–present
Incumbent