A prominent Catholic leader, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, said in his remarks at the Vatican's ongoing synod meeting that Islamic extremism and Western liberal culture are "almost like two 'apocalyptic beasts,'" which the Church must respond to.
"To use a slogan, we find ourselves between 'gender ideology and ISIS,'" the cardinal said at the Synod of Bishops in the Vatican, according to Catholic News Agency. "Islamic massacres and libertarian demands regularly contend for the front page of the newspapers."
Sarah, head of the Congregation for Divine Worship, added: "Theological discernment allows to see in our times two unexpected threats — almost like the Beasts of the Apocalypse — from two opposite positions: on one side the idolatry of western freedom, on the other religious fanaticism,"
He said in the closed-doors meeting, to be concluded Oct. 25, that these two radicalizations give birth to "the two major threats to the family." "What Nazism-fascism and communism were to the 20th century, Western ideologies on homosexuality and abortion and Islamic fanaticism are to today."
Sarah explained that Western secularism threatens the family because of "quickie divorces, abortion, homosexual unions: look at gender theory, Femen (a feminist group known for topless protests), the LBGT lobby… On the other side, there is the pseudo-family of an ideological Islam which legitimizes polygamy, sexual slavery, child marriage: look at Al-Qaeda, IS [Islamic State], Boko Haram."
The cardinal added that these two movements have the "same demonic origin." "They both advocate a universal and totalitarian law, they're both violently intolerant, destroyers of families and the Church, and openly anti-Christian."
The conservative Catholic leader suggested that the Church needs to "proclaim the truth without fear." "Together with a strong and clear word of the Supreme Magisterium, pastors have the mission of helping our contemporaries to discover the beauty of the Christian family."
Sarah acknowledged the need for the Church to be inclusive and welcoming to all that is human, but added that "what comes from the Enemy cannot and must not be assimilated." "You cannot join Christ and Belial! What Nazi fascism and communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today."
He said the Catholic bishops must urgently "recognize and promote the charisms, movements, and ecclesial realities in which the family is truly revealed, this prodigy of harmony, love of life and hope in eternity, this cradle of faith and school of charity."
Referring to the 2014 synod, in which some bishops proposed changes in Catholic practices to be inclusive of Catholics in irregular relationships, Sarah was quoted as saying in June that one could sense "the temptation to yield to the mentality of the secularized world and individualistic West."