We should be grateful to Pope Francis for appointing Cardinal Robert Sarah to guard the Church’s liturgy, Benedict XVI has said.

In an afterword to Cardinal Sarah’s new book The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, the retired Pope gives a rare endorsement of a serving Church official, saying that the liturgy is in “good hands” with the cardinal as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

Benedict XVI praises the book, saying that the cardinal “teaches us silence – being silent with Jesus, true inner stillness, and in just this way he helps us to grasp the word of the Lord anew.”

He also calls Cardinal Sarah a “master of silence and of interior prayer”, saying that silence is necessary to help us interpret the Gospels.

“Anyone today who reads the ever-thicker commentaries on the Gospels remains disappointed in the end,” Benedict writes. Instead, one must imitate the example of Jesus, who spent much time in silence.

“We know that His speech, His word, comes from silence and could mature only there. So it stands to reason that His word can be correctly understood only if we, too, enter into His silence, if we learn to hear it from His silence.”

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