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Conservative African cardinal leaves office after clash with Pope



File photo: Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea walks near St. Peter’s Square on February 18, 2013.REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

Vatican City (Reuters)-Pope Francis accepts the resignation of Vatican Cardinal Robert Sala, who is the hero of many conservatives who often clashed with the Pope on theological issues.

The African cardinal from Guinea has held various positions in the Vatican in the past 20 years, and most recently served as the head of the department, responsible for supervising worship and sacraments.

Sarah resigned in June last year when he was 75 years old. This is a requirement of church law for all bishops, but the pope usually allows Vatican officials to hold their posts for longer periods of time. The Vatican announced on Saturday that it will resign.

Sarah has been in her latest position since 201

4, putting her feet down to implement the changes Francis wanted, such as allowing women to participate in Holy Thursday services.

Conservatives in the church often included Sarah on their wish list until Francis became Pope one day. But most observers believe that this possibility is extremely remote, because Sarah is considered highly divided and will not receive widespread support among other cardinals.

In addition to disagreeing with Francis on many theological issues, Sarah was also involved in an embarrassing episode last year. The book was written to defend the priest’s celibacy. He said that this book is related to Co-authored by former Pope Benedict.

A few days before Benedict’s publication, he said he wanted to remove his name from the cover because he had only made a small contribution.

Sarah publicly questioned Benedict’s version, but agreed that in future versions, Benedict would be designated as a writer, not a co-author.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Frances Kerry


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