Modern Western advocates of abortion and population control in Africa are like the French revolutionaries who massacred the people of Vendée, Cardinal Robert Sarah has said.

In a homily honouring the Vendée martyrs, published online by Famille Chrétienne, Cardinal Sarah praised the region and its inhabitants for resisting atheistic republicanism during the Revolution, but said that the Church and the traditional family still faced persecution.

“Who will rise today for God?” the cardinal asked. “Who will dare to confront the modern persecutors of the Church? Who will have the courage to rise up without any weapons other than the rosary and the Sacred Heart, to face the columns of death of our time?”

These modern “columns of death”, the cardinal explained, were “relativism, indifferentism and contempt for God”.

“Who will say to this world that the only freedom worth dying for is the freedom to believe?”

The War in the Vendée, which lasted from March to December 1793, was a popular uprising against France’s revolutionary republican government. It was led by the self-styled Catholic and Royal Army, which was largely composed of peasants.

In the aftermath of the rebellion, tens of thousands of civilians were massacred by the so-called “Infernal Columns” of republican general Louis Marie Turreau. Many of those who died have been beatified by the Church.

The Guinean cardinal said that those who advocate sterilisation, abortion and population control, especially for Africa, are the modern equivalent of those Infernal Columns.

“Once again today, more than ever, revolutionary ideologists want to annihilate the natural place of self-giving, joyful generosity and of love. I want to talk about the family! Gender ideology, and contempt for fertility and fidelity are the many slogans of this revolution.”

The cardinal added that, just as in the Vendée, modern revolutionaries want to exterminate families.

“These new revolutionaries are worried by the generosity of large families. They ridicule Christian families, for they embody all that they hate. They are ready to launch new Infernal Columns on Africa to put pressure on families and impose sterilisation, abortion and contraception. Africa, like the Vendée, will resist! Christian families everywhere must be the joyful spearheads of a revolt against this new dictatorship of selfishness!”

Cardinal Sarah called on the French people to live up to the reputation of their Vendean ancestors and stand up for traditional Christianity amid a new onslaught.

“Today in the East, Pakistan and Africa, our Christian brothers die for their faith, crushed by the pillars of persecuting Islamism. And you, people of France, you, people of Vendée, when will you rise with the peaceful weapons of prayer and charity to defend your faith?

“My friends, the blood of martyrs flows in your veins, be faithful to it! We are all spiritually sons of la Vendée martyre!”