News / Africa

Election of New Pope Not Political, Says Ghana Cardinal

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana arrives to attend a mass led by bishop Leonardo Sandri of Argentina in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 13, 2005.
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana arrives to attend a mass led by bishop Leonardo Sandri of Argentina in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, April 13, 2005.
Peter Clottey
At the Vatican, one of the cardinals being talked about as a possible leader of the Roman Catholic Church says the election of a new pope is a spiritual, not a political, process. 

In an interview with VOA, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana says the selection of a pope is a sacred process that requires prayers and God’s guidance.

But Cardinal Turkson, who is currently president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, says it is natural for Africans to want one of their own to be elected as the next pope.

“It’s very normal for people in any part of the world to gang behind somebody that they can associate with and they can feel part of. So, this for me is a natural phenomenon just as guys in Latin America are doing the same thing for cardinals from Latin America,” said Turkson.

“This is essentially an exercise of the Catholic Church,” he adds. “Therefore before we start going continental, we need first to go church, and think about what the Catholic Church in Africa can do or should do with such an event. When that is the case, then what we [are] heading for is the Catholic Church in Africa in communion with the Catholic Church around the world choosing a chief pastor, somebody to exercise leadership over the whole church,” he said.

Cardinal Turkson has been mentioned as one of the leading candidates ahead of the upcoming conclave of cardinals to elect a new pope to lead the over one billion Catholics worldwide. If chosen, he would be the first non-European to head the church in 1,800 years.

The Ghanaian cardinal’s comments came after Pope Benedict announced that he would step down from the papacy at the end of the month.

Turkson says he respects the rights of the media to talk about the church activities, but cautioned that speculations about him and Cardinal Francis Arinze, of Nigeria as leading candidates to become the next pope might not be accurate.

“This is speculation that the press gets into sometimes, a little bit unrealistic, because everybody knows that Cardinal Arinze has reached the age of 80 and so he does not qualify by age even to go into a conclave to elect a pope, and he cannot be chosen or elected,” said Turkson.

“So since Arinze is above the age the natural thing is to turn the attention to the one who is younger and that comes to me and several of the African cardinals. You can’t stop people from speculating and the only thing we try to do is probably to guide it a little bit,” he said.

Turkson says the Catholic Church continues to play a significant role in the lives of people in Africa. He called for support from Africans ahead of the election of the new pope.

“We ask the rest of Africa to pray with us that God will bestow on us a leader that can provide the type of leadership that will continue to make the Catholic Church responsive to the needs of the various citizens on the continent,” said Turkson.

Turkson is the first Ghanaian to become a cardinal, when he was made archbishop of Cape Coast by Pope John Paul the second in 2003. He was named head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace by Pope Benedict in October of 2009.

Clottey exclusive interview with Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
Clottey exclusive interview with Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukraine PM Warns Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Arw Koppen
February 28, 2013 9:32 PM
Turkson? Why not? I've read abt the enormous group of catholics he represents, but I've got one wish for him: 'To abolish celebacy, cos it puts so much stress on priests, and pope', I think it'd be better if he'd have family with a devoted nun. It'd also give him more insight in family-life. k?


by: Hotep_x from: USA
February 14, 2013 3:56 PM
The Ghanaian people, who are blacker than ten-thousand mid-nights and bless by (Ra) the Sun, needs right-knowledge. Surely a proud Ghanaian people need not one of their sons to be caste into the leadership of a decaying theocracy. Render unto Eurocentric Rome that which is theirs and render unto Mother Afrika (Kemet) that which is born unto-Ra. Hotep!

In Response

by: Ebenezer Forson from: Ghana
February 17, 2013 11:23 AM
what the world have forgotten is that the country GHANA is a blessed country. As peaceful the country is, geographically, the country is located at the center of the world. Cardinal Turkson is a blessed so of the country and what we all should keep in mind is that what God have chosen, no man on earth can stop it. History are said to be broken in this era that we are in. Who ever thought that a black man will ever lead the United State of America. Let us not forget that black people (Africans) are also part of mankind. Let us analyze the position he is currently holding. Perfect job done by him; so let us not judge or relate positions held with peoples trace. All that we should aspire is that GOD in his own way should give us the right person to lead the holy church.


by: solomon from: south africa
February 14, 2013 6:51 AM
You know why black bishops cannot be elected as pope? because we are not white but they decieve us as if they know God when they dont know beside why do they worship the mother of JESUS instead of Jesus? isnt not antichrist? wake you Christians, REVELATION 14 know the truth and worship true God all of them are ELUMINATE.... I DNT hv time to be fooled

In Response

by: Oscar from: United States of America
February 15, 2013 6:55 PM
We do not worship Mary the mother of Jesus we just praise

In Response

by: Trigo from: Australia
February 15, 2013 11:22 AM
Point of correction Catholics do not worship Mary but Jesus and the God head.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid