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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora