Who is Cardinal Peter Turkson? Five Things You Should Know

cardinal-turksonSince Pope Benedict XVI gave three weeks’ notice, there has been a lot of speculation about who the next pope will be. One of the major front-runners is Cardinal Peter Turkson, a 64 year old Ghanaian  clergyman who was made a cardinal in 2003 by Pope John Paul II and currently serves as the President of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace. Being ecstatic about having a West African become the next pope and oversee its one billion-strong members, I decided to find out more about this cardinal.

In a passage dealing with false prophets, the book of Matthew says in 7:20 that “by their works, we shall know them.” To put it mildly, some of “the works” of Cardinal Turkson give me serious pause. Here are 5 of them:

1. He’s strongly anti-gay and has defended African anti-gay laws on the basis of “culture”. He also believes more work should be put into finding out why many African countries advocate long prison sentences and in some cases, the death penalty, rather than trying to get this laws repealed.

2. He has also criticized the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon who has called out to many African countries to decriminalize homosexuality. He thinks all Catholic bishops should come together to put up a united anti-gay front.

3. He supports Uganda’s “Kill the gays bill” which advocates death sentences for anyone found guilty of “aggravated” homosexuality. He does admit that the “penalties imposed by such laws are exaggerated” (Thanks Manny for the clarification).

4. He does not support condom use and believes “abstinence” and “fidelity”  are the only solutions. He feels condoms give “people a false sense of security” and is “rather helping the disease (HIV/AIDS) spread”.

5. During an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the issue of same-sex marriage was raised to which he responded:”We need to find ways of dealing with the challenges coming up from society and culture”. He also believes the Catholic Church must “evangelize,” or convert, those with “alternative lifestyles, trends or gender issues.”

I hate to say that Clare Flourish told me so but it appears we may be getting a  younger, more energetic pope who is far more homophobic that the last one.

Change may not always be a good thing.

More on this on the Huffington Post.

11 thoughts on “Who is Cardinal Peter Turkson? Five Things You Should Know”

  1. I am trying to remember whether Benny was mentioned as a “papal frontrunner” last time. And “Cardinal is homophobic” is a headline like “Cows eat grass”, unfortunately. Thanks for the mention.


  2. This post was very informative; thank you. I’m not a Roman Catholic, so I don’t know about all of their bishops. Like most faith communities, for any change on church teaching to happen, it usually has to follow social change.



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s