The Church’s responsible of justice and peace
His name: Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson. His birthplace: Wassa Nsuta, Ghana. The colour of his skin: black.
Peter Turkson is not just another cardinal; he is in charge of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, a branch of the Roman Catholic Church in charge of promotion of justice, peace and human rights from the Catholic point of view.
Since the resignation of the now Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, Turkson has been considered for some as the favourite to succeed him as Bishop of Rome. In an article published under the title White Smoke and a Black Pope, The New Yorker points one of the most solid arguments in favour of Mr. Turkson:
This time around, the demographic argument in favor of a non-European pope is hard to ignore. In the eight years of Benedict’s papacy alone, the number of Catholics in Africa grew by twenty-one per cent and the number of priests by sixteen per cent. In Europe, on the other hand, the number of Catholics has plummeted to such an extent that it is no longer the most Catholic region in the world, both in terms of the number of faithful and percentage of the population. The election of Turkson by the College of Cardinals, most of whom still come from Europe, would be clear acknowledgment that the leadership of the Church has to reflect this shifting center of gravity. The past of the Catholic Church is in Europe, and its future is in Africa and Asia: Naunihal Singh.
On a different note, Reuters informs the Ghanaian cardinal is the favourite to be appointed pontiff , not quite yet by the College of Cardinals but by the Irish bookmakers.
A unusual campaign in favour of Turkson seems to be underway according to NBC, given that political-style posters have been found in Rome in the anticipation of the impending conclave.
If chosen, Turkson would be the first non-European to lead the Catholic Churchin more than a millennium. The interesting question now is, will Peter Turkson become Petrus Romanus?
March 1st, 2013.