Papal Candidate Turkson Continues to Reveal Anti-Gay Attitudes

Cardinal Peter Turkson

Cardinal Peter Turkson

One of the names that is being bandied about as a prime candidate to become the next pope is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana.  As his name has surfaced, so too have reports that this African cardinal has a strong record of anti-gay attitudes.

His most recent comments accused gay priests for causing the sex-abuse crisis.  According to London’s Daily Mail:

“The African cardinal widely tipped to be the first black pope in modern history faced a firestorm of criticism last night after he laid the blame for clerical sex abuse crises at the feet of gay priests.

“Cardinal Peter Turkson, who comes from Ghana, told an American journalist that similar sex scandals would never convulse churches in Africa because the culture was inimical to homosexuality.

” ‘African traditional systems kind of protect or have protected its population against this tendency,’ he told Christiane Amanpour of CNN.

” ‘Because in several communities, in several cultures in Africa homosexuality or for that matter any affair between two sexes of the same kind, are not countenanced in our society,’ he continued.

” ‘So that cultural taboo, that tradition has been there,’ said Cardinal Turkson, 64. ‘It has served to keep it out.’ “

You can view the video of the Turkson interview with CNN’s Amanpour here.

Turkson made headlines last week when it was revealed that he supported Uganda’s draconian penalties for homoesexuality.  According to John Becker, writing on The Billerico Report blog:

“. . .Turkson is so anti-gay that he actually defended draconian laws that criminalize homosexuality and gay sex, including Uganda’s notorious ‘Kill the Gays’ bill. Speaking last year to the National Catholic Register, Turkson opined that while the penalties imposed by such laws are ‘exaggerated,’ the desire of many Africans and African leaders to incarcerate or even execute their gay citizens is actually perfectly understandable, and that the ‘intensity of the reaction [to homosexuality] is probably commensurate with tradition.’ “

Turkson also added:

“Just as there’s a sense of a call for rights, there’s also a call to respect culture, of all kinds of people. So, if it’s being stigmatized, in fairness, it’s probably right to find out why it is being stigmatized.”

Becker cites another example of Turkson’s anti-gay attitudes:

“In January 2012, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered an address to the African Union Summit in which he called on African nations to repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality and end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; the Secretary-General said that doing so was the only way to live up to the ideals of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Cardinal Turkson rebuked him:

‘We [the Church] push for the rights of prisoners, the rights of others, and the last thing we want to do is infringe upon the rights of anyone. But when you’re talking about what’s called “an alternative lifestyle,” are those human rights? [Ban Ki-moon] needs to recognize there’s a subtle distinction between morality and human rights, and that’s what needs to be clarified.’ “

Clearly, Turkson is not the right man for the top job.  While many church leaders have, through their comments, revealed their ignorance of LGBT reality, few have done so as boldly as Turkson has.  Let’s hope and pray that the old adage about papal conclaves comes true in his case:  “He who enters the conclave a pope comes out a cardinal.”

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

0 replies
  1. tomfluce
    tomfluce says:

    If my theory is correct about Brother Ratzinger’s retirement, assuring that even in his old age he can support the choice of the best person to carry out his vision–and that of Brother Wojtala–for the future church. Still rational, still revered, and having a majority of cardinals on his side–including Brother Turkson–why wouldn’t such a champion for fighting homosexuals be the choice? And an African to boot! Brother Ratzinger has continued up to now saying that the new evangelism, fighting secularism, has homosexuality as one of the greatest evils as its target. The conservatives have been working as only they can –we’ve been losing badly for lack of organization and “purity” of vision–for the 50 years since Vat II and have twisted the council beyond recognition.

  2. Richard Baldwin Cook
    Richard Baldwin Cook says:

    In 2001, the National Catholic Reporter interviewed a women who left her Order, in Africa, after being raped by a priest, who informed her, sex between a priest and a nun is OK so long as no pregnancy results. The woman who asked for anonymity, also said, nuns in Africa are dependent upon priests, who have money and status and for whom celibacy is not a problem because, for most, it does not exist.

    The former nun told NPR, “The Vatican should not allow local bishops to start their own congregations. The diocesan congregations are the bishops’ property. When the bishops control the finances, they decide everything: who should be educated, what they should be educated in. The one who controls your finances can control you in every way. The priests see sexual favors as quid pro quo. The nuns are very vulnerable.”

    I wonder if the African Catholic hierarchy is prepared for the scrutiny that ought to come, should an African prelate is elected Pope.

    I wonder, too, if Cardinal Turkson thinks the systemic rape of nuns is, in his mind, just another problem to be blamed on gay Catholic men.

  3. connor larkin
    connor larkin says:

    Connor Larkin jimmccrea • a minute ago

    Lifestyles? How about Daniel Moi, Seso Seki, Edi Amin, Robert Mugabe during 20,000,000 Africans murdered while trillions of dollars of African patriarchy are stashed in Isle of Wight, Luxembourg, Cayman Zurich Banks. Oh yes Bishops, there is a rape every 45 seconds on the continent of ‘holy africa”. And yes, the $700 million spent by the oligarchs of the Uganda, Ethiopian Sudan on arms and ‘bespoke London suits are real african values. Yes Archbishops, Africa has its own religious ‘tradition’. God help the African faithful from the hierarchs.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] negative evaluation of the new law is a shift for Turkson, who once defended Uganda’s anti-gay bill when it included the death penalty as a potential sentence for LGBT people and said prejudices by […]

  2. […] LGBT advocates, Cardinal Turkson is known for his anti-gay remarks. For example, in 2012 when the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on African nations to repeal […]

  3. […] Peter Turkson of Ghana is touted as a very real possibility, coming out of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, […]

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