Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson is seen by some as a candidate to become the first African Pope in about 1,500 years, but reacting to the suggestion jokingly, and interjecting while the question was still being posed, Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, said “I pray a lot also against it.”
In a BBC Hard Talk interview on Monday morning [Nov 27, 2023], monitored by Graphic Online, the interviewer, Stephen Sackur asked, “I just want to end with a more personal form. I began by saying you have been widely tipped as a possible first African Pope.”
It was at this point that Cardinal Turkson injected and stated, “I greatly, I pray a lot also against it” amidst a laugh, he, however said, it will be in God’s own time.
The interviewer, Stephen Sackur continued and said, “you have addressed the possibility in the past. In 2013 you said it will certainly mean a lot to me [Turkson] if I had to be Pope, if I was elected, it will signal a very big personal change, but it wouldn’t just be a personal change, would it, it would also be a recognition of the change, extremely important role that Africa is now playing in the Catholic Church. My final question, is it time, for an African Pope, for a black Pope?”
Cardinal Turkson’s answer
This was Cardinal Appiah Turkson’s answer: “It will be time if it is time in God’s time table, because the church belongs to its Lord. And the Lord has never abandoned the church and left the church, so I believe, and I have been in St Peter’s Square at the election of three Popes in the past, and my thing has always been that of prayer.”
“May the Lord who founded the church provide for the church always the type of leadership that he considers suitable for the church at this point in history and if this time round…[Stephen Sackur interjects: Has it reached that time now]
Cardinal Turkson answers: “Ok, so it is up to him [Lord] to decide, not me [Turkson], I pray for it but he [Lord] decides.”