EVER THOUGHT OF A BLACK POPE?After the recent resignation of Benedict Pope VXI, Claudette Boa-Amponsem explores the chances of Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson being the world's first Black Ghanaian Pope.
There was a time in history when a black man or a Ghanaian as the next Pope was un-thought of. Well today, it's no longer a surprise but in fact, its a reality. Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson stands as a candidate to be the next leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. The highly educated spiritual leader is currently in favour to win at the bookmakers in England and according to the NY Daily News bets of upto $450,000 have been placed on him being the next Pope. Considering Barrack Obama became the first Black President in 2008.... its not impossible for a Ghanaian native to be a Pope now is it? However the sound of a Black Pope is still a very intriguing subject so lets find out more about the charismatic candidate from Ghana...
Could Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson be the next Pope?
From Humble beginnings to the Vatican
Raised in Nsuta Wassaw located in the western region of Ghana, Peter Appiah Turkson received the first six years of his education in a school housed within a Catholic Church building. Only the arrangement of chairs separated one class from the other!
It's hilariously ironic that he's running to be a Pope because as a child he was seen as the most mischievous among his siblings. His parents must of been absolutely flabbergasted when he decided to enter priesthood! But Turkson matured into a very bright, intelligent and sharp young man. He successfully obtained two Masters degrees in Theology and Divinity. After his ordination as a priest, Turkson dedicated his life to church work and teaching in seminaries in Ghana and Ivory Coast. Later, he studied for his doctorate in sacred scriptures in Rome.
How Peter Appiah Turkson is impacting the people of Ghana
Amongst the Ghanaian Catholic community, prayers for his victory as Pope are priority. In the lead up to the next Pope being finalised this Easter, the Cardinal's supporters remain hopeful and enthusiastic. Church goer Ursulu Essilfie told NY Daily News "He's someone who unites. He's someone who can bring people together. I've been praying about it"
Church leader Anthony Boadu is also positive about the impact this could have on other Ghanaian's and their spiritual lives “When a pope is from your country it's a great moment to become more spiritual," Mr Boadu, 52, went on to say "It'd be an opportunity to deepen our faith."
All things are possible
So far there there have been developments in ethnic groups rising to positions of influence in society such as the role played by the former U.N secretary Kofi Annan - another native Ghanaian - and the rise of the first black US president Barrack Obama, both raising hope that there might be a black pope. The cardinal is very well educated and intellectual. Not only can he speak English and his native Fante language but he can also speak Hebrew, French, German and Italian. Therefore this ability coupled with his humility will allow the cardinal to relate with people on all levels, worldwide.
The 64 year old has the sky as his limit and hopefully by the end of March, we'll see if the popular candidate will make it as the next Pope and go down in our history books as the first Pope from Ghana. 56 years ago who would of thought Ghana would of gained independence or even have a Ghanaian candidate standing to be the next Pope? It just goes to show all things are possible.
Happy Independence Day!
Words by Claudette Boa Amponsem
Edited by Grlinmedia