Cardinal Appiah Turkson says he ‘prays against’ becoming a pope

Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson who is tipped by some as a potential candidate for the first African Pope in approximately 1,500 years has said he “prays against” it happening.

Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson says he ‘prays against’ becoming a pope

He said this among other things during a BBC Hard Talk interview on the morning of Monday, November 27, 2023.

During the interview, Stephen Sackur, the interviewer said: “I just want to end with a more personal note. I began by saying you have been widely tipped as a possible first African Pope.” At this point, Cardinal Turkson injected humorously, saying, “I greatly, I pray a lot also against it,” with a laugh. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that the timing would be in God's hands.

Sackur continued, recalling Turkson's previous comments in 2013 about the potential significance of becoming Pope. He questioned, “Is it time, for an African Pope, for a black Pope?” Cardinal Turkson responded, “It will be time if it is time in God's timetable because the church belongs to its Lord. The Lord has never abandoned the church, and I believe it is a matter of prayer.”

When asked if the time had come, Cardinal Turkson emphasized, “It


is up to Him [the Lord] to decide, not me. I pray for it, but He [the Lord]


Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson is a Ghanaian prelate of the Catholic Church. Born on October 11, 1948, in Wassaw Nsuta, Ghana, he was ordained a priest in 1975. Cardinal Turkson has served as chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences since 2022.

He served as the Archbishop of Cape Coast in Ghana from 2009 to 2018.

He gained international prominence when he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to serve as the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in 2009. In that role, Cardinal Turkson addressed issues related to social justice, peace, and development.


Cardinal Turkson has been involved in various discussions on global issues, including economic justice, environmental sustainability, and human rights. He was considered a papabile (a potential candidate for the papacy) during the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis.


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