He currently serves in one of the most important positions in the Catholic Church and now may be a serious candidate for the highest position of Pope.
As President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 64-year-old Cardinal Peter Turkson believes conditions may be right for an African Pope to lead the world’s 1.196 billion Roman Catholics, particularly since much of the church’s growth in converts comes from Latin American and African populations.
“If I was elected pope it would signal a lot of (personal) change,” Cardinal Turkson said in an interview published Feb. 12 by the The Telegraph. “Very big change in a lot of regards. I have been an archbishop, which involved a certain amount of leadership and now having to do this on a world level, the dimensions expand almost infinitely.”
Cardinal Turkson made news in 2011 when he authored a report for the Vatican which proposed the creation of a “new world economic order,” a central world bank and a UN-style global political authority that would serve all nations for the common good.
There is widespread speculation as to why Pope Benedict XVI recently made the decision to resign the papacy effective Feb. 28.
Benedict himself made reference to two reasons: his health and turmoil within the hierarchy of the Church.
It was revealed this week that Benedict assumed the duties of the office of Pope with a heart regulating device known as a pacemaker. Recently, doctors performed an operation to change the device’s battery, which is a common procedure.
Benedict also fired off what some called a parting shot on Wednesday during his last public Mass where he declared he was stepping down for the good of the church.
“We can reveal the face of the church and how this face is, at times, disfigured,” the 85-year-old pontiff said to a packed audience at Vatican City. “I am thinking in particular of the sins against the unity of the church, of the divisions in the body of the church.”
Enter Cardinal Turkson, who also believes the Catholic Church is facing internal difficulties, or what he called “a bit of a storm” with regard to priest sex abuse scandals, relations with the Muslim world and the effectiveness of the Church in traditional European countries.
Turkson received several church promotions and high-level missions from Pope Benedict XVI from 2009-2011, and has had a constant guide of social justice and the common good in much of his Church work.
In a document published in Mar. 2012 entitled “Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection”, Cardinal Turkson puts forth the view that business leaders, as part of their vocation, are required to make financial decisions in light of the principles of human dignity and the common good.
“Among these principles, we recall the principle of meeting the needs of the world with goods which are truly good and which truly serve without forgetting, in the spirit of solidarity, the needs of the poor and the vulnerable,” Cardinal Turkson said.
He also pointed out that business leaders must focus on the “just distribution” of sustainable wealth among society’s stakeholders.
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