Looming over the selection process for the next pope is the fallout from the sex scandals that have rocked the church, especially in the US and Europe. While there have been reported cases of abuse in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, they have been fewer and it is not clear why. It may be that victims in many developing countries have less power and the church has more, and thus they have been less reluctant to come forward with complaints.
One of the people being mentioned as a strong candidate to be the next pope is Ghana’s Peter Turkson. He was asked recently about the possibility of the sex abuse scandal spreading to Africa.
“African traditional systems kind of protect or have protected its population against this tendency,” he said. “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.”
According to the American Psychological Association, “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.”
Turkson acknowledged that many Catholic nuns have been driven out of the church because they are prevented from joining the top levels of the Church and becoming priests, but he defended the practice as part of Catholic tradition.
“If one does not have access to ordination is not discrimination,” he said, but rather “it is just how the church has understood this order of ministry to be.”
Turkson seems to have an extraordinary inability to see abuse, a lack of curiosity to initiate investigations, obliviousness to the fact LGBT people are in every part of the world, and the ability to provide glib rationalizations for the church’s awful policies and track record.
It looks like Turkson would make a great pope.