Pope candidate Cardinal Turkson: Pedophilia is a white thing

His name is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, and he’s one of the top candidates being considered for next Pope.  He also has some disturbing theories on race.  You see, Cardinal Turkson, who is black, thinks being a pedophile or gay (to him they’re the same) is a white thing.

Cardinal Turkson was asked about the Catholic church’s ongoing pedophile scandal, and whether there was a chance the scandal might spread to Africa – most of the cases have been in western Europe and America.

Turkson’s response included two basic parts:

1. The pedophile scandal is really a gay scandal.

2. It’s a white thing, so black Africa shouldn’t have a problem.

Cardinal Turkson also defended Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill, which would make homosexuality a crime worthy of the death penalty.  According to Cardinal Turkson, you have to be “fair” to the people who want to legislate the murder of gays, and understand that the hatred of gays is rooted in “tradition” in Africa, so that makes it okay:

Ghanian Cardinal Peter Turkson via Haiducul, Wikipedia.

Ghanian Cardinal Peter Turkson via Haiducul, Wikipedia.

Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said some of the sanctions imposed on homosexuals in Africa are an “exaggeration,” but argued that the “intensity of the reaction is probably commensurate with tradition.”

Referring to the issue of stigma surrounding homosexuality in Africa, the cardinal said it is important to understand the reasons behind it. “Just as there’s a sense of a call for rights, there’s also a call to respect culture, of all kinds of people,” he said. “So, if it’s being stigmatized, in fairness, it’s probably right to find out why it is being stigmatized.”

Now back to Cardinal Turkson’s bizarre race theories. Now, Cardinal Turkson didn’t mention race explicitly- he’s far too subtle to openly race-bait.  He spoke in code that’s often used by bigots in Africa to race-bait the issue of homosexuality.  You see, for African anti-gay bigots, being gay is a “western thing,” aka, a white thing.

Here’s what Cardinal Turkson told Christiane Amanpour:

When Amanpour asked Turkson about the possibility of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal spreading to Africa, he said it would unlikely be in the same proportion as it has in Europe.

“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.”

Oh, so the African body politic has a way of shutting things like homosexuality down.  Gotcha.

Here’s Amanpour interviewing the President of Uganda in 2011, who reiterated another variation of the same lie:

“Before we came in touch with the Europeans, we had some few homosexuals…. Africans are by nature discreet people… We never exhibit our sexual acts in public. I have for instance never kissed my wife in public… The problem is exhibitionism… The second problem is trying to lure young children into homosexuality.”

There are some in America who think the same.  Titania Kumeh at Mother Jones explores the lie at length in her story, “Is Being Gay A White, European Thing?”:

 It’s a claim I’ve heard before from some black people, my own family included. The rumor has it that being gay is a white inclination that’s seeped its way into the black experience via colonialization. It’s largely based on the misconception that gay people don’t exist in African history. And it’s comparable to the claims made by some conservatives that gay rights, specifically gay marriage, is a fad not rooted in “traditional values” or espoused by any society in history. Which is just plain false.

Cardinal Turkson’s bizarre comments boil down to this.  First, Africans aren’t into raping children like westerners are (meaning, white people).  And second, the church’s child-rape scandal is actually a “gay” thing.

That’s not just incorrect, it’s downright scary that any Catholic leader to still believes that pedophilia is a “gay” problem.  Amanpour, to her credit, points out that American Psychological Association says the two aren’t linked. But what’s scary is that senior Catholic leader, who is on the short list for becoming the new pope, actually believes that the church’s pedophilia problem is rooted in homosexuality, and the overall acceptance of gay people in the West.

And people wonder why the Catholic church has yet to fully address the ongoing child-rape scandal?  The church’s senior leadership is so backward, so uninformed, so ignorant of the modern world, and so bigoted that they can’t even begin to fathom what the problem really is, let alone how to solve it.

That’s why people like former Los Angeles Cardinal Mahony, who church documents show shielded child molester priests, turned around and asked God to forgive his accusers for saying such bad things about him (mind you, his accusers were Catholic church documents).  Then a few days ago, Mahony said he was being scapegoated, and compared himself to Jesus on the cross, who, at last accounting, was not known to have aided and abetted pedophiles.

It’s also why Pope Benedict blamed the victims, and why former NY Cardinal Egan retracted his apology for the church’s crimes, recently saying, “I don’t think we did anything wrong.”  It’s why another church leader said that child rape is “understandable,” and blamed the children, while defending Sandusky of Penn State.  It’s why the church gave a full church funeral to that monster John Geoghan, who raped at least 150 young children. And why the church once castrated boys who came forward to report priests who had raped them.

The Catholic church will never be able to fully address the child-rape scandal until it fully understands the root of the problem.  And the problem isn’t rooted in people being gay or white.

It’s bad enough that the Catholic church is pretty much guaranteed to select yet another anti-gay and anti-woman bigot to be the next Pope, but now they’re “branching out” by considering a racist too.  Not exactly the kind of liberalization we were hoping for.  Though it is, sadly, what we’ve come to expect from the increasingly immoral Catholic leadership.

A final note to Cardinal Turkson: You know who else thinks pedophilia is race-based?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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