Would Black Smoke Prove Too Much For White Catholics

With Pope Benedict XVI hanging up his shoes (or hat I should say), the papal candidate pool is wide ope, and one of the men believed to be in strong contention is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana. He has been part of the conclave of cardinals since 2005. As the Catholic church looks to bring the image of their church into the modern era, many see a non-European pontiff as a possible symbol of new thinking and new directions for the church. An African pope would also be a tip of the hat to one of the few continents where Catholicism is still growing. Now as a Blacknek, we would hope that the next pope would be selected just on his abilities to do the job, but the political realities of the situation means the birthplace and demographics of a pope are always factored in.

I am just not sure if the European Catholic base would be ready for a Black pope. Many liberal Catholics feel distance from church leadership already due to the child sex abuse scandals and views on gay marriage and abortion, but these liberal Catholics tend to be overwhelmingly White. Perhaps, a Black pope would trigger an official ‘us vs them’ movement like the Barak Obama’s presidency has done with the creation of the Tea Party. Looking at the widespread incidences of open racism towards Black players in European counties, these countries really don’t have enough of an exposure to Black communities to not be ruled by ignorance and prejudices. Truthfully, it is hard to predict what the reaction might be, and we can only hope if a Black man is chosen as the next pope that European Catholics surprise us all with positivity and tolerance.


Filed under Barak Obama, In The News

5 responses to “Would Black Smoke Prove Too Much For White Catholics

  1. Francis Philip

    I don’t believe that God would move His Church to select a Pope because of the color of his skin, and especially if that is going to become a tool of division – which God does not desire within His Church. The color of one’s skin, in a way, is “accidental” compared to the beauty of one’s soul and what that soul can and does contain. The Church will select a Pope who has a sound mind, a sound personality, and who is good for the entire People of God. I believe that Cardinal Arinze would have been a good Pope (I have met him, heard him speak and watched his catecheses on TV). But he is too old now to be considered. I do not know Cardinal Turkson, but he seems to be popular.

    • Good thoughts. I’m not Catholic but do believe that if the pope is divinely elected, then the cardinals shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about his skin color.

      • Francis Philip

        But one has to admit, it would be good “medicine” to see God elevate one very good soul who man has tended to oppress unjustly, because, for example, his skin color is different. God is the Great Healer and the Just Judge. 🙂

  2. Earnest Harris

    Very thought provoking piece. It sure would be interesting to see how Catholics respond when and if such a thing happened.

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