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Team Aleteia



The African Front-Runner: Peter Cardinal Turkson


An African Pope might actually better re-evangelize Europe and North America

Finally, with a Muslim uncle in his family, and the ever-real conflict between Islam and Christianity fermenting across Africa, Turkson would bring the Muslim problem to the forefront of the Church’s concerns.
An African pope like Cardinal Turkson would mean a revolutionary shift in the Church’s center of gravity. It would be a papacy of youthfulness, dynamism, hope and a return to the core principles and priorities of the Church: the proclamation of the gospel to a needy world.
In this way, ironically, an African Pope may do more to re-evangelize Europe and North America than a Pope from the developed world. The dramatic shift in awareness and renewal of priorities might just wake up the Western world, which is sated with materialism, confused by relativism and despairing in its decadence and self absorption.
Such a choice would require the cardinal electors to take a huge risk and present the world with a stunning surprise, but if the history of the papacy has taught us one thing, it is that it is an institution full of surprises.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s latest book is Catholicism, Pure and Simple. Connect with his blog and browse his books at

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