African papal contender wants change, pontiff from the developing world
Already, a handful of Vatican offices, aside from his own, are headed by prelates from the developing world: Another papal contender, Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, 65, heads the Vatican's office for religious congregations, while Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 69, heads the Vatican's office for Eastern rite churches.
"Although the majority is still Italian or European, we still have a growing number of Africans and people from Asia and Latin America in the Roman Curia," Turkson said. "If we're talking specifically about the pope himself, I don't think we're too far away from that, either."
He laughs when asked about speculation that he himself is a contender.
"I've always answered 'if it's the will of God,'" he said. But turning serious, he said the job is difficult, and few would look for it willingly. And he may be running the risk of jinxing himself, following the conventional wisdom that he who enters a conclave a pope leaves a cardinal.
"Being the pope of the church is not going to be an easy task," given the challenges ahead. Prime among them, he said, is restoring the church's credibility, crushed after the clerical sex abuse scandal which drove away thousands of faithful.
"We need to repair our credibility," Turkson said. "Our pastors need to be believed in again and recognized and taken seriously. If we say we are celibate clergy, we need to live faithfully to that celibacy. There's one thing we can't compromise on and that's our credibility."
Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield
- Mitt Romney courts middle class, jabs Hillary...
- Top Catholics and evangelicals: Gay marriage...
- Prosecutors promise thorough probe of police...
- After setting iPhone record, what does Apple...
- California bars judges from Boy Scouts...
- McDonald's CEO steps down as sales decline
- Friend disputes Denver police account of...
- Blizzard-stricken East digs out amid forecast...
- Victim of sexual abuse sues Boy Scouts... 19
- Mitt Romney courts middle class, jabs... 15
- Top Catholics and evangelicals: Gay... 13
- 'Potentially historic' blizzard... 12
- Some Republican presidential hopefuls... 12
- Denver police shoot, kill teen who... 12
- House GOP moves toward possible lawsuit... 11
- Prosecutors promise thorough probe of... 11