Cardinal Peter Turkson likely to replace Pope Benedict
Cardinal Peter Appiah-Turkson
With the sudden announcement of Pope Benedict’s resignation on Monday, Bookmakers Paddy Power have drawn up a list of contenders to replace Benedict and one of the the favourite to replace the Pope is the Ghanaian Cardinal, Peter Appiah Turkson.
Currently the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Turkson was elevated to the cardinalate by Pope John Paul II in 2003
The Pope announced his resignation on Monday, stating his "advanced age" as a reason (he is 85) means he is no longer able to carry out all his tasks adequately.
“Both strength in mind and body are necessary for the job of pope, he says, and in the last few months such strength has deteriorated in him,” the statement said.
He also announced in the statement that he would renounce the office of Bishop of Rome at 8pm on 28 February.
A conclave will have to be convened to elect the new pope.
Below is full list of cardinals the conclave would choose from
According to the Bookmakers Paddy Power the favourite is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana (9/4), with Cardinal Marc Ouellet next at 5/2 and Francis Arinze at 7/2.
9/4 Cardinal Peter Turkson
5/2 Cardinal Marc Ouellet
7/2 Cardinal Francis Arinze
7/1 Archbishop Angelo Scola
10/1 Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga
12/1 Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
14/1 Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco
16/1 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio
20/1 Cardinal Leonardo Sandri
25/1 Cardinal Raymond Burke
25/1 Cardinal Cladio Hummes
25/1 Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi
25/1 Cardinal Christoph von Schonborn
33/1 Cardinal Wilfrid Napier
33/1 Cardinal William Levada
33/1 Cardinal Camillo Ruini
33/1 Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera
33/1 Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa
33/1 Cardinal Renato Martino
33/1 Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith
33/1 Archbishop Piero Marini
33/1 Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera
33/1 Cardinal Keith O’Brien
At the turn of the 15th century the papacy was contested between popes, in Rome, and antipopes, in Avignon. The rival pontiffs anathematised and excommunicated one another. But these disputes were finally settled by the Council of Constance, 1414-18, which deposed two antipopes and accepted the resignation of Pope Gregory XII, to clear the decks of Martin V, a candidate who could be accepted by all sides.
Before then, the last real resignation of an undisputed pope from office was Clementine V, in 1294. He had not wanted election, but when he managed to resign, he was imprisoned in a monastery for the rest of his short life, lest he prove more popular than his successor.
Papal elections in the Middle Ages were a lot more fun than now. When Urban VI was elected in 1378, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Popes, "excited crowds demonstrated in the streets, and even invaded the Vatican, clamouring for 'a Roman, or at any rate an Italian' for Pope ... Next morning, rioting broke out afresh, and at a panic-stricken session all but one [cardinal] cast their votes for Barolomeo Prignano, archbishop of Bari. Before his consent could be obtained, the mob burst in, but the terrified Cardinals placated it by an injudicious piece of play-acting, pretending that an elderly Roman Cardinal had been elected, and then dispersed. Next day, however, 12 returned and confirmed the election of Bartolomeo."
Biography of Cardinal Turkson
Cardinal Peter Turkson, a Ghanaian, is president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He has been considered 'papabile' since he was appointed to this post by Benedict XVI in 2009 amid speculation that the next pope would probably be from Africa as part of the Catholic church's attempts to modernise and reach out to a huge Catholic congregation from the Sahel southwards.
Peter Turkson was born in western Ghana to a Methodist mother and Catholic father. As a boy in the seminary he was considered far too boisterous to be content in a contemplative, solemn career in the church.
But he was reportedly begged by his mother to knuckle down and study hard to become a priest, and he did so well he was chosen to move to the US to study at St Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, New York, and he was ordained as a priest in 1975.
Returning to Ghana, he became a professor at St Teresa's Seminary, near where he grew up, and dedicated himself to academia as well as performing pastoral work in the local area.
In 1992 he was appointed Archbishop of Cape Coast by Pope John Paul II and served as president of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference from 1997 to 2005.
It was during this time, in 2003, when Pope John Paul made him the first ever Ghanaian cardinal and his influence was extended by Pope Benedict XVI, who appointed him president of the Ponitifical Council for Justice and Peace, a role which sent him around the world mediating in countries such as the Ivory Coast in 2011.
In October of that year he called for the establishment of a 'global public authority' and a 'central world bank' and has come out in favour of a Robin Hood-style tax on large financial transactions. When he visited Britain with Pope Benedict in 2010 he was singled out as a possible successor.