Ask the Catholic Church to Elect an African Pope

Target: The Catholic Church’s College of Cardinals

Goal: Elect Cardinal Peter Turkson to the papacy as the first non-white Pope in history

Pope Benedict XVI’s surprise announcement that he will resign is historically rare; it has been 600 years since the  last time a Pope resigned. Speculation now turns to the Church’s College of Cardinals who will convene and select a new Pope – an important opportunity for change in the Catholic Church. A possible frontrunner for selection is Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana. If elected, he would be the first non-white Pope in history, as well as the first African Pope.

Around 80% of the world’s Roman Catholics live outside of Europe, and yet, the Papacy has always been filled by a white man. This is a unique opportunity for that to change. Cardinal Peter Turkson has even made statements in the past hinting he would be open to the possibility of becoming Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation will take effect in about a month, at which time the selection process for a new Pope will begin. Although the College of Cardinals meets in secret to decide a new Pope, they may be influenced by what they perceive as public opinion.

By signing the petition below, you voice your support for the election of a non-white Pope like Cardinal Peter Turkson, which would represent a historic and positive change in the Catholic Church.


Dear College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church,

Although I was surprised by the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the vacancy left in the Vatican must now be filled by a papal conclave. As you know, the papal selection process represents a unique opportunity for significant change in the Catholic Church. I ask that you consider electing a non-European, non-white Pope, such as Cardinal Peter Turkson.

I believe it is only natural that 2013 be the year the world sees its first non-white Pope. After all, about 80% of the world’s Catholics live outside of Europe, and indeed about 10% of Catholics are African. Cardinal Peter Turkson, who is Ghanaian, would make an excellent choice for Pope. I would like to voice my support for his election.

Electing a non-European Pope would send an important message to the world about the modern Catholic Church: that it is an open, modern, and just institution. It would not only be Africans who would rejoice at Cardinal Turkson’s election, but any Christians worldwide who fret about the current state of the Church.

Therefore, please consider electing a non-European when the papal conclave convenes.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: @Doug88888 via Flickr


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87 Signatures

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