The Papal Frontrunner?

3rd Annual Boston Catholic Men's Conference

Naunihal Singh thinks it’s Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana:

[Turkson] will not lessen opposition to gay marriage or undo the directive stating that men with “deeply rooted homosexual tendencies” should not be ordained as priests. On the contrary, Turkson has defended anti-gay legislation in Africa and argued that “alternative lifestyles” should not be considered human rights. When asked about the possibility that the priestly sex scandal could spread to Africa, he replied this was unlikely because African culture discourages homosexuality. Here Turkson makes the conservative argument that blames gay priests, rather than celibacy or a lack of institutional safeguards, for the sexual abuse of children by the clergy. In doing so he ignores not only the results of a United States Bishops’ investigation, which found no support for this position, but also serious reports of African nuns being sexually abused by priests as well.

Similarly, there is no reason to expect shifts on abortion, birth control, or the ordination of women should Turkson become Pope. He does not deviate from the party line even on topics where a variety of positions are theologically permissible, such as the end of clerical celibacy.

Earlier Dish on the possibility of a black Pope here.

(Photo: Cardinal Peter Turkson, left, of Ghana and Cardinal Sean O’Malley listen to introductions at the 3rd annual Boston Catholic Men’s Conference at Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in South Boston on March 17, 2007. By Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)