Two Highly Educated Black Men Are Among the Favorites to Be the Next Pope

Cardinal Turkson
Cardinal Turkson

The impending resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has led to the speculation that the College of Cardinals will look to a member from the developing world to lead the church. While membership in Europe and North American is on the decline, the Church has seen tremendous growth in Latin America, Africa, and in some Asian countries.

Two Black cardinals have been mentioned as possible candidates for the papacy. Peter Turkson is a cardinal from Ghana and currently is the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Now 64 years old, Cardinal Turkson studied at St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, New York, where he earned a master’s degree. Dr. Turkson earned a doctorate in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He was named archbishop of Cape Coast in 1992 and was elevated to cardinal in 2003.

Another leading candidate is Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria. Now 80 years old, Arinze has spent the last quarter century at the Vatican. His age does not necessarily work against him. In the past, older cardinals have emerged as a compromise candidate because the conclave knows that it won’t be long before they have a chance to select another Pontiff.

Arinze is the former president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue and the Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Currently he serves as the Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni, the same post the current Pope held before he was elevated to the papacy.

Cardinal Arinze holds a master’s degree and a doctorate from the Pontifical Urban University. In 1965, at the age of 32, he became the youngest Catholic bishop in the world.

Bookmakers in London, now rate Turkson and Arinze as the two leading candidates for Pope.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Yale Library Acquires Digital Collection of Langston Hughes Papers

In a recent December upload, the Yale University Library added a collection of papers from Black poet Langston Hughes to the school's online archive. The collection contains correspondence between Hughes and other authors and civil rights activists of his time.

Academic Fields Where Blacks Earned Few or No Doctoral Degrees in 2022

In 2022, African Americans earned 1.2 percent of all mathematics and statistics doctorates, 1.2 percent of all doctorates in computer science, 1.7 percent of all doctorates in chemistry, and only 1.7 percent of all doctorates awarded in engineering disciplines.

Historically Black Central State University Appoints Morakinyo Kuti as President

Morakinyo A.O. Kuti has been named president of historically Black Central State University in Ohio. Dr. Kuti has held numerous leadership roles in his tenure with the university, most recently serving as vice president of research and economic development.

University of Alabama Creates Database Relating to History of Slavery on Campus

Scholars from the University of Alabama created an online database housing information on the history of slavery on the university's campus. The new website is the latest effort in a larger initiative from the Consortium of Universities Studying Slavery to uncover the history of enslaved individuals who labored for colleges and universities across the world.

Featured Jobs