Black pope and the silliness of Africans

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Black pope and the silliness of Africans

by Sabella Abidde (

Courtesy of Punch Newspapers, Wednesday, March 6, 2013

“Africans do not have the required experience yet to produce a Pope.”

-Monsignor Georg Ratzinger (Elder brother to Pope Benedict XV1)

The Christian Holy Book tells us that Saint Peter, sometimes referred to as Simon Peter, was a fisherman and one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. He was also the first Bishop of Rome (Pope). He is well-regarded within Christian tradition. In the 2000 years history of the Catholic Church, there have been some 265 popes. While a dozen or so were in office for 20-plus years, others lasted mere days and or weeks. Geographically, Africa has produced three popes. The 14th pope, Victor I (189-199 A.D.) was said to be from North Africa. And while the 32nd pope, Miltiades (311-314 A.D.), and the 49th pope, Gelasius I (492-496 A.D.) were born in Rome – both had North African ancestry.

But racially, the continent has yet to produce a Pope. And it is not likely to produce one anytime within the next 100 years. The papacy, after all, is a European institution – an institution dominated, almost exclusively, by the Italians. From the moment Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, speculations began to whirl about whether or not “the time is here and now” for a pope to come out of sub-Saharan Africa. On the list of the favoured are Francis Cardinal Arinze, and Peter Cardinal Turkson.

A lot has been written about the former, but not the later. Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson is a Ghanaian who was ordained to the priesthood in July 1975, and was appointed spokesman for the Second Synod for Africa in 2009. He is the current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The PCJP is concerned, first and foremost, with issues of peace, justice, and human rights as seen through the sensibility of the Vatican.

Cardinals Arinze and Turkson have what it takes to be the next pope. But don’t hold your breath: neither men will be elected. The odds do not favour them. Ordinarily, any Catholic male who has reached the age of reason, but not yet passed age 80, can be elected pope. In reality, however, only ordained male priests can be electors and with the power to select the pope. What’s more, there are other rules and traditions that come into play when electing a pope. It is these “rules and tradition and bigotry” that make it difficult, if not impossible, for a black priest or cardinal, to emerge a pope. Not now, anyway.

For those who are in doubt, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger (elder brother to Pope Benedict), already made it clear, unambiguously clear that “Africans do not have the required experience yet to produce a Pope.” He is not a layman. He is an insider. A deep-throat, if you will. Sixty years of priesthood has taught and convinced Georg Ratzinger (an ordained Catholic priest since 1951), that Africans are not ready for global leadership vis-a-vis the papacy.

Many of the Church’s early and significant members from the first century were Africans. Back then, the Church had four patriarchates: Jerusalem; Constantinople; Antioch; and Alexandria. Today, there is an estimated 170 million Catholics in Africa with a sizeable number of priests, cardinals, and catechists. Yet – yet – these are not enough for the Vatican and its network and for the likes of Georg Ratzinger to consider and elect a black pope. No African cardinal or priest is knowledgeable and advanced enough to be a pope.

Africans have invested untold amount of resources in the Catholic Church, yet, their investment is, according to the likes of Ratzinger, not buoyant enough for the top spot. It is all politics, folks: politics, prejudice and insincerity. Nothing more! In a way, I commend Georg Ratzinger for voicing the “inner thought and feeling” of the Church’s hierarchy. And as Benedict XVI’s elder brother, it is likely that he was also voicing the Pope Emeritus’ view on the matter. The selection/election will be man’s doing; not God’s!

As of today, the top contenders for the Bishop of Rome (Pope) are Cardinal Angelo Scola (71, Italy); Cardinal Peter Turkson (64, Ghana); Cardinal Marc Ouellet (68, Canada); Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco (70, Italy); Cardinal Francis Arinze (80, Nigeria); Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (78, Italy); Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi (70, Italy); Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (69, Argentina); Cardinal Odilo Scherer (63, Brazil); Cardinal Claudio Hummes (78, Brazil); Cardinal Claudio Hummes (78, Brazil); Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (68, Austria); and Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith (65, Sri Lanka). Again, the selection/election process will be man’s doing; not God’s! And these men have decided that “Africans do not have the required experience yet to produce a Pope.” What experience is Georg Ratzinger alluding to? How to speak Latin or Italian, or how to walk in those red shoes?

I don’t blame Georg Ratzinger and his type. I really don’t! After all, it was the Africans who rejected and abandoned their ancestral gods – the most original and authentic of all gods – for the white man’s god. For centuries, the Vatican has been looking down on Africans with pity and disdain; and treating them like slow-developing children who are incapable of complicated and uncomplicated tasks. And indeed, other religious denominations and sects also look down on Africans. The basic problem of many Africans is that most are fools, imitators, and are always seeking approval from outside. No one is going to treat us with respect when we disown our own gods, myth, history, and traditions. No one! Their gods are not better than ours!

Africans had their own creation stories; and so did every “traditional society” on the face of the earth. Silly Africans, they condemned their own stories and belief system and then wholly adopted the stories from the Middle East (Islam and Christianity). We have forgotten that everything – everything – points to and confirms Africa as the beginning of mankind. We had our own creation stories, had our own gods, and had our own survival mechanism. For thousands of years, we survived. The biggest calamity which has befallen, and which will eventually destroy Africa and its people are Islam and Christianity. And any other imported religion and gods and belief systems.

John Henrik Clarke was infinitely right when he said, “Anytime you turn on your own concept of God, you are no longer a free man. No one needs to put chains on your body, because the chains are on your mind.” The Church, especially, is destroying our mind and our continent.

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4 thoughts on “Black pope and the silliness of Africans”

  1. caucasian will use all powers to keep the pope title while all believers are black brown, you (spiritual ones)see the error they can’t understand it!

  2. I agree. Wilful ignorance is our continued undoing.

    There is no white god or jesus or black devil. All that is just white prattle. Let them keep it. Respect it as another’s culture.

    Just dont go around bending over backwards or crawling into it if you are African. That is pathetic BLACK WO/MAN.Let them select their blue eyed blond pope. No hard feelings.

    I and I as BLACK PEOPLE-you better study up what you have lost. You will be amazed and ashamed for needing to stoop to Rome in this century. Take courage in our fear and rebuild our own temples of BLACK GOD/ESSES.

    We are not a people of yesterday…..

  3. Jesus was not white. He was either black or brown. Arab looking or African looking. We don’t know. What we know is that Europe did not give us Christianity. Christianity was in Africa before it reached Europes doorstep. Ethiopia was a Christian state in the 3rd to 4th century one of two Christian country’s; the other being Armenia. Places like ethiopia, Egypt and modern day Sudan had Christians throughout. Jesus lived in africa (Egypt) he never set foot in europe. So before you go and call Christianity a white religion etc remember God chose the birth place of Jesus north of Africa in the first country outside of Africa. Palestine. The Ethiopian Orthodox church is almost 2000 years old. For that matter half a billion people are orthodox Christians from Ethiopia to the coptics in Egypt to assyrians to the Russians and Yugoslavs that hasn’t changed since the days of Christ. Its what Africans should embrace since it stems from African. It’s the oldest form of Christianity.

  4. I do not disagree with you at all Nafan. Most Africans who profess to be Christians are members of the white christianisms like Catholic (see how on bated breath they imagined a Nigerian would head the outfit) or Anglicans (english!) et al. Maybe if the Ethiopian Church came out a little bit more to tell the Africans what its history is, people would be more informed.

    Either way, African should get rid of mysticisms that make us lie low and fatalistic-like because we imagine that will get us into some heaven after death. That is a sham joke-doesnt matter whether a Black Wo/Man or white one tells you so.

    This is the Elephant in the room that we have to face: The POWER IS WITHIN I & I.

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