James Dellingpole has fun with the the twisted knickers of the Guardianista sista on the subject of a black pope:
Gosh, won’t it be marvellous if the next pope turns out to be black? And I’m not saying this as a Catholic or one of those earnest Lefty types who yearns for an ethnic minority figure to be appointed to every position of authority. I’m just saying it as an amused bystander: really, I can hardly wait to see the cat among the pigeons, if someone like the current favourite – Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson – gets the job.
Turkson is Ghanaian and considerably darker of hue than the previous three African pontiffs (St Victor I, St Miltiades and St Gelasius), all of whom hailed from the north and probably weren’t really black at all. I’ve no doubt in the salons of Islington and the BBC canteens, they will all think this is a jolly good thing, much as they did when Barack Obama ushered in a golden new era of joy, healing, reconciliation and endless world peace.
I live in Islington. I must be moving in the wrong salons.
But I’m not sure that’s what they’re going to get. African churchmen – non-Western or non-white clergy, generally – tend to be considerably more robust and old school than your Reverend J C Flannel comedy Anglican vicar with his very real concerns about diversity and homosexual rights and the urgent threat of climate change. They’re so old-fashioned, in fact, that they even all still believe in God.
We’ve seen this in two of our most splendid Church of England bishops. Ugandan-born John Sentamu is strongly against gay marriage; and he has stuck up for English values against the perils of multiculturalism. Karachi-born Michael Nazir-Ali, formerly the Bishop of Rochester, has long been a brave and outspoken critic of Islamism – and was one of the first to warn of the Muslim “no-go” areas that have sprung up in many of our inner cities.
An African pope (most probably, the favourite Turkson; the other mooted candidate, Nigeria’s Cardinal Arinze, is now too old) would be unlikely to take any prisoners on either score. Cardinal Turkson has already declared his opposition to gay marriage. (And you’d be more likely to find a tiger in the Serengeti than an African clergyman who’d disagree with him.) As for his position on Islam, it’s hardly going to impress all those bien-pensant types who believe what the next pope really needs to do after Benedict XVI’s Regensburg lecture is reach out the hand of ecumenical friendship.
The reason for this is quite simply that African churchmen have seen the Islamist threat at its ugliest and most aggressive. In countries such as Nigeria, church congregations have been burnt alive by Islamist terrorist groups such as Boko Haram. This does not put them in the mood to turn the other cheek or deliver hand-wringing speeches in which they feel their rival religion’s pain.
All this, of course, is going to create no end of wailing and gnashing of teeth among the glib Catholic-bashers of the Left. For years, the Church has been an easy target: it is unrepentantly patriarchal; traditionalist; institutionally homophobic; hierarchical – all the things Guardianistas loathe. While a German was in charge, it was open season. Everything from the Pope’s unfortunate Hitler Youth past to the Church’s record on child abuse was fair game. Recently, it was even blamed for the fact that a gift shop near the Vatican sold items made of endangered ivory.
But how on earth are they going to keep it up if there’s a black African in charge?
Anti-Catholic prejudice might be acceptable – even encouraged – in Leftist circles. Racism, on the other hand, is the worst crime in the Lefty rule book – the equivalent to what Catholics would call a mortal sin. If there is a God and He’s as unapologetically Right-wing as I think he is, Cardinal Turkson will definitely get the job: it’s just too entertaining an opportunity to resist.
Turkson? There's a bitch of a name to conjure with. Sadly, the fun may Peter out (geddit?). Black Christians are liturgically white, and blacks who oppose Islam are the whitest of them all, as the picture below, of Ayaan Hirsi Ali digging snow, proves conclusively: