I couldn’t help but laugh when so many people were falling for the recent P.R. ruse of the Catholic Church pretending it was going to actually elect Peter Turkson (a cardinal from Ghana) as Pope. In my eyes, it was no different than when the Romney campaign “leaked” the suggestion that they were “considering” Condelezza Rice for their VP nominee. [Spoiler Alert: They picked Paul Ryan, a.k.a. young Romney instead.]
It also reminds me of when people actually fell for the hoax that is Herman Cain, The Great Black Hope that Republicans were finally ready to embrace something darker than Marco Rubio. The entire time I thought “Riiiight, Republicans are really going to nominate a black man for their presidential ticket when their single largest voting block are ‘social conservatives’ that hate Obama’s race.”
And so I felt a flash of deja vu when the Catholic Church “leaked” the info that Peter Turkson was a frontrunner to replace retiring Pope/rat-eyed-crypt-keeper Pope Ratzinger (even his name suggests the man is shady). Would the church really go from a German Pope with ties to Nazis to their first black Pope ever?
Why hell no…They settled for a very old Argentinian Pope (who looks white and whose father is from Italy, so he’s not really a break from tradition) and the media’s deciding to call that progress. [The media’s never ending tendency to play the uncynical sucker remains unparalleled.]
But should they have picked Peter Turkson?
Of course they should. It would have been a clear, direct sign that they were 1. willing to listen to people, as Turkson routinely polled at the top of most Catholic’s wish lists, 2. were finally ready to stop using Africa for little more than a recruitment station, actually letting the continent they now recruit most actively from play a leadership role, 3. were finally, finally ready to make some serious changes. His pick would have been a clear sign that they hear you, and they’re ready to adapt.
The media can spin this as a “radical” selection all they want to, but, to me, it’s more reminiscent of the Who lyric “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Even more to the point, “meet the new Catholic Church, same as the old Catholic Church.”