Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Cardinal Turkson on hunger, persecution, condoms, and GMOs

Catholic World News - January 05, 2011

In an interview with the Vatican newspaper, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, lamented indifference to violence against Christians and to the world’s one billion people who suffer from hunger.

The Ghana-born cardinal revealed that after his October 2009 appointment to the pontifical council, he went “straight to the source” so that he could better understand Pope Benedict’s thinking on social issues. During his long meeting with the Pontiff, he learned the importance of distinguishing “the pastoral from the political. We are pastors, and we do not do politics.”

During the interview, Cardinal Turkson said that

  • just as Egyptian authorities have taken effective measures to prevent attacks on tourists, they must take measures to protect the nation’s Christians, lest Christians become “citizens without citizenship”
  • recent attacks on Christians should not be seen merely as isolated incidents of terrorism, but as part of a growing hostility towards religious freedom
  • Pope Benedict’s 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate is the “handbook for justice and peace in the world” and has been misinterpreted by some Catholics in the United States, who have confused the Pontiff’s use of the word “social” with socialism and “gift” with welfare programs
  • the world’s one billion hungry people could easily be fed with the food thrown away in affluent nations and with the excess food destroyed “in the name of the iron laws of the market”: “I have personally witnessed the slaughter of cattle to keep up the price of meat”
  • Africa’s ability to grow its own food has been terribly compromised by the environmental devastation wrought by multinational corporations
  • while the Church has taken no position on the morality of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), there would be no need for African farmers to purchase genetically modified seeds were it not for this environmental degradation; these genetically modified seeds constitute a new form of African economic dependence, “a new form of slavery”
  • solidarity demands the wider distribution of anti-retroviral drugs to African AIDS victims; instead, “we always talk about condoms”
  • Additional sources for this story
    Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

    An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

    Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

    Our Fall Campaign
    Progress toward our year-end goal ($23,548 to go):
    $150,000.00 $126,451.96
    16% 84%
    Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

    All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

    There are no comments yet for this item.

    Subscribe for free
    Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
    Shop Amazon

    Recent Catholic Commentary

    Which American archbishops—if any—will receive red hats at the February conclave? December 23
    A Blessed Christmas! December 23
    Facing entrenched opposition, Pope Francis plows ahead on Vatican reform December 22
    The cardinal who can't let go December 22
    Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19

    Top Catholic News

    Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
    Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
    Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
    Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
    Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17
    Pope identifies 15 spiritual ‘sicknesses’ of the Curia CWN - December 22
    Pope Francis's Christmas Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - 23 hours ago