His Eminence 
Peter Turkson
President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Peter Turkson.jpg
Cardinal Peter Turkson
See Cape Coast (emeritus)
Enthroned 24 October 2009
Predecessor Renato Martino
Ordination 20 July 1975 (Priest)
Consecration 27 March 1993 (Archbishop)
Created Cardinal 21 October 2003
Rank Cardinal-Priest of S. Liborio
Personal details
Birth name Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
Born 11 October 1948 (1948-10-11) (age 69)
Wassaw Nsuta, Ghana
Nationality Ghanaian
Denomination Roman Catholic Church

Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson (born 11 October 1948) is a Ghanaian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the current President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 24 October 2009. He had previously served as Archbishop of Cape Coast. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2003.[1]

Early life and priesthood

Peter Turkson was born in Wassaw Nsuta in Western Ghana, and studied at the seminaries of Amisano and Pedu before attending St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, New York, where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in theology. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop John Amissah on 20 July 1975.

Turkson was a professor at St. Teresa's Minor Seminary from 1975 to 1976, whence he entered the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, earning a licentiate in Sacred Scripture in 1980. He returned to St. Teresa's for a year, and became vice-rector at St. Peter's Seminary in 1981. He also did pastoral work in a parish annexed to the seminary. In 1987, he returned to the Pontifical Biblical Institute to receive a doctorate in Sacred Scripture (1992).

Episcopal career

On 6 October 1992, Turkson was appointed Archbishop of Cape Coast by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on 27 March 1993 from Archbishop Dominic Kodwo Andoh, with Archbishops Peter Poreku Dery and Peter Kwasi Sarpong serving as co-consecrators. He served as President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference from 1997 to 2005, and as Chancellor of the Catholic University College of Ghana since 2003.

John Paul II created him Cardinal-Priest of S. Liborio in the consistory of 21 October 2003. Tukson is the first Ghanaian cardinal, and was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave, which selected Pope Benedict XVI. He was described as "one of Africa's most energetic church leaders" by a UK Catholic magazine.[2]

Within the Roman Curia, he serves as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and as a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church. An accomplished polyglot, Turkson is able to speak English, Fante, French, Italian, German, and Hebrew, in addition to understanding Latin and Greek.


African Pope

Cardinal Turkson has said that "if God would wish to see a black man also as pope, thanks be to God". [3]

HIV/AIDS and condoms

In 2009, he defended the controversial comments by Pope Benedict XVI that condoms were not a solution to Africa’s AIDS crisis and were taken out of context by the media. [4] He also insisted that in Africa, condoms are sold in poor quality, something that worsens the situation.[5][6]

Roman Curia

On 24 October 2009 Cardinal Turkson was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, replacing Cardinal Renato Martino, who had reached the retirement age. Cardinal Turkson will work with the secretary, Mario Toso who had been appointed two days previously. [1]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Kodwo Amissah
Archbishop of Cape Coast
1992 – 2009
Preceded by
Renato Martino
President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
24 October 2009– present
la:Petrus Kodwo Appiah Turkson

no:Peter Kodwo Appiah Turksonpt:Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson ru:Тарксон, Питер Кодво Аппиах sv:Peter Turkson