Ghana pulls for native Cardinal Peter Turkson as next pope

Updated
Ghanaian cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson arrives to take part in an afternoon meeting of pre-conclave on March 8, 2013 at the Vatican. The day before,...
Ghanaian cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson arrives to take part in an afternoon meeting of pre-conclave on March 8, 2013 at the Vatican. The day before,...
Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson may be a long shot to succeed Benedict XVI as the next pope, but as NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reported from his home country, Ghana, it’s not for lack of enthusiasm.

Gosk visited Cape Coast, where Turkson served as Archbishop for almost two decades.

“We went it a service there and the pews were packed. And the service didn’t last 45 minutes like it normally does in the U.S.  It was two-and-a-half hours long. There were people piled out onto the curb, onto plastic chairs just to hear what was going on inside,” Gosk told msnbc Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell.

It’s that kind of enthusiasm that a lot of Catholics believe is lacking in Europe and the United States. And they’re seeing it here and that’s why Cardinal Turkson’s name is not a huge surprise on the list of possible candidates for pope.

Many people thinking that choosing a head of the church from this part of the world would be a good way to unite the Catholic Church. We spoke to one woman outside of that Mass in Cape Coast that day, and she said to us, well, if Barack Obama can be president of the United States, why can’t Cardinal Turkson be the pope?”

Watch Gosk’s full interview with Andrea Mitchell here: 

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Ghana pulls for native Cardinal Peter Turkson as next pope

Updated