He explained, “The Ghanaian culture has known of people, with some such tendencies, and I say this because there is an expression in the local Akan language, that of mine, of men who act like women, and women who act like men, there is an expression for them, which means that this phenomenon has been known, was known in the culture and in the community and all of that.”
The Ghanaian Cardinal further continued, “But nobody went on to make any policy out of that, now I think what caused all of these was our attempts to link some foreign donations and grants to certain positions, which needed to be imposed in the name of freedom, in the name of respect for rights and stuffs like that. I think that is what led to this thing going to Parliament.”
Making reference to Pope Francis’ stance on homosexuality, Cardinal Turkson said, “about a week or so ago he came out with a small document just saying clearly what his position on all of these are, that LGBT people can be blessed, they can be admitted to church, and all of that, they can even become God parents of children and people who are being baptized and all of that. So he (Pope) himself has signaled, partly, stuff that used to be left neck below, undecided and all that and come clearly with these.”
In the November 27 interview, Cardinal Turkson highlighted the importance of educating people to understand this phenomenon.
“It is time to begin education, to help people understand what this reality, this phenomenon is. We need a lot of education to get people to make a distinction between what is crime and what is not crime,” he said.
The Cardinal who retired as Prefect of the Vatican-based Dicastery for Promoting of Integral Human Development in December 2021 said, “ If culturally we have expressions for this type of thing, it just means that it is not completely alien to Ghanaian society.”
“I think this drastic form that it has taken in Ghana and probably in Uganda is bringing the perception that the west was imposing this, connecting or linking it with donations and grants and all of time, is kind of politicizing the thing in such a way that the reaction has also been political in character,” Cardinal Turkson explained.
He added, “But I think, all of this from my point of view, and this is what I think I speak about with a couple of other Bishops is to be able to understand more deeply this phenomenon.”
Meanwhile members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) have sought to clarify Cardinal Turkson’s comments on homosexuality.
In a Tuesday, November 28 interview with TV3’s Portia Gabor, GCBC President, Bishop Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi said that the Cardinal’s position “has always been the stand of the Catholic Church.”