By Nangayi Guyson
Benedict XVI of the Catholic Church resigned in an unexpected move that shook the Catholic community and left it undecided on who will be their next Pope, all continents including the poor African continent also had hope that this time around the Pope may emanate from Africa.
If things went on well for Africa, Two West African cardinals, Peter Turkson of Ghana and Francis Arinze of Nigeria, were the expected top candidates to replace Benedict as head of the Roman Catholic Church.
But all these hopes evaporated this morning when the Catholic Church named Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit from Argentina as the new pope, becoming the first pope from the Americas and the first from outside Europe for more than 1,800 years and was given the title of Francis I.
This move follows what happened to Africans again when the Church of England failed some Africans like the Ugandan born John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, to head the Church.
As a writer, I will call this as racism and under esteem to Africans in church leadership. I think Africans hold final positions in Church leadership.
Africans are looked at as Children in religion and it can be a shame if an African is selected as a Pope.
Africans used to believe in their Gods, religion only came in when Europeans came to colonize the Continent introducing their two churches, the Catholic Church and the protestant Church.
Electing an African to head one of the two Churches is like forcing the King to step down and replacing him with the servant.
With the pope looked at as a god, many white people around the world would find it difficult to worship and kneel down before a black pope considering that Africans have always been seen to be backward and in most cases the devil has been portrayed in many images as being black
Right from the mid-1800s until 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) had a policy which prevented most men of black African descent from being ordained to the church’s lay priesthood. This resulted in black members being unable to participate in some temple ordinances, considered necessary for salvation. Though the church had an open membership policy for all races, relatively few black people who joined the church retained active membership,despite reassurance that the ban would one day be lifted when all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the priesthood and the keys thereof.
Historically, Mormon attitudes about race were generally close to or more progressive than the national average. Accordingly, before the Civil rights movement, the LDS policy went largely unnoticed and unchallenged.
Beginning in the 1960s, however, the church was criticized by civil rights advocates and religious groups, and in 1969 several church leaders voted to rescind the policy, but the vote was not unanimous so the policy stood. In 1978, church leaders led by Spencer W. Kimball declared they had received a revelation instructing them to reverse the racial restriction policy. The change seems to have been prompted at least in part by problems facing mixed race converts in Church. The church opposes racism in any formand today has no racial policy.
In 1997, there were approximately 500,000 black members of the LDS Church, accounting for about 5% of the total membership; most black members live in Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean.
This racism in church never died and I believe is producing some seeds which are still being planted.
what you are reading in this article is my own perception not any Church’s involvement