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Pope Contender Suggests Gay Priests to Blame

2/26/2013, 3:43 p.m.

A firestorm of criticism has erupted involving Cardinal Peter Turkson, who could be next in line to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, all because he has publicly suggested that gay priests are in part to blame for the child sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church that have broken and rippled worldwide.

Turkson,64, who was recently interviewed by CNN about possibly stepping into the highly revered papal spot, discussed the sex scandals and their outreach across the U.S. and Europe -- and whether there was a possibility of it reaching African shores.

"Not in the same proportion as we have seen in Europe," Turkson said. "Probably because African traditional systems kind of protect or have protected its population against this tendency. Because in several communities, in several cultures in Africa, homosexuality, or for that matter, any affair between two sexes of the same kind are not countenanced in our society. So, that cultural 'taboo,' that tradition has been there. It's helped to keep this out."

As soon as Turkson made his statement about the Catholic Church sex scandals, he was immediately slammed by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "We hear less about clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Africa for the same reasons we do throughout the developing world -- there tends to be lesser funding for law enforcement, less vigorous civil justice systems, less independent journalism, and an even greater power and wealth difference between church officials and their congregants," a spokesperson for the organization said in a statement via the Daily Mail.

(Source: Ruth Manuel-Logan for CNN)