With today’s departure of Benedict XVI from Rome to Castel Gandolfo, attention now turns to the selection of a new sovereign for the Vatican City. Among the papabili is Ghana’s Peter Turkson, the 64 year-old cardinal who serves as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Irish bookmaking site Paddy Power has Turkson the betting favorite to be the next successor of Saint Peter.
As head of the Council for Justice and Peace, Turkson has advanced interesting, albeit unconventional, ideas on secular politics. In his 2011 essay, “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of Global Public Authority,” Turkson calls for an end to Westphalian sovereignty and the creation of a world government (“global public authority”). While Cardinal Turkson’s thoughts are vague about the exact form such a regime should take, he lays out three basic principles that would guide formation. It should, he explains, be:
implemented gradually and through peaceful means,
based on support of free market economics but “inspired by the values of charity and truth,”
founded on a federal model of decentralized decision-making.
The new world government should exist, the Cardinal argues, as a vehicle for enforceable arbitration of international disputes instead of as a policy-making institution. However, he also proposes creation of a world central bank to facilitate the recapitalization of banks with public funds, “making the support conditional on ‘virtuous’ behaviors aimed at developing the ‘real economy’.”
Support for the formation of a world government, the Cardinal concludes, is the duty of all Christians:
The birth of a new society and the building of new institutions with a universal vocation and competence are a prerogative and a duty for everyone, with no distinction. What is at stake is the common good of humanity and the future itself. In this context, for every Christian there is a special call of the Spirit to become committed decisively and generously so that the many dynamics under way will be channelled towards prospects of fraternity and the common good.