COVID-19 Isn’t “divine castigation of humanity”: Ghanaian Cardinal

The Vatican-based Ghanaian Cardinal has said the COVID-19 pandemic that countries around the globe are struggling to contain is not any punishment from God.


“The outbreak of COVID-19 is not a castigation or punishment from God; it is (the) stuff of nature, which invites us to respect nature and to be careful about what we do,” Peter Cardinal Turkson has been quoted as saying.

The Ghanaian Prelate who was a guest on Asaase Radio’s ‘Night with Kwaku Sakyi-Addo’ pointed out that “the world has had some kind of pandemic which is even more serious than this novel Coronavirus which took the lives of millions.”

“This is not the first incident of a viral attack on humanity in history…the Spanish flu (1918-1919) killed about 40-100 million people…this was believed to have been introduced by US allied military from Texas but the result was that several people lost their lives…so such a thing has happened before,” Cardinal Turkson said during the July 19 interview.

The Cardinal who is the prefect of the Vatican-based Dicastery for Promoting of Integral Human Development further said, “The fact that such disasters (medical/health) are happening to mankind in 2020 cannot be attributed to divine castigation of humanity.”

“We are not going that lane. That Pope is not taking that position that God is chastising us or God is punishing us…why does God allow us in our freedom to allow certain things to happen?” Cardinal Turkson probed.

“What began as a healthcare issue is also economic, ecological and political…When we disturb our biodiversity structures and systems to a certain point, we unleash several factors in nature, which can take the form of diseases and sicknesses,” the 71-year-old Prelate explained.

He added, “Humanity must respect systems and structures, so that they can maintain our lives.’

The COVID-19 global pandemic which started in Wuhan, China has infected over 15 million people across the globe including 9,012,515 recoveries and 616,488 related deaths.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is currently no treatment specifically approved for COVID-19 and vaccines are currently under study. In handling COVID-19 patients, medical practitioners have focused on managing symptoms as the virus runs its course.

In the July 19 interview with Asaase Radio, Cardinal Turkson noted, “Human beings could have learnt from what was happening in China and prepare towards it.”

He underscored the need to take “things seriously” and to respect the directives from “scientists and doctors.”

Medical practitioners and those involved in medical research, the Ghanaian Cardinal said, “are the prophets of such issues; they’re the ones to be listened to, not anybody who thinks that from the sleep, in a dream, whatever, can come out with anything. Those are not credible.”

He explained, “Prophecy has to do with knowing the commandants of God and the consequences of disobeying (them). Therefore, prophets always come to warn mankind about the consequences that befall us in not obeying God’s command.”

“The prophetic ministry is not simply a blind prediction of the future or anything like that,” Cardinal Turkson who, on July 20, celebrated 45 years since he was ordained a Priest further said and clarified in reference to the prophetic ministry, it is “about how God is dealing with humanity and the world” as well as the prediction of such dealing “based on what God has done before.”

Source: aciafrica.org