Leading candidate for pope has strong ties to Capital Region

Posted at: 02/12/2013 4:26 PM
Updated at: 02/12/2013 6:14 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

TROY - In the United Kingdom, the short money at betting parlors is going to a 64-year-old cardinal from Ghana with strong ties to the Capital Region, Peter Turkson.

"Peter Turkson is the red hot favorite," said Rupert Adams of William Hill Bookmakers. "Interestingly, we put him in at five to one yesterday when the big announcement occurred. He's been backed quite heavily, in from five to three to one, which would suggest that some people think that he's a genuine contender."

Turkson studied for the priesthood at a seminary along the Hudson in Rensselaer.

The future Cardinal and possible pope carried the word and lived his faith in places like Arbor Hill.

He's continued to visit here, taking part in a service at Siena College last May.

"Oh, I think he'd be an excellent choice," said Dr. Joseph Marrota, who has known  Turkson for four years. "I think he's a wonderful person. I think he would be a wonderful pope."

Turkson serves on the board of directors of the medical aid organization Medicus Christi with Marrota of Samaritan Hospital. 

"He really is a great fan of the Albany area, the Capital District, upstate New York," said Marrota. "He really enjoyed his time here, has very fond memories of his time here, has many friends that still live here. He comes to visit his friend Father Kofi at least once or twice a year."