Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson caused outrage among former victims of sexual abuse by priests for linking progressive attitudes to homosexuality and child abuse.

Survivors of abuse by priests say they "fear for the safety of kids in Turkson's diocese if he denies there are predatory priests there."

Cardinal Turkson is currently the second favourite to be the next pontiff, and had been championed by progressives who have urged the Vatican to elect the first African pope.

Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan is currently favourite to succeed Benedict XVI.

In an interview with CNN, when asked about whether it was possible the Catholic sex abuse scandal could happen in Africa, the cardinal said it would not happen, "to the same extent or proportion as we have seen in Europe"

He continued: "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 has served to keep it out."