Top Africa cardinal: next pope could be Black

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VATICAN CITY (AP)—A prominent African cardinal says there’s no reason why the next pope can’t be Black.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana is playing an important part in a three-week meeting at the Vatican on the role of the Catholic Church in Africa.

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WHY NOT?—In this April 13, 2005 file photo, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana attends a mass for Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. Cardinal Turkson said Oct. 5, at a news conference at the Vatican that there’s no reason why the next pope can’t be Black.

At a news conference Oct. 5, Turkson was asked whether he thought the time was right for a Black pope, particularly following the election of President Barack Obama.

Turkson replied: “Why not?” He argued that every man who agrees to be ordained a priest has to be willing to be a pope.

He noted that, with Obama and the previous U.N. secretary-general, Kofi Annan, there have been several Blacks in positions of global leadership.

He said “If God would wish to see a Black man also as pope, thanks be to God.”

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