Black Cardinal Could Be the Next Roman Catholic Pope – News Report

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Black cardinal in pole position to be next pope

POPE Benedict has appointed a Ghanaian cardinal to one of the most influential jobs in the Vatican, increasing the possibility that the next pontiff might be a black man.

He named Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, of Cape Coast, Ghana, to head the justice and peace commission, a position roughly equivalent to justice minister.

Turkson, 61, Ghana’s first cardinal, becomes only the second African to head the body,
which advises the Pope and the Vatican on justice issues and prepares documents on topics such as human rights, immigration and law.


He was born in Ghana and educated there as well as in the United States. At the start of the synod three weeks ago, Turkson was asked if, after Barack Obama became the first black US president, the next pope could be an African. He answered: “Why not?”

There have been only two African popes in the history of the Church, the last in the fifth century.

By John Marks in Vatican City

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