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Dennis Rodman's black pope mission foiled

2013-03-14 08:58
Dennis Rodman pope Peter Turkson

Rome - After raising eyebrows by going to North Korea, former US basketball star Dennis Rodman is continuing his bizarre global tour by visiting Rome - purportedly to help Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson become the first black pope.

But Rodman didn't seem too sure who he was supposed to be promoting when asked about it on Wednesday.

"From Africa right?" Rodman asked, wearing a hat and T-shirt promoting the Irish betting firm that organised his trip.

Rodman said he was sure the next pope would be black and that he would like to meet him in Africa on his self-styled mission to promote world peace.

Even Rodman's plans to enter St Peter's Square in a custom-built "pope-mobile" were uncertain on Wednesday: The vehicle had been delayed by snow in northern Italy.

Later on Wednesday cardinals in the Vatican elected 76-year-old Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new pope.

Bergoglio, who chose the name Francis, became the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

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