Africans want an African Pope, but unsure if Rome is ready: Poll

By Drum Digital
13 March 2013

Some 80 per cent of Africans surveyed in a new poll want the next pope to come from their continent, but many worry that the Catholic world may not yet be ready for a black pontiff.

The survey of 20,000 people, conducted this month by CNN and Jana on mobile phones across 11 nations, also found that most people surveyed believe the Church would become more conservative if an African was at the helm.

Only 61 per cent of those surveyed felt the rest of the world was ready for an African pontiff.

According to the survey, some 86 per cent believe an African pope would increase support for Catholicism on the continent. There are currently an estimate 130 million Catholics in Africa.

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana is the top contender from Africa to head the Church, according to analysts.

The 64-year-old cardinal has distanced himself from homosexuals and other minorities seeking greater recognition in the Church, but is considered a social conscience in the Vatican.

-by Sapa

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