Nigerian Cardinal Dismisses Talk He Could Be Pope

By Mary Ann Ahern
|  Friday, Nov 20, 2009  |  Updated 8:08 PM CDT
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Nigerian Cardinal Dismisses Talk He Could Be Pope

Francis Cardinal Arinze

Francis Cardinal Arinze says he's only on "the list of journalists" and dismisses talk one day he could be the first African Roman Catholic Pope.

While he was a leading contender to replace John Paul II, that was not to be.

Pope Benedict XVI is 82 years old, yet Arinze said the next pope is "whoever receives the majority of the votes, plus one. It could also be the Cardinal from Chicago or Caracas or India."

During his visit to Chicago, Arinze will be delivering a message to young people who he says are receiving too many mixed messages.

"If they are positively misled by advertisements and books and peoples' opinions, then we can't blame them. We must give them the best answers," says the Nigerian Cardinal.

At 77 years old, Cardinal Arinze recently retired from his post at the Vatican, in charge of rules for celebrating the liturgy around the world.

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