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NBA star Dennis Rodman backs black papal candidate in PR stunt

Published March 13, 2013 9:15 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

ROME • After raising eyebrows by going to North Korea, former U.S. 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 Wednesday. "From Africa right?" Rodman asked, wearing a hat and T-shirt promoting the Irish betting firm that organized 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 Wednesday: The vehicle had been delayed by snow in northern Italy.