Rodman backs black papal candidate in PR stunt

March 13, 2013 - 12:29 PM

Vatican Pope Rodman

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman walks by the Bernini Colonnade near St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Rodman is in Rome to promote the papal candidacy of Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana. ((AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

ROME (AP) — 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.