VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2009 ( There is no reason why the Church couldn't have a black Pope, according to a top African cardinal.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, the archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, said this today during a press conference in Rome on the first working day of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.

The African cardinal is the relator-general of the three-week synod, which will discuss the situation of the Church on the continent.

Cardinal Turkson was asked if t was possible that the Church could soon have a black Pope. The reporter noted U.S. President Barack Obama as an example from international politics.

"Why not?" the cardinal responded. "If God would wish to see a black man also as Pope, thanks be to God."

Cardinal Turkson also noted that the election of a black Pope is a real possibility, as there are various Africans who are members of the College of Cardinals.

He also noted that when a priest is ordained, it is part of the "package" to be willing to be a bishop, and also a Pope.