Spanning the globe: Asked during a press conference following a session of the Synod of Bishops for Africa whether or not the next pope could come from Africa, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Cape Coast, Ghana, replied, “An African pope? Why not?”

Could Cardinal Turkson be papabili  — one who has a chance of being elected pope? Sure. He turns 61 this Sunday, has been a bishop for almost 17 years, a cardinal since 2003 and a participant in the 2005 conclave. He probably knows people, and they know him. Possible drawback: Of the six continents represented in the College of Cardinals, Africa has the second fewest cardinal-electors with nine.

Book it: Since it’s National Book Month, this is a good time to mention that Cardinal Justin Rigali’s book, “Let the Oppressed Go Free: Breaking the Bonds of Addiction,” has been released by Basilica Press. There’s a topic with pastoral implications to which a lot of people can relate. Details on the cardinal’s book are available at

Still time to celebrate: National Newspaper Week runs through this Saturday. Do someone under the age of 35 a favor and introduce him or her to the wonderful experience of smelling ink on newsprint and holding and reading those pages.