Posters Backing Ghana's Cardinal Turkson for Pope Appear in Rome

Mysterious posters touting the candidacy of Ghana Cardinal Peter Turkson to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, whose papacy formally ended on Thursday, appeared around Rome on Friday. "Vote Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson” was written on the posters alongside an image of the cardinal, who heads the Vatican’s justice and peace department and has been tipped as Africa’s frontrunner for pope. Informal campaigning, however, is seen as bad form and could end any cardinal’s chances. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the posters, or even if they are part of a spoof campaign. "You can be absolutely sure that poor Cardinal Turkson, a true innocent, had nothing to do with this," NBC’s Vatican expert George Weigel said. Starting Monday, cardinals will hold informal discussions of church issues, and at the top of their agenda will be setting a date for the conclave to pick the new pope. With no clear front-runner, experts speculate the conclave could be contentious.

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