(Cardinal Peter Turkson (2nd L) during the Ash Wednesday mass at the Vatican February 13, 2013. REUTERS/ Alessandro Bianchi)

A black African pope to succeed Pope Benedict would be “quite some miracle”, a leading archbishop from Ghana said, adding that a developing world candidate might have to overcome negative perceptions within the Catholic hierarchy.

“If the Church chooses a Third World person or a black pope it will have to come to terms with itself,” Matthias Kobena Nketsiah, archbishop of Cape Coast, told Reuters.

“I am not saying the Church is racist, but there are overtones and perceptions that maybe add up to that.”

Speaking in an interview with Reuters TV recorded on Tuesday, Nketsiah said he supported Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, his predecessor in the Cape Coast archbishopric, for the job of leading the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.