News / Europe

    Next Pope Could Be From Latin America

    Italian-Argentine Leonardo Sandri (right) seen here with Pope Benedict in 2007, now heads the Vatican department for Eastern Churches, and is considered one of the leading candidates to replace Benedict.
    Italian-Argentine Leonardo Sandri (right) seen here with Pope Benedict in 2007, now heads the Vatican department for Eastern Churches, and is considered one of the leading candidates to replace Benedict.

    Related Articles

    Reuters
    With Pope Benedict's stunning announcement that he will resign later this month, the time may be coming for the Roman Catholic Church to elect its first non-European leader and it could be a Latin American.

    The region already represents 42 percent of the world's 1.2 billion-strong Catholic population, the largest single block in the Church, compared to 25 percent in its European heartland.

    After Pope John Paul and German-born Benedict, the post once reserved for Italians is now open to all.

    Pope Frontrunners for Now
    (Source: Reuters)

    While there are no official candidates, here are the "papabili,'' potential popes, most frequently mentioned recently. The list is in alphabetical order.

    • Joao Braz de Aviz (Brazil, 65) brought fresh air to the  Vatican department for religious congregations when he took over in 2011. He supports the preference for the poor in Latin America's liberation theology, but not the excesses of its advocates.
    • Timothy Dolan, (USA, 62) became the voice of U.S. Catholicism after being named archbishop of New York in 2009. His humour and dynamism have impressed the Vatican, where both are often missing.
    • Marc Ouellet (Canada, 68) is effectively the Vatican's top staff director as head of the Congregation for Bishops. He once said becoming pope "would be a nightmare.''
    • Gianfranco Ravasi (Italy, 70) has been Vatican culture  minister since 2007 and represents the Church to the worlds of art, science, culture and even to atheists.
    • Leonardo Sandri (Argentina, 69) is a "transatlantic'' figure born in Buenos Aires to Italian parents. He held the third-highest Vatican post as its chief of staff in 2000-2007.
    • Odilo Pedro Scherer (Brazilia, 63) ranks as Latin America's strongest candidate. He's Archbishop of Sao Paolo, largest diocese in the largest Catholic country.
    • Christoph Schoenborn (Austria, 67) is a former student of Pope Benedict with a pastoral touch the pontiff lacks. The Vienna archbishop has ranked as papal material since editing the Church catechism in the 1990s.
    • Angelo Scola (Italy, 71) is archbishop of Milan, a springboard to the papacy, and is many Italians' bet to win. An expert on bioethics, he also knows Islam as head of a foundation to promote Muslim-Christian understanding.
    • Luis Tagle (Philippines, 55) has a charisma often compared to that of the late Pope John Paul. He is also close to Pope Benedict after working with him at the International Theological Commission.
    • Peter Turkson (Ghana, 64) is the top African candidate. Head of the Vatican justice and peace bureau, he is spokesman for the Church's social conscience and backs world financial reform.
    Who gets the nod depends on the profile of the new pope that the cardinals who electhim at the next conclave think will guide the Church best.

    Two senior Vatican officials recently dropped surprisingly clear hints about possible successors.

    The upshot of their remarks is that the next pope could well be from Latin America.

    "I know a lot of bishops and cardinals from Latin America who could take responsibility for the universal Church,'' said Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, who now holds the pope's old post as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    "The universal Church teaches that Christianity isn't centred on Europe,'' the German-born archbishop told Duesseldorf's Rheinische Post newspaper just before Christmas.

    Swiss Cardinal Kurt Koch, head of the Vatican department for Christian unity, told the Tagesanzeiger daily in Zurich at the same time that the Church's future was not in Europe.

    "It would be good if there were candidates from Africa or South America at the next conclave,'' he said, referring to the closed-door election in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel.

    Asked if he would vote for a non-European over a European candidate if they were equally qualified, he responded, "Yes.''

    If the next conclave really is Latin America's turn, the leading candidates there seem to be Odilo Scherer, archbishop of the huge diocese of Sao Paolo, or the Italian-Argentine Leonardo Sandri, now heading the Vatican department for Eastern Churches.

    Peter Turkson from Ghana, now head of the Vatican's justice and peace department, is often tipped as Africa's frontrunner.

    About half the cardinals who can vote are from Europe, even though only a quarter of the world's Catholics live there.

    If the conclave tilts to the Old Continent, Vatican watchers say Angelo Scola of Milan is in pole position.

    Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, a former student and close ally of Benedict, is also considered a strong candidate.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora