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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Papal Candidates Emerge As Conclave Nears

Angelina T. Velasquez |
February 21, 2013 | 11:13 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter


Benedict XVI will officially resign at the end of this month. (Wikimedia Commons)
Benedict XVI will officially resign at the end of this month. (Wikimedia Commons)
As the time for Benedict XVI to officially step down as leader of the Roman Catholic Church draws near, whispers of his possible successors are becoming louder.

There are 12 papal candidates that have been circulating the Internet since the pope’s letter was made public. However, there are five standout candidates that seem to have the Cardinals’ attention.

Cardinal Peter Turkson

Country: Ghana

Age: 64

Turkson is currently the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Since becoming one of the top publicly noted papal candidates, he caused controversy recently when he said some African traditions were the sparing rod that has shielded Africa from sex abuse and homosexuality scandals, unlike Vatican City and the United States. To add to tarnished favor, reports of Turkson speaking as if he were already elected pope do not help his chances.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi

Country: Italy (Merate)

Age: 70

Ravasi is currently the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. He was elevated to cardinal in 2010 and has since become known as a highly intellectual member of the Church and a biblical scholar. He lead Benedict XVI in his last religious exercises.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco

Country: Italy

Age: 70

He is archbishop of Genoa and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference. He is known for his strong views against RU-486, a pill which blocks the hormone progesterone to induce abortion, and his public condemnation of same-sex relationships.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet

Country: Canada

Age: 68

Ouellet is the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. He is known for his very conservative leanings, but he ruffled feathers in 2010 with his stance against victims of rapes justifying abortion by being victims in the first place.

Cardinal Angelo Scola

Country: Italy

Age: 71

Scola currently serves as the archbishop of Milan after being appointed by Pope Benedict in June of 2011. He is also the lead papal candidate for his abundant knowledge and understanding of the politics surrounding the Vatican. He is also likened to Benedict XVI, which may fare well for him when it is time for his fellow cardinals to vote.

Beginning March 1, all 117 of the cardinals will meet to discuss and pray for guidance in voting for their next pope. Regardless of public speculation and popularity, none of these five papal candidates is considered a guaranteed shoe in.

Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage of the Pope and his resignation here.


Follow Staff Reporter Angelina T. Velasquez on Twitter.



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