- 2013-02-11 - Pope Benedict in shock resignation
- 2013-02-24 - Pope gives emotional final public prayer, says God asked him to retire
- 2013-02-26 - Britain's top cardinal resigns over allegations 'he behaved inappropriately with priests'
- 2013-02-14 - Meet the men who could succeed Pope Benedict XVI (PHOTOS)
- 2013-03-06 - Fake Cardinal sneaks into pre-conclave meeting at Vatican
- 2013-03-13 - Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected Pope
- 2013-03-14 - Being a good example: Pope Francis returns to Rome hotel to pay bill
- 2013-03-15 - ‘I rejected Pope Francis’ marriage proposal’ (VIDEO)
- 2013-03-20 - Pope Francis was a ‘naughty’ child – Teacher
- 2013-03-23 - Pope calls to cancel his newspaper delivery
- 2013-03-24 - Pope Francis makes history as he embraces retired predecessor Benedict in first-ever meeting of two pontiffs (PHOTOS)
- 2013-03-27 - Pope Francis shuns grand apartment for two rooms
- 2013-03-28 - Pope washes, kisses feet of young detainees in Holy Thursday ritual (PHOTOS)
- 2013-03-29 - Gruesome Good Friday in Philippines as dozens are nailed to crosses (PHOTOS)
- 2013-04-04 - Ugandan priest suspended after contesting celibacy
- Who Is Lying?: John Dumelo's Alleged Wife Makes Video About Their Marriage (WATCH)
- Korean Model Disfigures Her Face By Injecting Her Face With Cooking Oil (PHOTOS/VIDEO)
- Man slit girlfriend's throat, made love to her while she bled to death
- SHAME!!! 12 Arrested For Shooting Pornographic Film with a dog In Kenya (VIDEO)
- NIGERIA: Father Sells His 6-Month-Old Son To Pay For Greece Visa
Nigeria’s Cardinal Francis Arinze: the next Pope?
The Pope's surprise resignation will put the world's attention on
Nigeria's Cardinal Francis Arinze. Not so long ago, the candidates would
all be Italians. Now, the odds on a Pope from the developing nations
are quite srtong.
There is an old saying in the Vatican: young cardinals vote for old popes. This bodes will for the 80-year-old Cardinal Arinze, an Igbo Nigerian who spent 25 years in the Vatican. He was, once, the world's youngest bishop. He is quite conservative, as the last two Popes were, and was regarded as a candidate in the 2005 conclave. The liberal Cardinals will like the idea of a Pope from the developing world.
The new rules mean a new Pope needs the votes of two-thirds of the Cardinals, so one faction cannot impose its will over another. Since no one expected Benedict's resignation, it could well be that the Cardinals are not ready to come up with a long-term solution. Older popes are, historically, a form of compromise. Arinze himself can't vote, having turned 80. There are only ten African electors left.
However, it should be noted that Arinze retired a few years ago, hardly demonstrating an appetite for the far-greater demands of the papacy.
If a younger Pope is called for, there is another African option in the form of the younger Peter Turkson, a Ghanian. There are hints that he is Benedict's favourite candidate: not so long ago, the Pope said that having a African pontiff (for the first time in 1500 year) would "send a splendid signal to the world" about the universality of the church.
But is this what Benedict wants? He has appointed surprisingly few Africans to the electoral college.
In general, today's nominations reinforce the dominance of the West in the College of Cardinals. Only three of the 18 new electors come from the developing world — one Brazilian, one Indian, and one from China (Hong Kong). In that sense, the College of Cardinals will continue to be unrepresentative of Catholic demography, given that two-thirds of the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world today live in the global south, a share projected to rise to three-quarters by mid-century.
Here are probable candidates to replace the Pope:
Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria. Age 80.
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, Age 64. Appointed by Benedict four years ago to become president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada, Age 68
Archbishop Angelo Scola, an Italian philosopher. Aged 71.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga. A Honduran who was President of the Latin American Episcopal Conference. Age 70
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, an Italian prelate. Aged 78
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