The Conclave Has Begun. Who Will Be the New Pope?
After Joseph Ratzinger resigned as Pope Benedict XVI, there are great expectations of the one who will take his place. After weeks of waiting, the first day of the Conclave has arrived.
Here below is the list of those who are most likely candidates for becoming the new Pope.
ANGELO SCOLA: Archbishop of Milan, 71 years old. Well esteemed by Ratzinger, who wanted him in the theological magazine 'Communio,' he comes from two dioceses, Milan and Venice, that gave five different Popes in the last century. He is very reluctant of taking on a label and he has an open look on modernity.
ODILO PEDRO SCHERER: Archbishop of Sao Paulo, 63 years old. Bearer of the Brazilian and Latin-american Episcopate, he claims a major role in the central government of the Church. He is in the Board of Supervisors of the Ior and also knows the Curia for working many years with the Congregation of Bishops.
MARC OUELLET: Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, 68 years old. On the same theological line of Joseph Ratzinger, he was very well esteemed by the former Pope. He is the former archbishop of Quebec and has a long experience in South America, especially in Colombia, guiding also the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
PETER ERDO: Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, 60 years old. He is the president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), and is busy on the role of Catholicism in Europe and in countries of ancient Christian traditions. Very focused on defense of the ethical values, he collaborated to 'Communio.'
CHRISTOPH SCHONBORN: Archbishop of Vienna, 68 years old. Belonging to the order of Dominicans, he is a former student of Ratzinger in Regensburg. He carries an advanced vision, being also open to “uncomfortable' topics such as the celibacy of priests.
TIMOTHY DOLAN: Archbishop of New York, 63 years old. Head of the Episcopal Conference of the United States, he is a charismatic figure very able in public relations. He comes from severe polemics against Obama's health-care program that obliged even Catholic hospitals to abortion.
SEAN O'MALLEY: Archbishop of Boston, 68 years old. Capuchin friar, he was a missionary on Easter Island. He is against luxuries, choosing also not to live in the rich palace of the Curia of Boston. In his diocese he faced the scourge of pedophilia with resolution.
PETER TURKSON: President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Coast, 64 years old. Active in the field of peace, he works for reducing the economical and social inequalities, especially between countries of the North and the South.
GIANFRANCO RAVASI: President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, 70 years old. Media personality, he participated to various TV programs and collaborated with several newspapers. He implemented one of the causes that Ratzinger cared the most: the 'Court of the Gentiles,' a space for dialogue for non-believers.
GIUSEPPE BETORI: Archbishop of Florence, 66 years old. He is the youngest Italian cardinal. Considered a 'Ruini' for working as a general secretary of the CEI under Ruini's presidency, he is considered as a member of the paleoliberal wing of the Roman Curia, which constituted a sort of opposition to the decisions of Benedict XVI.
LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE: Archbishop of Manila, 55 years old. He is the second youngest cardinal of the Sacred College, and he is beloved by his countryman. Known for his charismatic nature, he is involved in many social issues with emphasis on helping the poor and the needy while maintaining opposition against atheism, abortion and contraception.
FRANCISCO ROBLES ORTEGA: Archbishop of Guadalajara, 64 years old. Considered as an outsider of this Conclave, he played a central role in the fight against crime and drugs in Mexico.
JOHN ONAIYEKAN: Archbishop of Abuja, 69 years old. Considered as a possible successor of Benedict XVI after the many voices aiming a 'Black Pope,' the Nigerian archbishop is very active towards the poor and dispossessed. In his country, he has been very careful not to intensify the religious conflicts between Muslims and Christians.