I have been looking the field over and I like Claudio Hummes from Brazil to become the next Pope. He is listed as +700 at Americasbookie.com.
Although he is 79, Hummes is viewed as a someone who could be a good balance between the conservatives and the progressives. He was in charge of the largest Catholic diocese in the world and he was just appointed to lead the Vatican office that oversees priests around the globe.
Geography could play a key role in Hummes' election. We have until 11 am on March 1 to wager on this. Good luck!
Results 1 to 22 of 22
Thread: The Next Pope
03-01-2013, 02:23 AM #1
The Next Pope
03-01-2013, 02:52 AM #2
Re: The Next Pope
Who really cares who the Pope is anyways? Pope Benedict left in shame for protecting Child Molesters and who is to say his replacement will not do the same?
They will not let a young guy take place so all people that could be in charge are conditioned to protect Pedophiles...
03-01-2013, 03:00 AM #3
Re: The Next Pope
03-01-2013, 03:45 AM #4Senior Member Achievements:
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Re: The Next Pope
03-01-2013, 04:18 AM #5
Re: The Next Pope
no vegas odds yet
03-01-2013, 11:18 AM #6
Re: The Next Pope
Who will be the next Pope?
Marc Ouellet (Canada) 7/2
Francis Arinze (Nigeria) 4/1
Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson (Ghana) 4/1
Leonardo Sandri (Argentina) 13/2
Angelo Scola (Italy) 7/1
Angelo Bagnasco (Italy) 15/2
Gianfranco Ravasi (Italy) 8/1
Tarcisio Bertone (Italy) 16/1
Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Argentina) 20/1
Christoph von Schonborn (Austria) 33/1
Tim Dolan (USA) 33/1
Odilo Pedro Scherer (Brazil) 33/1
Next Pope will be from?
North America 13/4
South/Central America 7/2
Age of Next Pope?
60 or under 10/1
71 or over 2/1
03-01-2013, 11:24 AM #7
Re: The Next Pope
I'm on Italy at 8-5
03-01-2013, 11:29 AM #8
Re: The Next Pope
Judging by the conclave who is the voting body, I think it will be more of the same. It's like the old Soviet Union, one 80 year old Premier dies and is replaced by a half dead 80 year old. The Catholic Church is on the ropes in both Europe and the US. Islam is the predominant worldwide religion and growing. I'm not excited by many of the Church's positions on alot of things but not really jumping for joy at the prospect of AK-47 toting "peaceful Islamic brothers" gaining traction worldwide either.
03-01-2013, 11:39 AM #9
03-01-2013, 03:58 PM #10
Re: The Next Pope
nice dirty love the off shore
03-01-2013, 05:09 PM #11
03-01-2013, 05:11 PM #12
03-01-2013, 05:39 PM #13Banned Achievements:
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Re: The Next Pope
It’s not just the future of the Catholic Church riding on the selection of the next pope.
More than 20,000 people have bet hundreds of thousands of dollars on the papal change and international bookmakers expect that dollar figure to quickly move into the millions.
Just two hours after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power was out with their odds and within 48 hours, they saw more than $200,000 in bets.
It’s illegal to place bets on the pope in the United States – even in Nevada — because it’s considered an election. Plenty of foreign bookmakers, however, are capitalizing on what they say could be the biggest moneymaker ever outside of sporting events.
“We are expecting this pope betting to be the biggest round of non-sporting betting in Paddy Power history — it’s a big market,” says spokesman Rory Scott. “It’s going to pick up as we head into conclave and we think it will reach about 7 million dollars.”
Paddy Power offers betting on who will be the next pope, his age, his nationality, what his papal name will be, when the conclave will start, how long it will last, and even when the first foreign visit will take place.
Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana is the favorite with odds of 11-4.
“He is screeching ahead at the moment,” Scott says. “But there is a saying, ‘He that enters the conclave as pope leaves as cardinal.’ ”
Next in line:
Cardinal Angelo Scola from Italy with odds of 3-1
Cardinal Marc Ouellet from Canada with odds of 6-1
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone from Italy with odds of 6-1
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco from Italy with odds of 8-1
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri from Argentina with odds of 12-1
Bad news for Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil: His 50-1 odds have drawn nine fewer bets than Father Dougal Maguire — the fictional priest from Father Ted, an Irish sitcom.
The next papal name is the most popular alternative market, and the name Peter is the front-runner.
All of the betting fun – legally – has to take place abroad.
“It’s not legal in the United States,” says American Gaming Association spokeswoman Holly Wetzel. “Sports books in Nevada are not taking bets on the pope — some cite the illegality of taking bets on elections, some say it’s a matter of ‘taste.’ ”
It is also illegal for people within the United States to place bets with foreign Internet bookmakers, Wetzel says.
But that might not stop some small-time fun.
“Office pools are kind of a gray area that don’t fall under regulations,” Wetzel says. “Technically, in some states, it’s illegal, but nobody goes after those kind of things. It varies by states, but it’s legal as long as the person organizing it doesn’t take a cut.”
For no cash at all, the Religion News Service is offering the “Sweet Sistine,” papal brackets with the top candidates from each continent. The online feature has already gotten more than 100,000 hits.
Papal-wagering is nothing new.
“There is a long history of betting on the pope,” says the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest in New York and an editor at America, the national Catholic magazine. “Unofficial betting has probably been going on since as long as there were conclaves.”
Martin says that often the bookmaker’s top candidates are in line with candidates mentioned by top Vaticanologists.
However, in 2005, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s odds were 20-1, ranking him outside of the top 10, as he headed into the conclave from which he emerged as Pope Benedict XVI.
“I check Paddy Power every day just to see who is up and who is down,” Martin says. “But the Holy Spirit is not checking Paddy Power and it is up to the Holy Spirit – not the odds on Paddy Power.”
- See more at: Wagering on a new pope? You bet! Religion News Service
03-02-2013, 03:47 AM #14
03-02-2013, 01:06 PM #15
03-02-2013, 08:00 PM #16
Re: The Next Pope
The odds were +700 2 days ago now at another book I see +5000. How is this?
03-02-2013, 08:27 PM #17
Re: The Next Pope
Are we considered full blown degenerates if we bet this?
03-04-2013, 08:08 PM #18
Re: The Next Pope
Cardinal Dolan Popular Outside Contender for Pope
Sunday, 03 Mar 2013 03:34 PM
More . . .
Challenging a White House mandate for birth control coverage in health insurance, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan sounded like a general rallying the troops.
"The only thing we're certainly not prepared to do is give in," Dolan said at a national bishops' meeting last November. "We're not violating our consciences."
Weeks earlier, he had appeared in a far less formal setting, at New York's Fordham University with comedian Stephen Colbert. From the 3,000 cheering audience members, one student considering the priesthood asked whether he should date. Dolan said it could help decide the right path, then quipped, "By the way, let me give you the phone numbers of my nieces."
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Catholic News Service calls him a happy warrior for evangelization. Kean University historian Christopher Bellitto calls him the bear-hug bishop. Dolan, 63, is an upbeat, affable defender of Catholic orthodoxy, and a well-known religious figure in the United States. He holds a job Pope John Paul II once called "archbishop of the capital of the world." His colleagues broke with protocol in 2010 and made him president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, instead of elevating the sitting vice president as expected. And during the 2012 presidential election, Republicans and Democrats competed over which national political convention the cardinal would bless. He did both.
But scholars question whether his charisma and experience are enough for a real shot at succeeding Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The thinking ahead of the conclave is Dolan's chances are slim.
"It's not a personal attack on his qualities as a cardinal or individual," said Monsignor Michael Fahey, a scholar at Fairfield University in Conn. "Cardinal Dolan has a knack for getting people to feel relaxed and to laugh and to expect the unexpected, but that is not what the church needs right now."
Dolan spent seven years in Rome as rector of the North American College, considered the West Point for U.S. priests, where he had studied for his own ordination years earlier. However, he never worked in a Vatican office or congregation — experience that would have helped him develop ties with cardinals from other countries and raise his profile in a conclave.
Benedict made Dolan a cardinal just a year ago. Still, the former pope chose the New York archbishop for the honor of delivering a speech to other church leaders in Rome. His address on spreading the faith was highly praised, and he emerged as something of a star of the event, gaining mention in some Italian media as potentially "papabile," or having the qualities of a future pope.
No American has ever served as pontiff. Some cardinals express concerns a superpower pope and the potential for his actions to be viewed as serving the U.S. instead of the church.
Ahead of this conclave, church-watchers seem split over whether that old assumption still applies. Dolan's credentials as upholder of the faith have been especially burnished by the bishops' ongoing conflicts with President Barack Obama. Obama endorses same-sex marriage, supports abortion rights and included the birth control coverage rule in his health care overhaul.
However, Dolan speaks only halting Italian and a little Spanish, and no French or Latin, a huge drawback for a potential leader of a 1.2 billion-member global church. (By contrast, Benedict speaks eight or so languages.) The cardinal's informality and folksy vocabulary, which help make him so approachable in the United States, could actually undermine his chances in Rome. In recent comments about other challenges the church has survived, Dolan noted that some former popes have been "lemons." When taking the stage to greet Colbert, before about 3,000 cheering students, Dolan jokingly kissed Colbert's ring instead of shaking the comedian's hand.
Along with his humor, Dolan can artfully convey church teaching. He earned a doctorate in church history from The Catholic University of America and sprinkles his speeches with details of the early struggles Catholic immigrants trying to carve a place for themselves in Protestant America. Noting that secularism is growing in the U.S, he argues that broader society is in a "drive to neuter religion" and "push religion back into the sacristy." On his blog, "The Gospel in the Digital Age," Dolan writes on a wide range of issues, from gun control to abortion to the future of Catholic schools.
A St. Louis native of Irish ancestry and the oldest of five children, Dolan began his path to the priesthood as a boy. He said he would set up cardboard boxes with sheets to make a play altar in the basement. He attended a seminary prep school in Missouri and by 1985 earned his doctorate. After working as a parish priest, professor and seminary leader, he served briefly as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Louis before John Paul appointed him in 2002 as archbishop of Milwaukee, which serves about 675,000 parishioners. In 2009, Benedict appointed Dolan archbishop of New York, the nation's second-largest archdiocese after Los Angeles, serving about 2.5 million Catholics.
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Like every U.S. bishop in recent years, Dolan has had to grapple with fallout from the clergy sex abuse scandal.
Dolan's predecessor in Milwaukee, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who had been planning to retire, left abruptly after news broke that the archdiocese had paid a $450,000 settlement to a man claiming Weakland tried to sexually assault him. Weakland admitted an "inappropriate relationship" but denied abuse.
In 2004, Dolan publicly released the names of Milwaukee diocesan priests who had been accused of molesting children. However, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said he said he didn't work closely enough with civil authorities to also identify accused clergy from religious orders.
Days before Dolan left for the conclave, he sat for a deposition with attorneys for people who said they had been abused as children by clergy working in the Milwaukee archdiocese. Dolan's successor in Milwaukee sought bankruptcy protection for the archdiocese from 570 abuse claims. Advocates for victims have accused Dolan of having tried to shield the Milwaukee archdiocese assets, in part by transferring millions of dollars several years ago into a cemetery trust fund and a parish fund. Dolan denies the accusation.
On the final day of Benedict's pontificate, Dolan stood with seminarians on the roof of the North American College and waved as a helicopter flew overhead, carrying the departing pope to what will be his temporary retirement home, the papal retreat in Castel Gandolfo. In his trademark way, he put any talk of his elevation aside, by recalling a conversation with his mother.
She told him, "You better be back in time for St. Patrick's Day because I want to walk down Fifth Avenue with you in the parade."
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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03-08-2013, 01:12 AM #19Senior Member Achievements:
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Organized Religion is one of the biggest poxes on the planet and the cause of so much misery it's almost hard to believe what I'm going to say next: Thank GOD for it though because just how much more fucked up would this world be without their constraints holding many of their followers partially in check?
03-08-2013, 05:01 PM #20
Cardinals set Tuesday as start date for conclave
By The Associated Press
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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Cardinals have set Tuesday as the start date for the conclave to elect the next pope, signaling that they were wrapping up a week of discussions about the problems of the church and who best among them might lead it.
The conclave date was set on Friday afternoon during a vote by the College of Cardinals. Tuesday will begin with a Mass in the morning in St. Peter's Basilica, followed by the first balloting in the afternoon.
In the past 100 years, no conclave has lasted longer than five days.
That said, there doesn't appear to be a front-runner in this election, and the past week of deliberations has exposed sharp divisions among cardinals about some of the pressing problems facing the church, including of governance within the Holy See itself.
U.S. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, considered a papal contender, said in a blog post Friday that most of the discussions in the closed-door meetings covered preaching and teaching the Catholic faith, tending to Catholic schools and hospitals, protecting families and the unborn, and supporting priests "and getting more of them!"
"Those are the `big issues,'" he wrote. "You may find that hard to believe, since the `word on the street' is that all we talk about is corruption in the Vatican, sexual abuse, money. Do these topics come up? Yes! Do they dominate? No!"
Early in the week, the Americans had been pressing for more time to get to the bottom of the level of dysfunction and corruption in the Holy See's governance that were exposed by the leaks of papal documents last year. But by Thursday afternoon, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles tweeted that the discussions were "reaching a conclusion" and that a mood of "excitement" was taking hold.
Vatican-based cardinals had been angling for a speedy end to the discussions, perhaps to limit the amount of dirty laundry being aired.
According to Vatican analysts and even some cardinals themselves, the list of papabili, or those considered to have the stuff to be pope, remains relatively unchanged from when Benedict XVI first announced he would resign Feb. 28. But some Italian media have speculated that with governance such a key issue in this conclave, the cardinals might also be considering an informal pope-secretary of state "ticket."
The Vatican secretary of state is primarily responsible for running the Holy See, but it's not an elected job like the pope. It's a papal appointment, and will be a very closely watched papal appointment this time around given the stakes.
Also Friday, the cardinals formally agreed to exempt two of their voting-age colleagues from the conclave who in past weeks had signaled they wouldn't come: Cardinal Julius Darmaatjadja, emeritus archbishop of Jakarta, who is ill, and Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who resigned last week after admitting to inappropriate sexual misconduct.
That formality brings the number of cardinal electors to 115; a two-thirds majority - or 77 votes - is required for victory. Benedict in 2007 changed the conclave rules to keep the two-thirds majority requirement throughout the voting process after Pope John Paul II had decreed that after about 12 days of inconclusive balloting the threshold could switch to a simple majority.
By reverting back to the traditional two-thirds majority, Benedict was apparently aiming to ensure a consensus candidate emerges quickly and ruling out the possibility that cardinals might hold out until the simple majority kicks in to push through their candidate. His decision might prove prescient, given the apparent lack of a front-runner in this conclave.
Lombardi said a few items of business remain outstanding, including drawing lots for rooms at the Vatican's Santa Marta hotel, where the cardinals will be sequestered once the conclave begins.
On Friday, he showed a video of the room in which the new pope will sleep his first night as pontiff; it features a bed with a heavy, dark wood headboard featuring a carved image of Christ's face. There is also a sitting area and a study.
The pope is expected to stay there for a few weeks even after the election, since the papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace must be renovated. The apartment was sealed Feb. 28, just after Benedict resigned, and cannot be reopened until the new pope formally takes possession of it.
Lombardi explained that after an eight-year papacy, certain plumbing and electric maintenance work that had been put off must be carried out - work that cannot begin, however, until the seal on the doors is broken.
Cardinals set Tuesday as start date for conclave AccessNorthGa
03-10-2013, 02:34 PM #21
03-10-2013, 06:01 PM #22
Top contenders to be the next pope
World Video MultimediaVATICAN CITY (AP) -- Cardinals from around the world gather this week in a conclave to elect a new pope following the stunning resignation of Benedict XVI. In the secretive world of the Vatican, there is no way to know who is in the running, and history has yielded plenty of surprises. Yet several names have come up repeatedly as strong contenders. Here is a look at who they are:
CARDINAL ANGELO SCOLA: Scola is seen as Italy's best chance at reclaiming the papacy, following back-to-back pontiffs from outside the country that had a lock on the job for centuries. He's also one of the top names among all of the papal contenders. Scola, 71, has commanded both the pulpits of Milan's Duomo as archbishop and Venice's St. Mark's Cathedral as patriarch, two extremely prestigious church positions that together gave the world five popes during the 20th century. Scola was widely viewed as a papal contender when Benedict was elected eight years ago. His promotion to Milan, Italy's largest and most influential diocese, has been seen as a tipping point in making him one of the leading papal candidates. He is known as a doctrinal conservative who is also at ease quoting Jack Kerouac and Cormac McCarthy.
CARDINAL ODILO SCHERER: Scherer is known for prolific tweeting, appearances on Brazil's most popular late-night talk show and squeezing into the subway for morning commutes. Brazil's best hope to supply the next pontiff is increasingly being touted as one of the top overall contenders. At the relatively young age of 63, he enthusiastically embraces all new methods for reaching believers, while staying true to a conservative line of Roman Catholic doctrine and hardline positions on social issues such as rejection of same-sex marriage. Scherer joined Twitter in 2011 and in his second tweet said: "If Jesus preached the gospel today, he would also use print media, radio, TV, the Internet and Twitter. Give Him a chance!" Scherer became the Sao Paulo archbishop in 2007 and was named a cardinal later the same year.
CARDINAL MARC OUELLET: Canada's Ouellet once said that being pope "would be a nightmare." He would know, having enjoyed the confidence of two popes as a top-ranked Vatican insider. His high-profile position as head of the Vatican's office for bishops, his conservative leanings, his years in Latin America and his work in Rome as president of a key commission for Latin America all make him a favorite to become the first pontiff from the Americas. But the qualities that make the 68-year-old popular in Latin America - home to the world's biggest Catholic population - and among the cardinals who elect the pope have contributed to his poor image in his native Quebec, where ironically he was perceived during his tenure as archbishop as an outsider parachuted in from Rome to reorder his liberal province along conservative lines.
CARDINAL PETER ERDO: Erdo is the son of a deeply religious couple who defied communist repression in Hungary to practice their faith. And if elected pope, the 60-year-old would be the second pontiff to come from eastern Europe - following in the footsteps of the late John Paul II, a Pole who left a great legacy helping to topple communism. A cardinal since 2003, Erdo is an expert on canon law and distinguished university theologian who has also striven to forge close ties to the parish faithful. He is increasingly seen as a compromise candidate if cardinals are unable to rally around some of the more high-profile figures like Scola or Scherer.
CARDINAL GIANFRANCO RAVASI: Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister, is an erudite scholar with a modern touch - just the combination some faithful see as ideal for reviving a church beset by scandal and a shrinking flock. The 70-year-old is also one of the favorites among Catholics who long to see a return to the tradition of Italian popes. The polyglot biblical scholar peppers speeches with references ranging from Aristotle to late British diva Amy Winehouse. Ravasi's foreign language prowess is reminiscent of that of the late globetrotting John Paul II: He tweets in English, chats in Italian and has impressed his audiences by switching to Hebrew and Arabic in some of his speeches.
CARDINAL PETER TURKSON: Often cast as the social conscience of the church, Ghana's Turkson is viewed by many as the top African contender for pope. The 64-year-old head of the Vatican's peace and justice office was widely credited with helping to avert violence following contested Ghanaian elections. He has aggressively fought African poverty, while disappointing many by hewing to the church's conservative line on condom use amid Africa's AIDS epidemic. Turkson's reputation as a man of peace took a hit recently when he showed a virulently anti-Islamic video, a move now seen as hurting his papal prospects. Observers say those prospects sank further when he broke a taboo against public jockeying for the papacy - saying the day after Benedict's resignation announcement that he's up for the job "if it's the will of God."
CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN: Dolan, the 63-year-old archbishop of New York, is an upbeat, affable defender of Catholic orthodoxy, and a well-known religious figure in the United States. He holds a job Pope John Paul II once called "archbishop of the capital of the world." His colleagues broke with protocol in 2010 and made him president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, instead of elevating the sitting vice president as expected. And during the 2012 presidential election, Republicans and Democrats competed over which national political convention the cardinal would bless. He did both. But scholars question whether his charisma and experience are enough for a real shot at succeeding Benedict.
CARDINAL JORGE MARIO BERGOGLIO: Bergoglio, 76, has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests. The archbishop of Buenos Aires reportedly got the second-most votes after Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 papal election, and he has long specialized in the kind of pastoral work that some say is an essential skill for the next pope. In a lifetime of teaching and leading priests in Latin America, which has the largest share of the world's Catholics, Bergoglio has shown a keen political sensibility as well as the kind of self-effacing humility that fellow cardinals value highly. Bergoglio is known for modernizing an Argentine church that had been among the most conservative in Latin America.
CARDINAL LEONARDO SANDRI: Leonardo Sandri, 69, is a Vatican insider who has run the day-to-day operations of the global church's vast bureaucracy and roamed the world as a papal diplomat. He left his native Argentina for Rome at 27 and never returned to live in his homeland. Initially trained as a canon lawyer, he reached the No. 3 spot in the church's hierarchy under Pope John Paul II, the zenith of a long career in the Vatican's diplomatic service ranging from Africa to Mexico to Washington. As substitute secretary of state for seven years, he essentially served as the pope's chief of staff. The jovial diplomat has been knighted in a dozen countries, and the church he is attached to as cardinal is Rome's exquisite, baroque San Carlo ai Catinari.
CARDINAL LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE: Asia's most prominent Roman Catholic leader knows how to reach the masses: He sings on stage, preaches on TV, brings churchgoers to laughter and tears with his homilies. And he's on Facebook. But the 55-year-old Filipino's best response against the tide of secularism, clergy sex abuse scandals and rival-faith competition could be his reputation for humility. His compassion for the poor and unassuming ways have impressed followers in his homeland, Asia's largest Catholic nation, and church leaders in the Vatican. Tagle's chances are considered remote, as many believe that Latin America or Africa - with their faster-growing Catholic flocks - would be more logical choices if the papal electors look beyond Europe.
CARDINAL CHRISTOPH SCHOENBORN: Schoenborn is a soft-spoken conservative who is ready to listen to those espousing reform. That profile could appeal to fellow cardinals looking to elect a pontiff with the widest-possible appeal to the world's 1 billion Catholics. His Austrian nationality may be his biggest disadvantage: Electors may be reluctant to choose another German speaker as a successor to Benedict. A man of low tolerance for the child abuse scandals roiling the church, Schoenborn, 68, himself was elevated to the upper echelons of the Catholic hierarchy after his predecessor resigned 18 years ago over accusations that he was a pedophile.
CARDINAL MALCOLM RANJITH: Benedict XVI picked the Sri Lankan Ranjith to return from Colombo to the Vatican to oversee the church's liturgy and rites in one of his first appointments as pope. The choice of Ranjith in 2005 rewarded a strong voice of tradition - so rigid that some critics regard it even as backward-looking. Ranjith in 2010 was named Sri Lanka's second cardinal in history. There are many strikes against a Ranjith candidacy - Sri Lanka, for example, has just 1.3 million Catholics, less than half the population of Rome. But the rising influence of the developing world, along with the 65-year-old's strong conservative credentials, helps keep his name in the mix of papal contenders.
CARDINAL ANDRES RODRIGUEZ MARADIAGA: To many, Maradiaga embodies the activist wing of the Roman Catholic Church as an outspoken campaigner of human rights, a watchdog on climate change and advocate of international debt relief for poor nations. Others, however, see the 70-year-old Honduran as a reactionary in the other direction: Described as sympathetic to a coup in his homeland and stirring accusations of anti-Semitism for remarks that some believe suggested Jewish interests encouraged extra media attention on church sex abuse scandals. Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, is among a handful of Latin American prelates considered to have a credible shot at the papacy.
CARDINAL ANGELO BAGNASCO: The archbishop of Genoa, Bagnasco also is head of the powerful Italian bishops' conference. Both roles give him outsized influence in the conclave, where Italians represent the biggest national bloc, and could nudge ahead his papal chances if the conclave looks to return the papacy to Italian hands. At 70 years old, Bagnasco is seen as in the right age bracket for papal consideration. But his lack of international experience and exposure could be a major liability.
CARDINAL SEAN PATRICK O'MALLEY: As archbishop of Boston, O'Malley has faced the fallout from the church's abuse scandals for nearly a decade. The fact he is mentioned at all as a potential papal candidate is testament to his efforts to bring together an archdiocese at the forefront of the abuse disclosures. Like other American cardinals, the papal prospects for the 68-year-old O'Malley suffer because of the accepted belief that many papal electors oppose the risk of having U.S. global policies spill over, even indirectly, onto the Vatican's image. O'Malley is among the most Internet-savvy members of the conclave.
News from The Associated Press