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Leading candidates from Africa, Europe, and South America - Who will be the next pope?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 11th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

With the pending resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, numerous insiders have shared their opinions on who the next Pope may be. Ten names come up frequently, so here is a list of possibilities.
Within minutes of Pope Benedict's announcement, speculation was rife about who would replace him.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - There is no obvious next choice for pope, so the list is long and speculation rampant. Such speculation has not proven to be accurate in the recent consistories. However, expect it over the next few weeks. .

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, 64 is from Ghana. If Turkson is elected, the Church could have its first black pope.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68 is from Canada. He is a great defender of the Right to Life and has made clear that abortion is always an immoral choice, even in cases of rape. This is consistent with Church teaching.

Timothy Dolan, (U.S., 62) became the voice of U.S. Catholicism after being named archbishop of New York in 2009. His humor and dynamism have impressed the Vatican. He is leading the charge on the issue of 'birth control' contraceptive distribution with the addition of Obamacare in the United States. He is known as being very orthodox in faith.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, 80 is from Nigeria, a country with a large population of Catholics and a militant Islamic movement in the north. He is known as being very orthodox in faith and beloved in many circles for his wit and warmth. 

Archbishop Angelo Scola, 71 is from Italy and is a renowned theologian. Scola has said he wants to work to build ties between some Islamic factions and the Church.

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, 70, is from Honduras. Maradiaga is considered by some who use politicized labels to be a "moderate" but his orthodoxy is clear. He publicly criticized singer Ricky Martin for using a surrogate mother to produce a child.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 78, is from Italy. Bertone has strongly defended marriage and stands against its redefinition. He raised a question as as to whether homosexuals in the clergy contributed to the child sex scandals which have rocked the Church.

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, 70, is from Italy. Deeply orthodox in faith, he has strongly defended marriage and opposed the effort to recognize homosexual marriage and abortion in the Civil law.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 77, is from Argentina, Bergoglio. He calls for respect for the dignity of all human persons, including those who identify as gay. However, he defends marriage against efforts to redefine it. He opposes the homosexual equivalency movement. He is also a staunch defender of the Right to Life against abortion and euthanasia.

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 69, is from Argentina. Sandri has been critical of the treatment Christians have endured in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq.

Cardinal Christoph von Schonborn, 68, is from Austria. He is known most recently for being the  Editor of the recently released Catholic Catechism for Youth.

Such an effort to analyze who might be the next pope often succumbs to a politicized framework of analysis and rarely proves to be correct.

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