Today the catholic church is in a state of uncertainty after Pope Benedict XVI resigned from his position as pope. The question on everyone's lips, even non-Catholics', is, “who will replace him?”
There are those asking if the next pope will be non-European, considering how important the developing world has become to the church. Others believe he will be European as there are many candidates to choose from who are European. Furthermore, 67 of the 118 cardinals who will be voting are European, further empowering the rumors of a European replacement.
The New York Times reported,
“'It’s a premature question, though it’s clear that two non-Italian popes in a row have broken the notion that the pope has to be Italian,' said Alberto Melloni, a historian of the Roman Catholic Church and director of the John XXIII Center in Bologna, a liberal Catholic research institute. 'But the church is not the Austro-Hungarian Empire where leaders alternate between countries. The pope is first of all bishop of Rome, and then the leader of the universal church.'”
Nearly all of the cardinals who can vote were appointed by Pope Benedict XVI making the next candidate less likely to be different than he was in vision and doctrine. Some say he would have similar beliefs on doctrine as Cardinal Ouellet and Cardinal Scola, as well as Cardinal Cristoph Schoborn of Vienna.
“John Allen, a Vatican expert and biographer of Benedict XVI, said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, could be a contender in a “multi-power” world in which America is no longer the one super power.”(NYT)
Brazil has the largest Catholic population, making rumors fly that the next candidate will come from there. Mr. Machado expressed skepticism over whether the next pope could come from Brazil.
“We are not prepared to have a Brazilian pope, given the way the church is going,” he said. (NYT)
Others say he will be African. Though there are many names and nationalities being thrown to the people as possible candidates, no official names have been revealed. The world will be watching to see who is chosen to replace one of the most if not "the" most influential religious person in the world.
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