The conclave: 12 influential cardinals to watch
February 20th, 2013
By Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY – Speculation abounds about top candidates to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, but the true “papabili” – literally, pope-ables – are likely to emerge only after all the worlds’ cardinals – not just the 117 who will be under 80 and eligible to vote – begin meeting at the Vatican in the coming days.
Here, in alphabetical order, are 12 cardinals expected to have a major voice in the deliberations.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, 63: The extroverted, jocular New York archbishop charmed and impressed many in the College of Cardinals in February 2012 when he gave the main presentation at a papal meeting on the new evangelization.
Cardinal Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, 60: He is a major figure among his peers in Europe, the church’s traditional heartland and the region of more than half the cardinal electors.
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68: The prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, he is president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and therefore well acquainted with one of the church’s largest and fastest-growing regions.
Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, 70: President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, he was the prelate chosen by Pope Benedict to lead his 2013 Lenten retreat, which will make him a prominent voice in the run-up to the election.
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, 70: As president of Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella group of national Catholic charities around the world, the multilingual prelate spearheads aid to the world’s neediest.
Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 69: As prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, he is familiar with the challenges facing Eastern Catholics and the pastoral concerns of the church in the Middle East.
Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, 67: President of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” which promotes Catholic charitable giving.
Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 63: Another leading voice of the South American church, he has strong ties to Rome.
Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, 68: A former pupil of Pope Benedict, this well known prelate was invited in 1996 to preach Blessed John Paul II’s Lenten retreat and was the main editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola, 71: The archbishop of Milan, he previously served as patriarch of Venice, once the see of Blessed John XXIII.
Philippine Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila, 55: One of the youngest and newest cardinals, this leader of one of the world’s fastest-growing churches is a popular speaker with a doctorate in systematic theology.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, former archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, 64: The current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, this biblical scholar was active in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and often appears on lists of possible popes.
From February 22, 2013 issue of Catholic San Francisco.