Who will be the next pope?


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For a veteran Vatican watcher, 4 schools of thought will likely clash in the conclave

MANILA, Philippines  –The Vatican says it will soon announce the start of the conclave. The presence of cardinal electors in the Holy See heightens anticipation for the next leader of the Catholic Church.

How will the cardinals vote? Paterno Esmaquel reports. (Watch video report below.)

(The script of the video report follows.)

In closed-door meetings, cardinals discuss the kind of pope the Church needs.

For veteran Vatican watcher John Allen, 4 schools of thought will likely clash in the conclave.

Those from the “governance camp” want a pope who can reform the Vatican’s internal offices, to end controversies like Vatileaks.

Some cardinals from the “pastoral camp” want a pope who will be hands-on with problematic priests and Catholics.

The “Third World camp” wants a pope from growing Catholic populations outside Europe.

Others come from the “evangelical camp.” They want an intellectual who can popularize Church teachings.

Seven of the most popular contenders may get the support of one or more of these camps.

The archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola, has the intellect of Benedict. But journalists say unlike the pope emeritus, Scola is more media savvy – a trait the evangelical camp desires.

Like Scola, New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan is an intellectual. Described as a “great communicator,” Dolan also keeps a frequently updated Twitter account.

Another popular bet is Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who heads the powerful Pontifical Council for Culture, which assists the pope on issues of faith and culture. While Ravasi is an insider, observers say the Vatican bureaucracy hasn’t eaten him up – a plus for the governance camp.

Four of the most popular bets come from the Third World.

Supporters say African Cardinal Peter Turkson will smoothen relations with Islam.

In 2012, Turkson says: “For me to attack Islam would be to attack my own family. I come from a family which has an Islamic component.”

The Archbishop Emeritus of Quebec, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, heads the pontifical commission for Latin America.

Pundits say the well-traveled cardinal can bridge the First and Third World.

Like Ouellet, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer can also boost Church’s presence in developing countries. Scherer is archbishop of Sao Paulo in Brazil, the biggest diocese in the world’s biggest Catholic country – where the number of Catholics is on the decline.

CNN, BBC, and the Washington Post mention 55-year-old Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle from the Philippines, a country of 80 million Catholics. Allen calls Tagle the “great Asian hope.”

Vatican watchers compare him to the late John Paul II.

His standout trait: empathy for the poor, a trait of a pastoral pope. He also advocates an aggressive stance on erring priests.

But leading theologian Fr Catalino Arevalo says his young age makes him a remote possibility.

FR CATALINO AREVALO, THEOLOGIAN: All Filipinos would become happy if he became pope, but at this moment, humanly speaking, we say that it does not look like he will be the one elected pope. But again, we don’t know what the Holy Spirit will do.

Which will prevail in the conclave – the governance, the pastoral, the Third World, or the evangelical camp? Whoever the pope will be, he inherits a Church mired in scandal in an increasingly skeptical world.

Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Manila

– Rappler.com

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