Brazil papal contender: Place of birth irrelevant



Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, Sao Paulo’s archbishop, speaks as he gives a Mass at the Cathedral in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. Latin America is home to the world’s largest Roman Catholic population, but hopes that the next pope will come from the region appear faint, experts said Monday. Brazilian Cardinals Joao Braz de Aviz, a 65-year-old who has earned praise as head of the Vatican’s office for religious congregations, and Odilo Pedro Scherer, the 63-year-old archbishop of Sao Paulo, have been mentioned as possibilities. AP/Andre Penner

SAO PAULO — The archbishop of one of the world’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese and a man thought to be a leading Latin American contender to succeed Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that neither geographic origin nor age should matter much in determining the next pontiff.

Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, 63, shrugged off questions about whether this might be the moment for a Latin American pope, and whether he might be the man to take the role.

“It would be very pretentious for a cardinal to say, ‘I am prepared,'” Scherer said. “No one is going to say ‘I am a candidate.'”

Scherer, who leads the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo, one of the world’s largest with an estimated 6 million members, met with scores of reporters inside the Se Cathedral before celebrating Ash Wednesday Mass.

He seemed momentarily taken aback by the dozens of cameras, microphones and questions he faced, though he spoke at all times in an easy manner and began to enjoy parrying journalists’ inquiries with a smile and denial that place of birth will play a role when he and more than 100 other Cardinals convene next month at the Vatican to decide upon a new pope.

The church has said that reinvigorating Catholic youth, continuing its growth in Africa and stemming the losses of the faithful in Latin America, where 40 percent of the world’s Catholics live, are top priorities. Many have said that a younger pontiff from the developing world would be a natural fit.

But Scherer batted down those lines of thought.

“The reflections that will be made at the conclave will not be about whether the pope comes from one place or another place, whether he has this origin or that origin, but whether he has the condition, is the most prepared to lead the church in this moment of its history.”

Church leaders from other developing-region nations disagree.

Rev. Juan Angel Lopez, spokesman for the Catholic Church of Honduras, put it bluntly following Benedict’s resignation on Monday, saying that “it’s time for there to be a Latin American pope, because Latin America has the greatest number of Christians.”

Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson is one of Africa’s best hopes for gaining the papacy, and he said this week that the time was right for a pontiff from the developing world, adding that he’s available for the job “if it’s the will of God.”

In an interview with The Associated Press inside his Vatican offices, Turkson said the “young churches” of Africa and Asia have now become solid enough that they have produced “mature clergymen and prelates that are capable of exercising leadership also of this world institution.”

Aside from Scherer, other leading Latin American possibilities include Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, 69, head of the Vatican’s office for Eastern rite churches, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, and Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, 65, who has earned praise as head of the Vatican’s office for religious congregations.

Thamyris Nagall, a 23-year-old attending the Ash Wednesday Mass in Sao Paulo, said it’s time for a pope from Latin America.

“It would be great for Brazil — we’re quickly losing Catholics worshippers,” she said, referring to recent steep drops in the number of Brazilians who adhere to the religion, despite still having more Catholics than any other nation. “If not a Brazilian or other Latin American, then it should be an African. The Church needs to end the European domination of the papacy.”

Visiting German student Bastian Roder, 20, agreed.

“It’s time for a change, we need something new,” he said, standing on the steps of the Se Cathedral, the sign of the cross on his forehead in ash. “It’s time to have someone from a different culture, someone with new ideas.”

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  • dodot24

    The next Papa will come in Asian country. and probably in the Philippines.

    • Guest



    >>>SAO PAULO — The archbishop of one of the world’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese and a man thought to be a leading Latin American contender to succeed Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that neither geographic origin nor age should matter much in determining the next pontiff.<<<

    TUMPAK!  Kaya malaki ang CHANCE ni Tagle na makakuha ng puting usok sa Vatican.  Sa ganyang paraan magkakaroon ng batang Pope na masusundan ang takbo ng pamamahala ng simbahan ng mahabang panahon na makakabuti sa pangkalahatang katayuan ng simbahan.

    Kung nakikilala ang Pilipinas sa tanyag ni Pacquiao, magiging usap-usapan sa tuwina sa buong kalawakan ng daigdig ang pagiging Pope ni Tagle na magbibigay ng malaking pag-unsad sa ating bayan economically, socially, politically, at morally.

    Yeba, Tagle, yeeeee-ba! 

  • James

    I agree.  The primary consideration in choosing the next Pope should never be based on where he comes from or the number of Catholics represented by such a place, but should be based solely on the capacity, capability and character of the papabiles.  Otherwise, the Papacy would have been reduced into a matter of territory and numbers, which it has never been.  Indeed, had it been the case, Christ Himself might have chosen to born in China, Latin America or some other hugely populous country.          

    • Guest

       In theory that’s how it should be.  But the Vatican is an organization just like any other worldly entity, susceptible to power play and politics, and probably racism.  In my estimation the chances of a black or asian pope would be the same as that of PLDT or Ayala Corporation hiring a nigerian CEO

      • po6is777

        Because you are only seeing the human aspect of the Church. But if you look (or believe) at the total nature of the Church which is both human and DIVINE, you wouldn’t say that because the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways and it blows to whom it wills. Just like salvation is offered to all without distinction even if you are a non-believer.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        something you read about in europe but ive never seen here is the maifia connection. the bank laundered money for them. they say you can tell wear the maifia capos live by looking at the churches if the churches are re built and the priests drive expensive cars thats where capos live.they rub each others backs

      • Kilabot ng mga Balahibo

         In short, the church is susceptible to human frailties and character.

  • The Overlord

    The Vatican will never allow a non-European to be the next Pope.

    • dominic romero

      agree! suntok sa buwan yan ano! isang Pilipinong pope? Brazilian pope? Black pope?.. as long as majority of the cardinals belongs to the european countries.. never hope for it to happen.

      • The Overlord

        Exactly! Mga ilusyonado! Sila raw ang front runner sa pagiging next Pope, hahaha! Can you actually imagine someone brown or black as a Pope? Hahaha! :)

  • Jarred Pulido

    The next pope is from europa and he is white.

    • done_druff

      Talaga? Ayaw mo kay Tagle?

      • Jarred Pulido

        Kahit sino pwede kahit si Tagle. Pero hindi sya magiging pope. Di sya puti or taga europa. Gets?

    • Infinity

      tama! magpapatalo ang mga puti sa indio at alipin..

  • $37644997

    “It’s time to have someone from a different culture,someone with new ideas”.
    The art of catholicism really does exist and it’s been politicized for many centuries.The decisions they make as to who is going to be the next Pope are non other by themselves in the vatican and it never was the dictate of God after so many centuries past.Although it was God in the early centuries that makes the decision as to who would be the next pope and the next and the next.
    But why would God leave them in such a dis-array?The answere lies from with-in from what you see and what you here of today, the anomally  and sins they carry on past ,present and future.
    The catholic doctines was never written by God,if so it can be re-written.

  • Marx Louis Wang

    9 millions lang ang alagad niya samantalang si Cardinal Tagle mahigit 90 millions.

    • done_druff

      ha! di naman boboto yung mga alagad ni Tagle para sa kanya eh.

  • Albert Einstien

    we have at least 65 million members of RCC in our country BIGGER than spain & italy..we are TOP 3 in terms of population …1st RP pope in 440 years ….GO POPE TAGLE….you should choose the name ” POPE RP 1st ” …’s DUE time to ASCEND & RISE….our country is the only major catholic-christian country remaining other than spain, mexico & brazil…for more than 440 years already …pope benedict should support the PAPABILI of cardinal tagle to be known as : POPE RP 1st “……filipinos all over the WORLD should campaign for him…so that cardinals in conclave will elect him……go philippines CARPE DIEM….”Spe salvi facti sumus” …!

    let’s go for battle…filipinos it’s time for your facebook & twitter to have a GOoD CAUSE….LET’s support ALL filipinos in the GLOBAL  STAGE ..we will show the WORLD that the filipino race has evolved to be the most intelligent & superior race..the ALPHA race….whatever sector they maybe representing science,int’l politics, engineering, humanities, education, religion ( catholic-christian/muslims, pagans etc ), sports ,int’l finance , & all international competitions…we are NOW the most EVOLVED RACE …skilled, humble, generous,highly  intelligent , adaptable ,educated & caring..

    use  your facebook & twitter acounts to PROMOTE the superiority  FILIPINO race..especially now ..if cardinal tagle will be chosen …FILIPINO  race will make the BIRTH  of a GLOBAL filipino …our country will benefit in all aspects like history, economy & over all greatness of our country &  people… go go go.bombard with messages of SUPPORT for cardinal tagle .. the pope & cardinals facebook & twitter accounts till they vote for him as new POPE… .!

    • done_druff

      Ang daming magandang pwedeng gawin at magaaksaya ka pa ng oras sa ganito! Sus!

  • Placido_Penitente

    A, ang buong pangalan pala niya ay Odilo PEDRO Scherer.  Kung magkagayon, siya na nga kaya ang tinutukoy ni St. Malachi sa kanyang hula na PETRUS ROMANUS, ang huling Santo Papa?  Isang kakila-kilabot na pag-aabang…..

    • done_druff

      masyado kang nanonood ng soap opera kaya sa mga hula nagpapaniwala ka!.

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