Quantcast
Latest Stories

Brazil papal contender: Place of birth irrelevant

By

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.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Brazil , papal contender , Pope




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • 57-nation group plays key Ukraine monitoring role
  • French President Hollande’s top aide resigns
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement