Doing The Cardinal Math: Numbers Point To Another European Pope | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Doing The Cardinal Math: Numbers Point To Another European Pope

Play associated audio

On this morning after the surprise announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning at the end of the month, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli looks at the numbers and concludes it's more than likely the next pope will be a European, just like nearly all the others.

Why?

As Sylvia told Morning Edition guest host Linda Wertheimer:

-- 117 cardinals are eligible to vote at the upcoming conclave (only those under the age of 80 can take part).

-- 61 are from Europe. That's 52 percent of the votes.

-- Of the 56 others: 19 are from Latin America, 14 are from North America, 11 are from Africa, 11 are from Asia and 1 is from Oceania.

What's more, the cardinals who will choose the next pope are all in their positions thanks to the German-born Benedict and his predecessor, Polish-born Pope John Paul II. It's hard to imagine those cardinals choosing "someone who would really veer" from those popes' views of the world and the church, Sylvia said.

Put the numbers and the cardinals' makeup together and, Sylvia concludes, "it will probably be a European." Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola, 71, is a leading contender.

Of course, as Benedict's resignation proves, the unexpected can happen. There are at least a couple candidates from outside Europe the cardinals might turn to, Sylvia says: Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68, of Canada and Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, 63, of Brazil.

European oddsmakers, by the way, aren't quite in sync with Sylvia on the likelihood of a European. They've got Ouellet as the 3-1 favorite, with Cardinal Peter Turkson, 64, of Ghana close behind at 7-2.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Wonky produce can take on absurdly entertaining shapes. But one food activist says learning to love these crazy contours is key to stopping mounds of food waste.
NPR

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Wonky produce can take on absurdly entertaining shapes. But one food activist says learning to love these crazy contours is key to stopping mounds of food waste.
NPR

Funding Homeland Security: Where Do We Go From Here?

President Obama late Friday signed a stopgap measure to keep the department running for another week, but the tussle over his executive action on immigration, linked to the funding, is not over yet.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.