Bookmakers are taking bets on whether an African or Latin American Cardinal will succeed Pope Benedict XVI. Host Michel Martin speaks to University of Pennsylvania Religion Professor Anthea Butler, to discuss the possibility of the papacy leaving Europe for the first time since the Middle Ages.
Of the 117 cardinals who will choose the next pope, slightly more than half are from Europe. There are names being floated from elsewhere, but conventional wisdom is that the cardinals will go the conventional route.
The Catholic church continues to grow in Africa, and analysts say that there is a good chance the next pope will be from Africa. In Mexico, Catholicism remains the predominant religion though the percentage is falling.
Since Monday's announcement by Pope Benedict that he will step down, the world has been abuzz. Catholics and the rest of the world are grappling with the implications of the pope's stunning announcement that he will resign on Feb. 28.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is the largest in the U.S. and Latinos make up a majority of its parishioners. Latino Catholics there are hopeful a new papacy will bring an end to the child sex-abuse scandals that have rocked the archdiocese.
A worldwide Catholic conversation that effectively stopped when Benedict XVI was elected pope eight years ago has been rekindled by his plan to resign. Issues include celibacy, the role of women in the church, and the spectacular shift in Catholic population to Latin America, Africa and Asia.
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