Odilo Scherer, 63, a Brazilian of German descent, is head of the Vatican Department for Eastern Churches and archbishop of the massive Sao Paolo diocese, the world's largest Catholic congregation. He could be considered the front-runner if the cardinals choose to recognize the strength of Latin America, a region with 42% of the world's Catholics. Made a cardinal by Benedict less than six years ago, Scherer has urged the church hierarchy to more vigorously practice evangelism and has spoken favorably of liberation theology's focus on social justice and the needs of the poor.
Fernando Bizerra Jr. / European Pressphoto Agency
Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times