The Men Who Would Be Pope
Cardinals more open to change, tolerant of internal dissent and willing to give bishops greater autonomy.
Godfried Danneels, 67, archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium. After heart surgery in 1997, the former liturgy professor is back as a forceful advocate of moderation. He urges a more flexible approach to divorced, remarried Roman Catholics.
Carlo Maria Martini, 74, archbishop of Milan, Italy. A Jesuit biblical scholar who’s widely respected outside the church, Martini fills his cathedral every Sunday for Mass. He hints at openness to letting women and married men become priests.
Cardinals who might accept limited change but favor continuing the Vatican’s centralized control.
Norberto Rivera Carrera, 58, archbishop of Mexico City. Rivera was a strong-willed enforcer as bishop of Tehuacan, closing a seminary that taught liberation theology. He’s also an outspoken critic of corruption, human rights abuse and crushing foreign debt in Mexico, where he now manages an archdiocese of
19 million people.
Angelo Sodano, 73, Vatican secretary of state. The Italian has run the Vatican for a decade. As its envoy to Chile, he made friends with Gen. Augusto Pinochet. He has helped elevate conservative Latin American proteges to cardinal.
Dario Castrillon Hoyos, 71, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy. Like John Paul II, this Colombian is a courageous defender of human rights and advocate for the poor but comes down hard on dissent within the church. As head of the Latin American Bishops’ Council, he helped the Vatican crush the influence of liberation theology.
Cardinals with Third World origins and exemplary life stories. All are quite conservative, but election of any one could give the church a bold new identity.
Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, 64, archbishop of Havana. A Cuban pope would energize Cuban Catholics in the way John Paul did fellow Poles behind the Iron Curtain. But Ortega is not just a challenge to Fidel Castro’s regime. He’s a conciliator between it and Cuban exiles.
Francis Arinze, 68, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. As pope, he’d be a potent symbol of Catholicism’s spread across Africa. This Nigerian was converted from animism by Irish missionaries, became an archbishop at 34 and won praise for reaching out to Muslims.
Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, 73, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Arrested in his native Vietnam after the 1975 Communist takeover of the south, he spent 13 years in prison camps and later wrote spiritual books on his suffering. As pope, his message would be similar--the value of the gospel for a godless world.
Cardinals respected by progressives and conservatives, capable of bridging the gap.
Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, 58, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The nation’s first cardinal is a rising star in the church and less rigidly conservative than most other Latin Americans elevated by John Paul. As head of the Latin American Bishops’ Council, he championed the cause of debt relief for poor countries.
Christoph Schoenborn, 56, archbishop of Vienna. He’s bright, charming and multi-lingual. His noble family boasts two previous cardinals. But he’s had a rough ride at the helm of a divided Austrian flock. He won points for apologizing for his predecessor’s alleged pedophilia and tolerating liberal Catholic dissent.
Dionigi Tettamanzi, 66, archbishop of Genoa, Italy. A moral theologian who has helped John Paul write encyclicals, he’s conservative but respectful of opposing views and often tolerant of Catholics who stray from the church’s moral doctrine.
Three cardinal elder statesmen likely to vie for the role of grande elettore, the Italian term for kingmaker, in the next papal election.
Roger Etchegaray, 78, globe-trotting trouble-shooter for John Paul. Progressive. Because his Vatican work has not involved religious doctrine, the French Basque cardinal has been freer to speak his own mind. He says the pope should not be “a kind of super-bishop.”
Joseph Ratzinger, 73, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Conservative. The brilliant German theologian is chief architect of centralized papal authority under John Paul and thus too controversial to be considered for pope.
Giovanni Battista Re, 67, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. Conciliatory. The flexible Italian made few enemies in 11 years as deputy secretary of state, a job similar to that of White House chief of staff. His linguistic ability, diplomatic skills and booming voice prompt some to list him as a papabile, but he lacks pastoral experience.
Photos by: JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG, GERALDINE KASANGA / Los Angeles Times; AP; Reuters; AFP