Papal Candidates: An Overview

John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter has perhaps the best summary of the papabili. Here’s his list, in alphabetical order:

Ennio Antonelli, Italian
Francis Arinze, Nigeria
Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Argentina
Dario Castrillón Hoyos, Colombia
Godfried Danneels, Belgium
Julius Darmaatmadja, Indonesia
Ivan Dias, India
Claudio Hummes, Brazil
Lubomyr Husar, Ukraine
Walter Kasper, German
Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, Dominican Republic
Wilfrid Fox Napier, South Africa
Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, Cuba
Marc Ouellet, Canada
Giovanni Battista Re, Italy
Norberto Rivera Carrera, Mexico
Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Honduras
Angelo Scola, Italy
Christoph Schönborn, Austria
Dionigi Tettamanzi, Italy

But while Allen, like other journalists, provide many interesting biographical tidbits (for instance, novelist Gabriel García Márquez once described Hoyos as “this rustic man with the profile of an eagle”), we learn very little about their philosophies and theological positions. It’s natural, of course, for the press to stick with basic profiles. Still, the public in general and Catholics in particular deserve more information, especially since religious stances can easily be mischaracterized or oversimplified.

So, in the following days, I’ll be examining the leading candidates in greater detail. Because I have other obligations to fulfill, I’ll restrict my research to the six men in this Reuter’s list: Arinze, Bergoglio, Castrillón Hoyos, Danneels, Dias, and Hummes. If time permits, I’ll throw in an Italian or two. If there’s reader demand for certain figures, I’ll consider making other additions. But I’ll start here.

Stay tuned.

FILED UNDER: Africa, Religion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    The online betting seems to focus on Ratzinger and Arinze.

  2. It would be very interesting to see Schönborn considered. That would probably give Mahmoud Abbas a heart attack and a half.

  3. Stacey says:

    From my preliminary research, Angelo Scola and Jorge Mario Bergoglio seem to be 2 very strong candidates. Keep in mind that Bergoglio is the son of Italian immigrants, and Argentina considers itself more European that Latin American – it’s a far cry from Honduras in terms of “3rd world”ish-ness. So if they are indeed ready to go for a non Euro candidate, the Europeans might be much more likely to elect a pseudo- 3rd world guy who is ethnically Italian.

    I’ve lived in Buenos Aires and other parts of Latin America – and in many ways Argentines have more in common with Southern Europeans than with other Latin Americans.

  4. BigFire says:

    The New York Times is already against Arinze’s candidacy for no reason other than Arinze didn’t support John Kerry during the election. That’s as good of an endorsement as I can see from NYT.

  5. BigFire says:

    Oh, here’s the link to NYT’s article.

  6. JakeV says:

    It appears that Arinze suggested that John Kerry should not be allowed to receive communion. That’s slightly different from not supporting Kerry during the election.

  7. reliapundit says:

    Here is a list of the SEVEN YOUNG Cardinals (and their birth-dates) who I feel might most likely be selected (in order of likelihood).

    You will not see these names in the MSM – mine is a list based on UNCONVENTIONAL thinking.

    BUT REMEMBER: NOBODY PREDICTED KAROL WOJTYLA! Links to mainstream picks are below) :

    Juan-Luis Cipriani-Thorne (Peru, 12/28/43);
    Jean Louis Tauron (France, 4/3/43);
    Polycarp Pengo (Tanzania 8/5/44);
    Vinco Puljic (Bosnia-Herzegovina, 9/8/45);
    Josef Bozanic (Croatia 3/20/49);
    Crescenzio Seppe (Italy, 6/2/43);
    Angelo Scola (Italy, 11/7/41).

  8. R Gardner says:

    I think it would be “interesting” if the “secret” Cardinal was selected as the next Pope – odds are it is someone from China. (There is one Cardinal whose identity has not been released.)

  9. G Times says:

    One thing is almost for sure—the next Pope will not likely choose the name “John Paul III”—perhaps “Leo IV”.

  10. C Neumeier says:

    How can you leave off Tettamanzi, who seems to be fighting it out with Arinze for the bookies’ favorite candidate?

  11. Jean West says:

    John Allen’s list leaves Ratzinger out. This review of Allen’s book on Ratzinger tells why:

    *The Ratzinger Rap Sheet* – *Key questions don’t get asked in a naively triumphant and humorless biography of the Vatican’s second most powerful man.* By David Scott

    * Cardinal Ratzinger: The Vatican’s Enforcer of the Faith – By John L. Allen, Jr.

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is a rigid totalitarian who “sold his soul for power.” Committed to a rulebound, abstract notion of Christianity, Pope John Paul II’s righthand man has spent 20 years in Rome providing theological cover for capitalists who exploit the poor, bigots who oppress women and gays, and zealots who make war in the name of God.

  12. Jean West says:

    The item just posted by me was only the first paragraph of the review. To read the rest of it, click on the URL.