Pope: Runners and riders

Who will succeed the Pope? The process is under way to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, and here are 10 of the candidates in the running to lead the Catholic Church. For more on Benedict XVI's resignation and the papal conclave, see our special report.

Joao Braz de Aviz Timothy Dolan Marc Ouellet Gianfranco Ravasi Leonardo Sandri
Brazilian Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz
  • Prefect of Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
  • Born 1947 in Santa Caterina, Brazil
  • As young priest, caught in a robbery's cross-fire
  • Studied at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian and Lateran Universities
  • Made cardinal in 2012
  • Focuses on welfare of the poor
  • Not on Twitter
US Cardinal Timothy Dolan
  • Archbishop of New York
  • Born 1950 in St Louis, Missouri, US
  • PhD in Church history and was rector of Rome's North American College
  • One of Time's 100 most influential people for 2012
  • Tweeting since May last year
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet
  • Archbishop of Quebec, head of Congregation for Bishops
  • Born 1944 in La Motte, Quebec
  • Decided to become a priest as a teenager
  • Taught in seminaries in Colombia and Canada
  • Not on Twitter
Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi
  • President of the Pontifical Council for Culture
  • Born 1942 in Lecco, Italy
  • Chose priesthood over teaching Latin and Greek classics
  • Helped popularise scripture studies through Italian media
  • Prolific tweeter
Argentinian Cardinal Leonardo Sandri
  • Head of Vatican dept for Eastern Churches
  • Born 1943 in Argentina to Italian parents
  • Became a papal diplomat after ordination
  • Served as Vatican's chief-of-staff 2000-07
  • Speaks English, French, German, Italian and Spanish
  • Not on Twitter

In his own words

"Personally, I lived with a lot of anguish during the years of the birth of liberation theology. I came very close to abandoning my priestly vocation and even the church."

On the conclave: "Please God, I'll be home by Palm Sunday. Not a day will go by that I will not think of you [in New York] with love, prayer and gratitude. If I'm in Rome longer, please send peanut butter. You can't get it there."

On abortion: "A woman who has been raped has lived through a trauma and she needs to be helped. But she must do that with respect for the being that is inside her... There is already one victim. Must we have another one?"

On faith and reason: "Faith answers why, science how."

On the music of Amy Winehouse: "In these words - so lacerating musically and thematically - emerge questions of common sense for all."

"The role of women in the world has increased... They must have a much more important role in the life of the Church... so that they can contribute to Church life in so many areas which are now, in part, open only to men."


Strong Brazilian pastor with Curial credentials, has attempted to reach out to breakaway liberals

Conservative, charismatic pastoral theologian with a strong personal touch and management record

Intellectual, polyglot, widely travelled, knows Curia well, good reputation in Latin America

Italian biblical scholar with a popular touch, media-savvy, Curial insider, praised by Benedict XVI for "brilliant" Lenten preaching

Bridges old and new Church as Argentine with Italian roots, popular diplomat, strong Curial governance record as third in command under John Paul II


Perhaps seen as inconsequential in Rome, has failed to stem tide of Pentecostalism in Brazil

American, never held Vatican job, doesn't speak fluent Italian

Perceived as too cerebral to crack heads, lacks charisma, has described job as "nightmare"

No pastoral experience, not well known, hasn't forged alliances within Curia, perhaps seen as too close to Benedict XVI's thinking

Lacks intellectual and evangelical clout, as well as pastoral experience - has never been a diocesan bishop

Odilo Scherer Christoph Schoenborn Angelo Scola Luis Tagle Peter Turkson
Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer
  • Archbishop of Sao Paulo
  • Born 1949 in Cerro Lago, Brazil, of German-Brazilian heritage
  • Doctorate in theology
  • Head of Church's largest dioceses in world's largest Catholic country
  • Prolific tweeter
Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn
  • Archbishop of Vienna
  • Born 1945, son of a Bohemian count
  • Seen as Benedict's intellectual protege
  • Respected by Jews, Muslims and Orthodox Christians
  • Embroiled in open rebellion by hundreds of own priests in Austria
  • Has broken ranks to speak in favour of reform
  • Not on Twitter
Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola
  • Archbishop of Milan
  • Born 1941 in Milan, Italy
  • Son of a truck driver
  • Has doctorates in Christian philosophy and theology
  • Italian newspaper calls him "crown prince of Catholicism"
  • Recently suspended his Twitter account
Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle
  • Archbishop of Manila
  • Born 1957 in the Philippines
  • Reputation as a man of the people
  • Media-savvy, frequent broadcaster
  • Served on International Theologian Commission
  • Made cardinal in November 2012
  • Not on Twitter, on Facebook
Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
  • Archbishop of Cape Coast, general secretary of Synod for Africa
  • Born 1948 in western Ghana
  • Attended New York seminary
  • First-ever Ghanaian cardinal in 2003
  • Seen as a moderate
  • First tweeted 28 Feb

In his own words

On the rise of Pentecostal churches: "What we need is a new evangelization... There are lots of rumours and stories that the Catholic Church is coming to an end. No - the Catholic Church is alive and well."

On the priest rebellion: "If in our diocese here I would step out of line with the community of the Catholic Church then I would lead our diocese into a schism... All possibilities are open. I am counting on dialogue and co-operation."

On the Church: "Our job now has to be to help people to remember God. People suffer from a kind of amnesia about God and we have to remind them to reawaken God in their hearts and in their minds."

On the Church: "The Church must discover the power of silence. Confronted with the sorrows, doubts and uncertainties of people, she cannot pretend to give easy solutions."

On sex scandals: "Because in several cultures in Africa, homosexuality, or for that matter, any affair between two sexes of the same kind are not countenanced in our society. That cultural taboo, that tradition has been there. It's helped to keep this out."


Bridges old and new Church as head of world's largest diocese (Sao Paulo) with German roots, seen as a moderniser but traditional doctrinally, knows Curia well

Dominican theologian who is an urbane pastor and a polyglot, big on new evangelisation, tough on clerical sex abuse

Italian, seen as a Ratzinger with a personal touch, strong pastoral background, started respected Muslim-Christian organisation Oasis

Asia's front-runner, strong communicator, charismatic, described as having "a theologian's mind, a musician's soul and a pastor's heart"

Africa's front-runner, seen as moderate theologically with a down-to-earth manner and sense of humour, has both pastoral and curial credentials


Seen as aloof and uncharismatic, has failed to stem Pentecostalism in Brazil, not seen as heavy-weight enough for leadership role

Has struggled to manage rebellious Austrian priests, fell out with influential Cardinal Sodano, lacks Curial knowledge

Been in spotlight for a long time, seen as too much of a continuity candidate when change is needed, has opponents in Curia

No real Curial experience, seen as young and inexperienced

Perhaps seen as too liberal and lightweight for the big job, and has speculated openly about getting it - a big no-no in the College of Cardinals

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