Good-bye Joseph Ratzinger, hello …

As we’re witnesses to history and to a story that will be talked about for decades, probably centuries to come, let’s have some fun and put in our picks for Pope Benedict XVI’s successor. Benedict steps down today from the papacy.

My money is on Cardinal Peter Turkson, from Ghana. I’d bet real money, but it’s illegal and therefore a sin. Can’t be sinning on a day the Pope retires.

The Church will be turning to a new continent, I think, to extend a hand to a wider audience.

Turkson is also relatively young at 64. They say he has a rock-star appeal like Pope John Paul II.

I wouldn’t cross out Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. He hails form the Philippines, a solid base of support for the Church. There is widespread devotion to Catholicism in the Philippines, which could be rewarded with the next Pope.

And since I think the next head of the Church will come from a new continent, how about Canada’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet?

He’s conservative, outspoken and he gets the job done. Too conservative for my liking, but definitely not the Church’s.

Other Cardinals mentioned as top contenders:

  •  Leonardo Sandri from Argentina
  • Angelo Bagnasco from Italy
  • Christoph Schonborn of Austria
  • Angelo Scola from Italy
  • Leonardo Sandri from Argentina
  • Timothy Dolan of the U.S.
  • Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga (he will definitely have to change his name) of Honduras

So who is your pick?


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