Who Will Replace the Pope? Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga is Another Favorite

With Pope Benedict XVI scheduled to officially step down from the Papal office on February 28, the names of several possible replacements are being floated by insiders and the media. One candidate is Ghanaian-born Peter Turkson, while another is Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, a Honduran.

The 70-year-old Latin American was a contender for the Papacy during the last conclave, when Pope Benedict was chosen. 

"A southern pope would undoubtedly help to resolve a problem that endangers the future of the planet," he has said. Mariadaga has argued for a global anti-corruption court and for the pardoning of debt for poorer countries. He is said to travel around his own country with armed bodyguards, because of his tough stance on organized crime and political corruption.

Having two of the major contenders being African and Latin American is a sign of the times and the Church's prospects for growth around the world.

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Michael McCutcheon

Michael was formerly special projects editor at Mic. Prior to that, he worked at the Open Society Foundations on electoral reform. A native Seattleite, he's still mad about the SuperSonics.

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