Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
ROME

Papabili: the South Americans

English
© ANSA

(by Denis Greenan).
Rome, March 11 - Here are penpix of the four South
Americans touted as successors to Benedict.
ODILO SCHERER (BRAZIL)
Archbishop of Sao Paulo, 63, this Brazilian of German
heritage leads the world's largest diocese in the world's
largest Catholic country and is seen as a modernizer with a
strong doctrinal grounding, embodying the old and the new while
tweeting prolifically. Seen as front-runner along with Italy's
Angelo Scola.
Familiar with the ways of the Curia, he has gained headlines
for trying to push back against the rise of Pentecostal churches
in Brazil.
But he has an aloof air and some say he lacks the gravitas
and charisma needed for the future pope.
Has said, on the rise of Pentecostalism, that there are
"lots of rumours that the Catholic Church is coming to an end.
No, the Catholic Church is alive and well".
JOAO BRAZ DE AVIZ (BRAZIL)
Archbishop of Brasilia, 65, this energetic pastor who
survived a robbery shoot-out as a young priest has gained
plaudits with his work for the poor and tried to reach out to
the breakaway liberals whose socially activist and allegedly
Marxist 'Liberation Theology' was repressed by Benedict. Not on
Twitter.
Studied at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian and Lateran
Universities and is credited with having admirers among the
Curia, although he was only made a cardinal last year.
But his bid has been weakened by a perceived failure to fight
off the rise of Pentecostalism in his native country.
Has said, about the storm whipped up by Liberation Theology,
that he "personally lived with a lot of anguish" and "came very
close to abandoning my priestly vocation and even the Church".
LEONARDO SANDRI (ARGENTINA)
Head of the Vatican department for Eastern Churches, 69,
this Argentinian with Italian parents, a polyglot who served as
the Vatican's chief-of-staff from 2000 to 2007, is also seen as
a bridge between the older and newer parts of the Church. An
advocate for boosting the role of women in the Church, he speaks
English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, but does not
tweet.
A skilled and popular diplomat, his record as
third-in-command under John Paul II, the most fondly remembered
pope for 40 years, gives him a strong status as well as enviable
experience in pulling strings in the Curia.
But he is seen as an intellectual lightweight compared to
his predecessors and has never been seen dealing with ordinary
Catholics on a day-to-day basis, as he has never been a bishop.
Has said, on women: "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".
OSCAR ANDRES RODRIGUEZ MARADIAGA (HONDURAS)
Archbishop of Teguciagalpa, 70, this former president of the
powerful federation of Latin American bishops CELAM is regarded
as a moderate who is perhaps best-known for his staunch defence
of the poor and his criticism of capitalism. Was also tipped for
the top job when Benedict became pope in 2005, but recently said
he felt "unsuitable for the post because it is implacable work,
without repose". He is a charismatic public speaker, but does
not tweet.
His support for ecumenical movements in Honduras and his
emphasis on the importance of social justice play well with
those who would like to see the Church take a more energetic
role in remedying society's inequality and the least attractive
aspects of global capitalism.
But he is said to be regarded as a liberal lightweight by
the dogmatic traditionalists who dominate the College of
Cardinals.
Has said, on the need to move social justice up the
Vatican's priorities rankings: "Justice will have to be the
agenda for the 21st century in all the countries of Latin
America. Many times justice only comes for people who are rich.
The poor have no right to have justice".

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