Who'll be the next pope? Top candidates
After Pope Benedict XVI resigned Feb. 28, 2013, these cardinals in the Catholic Church have been reported by various media sources and papal experts as being possible candidates for the papacy.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Position: Archbishop of Buenos Aires
Why he's in the running: Rumored to have been the "runner-up" after the last conclave that elected Pope Benedict XVI, many cardinals may favor him throughout this conclave as well. Raised in Latin America with Italian roots, he brings his own presence to both worlds. Couple that with a mutual respect from Church liberals and conservatives alike, and Bergoglio could be a serious contender.
Position: Secretary of State, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, Archbishop emeritus of Genoa (Italy)
Why he's in the running: As Camerlengo, Bertone is currently running the Church until a new pope has been chosen. Bertone also served as Benedict's right-hand man, gaining valuable intimate knowledge about the papacy.
Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga
Position: Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, President of Caritas Internationalis
Why he's in the running: Named a cardinal when he was only 58, Maradiaga became an instant hit with the media, bringing a new attention to Latin America, an area that he has felt a personal dedication to improving and helping. Many think that his election as pope would help to spotlight the growth of Catholicism outside of Western world.
Position: Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni
Why he's in the running: For many years, Arinze headed the Vatican office that handles relations with all other religions except for Judaism. Since 2002, he has lead the office dealing with methods of divine worship. His experience with other religions, especially Islam, is widely seen as a driving factor in his eligibility for the papacy.
Position: Archbishop of Milan
Why he's in the running: A widely known theologian, he has written many books on an array of topics that surround Catholicism and was known to have been a favorite of Pope Benedict XVI.
Title: Archbishop of Vienna
Why he's in the running: If the conservative vote splits, he could be the hope of the more liberal wing, even though it would be another German-speaking pope.
Position: Argentine Cardinal
Why he's in the running: Having earned a doctorate in Cannonical Law, Sandri has distinguished himself in diplomatic roles for the Catholic Church, building a reputation for effective diplomacy with heads of state. He is most notably known for serving as spokesman for Pope John Paul II.
Position: Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
Why he's in the running: Working in the church's human resources department, Ouellet has played a major role in the vetting and nominating of bishops from around the world. His post has helped him to guide the tone and direction of the Church in recent years.
Position: Archbishop of Genoa and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference
Why he's in the running: Fluent in multiple languages, Bagnasco has twice been president of the Italian bishops’ conference.
Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
Position: President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
Why he's in the running: Elevated to the rank of president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace by Pope Benedict XVI