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Papal Politics - World

2y ago
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February 2005 Will the next Pope be African? Following the Pope's death, speculation is growing about who will replace him. We profile the two leading candidates. From his humble upbringing in Nigeria, Francis Arinze has risen to dizzy heights in the Vatican. "I certainly think that he could be Pope," declares journalist Gerald O'Connell. If elected, he's widely expected to combat the growing competition Islam poses by recruiting new followers in the third world. But traditionalists believe the Church should consolidate its position in the Western World, instead of electing a black Pope and switching its focus to Africa. "There is a very, very real challenge for the faith here in Europe, which traditionally has been the intellectual and spiritual motor of the Church," laments Cardinal George Pell. Their preferred candidate is Angelo Scola, who would re-engage Europe's young. However, both candidates share the same conservative values. Pope Jean Paul II has created a College of Cardinals in his own image, leaving little possibility of the next Pontiff being liberal. And that's something worrying many observers. "If you ask the general public what are the big issues facing the church, they name things like abortion," states Vatican observer John Allen. "But inside the College of Cardinals, there isn't much disagreement on those issues." Produced by ABC Australia Distributed by Journeyman Pictures