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If Tettamanzi is not the Italian choice, ANGELO CARDINAL SCOLA, 63, could be. The Patriarch of Venice is a conservative who formerly headed the Vatican's Institute on Marriage and Family, where he was an incisive voice for John Paul's firm views on sexual morality. He is also seen as a smart, worldly pastor. He has one subtle strike against him: he is, for a potential Pope, young--and this is probably not a good time to be so. Father Richard McBrien, former chairman of the department of theology at the University of Notre Dame, told TIME, when John Paul II began to appear frail, "The next Pope will be an Italian Cardinal in his 70s. The Cardinals don't want another long-term Pope." If McBrien is right, the dark-horse candidacy of Genoa's TARCISIO CARDINAL BERTONE, 70, a well-liked pastor with a quirky charisma who used to serve as Ratzinger's deputy in the Vatican's doctrinal office, has improved. For that matter, the Cardinals, in reaction to John Paul's long tenure, could simply decide not to decide and name either Ratzinger, who is 77, or Ruini, 74, as Pope. There is scuttlebutt in Rome of this happening: the ascension of what is, in effect, an interim Pontiff who would for a few years carry out John Paul II's mandate while the church takes a deep breath and decides where it really wants to head next.
Beyond Ratzinger, other non-Italian candidates are thick on the ground. The church is booming in the Third World, and some 40% of the Cardinals who will elect the next Pope are from developing nations. Because of this, there are several Latin American Cardinals whose candidacies range from reasonable to viable. JORGE MARIO CARDINAL BERGOGLIO, 68, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, is an extremely humble Jesuit who will do nothing to campaign for the papacy but who might emerge as a correct, holy choice. CLAUDIO CARDINAL HUMMES, 70, Archbishop of the 6 million-strong Sao Paulo, Brazil, diocese, is an equally soft-spoken Franciscan conservative who has long fought for the poor. By contrast with the borderline-shy South Americans, OSCAR ANDRES CARDINAL RODRIGUEZ MARADIAGA, 62, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is passionate and telegenic. He could ably succeed John Paul as a high-profile Pope. Already he has campaigned for Third World debt relief alongside U2's Bono. Among Rodríguez Maradiaga's many talents: he can explain his moderate philosophies in eight languages, play the piano and fly a plane.