NPR Story
2:23 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Could The Next Pope Come From Latin America?

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — As Catholics wonder who will be the next Pope, many are also speculating that he might make history and come from Latin America.

After nearly eight years of leading the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI will step down at the end of the month.

The Papal vacancy is leaving many questioning if his replacement will be non-European.

San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, who was appointed by Benedict, says talk of a Pope from outside of Europe has been discussed since the death of Pope John Paul II.

And 40 percent of all Catholics live in Latin America.

"It's true that the Church in Latin America, and Africa, and Asia is growing in many ways and that there are, particularly in Latin America, many, many Catholics, but the Lord will provide the church with someone that is wise and that is with the talents to face the issues of the world today and for the years to come," Garcia-Siller said.

The names of African and Latin American cardinals have been suggested including Peter Turkson of Ghana or Joao Braz de Aviz of Brazil.

However, the selection process will not begin until March.

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