A Look At The Contenders For Pope

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(KPLR) - Rome is abuzz with speculation about which cardinal may win enough support from his counterparts to be elected pope.  Unlike American politics, cardinals don't campaign.  Still, certain names keep coming up.

Cardinal Angelo Scola is a favorite. He is the archbishop of Milan, Italy which was Pope Paul VI'S position.  Another cardinal in the running is Cardinal Odilo Scherer, the Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil He is respected for his piety and leads the largest diocese in the world's largest catholic country.

If neither can garner a two-thirds majority vote the cardinals may see it as a sign that neither is God's choice and drop both, just like the conclave did in 1978 when Pope John Paul the Second emerged as the surprise choice.

That would open the door to candidates like Canadian cardinal Marc Oulette. He is the head of the congregation that decides who becomes a bishop.

And this is the first time Americans have even been mentioned.   The two big names: Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, known as taking a hard-line on addressing the sex abuse scandal  And St. Louis native Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York who has a unique combination of church conservatism and charisma.

Dolan Tuesday joked with reporters saying, "I'm ready to go home.  I've run out of socks."

CNN Vatican analyst John Allen said, "One of the bits of drama about a conclave is that the Catholic Church is usually a highly scripted, totally predictable enterprise.  You know exactly what is going to happen and you know when, but with the conclave all bets are off."

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