Now that Pope Benedict XVI is opting for an early retirement, the speculation over who will succeed him is bound to last until the announcement (which could be as soon as Easter). Many hope the next in line will represent the diverse world, now that 42 percent of the world's one billion Catholics come from Latin America and 15 percent are African. Top contendors are Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, a Canadian favorite of Benedict's; the Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson; Argentinian Cardinal Leonardo Sandril; and, for the first time, an American hopeful, Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Of course, this is one race where there are still no women allowed.
the old order Vincenzo Pinto/AFP, via Getty