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Latin America would like a Latin pope, odds slim

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 11, 2013 at 6:22 p.m.

— Latin America is home to the world’s biggest Roman Catholic population, but chances seem slim that the next pope will come from the region.

Names of high-ranking churchmen from Latin American countries have been bandied about, but most members of the College of Cardinals are from Europe.

The college will elect a successor for the 85-year-old Pope Benedict VXI, who announced Monday he will resign because of age.

Brazilian Cardinals Joao Braz de Aviz and Odilo Pedro Scherer, and Argentines Leonardo Sandri and Jorge Mario Bergoglio have been mentioned as possible contenders.

About 40 percent of the world’s Catholics live in Latin America. But the church also faces challenges from evangelical faiths in the region.

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