Who is Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer?
Who he is: Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer is the Archbishop of São Paulo and a top contender to be the next pope after the resignation of Benedict XVI. He would become the first Brazilian pope in history.
His origins: Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer was born September 21, 1949 Cerro Largo, Rio Grande do Sul, an area of Brazil populated by many Germans. After studying in seminaries in Brazil and Rome, Scherer was ordained as a priest in 1976.
His career track: Scherer taught theology and philosophy as a professor for a couple of decades before becoming bishop of São Paulo in 2001. Six years later, he rose to Archbishop and then was made cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI. Scherer hosted the pope during a trip to Brazil in May 2007.
His beliefs: Unlike many of the other papabili — pope candidates — Scherer is considered a moderate. While he is a staunch opponent of abortion, he also focuses on poverty and social injustice. The relatively young 63-year-old cardinal has also embraced the very modern use of Twitter (you can follow him at DomOdiloScherer).
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Why he might be Pope: Many papal experts are predicting that Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer may be elected pope due to the rising influence of the Latin American branch of the Catholic church. Brazil is the largest Catholic country with over 6 million believers.
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