There are no official candidates in the election for pope, which will begin when 115 cardinal electors file into the Sistine Chapel for their conclave on Tuesday.
The cardinals will stay in the conclave, cut off from the outside world, until they elect a successor to Pope Benedict. Conclaves usually last about three days.
Several names are frequently mentioned in Rome as “papabile” (potential popes). This list of the names most often cited is alphabetical, not in order of their chances.
- Joao Braz de Aviz (Brazil, 65) brought fresh air to the Vatican department for religious congregations when he took over in 2011. He supports the preference for the poor in Latin America’s liberation theology, but not the excesses of some of its advocates. Possible drawbacks include his low profile.