All 115 cardinals will gather in the Vatican for the papal conclave this week and the list of possible candidates is long. Though any one of them could be the next pope, Vatican experts have identified a few potential favorites.
The former Archbishop of Quebec, who pronounces his name "Wellette," is a frontrunner on many lists. He would be an excellent compromise candidate between a European and a Latin American, since he is North American but with extensive work experience in Latin America and at the Vatican. Currently the head of the Vatican office for bishops, Ouellet, 68, is well-known to many of the cardinals and is considered an intellectual in the mold of Benedict XVI, which may work against him, especially as he has said being Pope, "would be a nightmare." His track record in Quebec is mixed, with some reports suggesting that he was not able to turn around declining faith in that part of the world and critics saying he has not done enough on questions of bishops' accountability for sex abuse cases.
In this photograph, Cardinal Ouellet burns incense during a Mass in celebration of The Pilgrimage of the Holy Robe at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Trier, Germany, April 13, 2012.