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.
A much-talked about candidate, Cardinal Peter Kodwao Appiah Turkson, 64, is seen as one of Africa's most charismatic church leaders. Currently the president of the Vatican office for Justice and Peace, he is also considered a Vatican insider. Turkson studied at a seminary in the United States. He has, however, caused controversy for his endorsement of a "world political authority" to regulate the economy as well as for showing a video at a Vatican conference last year about Muslim immigration in Europe, considered by some to be extremist.
In this photograph, Cardinal Turkson arrives for an afternoon meeting of pre-conclave at the Vatican, March 8, 2013.
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Newly appointed Cardinal Turkson salutes his compatriots after the ordination ceremony celebrated by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter square, October 21, 2003 at the Vatican.
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Cardinal Turkson receives his red hat from Pope John Paul II in the Vatican, Oct. 21, 2003.
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Cardinal Turkson attends a Mass led by Pope Benedict XVI for Ash Wednesday, opening Lent, the 40-day period of abstinence and deprivation for Christians, before Holy Week and Easter, Feb. 13, 2013 at St Peter's basilica at the Vatican.
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A fake electoral placard showing Cardinal Turkson, seen by some as Africa's top candidate to become the next pope and reading "during the conclave, vote Turkson" is displayed in front of the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica in Rome, March 1, 2013 in Rome.
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Cardinal Turkson arrives at the Paul VI hall for the opening of the Cardinals' Congregations in Vatican City, March 4, 2013.
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Cardinal Turkson, Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, Archbishop Celestino Migliore and Cardinal Francis George pose for a picture after the DePaul University symposium in Chicago, Ill., April 21, 2010.
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Cardinal Turkson (C) gives the sign of peace to another cardinal during a Mass led by Pope Benedict XVI for Ash Wednesday, opening Lent, the 40-day period of abstinence and deprivation for Christians, before Holy Week and Easter, Feb. 13, 2013 at St Peter's basilica at the Vatican.