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Cardinals start to winnow down papal candidates lists

* Many cardinals have general idea of preferred men * Cardinal says journalists' lists better than in 2005 * About a dozen names most frequently mentioned for pope By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor VATICAN CITY, March 1 (Reuters) - Narrowing down lists of about a dozen potential popes to a handful of serious hopefuls will be one of the main tasks of the closed-door meetings that Catholic cardinals begin on Monday.

Posters promoting African pope appear in Rome

ROME, March 1 (Reuters) - Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana is not "running" for pope but he clearly has supporters who think enough of him that they have plastered posters with his picture around Rome. "Vote Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson at the conclave!," was written in bold on posters above a photograph of the cardinal, a favourite among bookmakers to succeed Benedict, who on Thursday became the first pope in six centuries to resign.

Race for the papacy: Vatican's top job up for grabs

Dozens of cardinals are eligible to become the next pope, but only a few are considered pontiff material, or "papabile". The successor to Benedict XVI, who resigns on Thursday, will be elected by a conclave in the Sistine Chapel next month where 115 cardinals from around the world are expected. Following are some of the top contenders to become the next head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics: EUROPE ANGELO SCOLA

African pope would be "quite some miracle" - Ghana archbishop

* Cape Coast archbishop sees "perceptions" affecting election * Ghanaian cardinal is seen as a candidate to succeed Benedict By Sarah Mills CAPE COAST, Ghana, Feb 13 (Reuters) - A black African pope to succeed Pope Benedict would be "quite some miracle", a leading archbishop from Ghana said, adding that a developing world candidate might have to overcome negative perceptions within the Catholic hierarchy.

Africa's top candidate for pope seen as a peacemaker

Ghana's Peter Turkson, seen by some as Africa's top candidate to become the next pope, has served as a peacemaker and left what his supporters call a lasting impact on his nation's development. The 64-year-old cardinal and head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is considered progressive by some supporters, and his mediation during a tight Ghanaian election in 2008 has won him high praise.

Race for the papacy: Vatican's top job up for grabs

Dozens of candidates are vying for the Vatican's top job, which will be chosen by a conclave of cardinals in March in the Sistine Chapel. Following are some of the top contenders tipped to be the head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics: EUROPE ANGELO SCOLA The 72-year-old Archbishop of Milan is the top Italian candidate. He is a keen promoter of inter-religious dialogue, particularly between Muslims and Christians. He is also an expert on bioethics, an issue on which Church teachings are currently lagging behind scientific advances.

Benedict's resignation renews calls for an African pope

Pope Benedict XVI's resignation has sparked calls for his successor to come from Africa, home to the world's fastest-growing population and the front line of key issues facing the Roman Catholic Church. Around 15 percent of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics live in Africa and the percentage has expanded significantly in recent years in comparison to other parts of the world. Much of the Catholic Church's recent growth has come in the developing world, with the most rapid expansions in Africa and Southeast Asia.
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