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Brazil protesters hope for Pope's backing during visit

Young Brazilians who marched in June to demand more funding for health and education are hoping Pope Francis will back their cause when he visits Rio next week. But organizers ruled out a resumption of the street protests during the pontiff's week-long stay to attend World Youth Day (WYD), a major Catholic gathering expected to draw 1.5 million people.

Odilo Scherer: Brazil's top papal contender

As the Vatican prepares to elect a new pope, eyes have focused on Sao Paulo archbishop Odilo Scherer, a moderate conservative tipped as Latin America's top contender. Next month, the world's 117 "cardinal electors" are to meet in secret in the Sistine Chapel in Rome to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, who is to step down February 28 due to old age. Since his 2007 papal appointment, Scherer, 63, has led the largest archdiocese -- six million Catholics -- in the world's largest Catholic country.

Pope's nationality not key factor: Brazil prelate

Nationality and age should not be key factors in choosing who will succeed Benedict XVI, a Brazilian cardinal considered in the running to be the future pope said here Wednesday. Much more important will be the candidate's capacity to lead the Roman Catholic Church "at a time of great challenges," Sao Paulo archbishop Odilo Scherer told a press conference. "In the last papal election, the (nationality) issue was on the agenda, the possibility still exists. Now we could also have a pope from either Latin America, Africa, Asia, or Europe," he noted.
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