Brazil holds out hope for homegrown pope

AP News
Posted: Mar 13, 2013 9:17 AM

TOLEDO, Brazil (AP) — Roman Catholics across Brazil are cautiously holding out hope one of their own will be the next pope.

No nation has more Catholics than Brazil, where about 124 million people are of that faith.

Cardinal Odilo Scherer appears to be Brazil's best hope of having a pope. He's cited by many Vatican watchers as a front runner to replace Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned last month.

As Catholic cardinals continue voting Wednesday to choose the next pope, many faithful across Brazil are hoping for a Brazilian papacy to reinvigorate the religion.

The percentage of Brazilians who say they're Catholic has been sharply dropping in the past two decades. People are leaving religion completely or joining Pentecostal churches.