Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign on February 28.
The first resignation of a Pope in 600 years will no doubt have reverberations across the Catholic Church, and speculation of who will be his successor is already surging. A frontrunner for the highest Catholic position, though, may be someone in the Vatican's own backyard.
Global Vatican watchers have tipped Milan Cardinal Angelo Scola as favorite to succeed Benedict.
I guess yet another Italian pope is just what the Catholic Church needs.
Pope Benedict XVI's successor will be named in March, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Monday after the pope's shock announcement he was quitting February 28, ANSA reported.
"There will be a new pope in March" Father Lombardi said.
So who who is Scola.
1. After the death of Pope John Paul II in 2005, Scola was considered to be among the papabili in the 2005 papal conclave. Sr?a Trifkovi? supported him vigorously in Chronicles because he saw him as the only man who might reverse what Vatican insiders see as the decay of European culture. The conclave elected Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI.
2. Scola is the author of numerous theological and pedagogical works on topics such as bio-medical ethics, theological anthropology, human sexuality and marriage and the family, which have been translated into several different languages. In addition, he is the author of more than 120 articles published in scholarly journals of philosophy and theology.
3. He founded the Studium Generale Marcianum, an academic institute, and the journal Oasis, published in Italian, English, French, Arabic and Urdu as an outreach to Christians in the Muslim world.
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana and Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras are also in the frame, the world media said.