In picking the next pope, Catholic population doesn’t equal power

African and Latin American Growth in the Catholic Population Raises Questions About Pope’s Successor

CNN Belief Blog

By Eric Marrapodi and Dan Merica, CNN

(CNN) – Despite calls for a new pope from Latin America or Africa, the areas of the Catholic Church experiencing the most rapid growth, the power in the College of Cardinals is decidedly European.

The rapid growth of the Catholic population in Latin America and Africa has not yet led to a proportional balancing of the College of Cardinals.  The makeup of the college skews overwhelmingly European, while the majority of the congregants are increasingly not European.

“It (the College of Cardinals) doesn’t reflect the population, it reflects the power structure,” said William D’Antonio, a professor at The Catholic University of America. “It is like a corporation. The corporation picks its own board of directors. You might own some stock in it, but you are really fighting a battle against a corporation here.”

Dubbed the “princes of the church,” the cardinals’ main…

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