What are the chances for a Lebanese Pope?

So there’s 115 cardinal meeting at this moment to chose the next Pope,
The decision is made when a candidate gets 2/3 rd of the votes, the choice is probably based on interactions, theology, stance on certain subjects, etc…
but if it would be based on influence there’s no doubt the Lebanese cardinal would be a favorite to become a pope.
why? let’s examine the current situation worldwide,
But before let’s remember the role  Polish Pope Jean Paul II had in breaking communism, so to an extent JP2 had a political role not only a theological one.

  • What would the Election of a European Pope result => Nothing much.
  • The Election of an African Pope result => wave of joy in Africa & Black People worldwide, but that have been already experienced withe the election of U.S. President Obama => it will also create some problems for the church with the big conservative white portion of world population.
  • The Election of a Philippine Pope => no real influence on Asia, because the Pope Tagalog mother language is not widespread outside of the Philippines.
  • The Election of a South American Pope => no real influence on south America, because the continent is already a bastion of Christianity, and furthermore it will probably get the enthusiasm a world cup gets.
  • The Election of a Chinese Pope => might make the situation even more difficult for the Chinese Christians.
  • The Election of an Indian Pope => would with no doubt have a big influence on the Christianity in India.
  • The Election of an Arab Pope => if selecting a pope was a strategic decision, choosing an Arabic Pope at this time would be the best strategic decision, it should be either a Lebanese or an Egyptian Pope, a Lebanese would be a better choice, because the Lebanese Maronite Christians are a bigger percentage in the Lebanese Population than the Copts are, and Maronites are Catholics while Copts are mostly orthodox, furthermore the Lebanese dialect is easier to understand throughout the Arab World!

The Arab world have been through some historic events in the last few years, these events are rare, and the scale of these events in the Arab world are unique, if choosing a Pope is a strategic decision then choosing a Lebanese Pope at this time would be the best decision for the Catholic church, It will give the Catholic church more power to spread through the cracks of this destabilized region and countries, it will further rally millions of weakened Christians in the region.

Some more interesting facts:

  • Patriarch Rai was appointed cardinal less than six months ago, in November 2012.
  • The Pope’s last foreign visit was to Lebanon, where he signed the Apostolic Exhortation on the Middle East on Sep. 14, 2012.
  • Patriarch Rai was elected patriarch after his predecessor, Patriarch Sfeir, resigned. Both now reside at the same location.  The same situation might be repeated in the Vatican whereby he would be elected after the last pope’s resignation and the two would reside in the Vatican!
  • Rai, 73, was elected patriarch on Mar. 15, 2011, and the birthday of Pope Benedict XVI is on Mar. 25.


I am not Christian, the above analysis was made solely from a strategic point of view.

I am also Lebanese living abroad (one of the 7+million Lebanese living outside of Lebanon)

The actual voting process can be found below:

On the afternoon of the first day, one ballot may be held. If a ballot takes place on the afternoon of the first day and no-one is elected, or no ballot had taken place, four ballots are held on each successive day: two in each morning and two in each afternoon. Before voting in the morning and again before voting in the afternoon, the electors take an oath to obey the rules of the conclave. If no result is obtained after three vote days of balloting, the process is suspended for a maximum of one day for prayer and an address by the senior Cardinal Deacon. After seven further ballots, the process may again be similarly suspended, with the address now being delivered by the senior Cardinal Priest. If, after another seven ballots, no result is achieved, voting is suspended once more, the address being delivered by the senior Cardinal Bishop. After a further seven ballots, there shall be a day of prayer, reflection and dialogue. In the following ballots, only the two names who received the most votes in the last ballot shall be eligible in a runoff election. However, the two people who are being voted on, if Cardinal electors, shall not themselves have the right to vote.

Where are the 115 cardinals choosing the pope from:

No Name Date of Birth Country Office Rank
1 Giovanni Battista Re 30 January 1934  Italy Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops Cardinal-Bishop
2 Tarcisio Bertone 2 December 1934  Italy Secretary of State and Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church Cardinal-Bishop
3 Antonios Naguib 18 March 1935  Egypt Patriarch emeritus of Alexandria of the Copts Cardinal-Bishop/Patriarch
4 Béchara Boutros Raï 25 February 1940  Lebanon Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites Cardinal-Bishop/Patriarch
5 Godfried Danneels 4 June 1933  Belgium Archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels Cardinal-Priest
6 Joachim Meisner 25 December 1933  Germany Archbishop of Cologne Cardinal-Priest
7 Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez 31 October 1936  Dominican Republic Archbishop of Santo Domingo Cardinal-Priest
8 Roger Mahony 27 February 1936  United States Archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles Cardinal-Priest
9 Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino 18 October 1936  Cuba Archbishop of San Cristóbal de la Habana Cardinal-Priest
10 Jean-Claude Turcotte 26 June 1936  Canada Archbishop emeritus of Montreal Cardinal-Priest
11 Vinko Puljić 8 September 1945  Bosnia and Herzegovina Archbishop of Vrhbosna Cardinal-Priest
12 Juan Sandoval Íñiguez 28 March 1933  Mexico Archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara Cardinal-Priest
13 Antonio María Rouco Varela 24 August 1936  Spain Archbishop of Madrid Cardinal-Priest
14 Dionigi Tettamanzi 14 March 1934  Italy Archbishop emeritus of Milan Cardinal-Priest
15 Polycarp Pengo 5 August 1944  Tanzania Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam Cardinal-Priest
16 Christoph Schönborn 22 January 1945  Austria Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal-Priest
17 Norberto Rivera Carrera 6 June 1942  Mexico Archbishop of Mexico (City) Cardinal-Priest
18 Francis George 16 January 1937  United States Archbishop of Chicago Cardinal-Priest
19 Zenon Grocholewski 11 October 1939  Poland Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education Cardinal-Priest
20 Crescenzio Sepe 2 June 1943  Italy Archbishop of Naples Cardinal-Priest
21 Walter Kasper 5 March 1933  Germany President emeritus of Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Cardinal-Priest
22 Ivan Dias 14 April 1936  India Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples Cardinal-Priest
23 Geraldo Majella Agnelo 19 October 1933  Brazil Archbishop emeritus of São Salvador da Bahia Cardinal-Priest
24 Audrys Bačkis 1 February 1937  Lithuania Archbishop of Vilnius Cardinal-Priest
25 Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa 5 September 1933  Chile Archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile Cardinal-Priest
26 Julio Terrazas Sandoval 7 March 1936  Bolivia Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra Cardinal-Priest
27 Wilfrid Napier 8 March 1941  South Africa Archbishop of Durban Cardinal-Priest
28 Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga 29 December 1942  Honduras Archbishop of Tegucigalpa Cardinal-Priest
29 Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne 28 December 1943  Peru Archbishop of Lima Cardinal-Priest
30 Cláudio Hummes 8 August 1934  Brazil Prefect emeritus of Congregation for the Clergy Cardinal-Priest
31 Jorge Bergoglio 17 December 1936  Argentina Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal-Priest
32 José Policarpo 26 February 1936  Portugal Patriarch of Lisbon Cardinal-Priest
33 Severino Poletto 18 March 1933  Italy Archbishop emeritus of Turin Cardinal-Priest
34 Karl Lehmann 16 May 1936  Germany Bishop of Mainz Cardinal-Priest
35 Angelo Scola 7 November 1941  Italy Archbishop of Milan Cardinal-Priest
36 Anthony Olubunmi Okogie 16 June 1936  Nigeria Archbishop emeritus of Lagos Cardinal-Priest
37 Gabriel Zubeir Wako 27 February 1941  Sudan Archbishop of Khartoum Cardinal-Priest
38 Carlos Amigo Vallejo 23 August 1934  Spain Archbishop emeritus of Seville Cardinal-Priest
39 Justin Francis Rigali 19 April 1935  United States Archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia Cardinal-Priest
40 Ennio Antonelli 18 November 1936  Italy President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family Cardinal-Priest
41 Peter Turkson 11 October 1948  Ghana President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Cardinal-Priest
42 Telesphore Placidus Toppo 15 October 1939  India Archbishop of Ranchi Cardinal-Priest
43 George Pell 8 June 1941  Australia Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal-Priest
44 Josip Bozanić 20 March 1949  Croatia Archbishop of Zagreb Cardinal-Priest
45 Pham Minh Man 5 March 1934  Vietnam Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City Cardinal-Priest
46 Philippe Barbarin 17 October 1950  France Archbishop of Lyon Cardinal-Priest
47 Péter Erdő 25 June 1952  Hungary Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest Cardinal-Priest
48 Marc Ouellet 8 June 1944  Canada Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops Cardinal-Priest
49 Agostino Vallini 17 April 1940  Italy Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome Cardinal-Priest
50 Jorge Urosa 28 August 1942  Venezuela Archbishop of Caracas Cardinal-Priest
51 Jean-Pierre Ricard 25 September 1944  France Archbishop of Bordeaux Cardinal-Priest
52 Antonio Cañizares Llovera 15 October 1945  Spain Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments Cardinal-Priest
53 Seán Patrick O’Malley 29 June 1944  United States Archbishop of Boston Cardinal-Priest
54 Stanisław Dziwisz 27 April 1939  Poland Archbishop of Kraków Cardinal-Priest
55 Carlo Caffarra 1 June 1938  Italy Archbishop of Bologna Cardinal-Priest
56 Seán Brady 16 August 1939  Ireland
Northern Ireland
Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal-Priest
57 Lluís Martínez Sistach 29 April 1937  Spain Archbishop of Barcelona Cardinal-Priest
58 André Vingt-Trois 7 November 1942  France Archbishop of Paris Cardinal-Priest
59 Angelo Bagnasco 14 February 1943  Italy Archbishop of Genoa Cardinal-Priest
60 Théodore-Adrien Sarr 28 November 1936  Senegal Archbishop of Dakar Cardinal-Priest
61 Oswald Gracias 24 December 1944  India Archbishop of Bombay Cardinal-Priest
62 Francisco Robles Ortega 2 March 1949  Mexico Archbishop of Guadalajara Cardinal-Priest
63 Daniel DiNardo 23 May 1949  United States Archbishop of Galveston-Houston Cardinal-Priest
64 Odilo Scherer 21 September 1949  Brazil Archbishop of São Paulo Cardinal-Priest
65 John Njue 1944  Kenya Archbishop of Nairobi Cardinal-Priest
66 Raúl Eduardo Vela Chiriboga 1 January 1934  Ecuador Archbishop emeritus of Quito Cardinal-Priest
67 Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya 7 October 1939  Democratic Republic of the Congo Archbishopof Kinshasa Cardinal-Priest
68 Paolo Romeo 20 February 1938  Italy Archbishop of Palermo Cardinal-Priest
69 Donald Wuerl 12 November 1940  United States Archbishop of Washington Cardinal-Priest
70 Raymundo Damasceno Assis 15 February 1937  Brazil Archbishop of Aparecida Cardinal-Priest
71 Kazimierz Nycz 1 February 1950  Poland Archbishop of Warsaw Cardinal-Priest
72 Malcolm Ranjith 15 November 1947  Sri Lanka Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal-Priest
73 Reinhard Marx 21 September 1953  Germany Archbishop of Munich and Freising Cardinal-Priest
74 George Alencherry 19 April 1945  India Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly Cardinal-Priest
75 Thomas Christopher Collins 16 January 1947  Canada Archbishop of Toronto Cardinal-Priest
76 Dominik Duka 26 April 1943  Czech Republic Archbishop of Prague Cardinal-Priest
77 Wim Eijk 22 June 1953  Netherlands Archbishop of Utrecht Cardinal-Priest
78 Giuseppe Betori 25 February 1947  Italy Archbishop of Florence Cardinal-Priest
79 Timothy M. Dolan 6 February 1950  United States Archbishop of New York Cardinal-Priest
80 Rainer Woelki 18 August 1956  Germany Archbishop of Berlin Cardinal-Priest
81 John Tong Hon 31 July 1939  China Bishop of Hong Kong Cardinal-Priest
82 Baselios Cleemis 15 June 1959  India Major Archbishop of Trivandrum Cardinal-Priest
83 John Onaiyekan 29 January 1944  Nigeria Archbishop of Abuja Cardinal-Priest
84 Rubén Salazar Gómez 22 September 1942  Colombia Archbishop of Bogotá Cardinal-Priest
85 Luis Antonio Tagle 21 June 1957  Philippines Archbishop of Manila Cardinal-Priest
86 Jean-Louis Tauran 3 April 1943  France President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Cardinal-Deacon/Protodeacon
87 Attilio Nicora 16 March 1937  Italy President of Financial Information Authority Cardinal-Deacon
88 William Levada 15 June 1936  United States Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal-Deacon
89 Franc Rodé 23 September 1934  Slovenia Prefect emeritus of Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life Cardinal-Deacon
90 Leonardo Sandri 18 November 1943  Argentina Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches Cardinal-Deacon
91 Giovanni Lajolo 3 January 1935  Italy President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State Cardinal-Deacon
92 Paul Josef Cordes 5 September 1934  Germany President emeritus of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum Cardinal-Deacon
93 Angelo Comastri 17 September 1943  Italy Archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vicar General for the Vatican City State Cardinal-Deacon
94 Stanisław Ryłko 4 July 1945  Poland President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity Cardinal-Deacon
95 Raffaele Farina 24 September 1933  Italy Archivist and Librarian emeritus of the Holy Roman Church Cardinal-Deacon
96 Angelo Amato 8 June 1938  Italy Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints Cardinal-Deacon
97 Robert Sarah 15 June 1945  Guinea President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum Cardinal-Deacon
98 Francesco Monterisi 28 May 1934  Italy Archpriest Emeritus of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls Cardinal-Deacon
99 Raymond Leo Burke 30 June 1948  United States Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature Cardinal-Deacon
100 Kurt Koch 15 March 1950  Switzerland President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Cardinal-Deacon
101 Paolo Sardi 1 September 1934  Italy Cardinal Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Cardinal-Deacon
102 Mauro Piacenza 15 September 1944  Italy Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy Cardinal-Deacon
103 Velasio de Paolis 19 September 1935  Italy Pontifical Delegate for the administration of the Legionaries of Christ Cardinal-Deacon
104 Gianfranco Ravasi 18 October 1942  Italy President of the Pontifical Council for Culture Cardinal-Deacon
105 Fernando Filoni 15 April 1946  Italy Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples Cardinal-Deacon
106 Manuel Monteiro de Castro 29 March 1938  Portugal Major Penitentiary Cardinal-Deacon
107 Santos Abril y Castelló 21 September 1935  Spain Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore Cardinal-Deacon
108 Antonio Maria Vegliò 3 February 1938  Italy President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants Cardinal-Deacon
109 Giuseppe Bertello 1 October 1942  Italy President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State Cardinal-Deacon
110 Francesco Coccopalmerio 6 March 1938  Italy President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Cardinal-Deacon
111 João Braz de Aviz 24 April 1947  Brazil Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life Cardinal-Deacon
112 Edwin Frederick O’Brien 8 April 1939  United States Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem Cardinal-Deacon
113 Domenico Calcagno 3 February 1943  Italy President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See Cardinal-Deacon
114 Giuseppe Versaldi 30 July 1943  Italy President of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See Cardinal-Deacon
115 James Michael Harvey 20 October 1949  United States Archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls Cardinal-Deacon

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