Cardinals hold final talks before conclave begins

8:42 PM, Mar 11, 2013   |    comments
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(AP image)

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- On the eve of their conclave to elect the next pope, Roman Catholic cardinals are offering widely differing views of what they want in a pope.

Cardinals held their final closed-door debate today over whether the church needs more of a manager to clean up the Vatican's bureaucratic mess or a pastor to inspire the 1.2 billion faithful in times of crisis. Not all cardinals had a chance to speak, suggesting there's still unfinished business going into the first round of voting.

There is no clear front-runner and no sense that a single man has what it takes to fix the church's many problems.

However, speculation has begun to focus on Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola and Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer. Scola is as favored by cardinals hoping to shake up the Vatican bureaucracy. Scherer is a favorite of Vatican-based insiders who want to maintain the status quo.

Cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday, and there's no indication how long voting will last.

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