Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the SacramentsThe Upside: An African or Latin pope seems to be a popular choice (to bring attention to the issues surrounding those parts of the world). He's spend the last 20 years in the Vatican, and at 72 he's about the perfect age. Loves soccer, is a leader in interfaith discussion.
The Downside: I would say he's a traditionalist; most westerners would call him "out of touch."
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos AiresThe Upside: Again, one of the representatives of a large Latin American community.
The Downside: Hard to find material on him that's in english.
Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Archbishop of Mechelen-BrusselsThe Upside: Has "God" in his first name. Considered by some to be a close second in the running; this could give him the papacy as a "compromise" candidate.
The Downside: Apparently, he needs to fix the "N" and "E" keys on his keyboard.
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for ClergyThe Upside: 75 years old. From Colombia, he is another Latin American candidate.
The Downside: Huge supporter of The Passion of The Christ, which may not go over well in Jewish circles.
Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian UnityThe Upside: 72. Very active in Catholic-Jewish relations and inter-Christian relations.
The Downside: Well, if you're Cardinal Ratzinger, you're not a big fan, as the two have argued back and forth in their publications for the past decade and a half.
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archbishop of ParisThe Upside: Working hard to make religion "fashionable" again in France. At 78, he'd be perfect if the Cardinals were just looking for a stopgap until a better candidate comes available. Of course, that was the plan with John XXXII....
The Downside: Born to Jewish parents, he converted to Catholicism at age 14 (after they were killed at a concentration camp), but "I was born a Jew and so I am." Supposedly, the naming of a "Second Jewish Pope" (the first one was named Peter - you may have heard of him) is a sign of the End of Days.
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of TegucigalpaThe Upside: President of CELAM, the federation of Latin American bishops. If that's not a stepping stone to this papacy, I don't know what is. Strong defender of the poor, but his defense at times includes criticism of capitalism.
The Downside: Only 62. Also, do you know how fun it is to say "Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa"? Do you want to give that up?
Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, Archbishop of Durban (South Africa)The Upside: Head of the SACBC, which I'm assuming stands for the South Africa Catholic Bishops Council. A vote for this guy is a vote for human rights in Africa. Interesting notes: Is an Irish Franciscan, former cricket player, and Internet enthusiast. Enjoys CCR, Neil Diamond, and Paul Simon.
The Downside: Downside? Did you see the part about CCR?
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, Archbishop of ViennaThe Upside: Big-time author. Born in the Czech Republic, which is almost as cool as Slovakia.
The Downside: At age 60, he is the youngest candidate listed by the New York Times.
Cardinal Angelo Scola, Patriarch of VeniceThe Upside: Spent 1995-2002 in Rome.
The Downside: Only 63.
Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop of MilanThe Upside: 71 years old. Allegedly, he is the odds-on favorite of the bookmakers. Milan is one of the world's largest Dioceses, with 5 million members.
The Downside: Maybe a little too Italian - doesn't travel much and doesn't know too many languages. That's trouble in today's diverse yet connected world.
Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, PeruThe Upside: An engineer who once played for the national basketball team. Played a key role in a hostage crisis with Maoist gorillas.
The Downside: Only 61.
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, FranceThe Upside: Speaks French, English, Spanish, Italian - impressive, but he's no JPII.
The Downside: Turned 62 on April 5.
Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania)The Upside: Passionate evangelical, could make the Church in Africa even stronger.
The Downside: Only 60. Maybe next time, kid.
Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Vrhbosna (Sarajevo)The Upside: Comes from a corner of the world where Catholics aren't well liked - he could be a positive, if he strives for peace, or a negative, if he starts speaking against the Muslim (and other relgions) who aren't coexisting with the Catholics in Sarajevo.
The Downside: 59. Wasn't a big fan of the American action in the former Yugoslavia.
Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb (Croatia)The Upside: Another guy from a war-torn part of the world. A three-month papacy shouldn't be a worry here.
The Downside: 56. He's only been a cardinal for a year and a half.
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples/Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urban UniversityThe Upside: Dave would be very fired up that a relative of his former RA would now be pope.
The Downside: 61. Non-Catholics would not be happy if a guy with "Evangelization of Peoples" in his title took power.
Stan Musial, Cardinal (retired)The Upside: "The Man" is considered one of baseball's all-time good guys. The (Arch)Diocese of St Louis is already in his corner.
The Downside: At 84, he may be a little older than what the conclave is looking for.
Dennis Brown, Software EngineerThe Upside: Baptized adult Catholic male, actively running for pope. Ranks high on a Google search for 'who will be the next pope.'
The Downside: "Progressive" views may not be seen well by a College of Cardinals comprised mainly of John Paul II appointees.
William Foley II, aka Isreal daGoiThe Upside: Actively running for pope.
The Downside: Not quite Catholic. Technically not a problem if he agrees to convert, but I doubt he realizes this.
Ed Griffin, former priestThe Upside: Declared candidacy. Has a platform.
The Downside: It's a little more "Western Hemisphere populism" than "Catholic morality."
Mike PainterThe Upside: Declared candidacy.
The Downside: Declared it on Usenet, which nobody actually uses anymore.
Rachel Wittington, studentThe Upside: Actively running for pope.
The Downside: Hey, I don't make the rules, but she is a girl. Plus, if you want to be serious, you have to do better than an Angelfire website.
Avery Ant, insectThe Upside: From his website: "Why the hell not? I can speak Pig Latin, I’ll kick antichrist ass, I already own a Pope Costume, I’m a total stud, I’m fun-loving and quirky, and I really think the Lord would be cool with it. And let’s be honest, I'm better than Satan... Or am I?"
The Downside: See above. Also, he's an ant.
Fr. John I. Jenkins, CSCThe Upside: Catholic priest; not afraid to make a controversial decision.
The Downside: A little young; already has a good job.
Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, CSCThe Upside: Catholic priest; leader of the Civil Rights movement; great national respect. One of those in the "most amazing man I've ever met" category.
The Downside: The conclave wants an older priest, but 87 is pushing it.
Mary Pope Osborne, writerThe Upside: One of the first non-JPII results on a Google search for "pope." Writes children's books.
The Downside: Again the female thing. Also, may not be Catholic.
Fr. Bill Seetch, CSCThe Upside: Catholic priest. And heck, he already shows up everywhere anyways.
The Downside: May be a little too young.
Jack Palance, actor/former Stanford CardinalThe Upside: Has a captivating way of speaking.
The Downside: Already 85, plus it's hard to look at him without thinking about aftershave commercials.
Bobby Petrino, Louisville Cardinals head football coachThe Upside: A proven leader of young people
The Downside: Already said he isn't going anywhere.
Lou Holtz, retiredThe Upside: Deeply devoted to "Our Lady." About the perfect age.
The Downside: Do pregame fights as a football coach equate to the return of the Crusades as a pope?