Local woman has family ties to Pope candidate

Since Pope Benedict XVI made the shocking announcement that he'll retire at the end of the month, rumors have swirled about his possible successor.

On the long list of Cardinals who could be picked as the next pope is one LaPorte woman's uncle, Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico.

"I admire him and for the Catholic church, only God knows who is going to become the Pope," said Tely Rivera. "We just pray for it to be the best Pope. If it's my uncle, I'll be more than happy."

Rivera says her uncle has always remained close to his family; she visits him in Mexico twice a year.

And during those visits, she's always amazed by his intelligence and compassion.

"He's a very smart man," she said. "If he'd meet you today and you see him two years later, he's going to remember you and everything you talk about."

Rivera says it's those qualities that would make her uncle a great Pope.

Carrera was close with Pope John Paul II and shares many of the same conservative views as Benedict.

Betting website PaddyPower.com gives him a one in 40 chance of being selected.

Others who are reportedly in the running include Angelo Scola of Italy, Peter Turkson of Ghana, Marc Ouellet of Canada and Francis Arinze of Nigeria and Christoph Schoenborn of Austria

Cardinals could gather as soon as March to select Benedict's successor.

And, while Rivera says she'll be happy with whoever the Cardinals chose as Pope, she thinks her uncle is a great man for the job.

"He knows how to handle very situation in life, so I have no doubt at all he will be a wonderful Pope," she said. "But, only God knows."


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