So who are the main candidates?

Lists vary, but Mr. Magister, a respected commentator, offers an interesting one: three Italians, three North Americans, and Luis Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, capital of the Philippines, Asia’s only majority-Catholic nation. He was elevated to cardinal last year in Rome.

In his mid-50s, Cardinal Tagle is popular at home, according to reports in the Philippine media. He’s considered humble, coming from a working-class family outside Manila, and is truly interested in charitable work. As the Inquirer.net wrote in a headline: “Philippine papal bet wants people power for Church.” In the article, one of Cardinal Tagle’s mentors, Father Rome Ner, was quoted as saying he possesses “remarkable empathy, as well as discipline and intellect.”

But is the archbishop of Manila a true “papabili,” or papal candidate?