Students predict who will become next pope

HOUSTON - Students at a Catholic school are eagerly waiting to find out who will become the next pope.

Sixth-graders at St. Vincent de Paul Junior High in southwest Houston have been learning about the process the cardinals use to choose a pope, and they've made their own picks.

Students said they've done their research. Claire Piczak said she picked Cardinal Leonardo Sandri from Argentina for a very specific reason.

"Because he wants more women to work in the Vatican," Claire said.

Shane Pisek said his choice for the next pope would make history.

"Peter Turkson, because there has never been an African pope," Shane said. "Catholicism is growing in Africa."

The most popular choice among the students is Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada.

"He's a young pope, which means he will probably have the job longer," student Allison Clark said. "He was once part of the Vatican, so he's had lots of experience with religion."

The new pope will need 77 votes to be elected – that's two-thirds of the cardinals plus one.

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