Who he is: Cardinal Peter Erdo of Hungary is a serious contender to become the next pope, succeeding Benedict XVI, despite his relatively youthful age of 60.
His origins: Cardinal Erdo is the Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and the Primate of Hungary. He was born in Budapest on June 25, 1952. He studied at his local seminary as well as the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.
His career track: Since becoming ordained in in 1975, Erdo has experienced a fast rise in the ranks of the Catholic church. He began as a canonical lawyer, then was consecrated bishop of Székesfehérvár in 1999 by Pope John Paul II himself. In 2002, he became Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and a cardinal just one year later. He was youngest cardinal to participate in Pope Benedict XVI’s conclave.
His beliefs: Cardinal Erdo is a conservative, but an inclusive one. He has made efforts to reach out to Orthodox Jews in his country, as well as forming relationships with bishops in Africa and the developing world.
Why he might be pope: Despite his youth, Cardinal Peter Erdo may have significant support from European cardinals as the head of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.