|Cardinal Scola, seen her with ex-Pope Benedict XVI in early February, has emerged as the putative front runner (Image: NPR)|
After four days of discussions and six General Congregations, the groups and the strongest "papabili" are emerging more clearly in the meeting room but even more so in the face to face talks taking place away from prying eyes. Among them is the Archbishop of Milan, Angelo Scola, who is coming to the fore.
He has been considered one of the possible candidates for the Papal Seat right from the beginning; the votes of several American cardinals and of other European cardinal electors, from Germany to Eastern Europe, as well as those of some Italians, could be cast for him. It is important to remember that thanks to the initiatives of the Oasis Foundation, the Milanese cardinal has interwoven relationships with Eastern Churches as well; for example, with the Lebanese Patriarch Bechara Rai.