That said, I hope the next Pontiff is a non European. The Church is most vibrant in Africa and Asia. I'd like to see one of the bright lights leading the Church in those places ascend to the Throne of Peter...but the Holy Spirit isn't looking for guidance from me either.
That's what they kept saying when Cardinal Ratzinger was considered the "odds on favorite" -- he won't be picked because the Cardinals NEVER go with the front-runner, and there would be backlash because Ratzinger was JPII's right hand man and already doing the day-to-day duties. "He who enters the conclave as Pope, exits a Cardinal"
I agree completely.
This Pope will need to have broad shoulders and be able to speak the Truth with joy in times of great peril.