Francis Arinze of Nigeria was considered a strong possibility to succeed Pope John Paul II in 2005 and has emerged again in the speculation over who will follow Benedict XVI. A former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, he served as a key advisor to John Paul and succeeded Benedict as cardinal bishop of Velletri-Segni in 2005. Arinze became the youngest bishop in the world in 1965 when he was ordained and assigned to prepare to become archbishop of Onitsha, a post he assumed two years later. Now 80, Arinze may be considered too old to head the Vatican, especially in the wake of Benedict's short tenure.
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