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October 21, 2003
Marc Ouellet of Canada serves as prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, essentially the Vatican's chief of staff. He is also president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. Ouellet spent most of his religious career as a professor in Canadian seminaries and was primate of Canada when John Paul II elevated him to the cardinalate a decade ago. Ouellet, 68, has been critical of what he suggests has been an overly liberal interpretation of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which he says has led to many Catholics drifting from core tenets of their faith. His name surfaced as a long-shot possibility to succeed John Paul II in 2005, and is seen as having moved up in the list of papal contenders. He is multilingual and spent years in missionary work in South America.