Catholicism is rapidly expanding in Africa, Latin America and Asia, but will the next Pope hail from one of these regions? According to the Pew Research Forum, Brazil currently has the largest Catholic population in the world—more than Italy, France, and Spain combined. Mexico ranks second and the Philippines comes in third.
A 2004 study by the Population Research Bureau projected that by 2050, the Catholic population will rise by 145% in Africa, 62% in Asia and 42% in Latin America and the Caribbean. In Europe, they estimate the Catholic population will have shrunk by 5.5%.
Alex Wagner spoke Monday with Hardball’s Chris Matthews, E.J. Dionne and the NOW panel about who will replace Pope Benedict XVI and whether a Ghanaian candidate might head the Catholic Church.