He has recently appointed 31 new cardinals, mostly with clearly declared conservative views—particularly on those principles that he holds dear. Only one cardinal resides in the United States.
Some observers think one of these newly appointed cardinals could be the first black pope. Apparently Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria is being seriously considered for the top papal role. According to Times correspondent Richard Owen, reporting from Rome, some in the college of cardinals are leaning to an African in preference to a Latin American candidate.
Pope John Paul II has certainly been a very active Polish pope, putting his personal stamp on the Vatican. The world waits to see who his successor will be. And those with insight into biblical prophecy wonder if his coming reign will impact European and Middle Eastern events in a way that would propel us into the period heralding the second coming of Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation indicates that religion will play as important a role in fulfilling end-time Bible prophecies as world politics. (Sources: The Times [London], USA Today, Atlantic edition.)