Cardinal Marc Ouellethttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n7.jpg
Cardinal Marc Ouellet pictured in University College Dublin church during the Eucharistic Congress 2012. The 68-year-old Canadian and former archbishop of Quebec is head of the Vatican’s office for bishops. Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography
Cardinal Marc Ouellethttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n5.jpg
President Michael D Higgins greets Cardinal Marc Ouellet with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the papal nuncio to Ireland, Monsignor Charles John Brown at Aras an Uachtarain last year. Photograph: Eric Luke /The Irish Times.
Cardinal Timothy Dolanhttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n4.jpg
Cardinal Timothy Dolan on NBC News' s Today show this month. The 62-year-old Cardinal Archbishop of New York has Irish connections – links beyond his surname. As Archbishop of New York, he was a member of the apostolic visitation to Ireland announced by Benedict in March 2010 in response to the Ryan and Murphy reports on clerical sexual abuse of children in 2009. Photograph: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire/ Reuters
Cardinal Odilo Schererhttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n2.jpg
Archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Cardinal Odilo Scherer, is the leading cardinal in the world’s most populous Catholic nation and is frequently tipped to become the first non-European pope. Photograph: Arquidiocese de Sao Paulo/Reuters
Cardinal Peter Turksonhttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n3.jpg
Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana is a Vatican insider but his appointment as pope would nonetheless break new ground for he is both African and black. Photograph: DePaul University/Getty Images
Cardinal Francis Arinzehttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n8.jpg
If Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria was elected he would become the first African pope in history. He was sent to an Irish missionary school and was ordained in 1958. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters
Cardinal Joao Braz de Avizhttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n161.gif
Brazilian cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz (Brazil, 65) brought fresh air to the Vatican department for religious congregations when he took over in 2011. He supports the preference for the poor in Latin America's liberation theology, but not the excesses of its advocates. Possible drawbacks include his low profile. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
Cardinal Leonardo Sandrihttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n15.gif
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri is the man who announced the death of Pope John Paul II.Today, Cardinal Sandri (69), of Argentina, is prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Oriental Churches. He was appointed a cardinal in 2007. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
Cardinal Luis Antonio Taglehttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n10.jpg
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (55) is de facto primate of the Philippines and became a cardinal in November 2012.
An Irish Pope? Cardinal Seán Bradyhttp://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/gallery/files/2013/02/n12.jpg
The Catholic Primate of All-Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady (73) has indicated that he does not consider himself a possible successor to Pope Benedict XVI. Asked what his response would be were he prevailed upon to be next pope, Cardinal Brady replied: 'I don’t think that eventuality is likely to arise.'