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29 November 2014
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How the Church elects a new pope

Cardinal John Onaiyekan, 69, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria
22 February 2013, 9:00

Created a cardinal in the consistory of November 2012, he holds a master's degree in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute and a doctorate in biblical theology at the Pontifical Urban University. He served as a seminary rector and was appointed a bishop in 1982. He is a national hero in Nigeria having persuaded the country's military dictator, Olusegun Obasanjo, to hold democratic elections in 2007. However, his powers of persuasion were less evident in a debate in London in 2010 when, supporting the former Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe, he lost heavily in a debate against Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry on the question, 'Is the Catholic Church a force for good in the world?'