Brazil papal contender says birthplace, age not relevant in decision on next pope

A leading Latin American candidate to replace Pope Benedict XVI says neither birthplace nor age will play a role in determining who will be the next pontiff.

Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer is the 63-year-old leader of the Sao Paulo Archdiocese, one of the world's biggest.

He's been talked about as a dark horse contender to break Europe's hold on the papacy.

But Scherer says Wednesday that geography or even age will not play a role in determining the next pope.

He says he and the more than 100 other Cardinals who will meet at the Vatican next month to decide who will be the pope will make the decision based on who is best prepared to lead the Church at this moment, regardless of birthplace.