TORONTO (AP) - Cardinal Marc Ouellet once said that being pope "would be a nightmare." He would know, having enjoyed the confidence of two popes as a top-ranked Vatican insider.
His high-profile position as head of the Vatican's office for bishops, his conservative leanings, his years in Latin America and his work in Rome as president of a key commission for Latin America all make him a favorite to become the first pontiff from the Americas.
But the qualities that make him popular in Latin America - home to the world's biggest Catholic population - and among the cardinals who elect the pope have contributed to his poor image in his native Quebec, where ironically he was perceived during his tenure as archbishop as an outsider parachuted in from Rome to reorder his liberal province along conservative lines.
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