Nigerian or Canadian tipped as next pope

2013-02-11 18:53

London - Francis Arinze of Nigeria, Peter Turkson of Ghana and Marc Ouellet of Canada were among the cardinals hotly tipped by bookmakers on Monday to take over from Pope Benedict XVI.

William Hill bookmakers named 80-year-old Arinze as their favourite to replace the pontiff following Monday's shock announcement of the pontiff's resignation with odds of 2-1, followed by Turkson at 5-2.

Coral also tipped Arinze as the likeliest successor with odds of 7-4, followed by Turkson at 2-1 and Ouellet in third place at 5-1.

The bookmaker also offered odds of 8-1 on Archbishop Angelo Scola of Italy and 10-1 on Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras.

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power named Ouellet as the favourite with odds of 5-2, followed by Arinze at 3-1 and Turkson at 4-1.

During the 2005 conclave of the Vatican's College of Cardinals that elected Benedict, Arinze was considered "papabileā€, or a potential successor to the late John Paul II.

"When we opened betting last time around, in 2005, Francis Arinze was our favourite," a William Hill spokesperson told AFP.

"His odds did drift towards the date of the announcement when Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) became the favourite, but he remained in the top three.

"Also, when Ratzinger became pope, Arinze took over from him as cardinal bishop of Velletri-Segni [a Catholic diocese close to Rome] - it could be that he'll follow in his footsteps again."

A quarter of the cardinals that can elect a new pope are Italian.

The last non-Italian pope before Benedict, who is German, and his Polish predecessor John Paul II was Adrian VI, who died in 1523.

Arinze and Turkson, the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace who is considered a progressive candidate, are among 18 Africans in the Vatican's College of Cardinals.

Ouellet, a respected theologian who heads up the world's bishops and is seen as a "modern conservative", has also been frequently named in Vatican circles as a possible successor to Benedict.

At the humorous end of the scale, Coral was offering 2000-1 on disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong becoming pope.

  • timothy.yerima - 2013-02-11 19:43

    May God grant our dear beloved Daddy, Cardinal Arinze FAVOR to become the next Pope, i am makig this suplication because nothing is impossible with you. Please confirm this prayer in Jesus namde, Amen.

      felixm.vilakati - 2013-02-11 19:58

      Cardinals over 80 years are not eligible for the candidacy of being the Bishop of Rome

      preshen.govender.3910 - 2013-02-12 08:15

      What do you call a Nigerian Transformer? optimus Crime

      lynnethbs - 2013-02-13 09:59

      his age disqualifies him to be the next pope

  • Leon Marais - 2013-02-11 20:02

    no more pous toasties, it's all bran.

  • MariaLuisaFranciolini - 2013-02-11 20:10

    True, but there is also Cardinal Peter Turkson that is younger. Catholic Churche in the past had alreadyAfrican Popes. They are the Saints Vittore i , Miltiades, Gelasius I, whose feast is celebrated on 11 January in North Africa. "The three bishops, originating in North Africa, elected to the papal throne, gave luster to the Church with holiness of life. Victor I (189-198) decreed one date for Easter. Miltiades (311-314) had the joy of seeing the recognition of freedom for the Church. Gelasius I (492-496) with faith and courage as he took on the difficult situation of the barbarian invasions, comforting the people, reorganizing the clergy, reaffirming the Church's authority in front of the imperial power. We Romans are still in shock waiting with curiosity to know who will be the new Pope and where he will came from . But anyway Italian or American or African is the same. We are all human and equal before God.

  • kennedy.mataruse - 2013-02-11 20:35

    im sure Vaticans or romanism is up to something,why?its because Benedict is a failure .how many scandals does romen catholic have during his tenure?kkkkkk .im sure they are upto something ie war or crusade so they want a strong hearted pontif

  • kennedy.mataruse - 2013-02-11 20:39

    what did history tell us about rome?who killed the protestents?how many were killed?with the authority from who?so Rome nomater you appoint a pope from where even from Saudi Arabia,he will follow his predissessors.kill and influences in world wars period.

      barack.ofama.3 - 2013-02-11 21:11

      Can u refrain from including The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia frm this nonsense

  • chaze.damonze - 2013-02-11 21:46

    Gonna have cocaine in the communion if a certain 1 becomes pope. At least followers will stay... I joke, but lets just hope its someone who can lead the catholics well and help to promote peace and unity between people of all belief or non belief systems...

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