Mercoledì, 26 Settembre 2018
ROME

Bookies reckon next pope could be from Africa

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 11 - Odds are that the next head of
the Catholic Church will be African, according to bookmakers who
began laying wagers immediately after Pope Benedict XVI resigned
on Monday.
The pope's resignation announcement stunned the world and
triggered a flurry of rumours and speculation about who will
replace the pontiff, who is stepping down on February 28.
With his replacement not likely to be selected until the
end of March, bookies, politicians, and Vatican watchers will
have plenty of time to weigh candidates.
But as the Catholic Church rises in size and power in
Africa, as well as in Asia and Latin America, pressure is also
increasing for a non-European pope to be selected by the
church's cardinals, who will meet in conclave in mid-March.
That helps explain why online betting agency Agimeg says
that the next pope could be Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze,
80, and in second place Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, 64.
Arinze, known as a scholarly conservative, came to Rome to
study theology at the Pontifical Urban University, where he
ultimately earned a doctorate in sacred theology summa cum
laude.
But at popular Dublin-based bookmaker Paddy Power Plc,
Turkson of Ghana is the favorite at odds of 9-4 to replace Pope
Benedict, and Arinze is in third place at 3-1.
Turkson, who lives in Rome and speaks numerous languages.
was educated in the United States, attending St.
Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, New York, where he
obtained a Bachelor's degree in theology.
Turkson was appointed president of the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace by Pope Benedict in 2009.
Canada’s Marc Ouellet, 68, is second favorite at 5-2,
according to Paddy Power.
However, his election seems less likely.
Ouellet, who became a cardinal in 2003, was quoted in June
2011 as suggesting he would have no interest in the Pope's job
because its intensely heavy workload "would be a nightmare" with
crushing responsibilities.
"It's the kind of thing you don't campaign for".
Bookies have named Milan Cardinal Angelo Scola as the
European favourite to succeed Benedict, followed by Vatican
Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone and Cardinal Angelo
Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa and president of the Italian
Bishops' Conference.
The name to be chosen by the next pope is also subject for
wagering, with Peter in the lead, followed by Pius, John Paul,
John, and Benedict.

photo: Turkson

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