The Catholic Church may have its first black Pope in over 1500 years, according to the bookmakers at Paddy Power. With the shocking resignation of Pope Benedict on Monday, betting markets are predicting that two African Archbishops are strong contenders for the job.
Marc Ouellet, 68 year old from Canada, is a 3-1 favorite. Peter Turkson of Ghana, is listed at 7/2. Nigerian Francis Arinze, a contender eight years ago when Pope John Paul II died, is a 4-1 underdog. Leonardo Sandri of Argentina is 6-1, followed by Italian Angelo Scola at 7-1.
A couple of Americans are longshots to wear the big hat. Archbiship Timothy Dolan, 62 year old Archbishop of New York, is listed as a 25-1 favorite. Dolan was born in St. Louis. Daniel DiNardo is an even bigger long shot, going for 100-1 at Paddy Power. He is currently the Archbishop serving the Houston area. The Archbishop of Chicago, Francis George, is a 200-1 long shot. Bono is listed as 1000-1.
Since 1139, the pope has always been elected from among the College of Cardinals in a careful ritual that can last for several days — or nearly three years during one contentious succession in the 13th century. In 1271 the cardinals had spent 33 months failing to make up their minds, largely for political reasons, when the people of Viterbo lost patience. They persuaded the local authorities to lock the cardinals in a fortress, cut their food rations and remove the roof of the fortress to expose them to the elements.
The cardinals soon chose Gregory X, who, three years later, introduced new rules for the election of popes, including one that said the cardinals had to meet in seclusion on a gradually reduced diet until they were living off bread and water. His successor was elected in a day; the next pope in seven.
The cardinals take a solemn oath of secrecy when they arrive at the Sistine Chapel. A single ballot is cast the first day; after that, the cardinals can cast two ballots in the morning and two in the afternoon. After three days of voting, the cardinals take a day off for prayer and reflection, then vote another seven times. The pattern repeats until a new Bishop of Rome is found.
The new head of the Roman Catholic Church then chooses his papal name and accepts the pledges of loyalty from his fellow cardinals before the news (Habemus papam: We have a pope) is proclaimed from the loggia of St. Peter’s.
Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation takes effect Feb. 28.
Complete Odds from Paddy Power
Cardinal Marc Ouellet (Canada)
Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith (Sri Lanka)
Cardinal Ivan Dias (India)
Cardinal Peter Turkson (Ghana)
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin (France)
Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller (Germany)
Cardinal Francis Arinze (Nigeria)
Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera (Mexico)
Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela (Spain)
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (Argentina)
Cardinal Angelo Amato (Italy)
Cardinal Karl Lehmann (Germany)
Archbishop Angelo Scola (Venice)
Cardinal Robert Sarah(French Guinea)
Cardinal Jose Da Cruz Policarpo (Portugal)
Archbishop Angelo Scola (Italy)
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (Philipines)
Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli (Italy)
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi (Italy)
Archbishop Vincent Nichols (England)
Archbishop Piero Marini (Italy)
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (Honduras)
Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi (Italy)
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (USA)
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco (Italy)
Cardinal George Pell (Australia)
Cardinal Walter Kasper (Germany)
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Italy)
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe (Italy)
Cardinal Angelo Sodano (Italy)
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn (Austria)
Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino (Cuba)
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor (UK)
Cardinal Claudio Hummes (Brazil)
Cardinal Attilio Nicora (Italy)
Cardinal Giacomo Biffi (Italy)
Cardinal Timothy Dolan (USA)
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois(France)
Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo (Brazil)
Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera (Spain)
Cardinal Odilo Scherer (Sao Paulo)
Archbishop Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez (Dominican Republic)
Cardinal Agnostino Vallini(Italy)
Cardinal Peter Erdo(Hungary)
Cardinal Francis George (USA)
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza (Italy)
Cardinal William Levada (America)
Richard Dawkins (UK)
Cardinal Keith O’Brien (Scotland)
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Argentina)
Cardinal Raymond Burke (America)
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier (South Africa)
Father Dougal Maguire (Craggy Island)