Pope Benedict XVI has announced he will retire on February 28 and Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana is next in line, according to Paddy Power, a betting website.
Pope Benedict is reportedly retiring â€œdue to advanced ageâ€. The 85-year-oldâ€™s papalcy began on April 19, 2005, and less than eight years later he is calling it a day. Heâ€™s also been using a cane and it was reported he struggled to read the text of an address he delivered in Rome.
â€˜After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,’ a quote from his resignation stated.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, currently the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is the early market leader at 9/4 and speaks six languages. The Ghanaian understands Latin and Greek and has seen plenty of support early doors.
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet is 5/2 to be elected as the next Pope. He is Prefect of the congregation for Bishops which is seen as a powerful position within the Vatican, it seems. According to one of the Paddy Power lads who has his finger on the Catholic pulse, Cardinal Marc has experience of working in Latin in America, is a friend of Benedict and is apparently outgoing and charismatic. At 64 he is about the right age but could be seen as too young if anything!
Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria at 3/1. If either Cardinal Francis Arinze or Cardinal Peter Turkson are elected it would be the first time in history there would be a black Pope.
Early steamers in the market are Cardinal Keith Oâ€™Brien from Scotland who has been trimmed from 40/1 into 33/1, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who has seen his price slashed from 150/1 in to 80/1. It doesnâ€™t look so good for Bono or Father Dougal Maguire though and they are both big outsiders at 1000/1.