By Josh Powell | Pope Idol
Pope Benedict XVI has announced he will retire on February 28 and Paddy Power has already opened a book over who will take his place in Rome.
Pope Benedict is reportedly retiring “due to advanced age” which is just Vatican talk for “pretty damn old”. The 85-year-old’s papacy began on April 19, 2005, and less than eight years later he is calling it a day. He’s also been using a cane and it was reported he struggled to read the text of an address he delivered in Rome.
‘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’.
Taken from Pope Benedict’s statement this morning
Benny became the first Pope to take to Twitter and managed to rack up an impressive 1.5 million followers. The German posted his first tweet on December 12 but unfortunately he didn’t put up any funny GIFs or hilarious memes. He stuck with some sound religious advice like this…
We must trust in the mighty power of God’s mercy. We are all sinners, but His grace transforms us and makes us new.—
Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 10, 2013
Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet is 5/2 market leader 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 Peter Turkson is 7/2 and speaks six languages. The Ghanaian can understand Latin and Greek and has seen plenty of support early doors.
Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria at 7/2. 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 O’Brien from Scotland who has been trimmed from 40/1 into 33/1, and Ireland’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who has seen his price slashed from 150/1 in to 80/1.
It doesn’t look so good for Bono or Father Dougal Maguire though and they are both big outsiders at 1000/1.
Betting: Who will be the next Pope?
5/2 Cardinal Marc Ouellet
9/4 7/2 Cardinal Peter Turkson
7/2 Cardinal Francis Arinze
7/1 8/1 Archbishop Angelo Scola
10/1 Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga
12/1 14/1 Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
14/1 Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco
16/1 20/1 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio
20/1 Cardinal Leonardo Sandri
25/1 Cardinal Raymond Burke
25/1 Cardinal Cladio Hummes
25/1 Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi
25/1 Cardinal Christoph von Schonborn
33/1 Cardinal Wilfrid Napier
33/1 Cardinal William Levada
33/1 Cardinal Camillo Ruini
33/1 Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera
33/1 Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa
33/1 Cardinal Renato Martino
33/1 Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith
33/1 Archbishop Piero Marini
33/1 Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera
33/1 Cardinal Keith O’Brien