Betting markets: Bono has 1 in 1000 chance of being next Pope, Madonna 2 in 2000

Following the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming resignation, Oddschecker.com has a breakdown of the betting markets for who will take his place.

First the fun ones, then the serious candidates.

The long-shot candidates, Richard Dawkins carries 666/1 odds at PaddyPower, Bono stands at 1000/1 at both PaddyPower and Coral, Madonna and Oprah both return 2000 dollars for a one dollar bet at Coral, Silvio Berlusconi is a 2500/1 dark horse candidate at StanJames and Lance Armstrong is a 10,000/1 bet at Coral.

Now for the actual top contenders:

Cardinal Peter Turkson: A Cardinal of the Ghanaian Church, Turkson is the current president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. He has previously endorsed the idea of an African pope, saying that any man who agrees to be ordained as a priest must be willing to be a pope and adding, “if God would wish to see a black man also as Pope, thanks be to God!” Turkson has also made notable statements hedging on the idea of using condoms to combat HIV/AIDS and reforming the international monetary system.

Turkson is considered the frontrunner by Bet365 (10/3), SkyBet, Sperlingbet, PaddyPower, StanJames, Ladbrokes, Betway (3/1) and BetVictor (11/4).

Cardinal Marc Ouellet: A Cardinal of the Canadian Church, Ouellet is the present prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He was previously the archbishop of Quebec, which made him primate of Canada. Ouellet is known for pushing back against theological relativism, arguing for more conservative, hard-line interpretations of biblical texts. He has also argued that abortion is unjustifiable, even in cases of rape or incest.

Ouellet is even with Turkson in the betting market, Coral, where both stand at 5/2. He a close second to Turkson in most other markets.

Cardinal Francis Arinze: An Igbo Nigerian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, Arinze was considered papabile before the 2005 papal conclave, which selected Pope Benedict XVI. He is Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and is the current Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni, a position he inherited from Joseph Ratzinger when he ascended to the papacy.

Arinze is not considered the favorite in any betting markets, but remains close to Turkson and Ouellet with 4/1 odds in Bet365 and BetVictor and 9/2 odds in BetFred and PaddyPower. He has the second-highest odds in Ladbrokes at 7/2.

American Cardinal Timothy Dolan carries 33/1 odds nearly across the board, and is not considered a favorite for the papacy.


Jon Green is a graduate of Kenyon College with a degree in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. A veteran of the campaigns of Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and President Obama in 2012, he writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @JonGreen8, and on Google+. .

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  • TheSingleEye

    You are bias with the scriptures, which reveals that you are liberal, thus “Socialistic for Social Justice”. When “black” was mentioned in scripture, it was reference to the smoke of fire, which can blacken the skin. Even leprosy can make a change in a white man’s skin. So the “black” theory is illogical.

    Who is Jesus? The name “Jesus” was adopted from the Greeks and represents Zeus, a Cosmic entity over all things. The son is not God, but God dwells in him and his disciples.

    I remember the Son saying,

    “(I can of mine own self do nothing). As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just: because (I seek not mine own will), but the will of the Father, which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me and I know that the witness, which he witnesseth of me, is true. Ye sent unto John and he bare witness unto the truth. (But I receive not testimony from man), but these things I say, that ye might be saved”. – Yahuconan 5 (John)

    The name of the Son is Salvation, as his Father was always addressed as “the name”: But who understands the name of God? Certainly not someone bias.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I suspect he died long ago Indigo.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “possibly the greatest Catholic in the history of the world: Joe Biden?” Absolutely hilarious, but I’d give you zero odds.

  • reno_expat

    What type of odds can I get on America’s greatest living Catholic and possibly the greatest Catholic in the history of the world: Joe Biden?

  • Henry Wolfsburg

    I have a feeling Bono already feels he’s more important than the pope. He’s certainly a candidate for The Hall of Bad Dudes. http://www.hallofbaddudes.com/2013/02/ten-popes-named-to-hall-of-bad-dudes.html

  • Indigo

    Since he isn’t dead, we can’t very well call for the Populus Romanus to throw the body into the Tiber so I move we refer to him as The Hermit and leave his name unspoken.

  • Indigo

    Extremists often go with unthinkable decisions like having a conclave in Lent, half way to Easter. That’s how you run a coup d’etat which this development resembles. I doubt that it’s an outside party that struck the coup, though. I suspect Ratzinger is the villain in this piece as in so many. What could run more smoothly than for the old guy to move down the hall while a puppet takes the throne in the formal office? Smooth move, if you ask, and a fresh propaganda shield, looking like a Holy Hermit. Can’t miss on that one, it’s medieval enough to work in that fantasy game. If I were him, I’d contract the Borghese Apartments until I’m deceased. Very nice indeed.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That’s how I see it, too.

    The RCC doesn’t care about progressives, nor about attracting new followers. What they do seem interested in now is establishing a highly conservative orthodoxy from which they don’t want anyone straying.

    In other words, they’d rather have ‘true believers’ than adapt to advancing social mores.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I personally think this man, given Ratzinger isn’t dead, is very likely to be the next Pontiff: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. He’s listed on the various betting sites as having a middling chance of being picked, but what’s ignored is how powerful he already is, and how he’s been Ratzinger’s top deputy for the last decade.

    Every time this has come up, it’s been thrown about that maybe, just for once, the RCC Cardinals will pick a non-European. But they don’t. John Paul II’s pick as a Pole was considered radical for its time.

    I don’t think they’ll pick an African national and certainly not a Canadian or anybody from the ‘New World.’ If it’s not Bertone, then some other Italian.

    As the Catholic Church collapses into rigid orthodoxy and active denial of social evolution, they are becoming more dogmatic and conservative — and so it is not at all inconceivable they’ll fall back on their old habit of picking from from their usual inbred circle of Italian high clergy.

    Vatican City: The religious version of Peyton Place, except without women, and the men all wear fancy dresses.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You’d win. This Madonna is not Immaculate.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Cardinal Law needs a roomate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/monoceros.forth Monoceros Forth

    Cardinal Mahony’s looking for a job, right?

  • melbach007

    I want to give the odds and will bet everything I have against Madonna.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    An act of supreme irony—-‘abusing’ his office and all.

  • FLL

    Trending comments on various social media: “I did Nazi that coming.” “I’ll sieg you in heil, Ratzy.”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    What inquisitional minds want to know!

  • http://www.thoughtcrimes.org/ Kelvin Mace

    More conservative, but with less actual Nazi credentials.

  • http://www.thoughtcrimes.org/ Kelvin Mace

    Given that the most conservative cardinals are from Africa and that the church is going to swing harder to the Right, I waould say the we have even odds for a black pope. It is the church’s way to pretend to be liberal, while becoming more fascist. Kind of like Obama, actually.

  • http://www.thoughtcrimes.org/ Kelvin Mace

    Oh, come one, I can give better odds than that.
    I’ll give 5 million to one on Madonna.
    Any takers?

  • judybrowni

    It sounds as though the new, handpicked pope, wouldn’t even be Ratzi-Lite.

    Time for another round of Tim Minchin’s “The Pope Song!”
    http://vimeo.com/11338327

    Pardon me (sic), but I’m off to watch an episode of the The Borgias, which at least includes sex with adult women.

  • nicho

    I don’t think it would be driven by progressiveness, but by playing the odds. Africa is the last place left to establish dominance — and the old white guys know it. They’re looking for head count, political influence, and money. There’s no place else to look.

  • Naja pallida

    Ah, yes, Rat-zingers, if you will.

  • Naja pallida

    The College is still just over half European, and only a handful of the Cardinals are black. There were some murmurs about the South African Cardinal becoming Pope last time around, but I just really don’t see it happening unless there’s a sudden streak of progressiveness amongst a group of majority old white guys.

  • nicho

    Meanwhile, Twitter’s going crazy with pope one-liners:

    “Pope not the first person to lose interest in real job a short time after joining Twitter.”

  • monopole

    I’m holding out for Warren Ellis, Neil deGrasse Tyson or Neil Patrick Harris.

  • jomicur

    My prediction: They’ll elect Jerry Sandusky.

  • Naja pallida

    I must say, giving up the position of chief protector of child molesters for Lent was a touching sentiment.

  • nicho

    That is under discussion, I’m sure. However, the Popemobile was listed on Craigslist this morning.

  • nicho

    It would be unusual mostly because there’s never been one. The odds have favored Italians — with some other Europeans thrown in. However, this time, as I noted in my post, you could see an African, mostly because this is where the Vatican sees the most room for attracting new followers and exerting influence. Europe has had enough of them. And the US is a write-off too.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Why would a black Pope be unusual? Jesus was black too.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “There is no defined role in the church for a Dowager Pope” Does that new title assure that he gets to keep the PRADA and accessories?

  • nicho

    The problem with trying to handicap this race is that there has never been a papal election like this before.

    The one in 1415 was under totally different circumstances and was at a time when the pope and his supporters carried weapons and weren’t afraid to use them. (Calling Wayne LaPierre!)

    No one, except the inner circle, knows why Ratzi gave his two-week notice (Really? Two weeks? Does he get a check for his unused PTO?).

    It could well be that he has been told that the curtain is about to come down, but usually popes stay in, until they’re carried out feet first. Look at his predecessor. They wheeled him around slumped over in his human-powered Lark for years.

    My guess is that he knows the jig is almost up and he wants to have a hand in picking his successor. He doesn’t want to leave anything to chance. If anything, Ratzi has been a schemer. Under Wotyla, he packed to College of Cardinals — and the episcopate — with men who were dullards, but ideologically pure. They had tremendous loyalty to the man who chose them, which is how he engineered his own election.

    Now that his time is coming to an end, he doesn’t want all his work for these last 30 years or so to come undone. He doesn’t want to leave anything to chance. He doesn’t want to risk the cardinals picking someone who might lead the church even a little bit toward the left. In fact, he wants quite the opposite.

    For the record, my money is on an African. That’s where the Vatican sees its future gains. But don’t look for some liberal-leaning African bishop. Look for one who is onboard with the religious right’s Taliban-like agenda.

    Ratzi won’t be in the conclave, but he will have spies there, and anyone who doesn’t do his bidding will not have a good time of it once the conclave ends.

    There is no defined role in the church for a Dowager Pope, but you can be sure that he will still be a powerful presence. Not only will he guide (surreptitiously) the conclave in picking whoever he wants, but he will be a “guiding force” on the new pope.

    Also, I’m confused about the talk of a conclave before the end of March. That would be extremely odd — superbly odd. Easter is at the end of March. This is the pivotal feast of the Catholic Church. In the two weeks before Easter, the ceremonies pile up, ending in a frenzy in the three days before Easter. The local bishop has an essential role in these activities. It’s almost unthinkable for bishops to be absent during this time — especially that many of them.

  • S1AMER

    Thanks to the internet, we’re finally getting some good jokes at Joe the Pope’s expense.

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