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.