ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) – The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has caught the world by surprise. On Monday, many took to social media to express their shock and weigh in on who the next pope could be.
Folks are also weighing the odds on several gambling websites. On sites like paddypower.com and oddschecker.com, the betting is well underway, ranging from who the next pope will be, to his nationality and papal name.
Right now, there are no strong favorites, but among the top contenders is Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana. Many feel choosing him would symbolize the growing reach of Catholicism.
Another frontrunner is Cardinal Marc Ouellet from Canada, who holds one of the most powerful positions in the Vatican.
Other top contenders include Cardinal Leonardo Sandri from Argentina, who served as Vatican Chief of Staff, and Cardinal Angelo Scola of Italy, currently the Archbishop of Milan.
St. Louis native Cardinal Timothy Dolan is also considered a candidate, although many say it’s unlikely an American will be chosen.
The vote will happen in mid-March, when more than one hundred Cardinals will gather to make the big decision.
Washington University Catholic Studies Professor Daniel Bornstein says a 2/3 vote is needed, and the Cardinals will vote over and over until they reach a consensus.
“It’s always interesting to see what will come out of the election of a pope,” he explains, “There rarely is a clear frontrunner, and the person generally considered to be a frontrunner rarely wins.”
That could bode well for Cardinal Dolan, who is in the running but not considered a frontrunner.
Frontrunners To Succeed Pope Benedict XVI
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