Los Angeles, CA
Was I really going to write about betting odds on the next pope? Does the pope shit in the woods?
Pope Benedict hasn't looked too good the last few months. He'll be 86 in April and he needs help walking up and down stairs and gets wheeled around the Vatican. Rumors suggested that the college of Cardinals were compiling short lists in anticipation of Benedict's declining health.
The Vatican made a surprising announcement that Pope Benedict will be resigning at the end of the month. The obvious reasons point to health, but then again popes don't step down, rather, they die on the papal throne. The last pope to step down happened almost 600 years ago when Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1415.
Was Pope Benedict forced out? Is there a huge scandal brewing? Those questions will be answered in the coming months, for now, we don't care why Pope Benedict is out, rather, we're focused on who's on deck.
Next Pope ODDS (via Paddy Power at 11am T on 2/11/13):
Cardinal Peter Turkson (Ghana) 3/1
Cardinal Marc Ouellet (Canada) 7/2
Cardinal Francis Arinze (Nigeria) 4/1
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (Argentina) 6/1
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi (Italy) 8/1
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (Honduras) 8/1
Archbishop Angelo Scola (Italy) 8/1
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco (Italy) 12/1
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Italy) 16/1
Cardinal Christoph Schonborn (Austria) 16/1
Cardinal Claudio Hummes (Brazil) 20/1
Cardinal Timothy Dolan (USA) 25/1
Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera (Spain) 33/1
Cardinal Agnostino Vallini(Italy) 33/1
Cardinal Raymond Burke (America) 33/1
Cardinal Mauro Piacenza (Italy) 33/1
Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera (Mexico) 33/1
Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith (Sri Lanka) 33/1
Cardinal Keith O'Brien (Scotland) 33/1
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin (France) 33/1
Cardinal Angelo Amato (Italy) 50/1
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (Philipines) 50/1
Cardinal Robert Sarah(French Guinea) 50/1
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe (Italy) 50/1
Archbishop Vincent Nichols (England) 50/1
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois(France) 50/1
Cardinal Attilio Nicora (Italy) 50/1
Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi (Italy) 50/1
Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino (Cuba) 50/1
Cardinal George Pell (Australia) 50/1
Cardinal William Levada (America) 66/1
Cardinal Odilo Scherer (Sao Paulo) 66/1
Cardinal Peter Erdo (Hungary) 66/1
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Argentina) 80/1
Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller (Germany) 80/1
Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela (Spain) 80/1
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier (South Africa) 80/1
Cardinal Ivan Dias (India) 80/1
Cardinal Karl Lehmann (Germany) 100/1
Cardinal Jose Da Cruz Policarpo (Portugal) 100/1
Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli (Italy) 100/1
Archbishop Piero Marini (Italy) 100/1
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (USA) 100/1
Cardinal Walter Kasper (Germany) 125/1
Cardinal Angelo Sodano (Italy) 150/1
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (UK) 150/1
Cardinal Giacomo Biffi (Italy) 150/1
Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo (Brazil) 150/1
Archbishop Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez (Dominican Republic) 150/1
Cardinal Francis George (USA) 200/1
Richard Dawkins (UK) 666/1
Father Dougal Maguire (Craggy Island) 1000/1
Bono (Ireland) 1000/1
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Here is some background on a few of the favorites...
Cardinal Peter Turkson (3/1) is one of the favorites. He's currently the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and very anti-Islam. He could become the first Pope from Africa.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet (7/2) is near the top of the short list of replacements. I'm surprised he's not the #1 favorite. Cardinal Ouellet speaks six or seven languages fluently and spent a significant time doing missionary work in South America.
Cardinal Francis Arinze (4/1) from Nigeria was one of Pope John Paul II's trusted advisers. He's 80 and I'm surprised he's one of the favorites at that age.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (6/1) from Argentina is all well-versed in multiple languages. He can be the bridge between Catholics in the East and the old-schoolers in the West.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi (8/1) is the top Italian on the short list. You know the world was getting screwed up when the Pope was a German and the head of the European bank was an Italian. But this is the 21st century and Italy is no longer the center of the Catholic universe, which explains why two of the favorites are from Africa.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (8/1) from Honduras made the short list last time, but Pope Benedict beat him out. Influence in Latin America has been growing exponentially over the last half century, which is why Maradiaga will be among the last round of names discussed.
Archbishop Angelo Scola (8/1) is the other Italian in the running. The Archbishop of Milan is truly old-school and wants to re-establish a Catholic Europe.
* * * *
I'm a Catholic and attended Catholic school. I recall John Paul I dying after a month and our Monsignor explaining to us what happened during an assembly. Rumors suggested he was poisoned because of how he wanted to handle the Vatican's bank. John Paul II was the next pope and I was at Little League baseball practice when I found out he was shot in a failed assassination attempt. He lived and the "popemobile" was introduced so no one could take a shot at future pontiffs.
You should be paying close attention to the Prophecy of St. Malachy, who predicted that the next pope (who he called Petrus Romanus a.k.a. Peter the Roman) is supposed to be the 112th and last-ever pope before a final tribulation and the end of times (which marks Judgement Day and the return of Christ).
St. Malachy wrote this in Latin:
Petrus Romanus, qui paſcet oues in multis tribulationibus: quibus tranſactis ciuitas ſepticollis diruetur, and Iudex tremẽdus iudicabit populum ſuum. Finis.And here's the English translation:
Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.More info on Petrus Romanus here..
Pauly is the author of Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker.