Nigeria’s Francis Arinze, 80, is the 2-1 favorite at London-based William Hill Plc, meaning a 1-euro ($1.34) winning wager would return a 2-euro profit. Peter Turkson, 64, of Ghana is second favorite at 5-2. At Paddy Power Plc, Canadian CardinalMarc Ouellet, 68, is the 5-2 frontrunner, while Turkson is 3-1 and Arinze is 7-2.
Bloomberg reports that Pope Benedict, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, announced Monday that he will resign on Feb. 28, two months before his 86th birthday, for health reasons, after serving for almost eight years. This is the first such abdication of a leader of the Roman Catholic Church in almost 600 years.
The surprise resignation may reopen rifts within the church as pressure builds to name a pope from the developing world where Catholicism is growing, offsetting declines in Europe and the U.S. Arinze, Turkson and Ouellet are also the favorites atLadbrokes Plc, according to the bookmaker’s website.
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image: © Sergey Gabdurakhmanov