While Pope Francis appears to be in great health, that hasn’t stopped oddsmakers everywhere from releasing the latest to replace the current Pope. While the Catholic church had traditionally chosen a Pope from a European nation, things have changed recently with the decline of people practicing the religion in countries such as Italy, France and Spain. It is estimated that 40 percent of the world’s Catholics are in Latin America, with increases also seen in Asia and Africa.
For instance, back in 213, the favorites to succeed Pope Benedict XVI, who shocked Catholics worldwide by resigning, was a pair of Italian cardinals, Angelo Scolo and Tarcisio Bertone. However, both were beaten out by Pope Francis who was a value-packed 25-1 pick to become the next Pope. Now, let’s take a look at the favorites to succeed Francis.
Next Pope Odds – August 20th Edition
Cardinal Peter Turkson (Ghana)
- Pope Odds: +300
The 69-year-old has been called “one of Africa’s most energetic church leaders.” If Turkson were to be elected, he’d become the first black cardinal to deliver weekly mass at St. Peter’s. His presence as a global symbol as they extend their outreach worldwide.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle (Philippines)
- Pope Odds: +400
The 60-year-old archbishop of Manila who asks to be called “Chito” is part of the Church’s progressive wing that is similar to what we’ve seen out of Pope Francis. Tagle is reportedly more forgiving of divorced Catholics and more accepting of the LGBT community.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet (Canada)
- Pope Odds: +600
Ouellet, Canada’s highest ranking Catholic representative found his way to the priesthood as a 17-year-old. The now, 75-year-old went on to perform missionary work in South Africa before making his way to the Vatican. Working closely with Pope Benedict on policy, Ouellet once told Le Soleil in 2013 that being Pope “would be a nightmare.”
Cardinal Cristoph Schonborn
- Pope Odds: +700
The 73-year-old Dominican archbishop of Vienna is a 73-year-old Domincan friar and theologian considered progressive for his views on sexual matters, and his interest in connecting with Islamic cultures. He worked closely with Pope Benedict and was called by Catholic media his “spiritual son.”