NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On the same day Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional send-off from an estimated 150,000 people at his final general audience in St. Peter’s Square, there has been a lot of talk about his successor.
Many of the cardinals who will choose Benedict’s successor were in St. Peter’s Square for his final audience. Those included New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan who, according to Britain’s second largest bookmaker Ladbrokes, is a longshot to become the next Pope at 20-to-1- odds.
The favorite? Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana. Ladbrokes have Turkson at 5-to-2 odds.
Irish gambling site Paddy Power is offering odds of 11/4 against for Turkson, meaning gamblers would win 11 pounds for every four bet.
Paddy Power is also offering money back if Turkson is elected. They tweeted Wednesday, “Money Back if Cardinals elect the 1st black Pope!”
Turkson would be the first non-European to lead the Catholic church in more than a millennium if he is chosen to succeed Benedict, Reuters reported.
Paddy Power has Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola as second favorite at 3-to-1 against.
Vatican officials said cardinals will begin meeting Monday to decide when to set the date for the conclave.
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