And the world waits with bated breath…

1. Jean-Marie Lustiger (France) 4 – 1
2. Claudio Hummes (Brazil) 13 – 2
3. Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (Italy) 7 – 1
4. Joseph Ratzinger (Germany) 7 – 1
5. Francis Arinze (Nigeria) 15 – 2
6. Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga (Honduras) 10 – 1
7. Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Argentina) 10 – 1
8. Dionigi Tettamanzi (Italy) 14 – 1
9. Jose Da Cruz Policarpo (Portugal) 20 – 1
10. Keith O Brien (Scotland) 20 – 1
The latest Paddy Power odds on the Papal election.
As you can see, former favourites like Arinze and Maradiaga have fallen off the top three in favour of Lustiger and Hummes. It’s no surprise that the number three spot is an Italian; after all, as my Mum pointed out, there hasn’t been an Italian pope in over 25 years!
Hummes, who is Brazilian, is the politically correct choice, given that Brazil is home to the largest Catholic population on the planet.
Lustiger is an interesting choice – he is European, which is obviously an advantage in terms of maintaining a Euro-centric upper echelon. On the other hand, he is Jewish by birth – don’t get me wrong, this is not an anti-semetic statement. After all, the central figures of worship in Catholicism, Jesus and the Virgin, were both Jewish. But for generations the Vatican has rejected candidates from places like Africa and South America because these places were ‘converted,’ which means that its Catholics were somehow not the “men of God” that the papacy requires. So, y’know, a Jewish Pope? Personally, I think it’s cool; I’m not sure it would fly with actual practicing Catholics.
On the other hand, some claim that a Jewish Pope is inevitable, according to various prophecies. Some prophecies indicate that the next Pope is the last Pope, too. Interpreters of these prophecies are divided on a few issues, including whether or not John Paul I ‘counts.’ None of the prophecies mention a Scottish Pope, unfortunately 😉
Perhaps it’s sacreligious of me, but I keep picturing Kermit the Frog, trenchcoated and microphone in hand, outside St. Peter’s Basilica…

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