Ghana’s Peter Turkson is the Irish bookmakers’ favorite to replace Pope Benedict, putting a non-European in pole position to lead the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church for the first time in more than a millennium.
Irish bookmaker Paddy Power offered odds of 11/4 against for Turkson, meaning successful punters would win 11 pounds for every four staked, while Britain’s second largest bookmaker Ladbrokes offered odds of 5/2 against.
Turkson would be the first non-European to lead the Catholic church in more than a millennium if he is chosen to succeed Benedict. Italian Angelo Scola is second favorite according to Paddy Power at 3/1 against.
“Pope Benedict quitting leaves a tall hat to fill – let’s just hope God gives him a good reference for his next job,” a Paddy Power spokesperson said in a statement. “As for the betting, the real action kicks off now.”