Pope Benedict XVI Departs, Bookies Bet on Replacement
Pope Benedict XVI officially stepped down on Thursday, becoming the first pontiff in 600 years to leave the job in something other than a casket. As Benedict flew off into the sunset to begin a new life of prayer and study, Roman Catholic cardinals started gathering around the world to pick his successor. Meanwhile, oddsmakers began taking bets on who will get the keys to the Pope-mobile. Peter Turkson of Ghana is getting nearly 5-2 odds to become the first Pope from Africa. Angelo Scola, the Archbishop of Milan, is getting slightly greater than 5-2 odds to put the papacy back in the hands of an Italian. Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Canada is at 4-1. The U.S. cardinals are long-shots, but at least they’re in the discussion! The conclave could begin Monday.