Contact Us

Pope Benedict XVI’s Resignation Stuns The World, Oddsmakers Favor Canadian Cardinal To Succeed

L’Osservatore Romano – Vatican Pool via Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation at the end of this month citing health concerns has taken the world by surprise, thrusting the Catholic Church into a realm it hasn’t entered in more than 600 years.

Not since Pope Gregory XII resigned from his position to end the Western Schism in 1415 has there been a case for a Pope to willingly leave. Pope Benedict XVI joins a handful of others who have resigned from the position, whether it be bribery (Pope Gregory VI), marriage (Pope Benedict IX) or simply because it was just too hard (Pope Celestine V).

But, Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement has set the stage for the introduction of the Church’s third Pope of the 21st Century.

So how is a Pope selected? In the usual case (i.e. When the Pope dies), there are nine days of mourning, followed by the Conclave of Cardinals. The Conclave is held no sooner than 15 days and no later than 20 days after a Pope’s passing, with 120 members- forming the College of Cardinals- making the decision. From there, a special voting ceremony is held four times a day until a new Pope is selected.

Voting is a secretive process using ballots checked by three Scrutineers, who validate each vote and crunch the numbers. To be selected, a candidate must receive a two thirds plus one vote. Unsuccessful elections are denoted by black smoke, created by either putting water or other chemicals on the burning ballots. After 12 or 13 days, if no one is selected the Conclave may opt to elect a Pope by simple majority.

White smoke is the result of a successful vote, in which case a new Pope is elected. Soon after his selection, the newly designated Pope may choose his own name. IN John Paul II’s case, he chose his name based on his predecessor, John Paul I, who died after only 33 days in power.

The past two conclaves have ended rather quickly, as current Pope Benedict XVI was elected in four ballots. His predecessor, John Paul II, was selected in eight ballots during the course of two days.

As for who is in the running to be the next Pope, no one quite knows yet. Bookies on the Irish betting site Paddy Power are already starting to lay out the odds, with Canada’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet leading the pack at 5/2. Other notables include Nigeria’s Francis Arinze (6/1) and Ghana’s Peter Turkson (4/1). The highest American cardinals sit a little lower on the chart, as Cardinals Raymond Burke and Timothy Dolan are each granted 25/1 odds of ascending to the pinnacle of the Catholic Church.

In any case, the world’s Catholics will be holding their collective breath as they wait for the white smoke to billow from the Vatican.

More From WIBX

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wibx950.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on WIBX 950 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on WIBX 950 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!