“You would do well to remember, Mr. Lucchesi, that this Pope…has very different ideas than the last one,” said the doomed Archbishop Gilday in The Godfather Part III.
Life imitated art when current Pope Francis was elected in 2013. His Holiness has brought Catholicism into the mainstream on several key issues and projected a vibe of benevolence and good cheer. But all things must pass, and when the time comes for a new leader of the Roman Catholic church to ascend, several deserving candidates will be debated in private throughout the Vatican.
Who will become the next Pope? A few betting markets have cropped up around the internet, with the British book Paddy Power and the state-side bookie service MyBookie taking up the niche. Pope Francis is 81 years old, so while a Papal transition could happen at any time, it’s also unclear whether wagers made now will pay off any time soon.
The current favorites at MyBookie are Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines at 3/1 and 4/1 futures odds respectively. Canadian Cardinal Mark Ouellet is at 6/1.
Turkson would be an interesting choice. No African has served the Papacy in modern times. Tagle would also represent newfound racial diversity as the Pope.
For those TV junkies whose biggest exposure to the Vatican has been the mostly-fictionalized HBO drama The Young Pope, the series does depict some realistic conversations between clergymen and women about the issues and topics of the day. The church’s desire to be relevant to the times could be a key factor driving the markets shorter on Turkson and Tagle.
Hopefully, the new Pope won’t suffer fools any more gladly than Jude Law’s St. Pius XIII.
The rest of MyBookie’s Papal betting board is consumed with Cardinals, though there are a few Archbishops and a Patriarch mixed in.
At the very bottom of the list is a “troll” market, paying off at 500/1. That sounds pretty nice until you hear the name of the candidate to lead the Catholic Church in the near future. Wait for it – it’s Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2.
Is Bono even religious? It’s easy to imagine the bookmakers cackling to themselves.
One can live with or without a wager like Bono for the Papacy. But even if there’s a Joshua tree in your backyard or a rattle and hum in your car, we’re recommending you stay without it.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.