Online casino guide
to Best Online Casinos                                                                                                             

Bono and Madonna given long odds on becoming next Pope

The world reacted with shock at the news of Pope Benedict XVI's decision to reign from his position as the Pope on Monday morning. While the majority of those interested in why Benedict had resigned and who could replace him searched for news others logged on to online gambling websites to place bets on who would be the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome.

Online betting sites have produced odds for the election of a new Pontiff ranging from those with a real chance of landing the title a group of celebrities who are in some way linked to the Catholic Church. Beginning with members of the Catholic clergy who are the favorites for the position, an online betting forum states non-European clergy have jumped to the head of the line and have been installed as favorites.

When the 120 Cardinals under the age of 80 meet in the Sistine Chapel sometime in March to choose the new Pope Ghana's Cardinal Peter Turkson is thought to be one name that will be pushed to the fore with odds of 7-2; calls are growing for an African based cardinal to be given the top job in Catholicism. Cardinal Turkson is joined in the race to be Catholicism's new leader by Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze who has been installed as the third favorite with odds of 11-2. Another non-European splits the African Cardinal's and has been installed as second favorite is a North American in the form of Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet from the French speaking territory of Quebec.

Besides these real contenders for the role of pope online sites, such as PaddyPower have produced odds for some of the celebrity figures who are associated with the Church. Outspoken pop star Madonna features on the list because of her use of Catholic symbolism in her video's and music since the 1980s; U2 singer and charity worker Bono has been given odds of 1,000-1, but was at least raised as a Catholic during his Irish childhood. Bono's odds are bettered by evolutionary expert and atheist Richard Dawkins who has been given the comedic odds of 666-1. Other famous faces who have been given a price for their chances of becoming the next Pope include former Prime Minister's Silvio Berlusconi of Italy and Tony Blair of the U.K.