Paddy Power, the largest bookmaking company in Ireland, isÂ giving 7/4 odds that the next Catholic
Pope will be from Italy.
“The boost for Italy comes following the news that a total of ten, almost half of Pope Benedict XVIâ€™s new twenty-four strong consistory, are Italian. Come 20th November, a total of 25 of the 120 voting-age Cardinals will be Italian,” reports www.liveoddsandscores.com.
Current Pope Benedict XVI is only the second pontif to hail from outside Italy.
Even so, the overall frontrunner to take the papacy when it opens up is Francis Arinze of Nigeria at 2/1.
Â The odds of the next Pope coming from the United States? 10/1.
From www.bloomberg.com (David Cheskin - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
In his current visit to Britian Pope Benedict XVI criticized the Catholic Church for its response to sexual abuse by priests. He said it had not been â€œsufficiently vigilantâ€ or â€œsufficiently swift and decisive.â€
The New York Times reports: “Asked how the church could restore the faith of those shaken by the revelations of widespread priestly abuse, the pope said: ‘The first interest is the victims’ and the church needed to determine ‘how can we repair, what can we do to help them to overcome the trauma, to re-find their lives.’ He also said that priests who are guilty of abuse had a ‘sickness’ and needed to be kept away from children.”
Pope Benedict arrived in Britain today for a four-day stay. It’s the first Papal visit to Britain since 1982 when Pope John Paul II visited.