Pope Francis may be nearing his reign over the Catholic Church, and there are many names in contention for the role should it become available.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis on March 13, 2013. The Argentinian became not only the first Pope from the Americas, but also the first Jesuit pope. He is also the first from the Southern Hemisphere. And Francis is the first from outside Europe since the 8th century Syrian Gregory III.
Before his election as sovereign of the Vatican City State, Bergoglio was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He then took his title after St. Francis of Assisi of Italy when he became the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
Francis was also president of the Bishops’s Conference of Argentina and as cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church of Argentina prior his current occupancy. He speaks his native Spanish, as well as Italian and German.
Renowned for his humility and outspoken support of those in need, the religious leader was named Person of the Year by Time magazine in 2013. The 83-year-old was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize a year later.
But who will take over Francis once his reign has ended?
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana is favourite at 7/2. And Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines is available at 9/2.
Canada’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet is currently 7/1 to follow Francis.
Also in contention are Archbishop Angelo Scola of Italy and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the United States. They are both currently 15/2.
Austria’s Cardinal Christoph Schonborn is available at 8/1, with USA’s Kevin Joseph Farrell currently 14/1. Also at 14/1 are Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the USA, England’s Cardinal Vincent Nicholas and Hungary’s Cardinal Peter Erdo.
Cardinal Robert Sarah of French Guinea and Cardinal Pietro Parolin of Italy are both available at 16/1 to take on the role next.
Brazil’s Cardinals Joao Braz de Aviz and Odilo Scherer are both currently 17/1.
Several punters have also given odds on the Papal name of the next Pope after Francis. These include Leo at 10/3, and Pius, John and Peter at 4/1.
Also with potential is Gregory and Benedict at 15/2. John Paul and Clement are available at 10/1.
It’s currently 14/1 and 17/1 for Stephen and Joseph respectively. Also at 17/1 for the Papal name of the next Pope is Alexander.
Celestine is currently 22/1, with Nicholas available at 25/1.