Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Uruguay: freed Guantanamo detainees try to adjust to normal life

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey: Inside the Alevi community

Read more

FOCUS

China: A tense Christmas in Wenzhou

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pope's Scathing Tidings: Pontiff Blasts 'Illnesses' at Vatican's Heart

Read more

WEB NEWS

Gaza children draw what their future will look like

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Catholic cardinals get coal for Christmas from Pope Francis

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

François Hollande's Christmas wish list

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Embedded with the Islamic State Group

Read more

Europe

The bets are on for who will succeed Benedict XVI

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-12

The deliberations leading to the election of a new pope are shrouded in secrecy. And while the outcome is highly uncertain, bookmakers are giving revealing odds on the most likely candidates for the Catholic Church's top job.

As soon as Pope Benedict XVI announced he was resigning at the end of February, British bookmakers were giving betting odds on his possible successor.

There are 118 eligible members of the College of Cardinals who can attend the Papal Conclave in March to choose the next Bishop of Rome from among their numbers.

And while some predictions have been accurate – Joseph Ratzinger was widely tipped by bookmakers in 2005 – no-one anticipated his predecessor Karol Wojtyla’s surprise election in 1978.

The outcome will remain shrouded in mystery until the cardinals signal that they have come to a decision, which have often been big surprises. The Vaticanologists’ maxim is “he who enters the conclave as Pope, leaves as a cardinal” - meaning the most obvious candidate is rarely chosen.

Some likely candidates (bookies’ odds from Tuesday, February 12):

Date created : 2013-02-12

  • VATICAN CITY

    Pope Benedict’s resignation spells end of papacy for life

    Read more

  • VATICAN CITY

    Liveblog: The day the Pope resigned

    Read more

  • VATICAN

    Pope Benedict XVI's bumpy years in the papacy

    Read more

COMMENT(S)