Church ready for 'colored' pope, says Berlusconi

Bookmakers place Nigerian cardinal in the lead as successor

Church ready for 'colored' pope, says Berlusconi

Rome, February 12 - The Church is ready for a "colored pope," ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi told an ANSA forum on Tuesday. A successor for Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned on Monday citing his advancing age, will be named in March. Bookmakers on Monday said that the era of an African pope may have arrived. Betting agency William Hill said that the next pope could be Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze and placed Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana neck-and-neck with Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet as close seconds, with Argentinian Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation of Eastern Churches, as third. Bookies have placed Milan Cardinal Angelo Scola and the head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, tied for fourth place.

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