Nigerian May Emerge Next Pope

 [ Masterweb Reports ] – Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria, Peter Turkson of Ghana and Marc Ouellet of Canada were among cardinals tipped by bookmakers to replace Pope Benedict XVI (previously Joseph Ratzinger ) who is due to resign February 28. 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI said today that due to advanced age,  he lacked the strength to fulfill his duties and on February 28 would resign as pope.  This would make him the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement of his resignation sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new pope for the world's 1 billion Catholics.


Bookmakers gave the edge to Francis Arinze, followed by Marc Ouellet and Peter Turkson closely in the third place. A quarter of the cardinals that elect a new pope are Italian. The last non-Italian pope before Benedict XVI, who is German, and his Polish predecessor John Paul II was Adrian VI, who died in 1523. Arinze and Turkson are among 18 Africans in the Vatican’s College of Cardinals.


Cardinal Francis Arinze, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, was born November 1, 1932 in Eziowelle, Onitsha, Anambra, Nigeria.


*Photo Caption - Cardinal Francis Arinze

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