Paddypower taking bets on the next pope
By abigail are not letting etiquette get in their way when it comes to trying to predict who the next pope will be. Although speculation is frowned upon by the Vatican, the site is now offering odds for punters keen to make a wager on who will be the next pontiff.

Currently the odds favour Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, who is presently listed at 2-1. His appointment as archbishop of Milan has been seen as an endorsement at the hands of Pope John Paul II. Second favourite is Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who is the Brazilian archbishop of Sao Paulo. Behind him is Nigeria’s Francis Arinze, who is listed at 3-1.

Behind these three leaders is a field of 30, who are known as “papabile”, which is the Italian term for those who are candidates for becoming pope. A law was passed by Pope Gregory XIV in 1591, which states that betting on the next pope is an excommunicable offence. Speaking on behalf of the site, Paddy Power stated that no disrespect was intended in putting odds on the candidates stating that: 'It's a bit of fun. The way we think about it is, it's a bit like betting on who will be the next manager of the Irish soccer team, except that it's who next will manage the church. It would be in bad taste if we bet directly on his health. But this is something that will happen. There will be a new pope, we just don't know when. We like to take bets on anything in the public eye.'

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