Well, what do you know, a black Pope?

Yup, it's very possible. Cardinal Francis Arinze, a long time contender to succeed Pope John Paul II, could be the first African pope since 496 ! Paddy Power PLC(Ireland's biggest bookmaker) is listing 11-4 odds for Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria and Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Italy, making the Nigerian joint favourite to take the job.

He heads the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which reviews liturgical texts. He had previously worked as the Vatican's point man for relations with Islam for almost 20 years, and is highly knowledgeable about the Muslim way
of life.

Most people are of the opinion that the next pope should come from the developing world, but the Latin Americans have some serious contendersfor the job as well, Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil, Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga of Honduras and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, the Archbishop of Mexico City are all in the running, and have a massive voting bloc behind them.

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