Black or Asian Pope Tipped To Succeed Francis if He Resigns

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Assessment: Cardinal Peter Turkson is favored by conservatives while Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle was appointed by Pope Francis …

As rumors continue to swirl that Pope Francis may soon resign, bookmakers predict a Black or Asian cardinal could succeed him.

Speculation about Francis’ future has grown after the Vatican announced earlier this month that he would not be going on a planned trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan in July. The Vatican cited Francis’ knee ailment, which has forced the 85-year-old to use a wheelchair for at least a month.

Meanwhile, plans to visit the Italian city of L’Aquila in August for a feast have been viewed as an effort to cement his legacy, adding fuel to speculation that Francis could soon follow in Pope Benedict XVI’s footsteps and step down from leading the Catholic Church.

If he does, a conclave of cardinals will secretly elect Francis’ successor.

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.” Rev. 13:11

 Cardinal Peter Turkson and Luis Antonio Gokim

( Cardinal Peter Turkson, left, Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, right)

And while Catholic hierarchy has been dominated by Europeans for most of the church’s history, bookmakers have tipped cardinals from Africa and Asia as favorites to be elected the next pope.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle from the Philippines has been given 5/1 odds of being elected the next pope by British bookmakers OLBG. Also highly favored to replace Francis is Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, who has been given odds of 6/1.

Bookmaker Paddy Power has Turkson at 4/1, while Tagle is priced at 6/1.

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