Everyone’s talking about Pope Benedict’s resignation, and wondering who will be elected by the Cardinals to serve as the 266th head of the Catholic Church. Some names which have been repeated in the media include Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; and Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa; and Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and former archbishop of Cape Coast in Ghana.
Two American cardinals are also among those considered “papabile”—that is, qualified for the office of the papacy. They are Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York.
But even with Quebecer Marc Cardinal Ouellet as one of the leading contenders, the Quebec Lottery (Loto-Québec) recently declined to follow the lead of some foreign gambling houses which have allowed people to place bets on who will be the successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
The Quebec Lottery has expanded its gambling options recently, adding contests to predict the Oscars, as well as traditional sports gambling. However, it would be unbecoming, says an official Lottery spokesperson, for a state-run organization to offer betting on religion.
But there is an even bigger reason why you should not vote for your favorite candidate to the papacy. Just in case you were thinking about getting into the office pool, placing your bet on one of these guys, a word of warning:
Pope Gregory XIV, in Cogit nos, a papal bull issued on March 21, 1591, forbade under penalty of excommunication all bets concerning the election of a pope, the duration of a pontificate, or the creation of new Cardinals.