Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting MG NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Next Pope 'could be anyone' - Herefordshire Abbot
AS the world awaits news of a new Pope, Belmont Abbey's own Abbot is as anxious as anyone to see who emerges as the successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
Around 200, 000 Catholics will be packing into the Rome's historic Saint Peter's square to see first-hand the famous white smoke rise above the Vatican.
The process can take days, sometimes even weeks or months, with cardinals voting four times a day until they reach a majority of ‘two-thirds plus one’.
Each time a vote fails to produce that majority, the cardinals send up a plume of black smoke from within the conclave – white smoke and the thousands waiting know a decision has been reached.
“I don’t think there is a clear favourite this time – it could take a while,” said Right Rev Dom Paul Stonham.
With no one outstanding candidate there has been speculation in the media that the door could be open for the first African, Asian or Latin American pope.
And both Brazilian Cardinal Odilo Scherer and Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson are among the hot favourites with Paddy Power.
“These days everyone wants something new, something novel, but it could be anyone,” said Father Paul.
“But the bookmakers often get it wrong.
“They could go to another Italian, to Archbishop Angelo Scola, or to a South American or African cardinal.”
However Father Paul doesn’t like the chances of US Cardinals Sean O’Malley and Raymond Burke – both currently among the favourites.
“It certainly won’t be an American,” he said.
Read more in this week's Hereford Times.