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“The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power quickly issued odds on the cardinals considered most likely to succeed Benedict — with Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican’s office for bishops, Cardinal Francis Arinze, a Nigerian who was converted from animism by Irish missionaries, Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson of Ghana and Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, among the early favorites.

“The longest odds offered by the bookie are 1,000/1 on the Irish singer Bono, who is not Catholic, and the Irish television star Father Dougal Maguire, who is not real.”