There’s probably some special Hell for people who bet on papal races, but we all know they have to have a Pope by Easter to say the Mass, and well, have items to sell to the influx of pilgrims (tacky but true). The top pick around the office is Joao Braz de Aviz, or anyone with black hair (ie, not so old he doesn’t tweet).
Braz de Aviz is 65 (and has black hair). There are younger Cardinals, age 53 is the baby of the group. Almost all the Cardinals were appointed by Benedict XVI or John Paul II. The two eldest were appointed by Paul VI.
Braz de Aviz also has some PR virtues. Young(ish), gives off the warm fuzzy vibe, but dedicated to the traditional Church and the poor. He’s also from Brazil. That makes him 3rd world, and yet kind of European. He also has an interesting history — he’s been shot in an armed robbery. And an interesting background, he’s not of a religious order, but a keen supporter of religious orders.
In the face of the Church’s recent history, they really need to back away from elderly, lily white, European guys. But they probably aren’t ready to choose an Asian or African pope (although there was an African pope in the Church’s ancient history). And so, enter the Braz de Aviz.
Of course the only individual we’re expecting to see on our balcony on Easter morning . . . .
Yeah, we know what you’re thinking. What? Another elderly white guy?