National Post | News

Pope Benedict XVI’s shock resignation could open the door for the Church’s first non-European leader in 1,500 years, with a Canadian and an Argentinean considered among the leading candidates to become the next pope.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, formerly the archbishop of Quebec City, has the best odds of replacing Pope Benedict XVI according to an Irish betting site, at 11 to 4.

Cardinal Ouellet, 68, is the head of the Congregation for Bishops, essentially the Vatican’s top staff director. He was once quoted saying being the pope “would be a nightmare.”

He also told Quebec City’s Le Soleil newspaper that a pope’s duties “are perhaps not very enviable” adding a pope’s responsibilities are “crushing.”

He set off a media firestorm in Canada in 2010 when he said he could not support abortion even in cases of rape because of Catholic teachings. Afterwards he and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast held a…

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