ABC NEWS/STAFF -- The sudden and surprising resignation of Pope Benedict XVI after just eight years leading the church has created a flurry of speculation over who will follow him. The Cardinals who will choose the next Pope rarely follow conventional wisdom, and so there is no obvious choice. To get an idea of who may be in the running, follow the money. In Ireland, where people are intrigued by all things Catholic, a bookie has already put out a betting line for those who wish to wager on who will be the next Pope. You can see the odds here:
Here is some basic information about who oddsmakers and many experts believe to be the frontrunners.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68, Canada: Younger and very conservative with strong backing by many of his colleagues, the question is whether he really wants the job. Ouellet was once quoted in a Canadian paper as saying he would never be pontiff, and that they job itself is a 'nightmare.'
Cardinal Peter Turkson, 64, Ghana: Many believe there is strong momentum for the next Pope to be an African, both as a sign of the church's greater diversity in a part of the world where Catholicism is thriving. Turkson brings a combination of youthfulness and charisma while being conservative enough to gain a majority of the Cardinals' support.
Cardinal Francis Arinze, 80, Nigeria: Cardinal Arinze is on this list because he was on the 'short list' the last time a Pope was chosen. He has strong conservative credentials, and might be an appealing choice if the Cardinals don't feel ready to choose someone younger who could set a long-term direction for the church as John Paul II did. As the adage goes, "young Cardinals choose old Popes."