The papacy’s European tour

If you're a gambler, here's a surefire moneymaker: The next pope will be Austrian. See, after hundreds upon hundreds of years of Italian popes, the Vatican went with a Polish guy in 1978. I figure they (collectively) have regretted it ever since, but they don't seem to want to admit it, cut their losses and go back to the Italians. So instead, they've been slowly working their way back to Italy. During last year's vacancy, they could have picked someone from Latin America, home to more Catholics than anywhere, or Africa, the fastest-growing Catholic market. But no, they went to Germany. Can't you see what's happening here? John Paul II: Polish. Benedict XVI: German. What's between Germany and Italy? Austria. Head to your local trashy British bookie right now.

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