According to the betting odds, cardinals from Canada, Nigeria and Ghana are favourites to replace Benedict XVI as Pope.
William Hill has placed 80 year old Francis Arinze from Nigeria as favourite with odds of 2/1. He is followed by Peter Turkson, 64 from Ghana at 5/2.
However, at Paddy Power the Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, 68, is favourite at 5/2 with Turkson at 3/1 and Arinze at 7/2. William Hill has given Ouellet odds of 7/2.
Pope Benedict, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, announced his resignation on Monday. He will leave the post on the last day of February, two months before his 86th birthday.
He has served as pope for almost eight years. However, the news was a huge shock to the Catholic world; Pope Benedict is the first to resign since the 13th century.
It is thought that the election process may reopen rifts within the church; many believe it is time to name a pope from the developing world where Catholicism is growing. Others believe that the pope should be a European despite the decline in the religion in Europe and the U.S.
Ladbrokes Plc, another large bookmaker, has also placed Arinze, Rukson and Oullet as favourites for the position