St. Malachy prophesied that the final pope would be "Peter the Roman", which is interesting because no pope to date has chosen the name of Peter out of respect for Peter the Apostle. There has also been speculation that the final pope would be black. Even more curiously, there is a black cardinal in Ghana, Peter Turkson, who is believed to be a frontrunner and whose name has come up in previous discussions of papal appointment.
Cardinal Turkson has said in the past that "if God would wish to see a black man also as pope, thanks be to God." Catholic Church chronicler Rocco Palmo has called Turkson the lone Scripture scholar in the Pope's "Senate", and believes that his status as a potential "papabile" has been elevated due to his 2009 appointment as spokesman for the Second Synod for Africa.
Outside of the Church, there are also many who believe that Turkson is the favorite to take over as pontiff. Even the London bookmakers believe he's the top choice. Odds comparison site Oddschecker.com lists Turkson at best price odds of 4/1, and as short as 2/1 with some firms. Francis Arinze, the Nigerian Cardinal, is also a huge favorite with the bookies.
There are some who insist that Malachy did not say that the last pope he mentioned would be the 112th pope, insisting that he was merely the last, and theorizing that there could be more popes to come between Benedict and "Peter the Roman". However, this is not a belief that everyone subscribes to and many believe that "Peter the Roman" will be both the 112th and last pope of the Catholic Church.
Malachy's prophecies are taken very seriously as they've been uncannily accurate to date. Will the Catholic Church get its first black pope? Will "Peter the Roman" lead us into the End Times? These questions are set to be answered by Easter, which comes this year at the end of March, when the papal conclave announces their decision.