In June, rumors swirled that Pope Francis’ resignation was ‘imminent’ due to various health issues, including a recent operation on his knee.

The Pope has been seen in a wheelchair over the last year in public due to his knee injury.

On Monday, Pope Francis responded to the rumors, saying that he does not plan to resign any time soon.

He gave details of his knee injury for the first time in public, saying that he had a “small fracture” but is continuing to recover.

The Pope also said that he had an operation on his colon due to a condition called diverticulitis, which causes inflammation in the intestines.

He said that he has plans to visit Kyiv and Moscow in the coming months to promote peace between the two countries.

The Epoch Times Reports

Pope Francis adjusts his glasses in front of his chair, which has an image of the Shroud of Turin woven into the red fabric, as he leads a mass during a two-day pastoral visit in Turin, Italy, June 21, 2015. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino

Pope Francis on Monday responded to reports that he is planning to resign from his position in the near future, amid reports that he is gravely ill.

Speaking to Reuters, Francis denied that he is going to resign and noted he’s planning to visit Canada this month and says he wants to visit Moscow and Kyiv in the near future.

He also suggested to the news agency that he’s not gravely ill with cancer, joking that his personal doctors “didn’t tell me anything about it” before dismissing it as “court gossip.”

“All of these coincidences made some think that the same ‘liturgy’ would happen,” Francis added. “But it never entered my mind. For the moment no, for the moment, no. Really.”

Francis did say that he would resign one day if his health made it too difficult to carry out his duties running the Catholic Church. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned in 2013—the first time a pope has done so in more than 500 years when Pope Gregory XII stepped down in 1415.

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