Pope Francis hints at potentially retiring one day as he talks about slowing down due to health and joint issues
During a 45-minute press conference aboard the Papal plane, Pope Francis revealed that he would need to “slow down” due to issues with his health, particularly his knee ligaments.
Francis referred to his one-week Canadian pilgrimage as “a bit of a test,” and one which shows not only the need for him to slow down but also to possibly one day retire.
He said he is not currently thinking of resigning but that the “door is open.”
From the New York Post:
“It’s not strange. It’s not a catastrophe. You can change the pope,” he said while sitting in an airplane wheelchair during a 45-minute news conference.Advertisement
Francis said that while he hadn’t considered resigning until now, he realizes he has to at least slow down.
“I think at my age, and with these limitations, I have to save (my energy) to be able to serve the church, or on the contrary, think about the possibility of stepping aside,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Pope strained his knees and was forced to cancel a July trip to Africa due to the continuing necessity of laser and magnetic therapy.
During his trek across Canada, the Pope apologized to indigenous peoples for their mistreatment by Canadian church schools.
This was Pope Francis’s first trip in which he made use of a wheelchair, further emphasizing the issues with his knees.
The head of the Catholic Church has ruled out surgery for his knees since they would not necessarily help the issue and due to “traces” remaining from his anesthetized surgery to remove part of his intestines in 2021.
Pope Francis seems to acknowledge fully that one day he may need to step down from his position, but this would certainly not be the first time a Pope has done so, as his predecessor, Pope Benedict, retired in 2013.