Pope Francis Opens Up On Retirement Plans And Russia-Ukraine Crisis
Pope Francis has revealed that he may resign as head of the Catholic Church if he becomes too exhausted to continue.
In an interview with Italian media, the 86-year-old Pope warned of “fatigue that prevents you from seeing things clearly, Inability to evaluate situations with precision.”
He also mentioned feeling “a little embarrassed” about using a wheelchair due to a knee injury that has been causing him physical pain.
On Monday, the Pope, who has been the leader of the Catholic Church since March 2013, celebrated ten years as pontiff. Last month, he stated that papal resignations should only occur under extraordinary circumstances and that quitting was not “on his agenda.” However, he has gradually fueled rumors that he will eventually resign from his position if his health deteriorates.
The Pope commented on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine in an interview conducted with Italian Swiss television RSI and published in La Repubblica, La Stampa, and Corriere della Sera.
He stated that the war was fueled by the interests of multiple empires, not just the Russian empire, and expressed his willingness to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin in order to call for peace. While the Pope has repeatedly demanded an end to the conflict and denied being pro-Putin, he has previously suggested that the invasion of Ukraine was “possibly provoked in some way.”
The Pope’s statements about his potential resignation come after he claimed to have signed a letter of resignation in the event of a health decline.
“In actuality, a rule already exists. “I have already signed my renunciation,” he said, referring to Cardinal Bertone, who received the letter.
In January, he also preached on the “virtue of stepping aside at the right time,” declaring, “It is good for us to cultivate… the virtue of stepping aside at the right time, testifying that Jesus is the center of life.”
Despite his statements regarding a possible resignation, the Pope remains dedicated to his position as the leader of the Catholic Church. He has been an outspoken supporter of social justice, environmental protection, and interfaith dialogue, and he has sought to reform the Vatican’s bureaucracy and financial systems.
His papacy has also been marked by a number of controversies, including criticism from conservative Catholic organizations and accusations of mishandling cases of clergy sexual abuse.
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