On Saturday, Pope Francis admitted he needs to slow down, telling reporters after a six-day trip to Canada that he cannot maintain his pace of international travel, and may have to think about retiring.
Speaking after that trip, during which the 85-years-old Pope made a historic apology for the church’s role in indigenous residential schools, he hinted that he might abdicate at some point in the near future.
According to the Associated Press, more than 150,000 native children in Canada were forced to attend Christian schools from the 19th century until the 1970s.
He described the week-long pilgrimage to Canada as “a bit of a test” and revealed he needed to slow down and eventually retire. The pope has frequently used a wheelchair, walker, or cane in recent weeks following a knee injury.
“I think that at my age and with this limitation I have to save some energy to be able to serve the Church, or on the contrary, think about the possibility of stepping down,” Pope Francis said.
“I don’t think I can continue doing trips with the same rhythm as before,” he said. “But I will try to continue to travel in order to be close to people because it is a way of serving.”
“This, with all honesty, is not a catastrophe. There can be a change of popes, there is no problem with that. The door is open. It is one of the normal options. Up until today, I did not use that door. I did not think it was necessary to think of this possibility, but that does not mean that the day after tomorrow I don’t start thinking about it.”
In two years, the Pope has cracked down on corruption and greed within the church and ordered officials to be more transparent about their finances. In February, the archdiocese of Cologne revealed that it had amassed wealth totaling 3.35 billion euros ($3.5 billion). He has also attempted to weed out clergy who sexually abuse children after years of scandals within the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis has already stated that, should his health need it, he may follow his predecessor Benedict XVI, who made history in 2013 by resigning owing to failing physical and mental health.
The Pope navigated his journey with the aid of a wheelchair, walker, and cane. He injured ligaments in his right knee earlier this year and, because of laser and magnetic therapy, he had to postpone a trip to Africa, which was supposed to take place in the first week of July.
‘The Daily Wire’ give us more details:
His trip to Canada might have revealed the need for Francis to slow down his travels or face retirement sooner than he anticipated. Francis had previously noted his interest in traveling to both Kyiv and Moscow to help encourage peace between Ukraine and Russia.
The pope also made headlines recently over a Univision interview during which he claimed that President Joe Biden’s claim to be Catholic yet support abortion is “incoherent.” The Catholic Church’s teachings oppose abortion.
“A month after conception, the DNA of the fetus is already there and the organs are aligned. There is human life,” the pope said during the interview. “Is it just to eliminate a human life?”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Francis referred Biden to speak to his spiritual advisors regarding the church’s understanding of the issue of human life in the womb.
“I leave it to [President Biden’s] conscience and that he speaks to his bishop, his pastor, his parish priest about that incoherence,” he added.
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