Pope Francis says retirement an option, but not yet

Aboard the papal plane, Jul 30 (EFE).- Pope Francis on Saturday said the “door was open” to his possible retirement as pontiff, although he was not thinking of such a move yet.

Speaking to journalists on his papal plane following a six day trip to Canada, where he apologized for the treatment of indigenous people at the hands of the Catholic Church, Francis said it would not be “a catastrophe” to change the pope.

Francis, 85, addressed the notion several times during his press conference, alluding to his physical ailments for which he uses a wheelchair.

“At my age and with the limitations I have, I have to save my strength a bit to be able to serve the Church (…) or consider stepping aside,” he said, from his wheelchair, during a 45 minute conference.

It followed a long day of travel that saw the pope travel from Quebec to Iqaluit, far northern Canada, where he met with members of the Inuit community.

Francis has previously dismissed rumors that he could soon decide to retire as pope, following the footsteps of his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

“The door is open and it is one of the options, but until now I have not knocked on that door. I have not felt this as a possibility yet, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t start thinking about it tomorrow.” EFE


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