Pope Francis says he WILL resign if he gets 'too tired' to continue

Pope Francis says he WILL resign if he gets ‘too tired’ to continue in the role

  • Pope Francis told Italian media he would stand down from the role if ‘too tired’
  • The Pontiff has several times this year hinted at resigning from the position 

Pope Francis has said that he may step down if he becomes too tired to continue in the role.

Asked by Italian media what would lead the him to resign from the role, the Pope, 86, warned of ‘a fatigue that makes you not see things clearly… A lack of clarity when it comes to knowing how to assess situations.’

He said that he was ‘a bit ashamed’ to use a wheelchair due to a knee injury.

‘I am old. I have less physical resistance, the knee [problem] was a physical humiliation, even if the recovery is going well now.’

Last month, the Pope said that papal resignations should happen in exceptional circumstances.

Pope Francis has been head of the Catholic Church since March 2013, on Monday marking 10 years of his papacy.

In this file photo taken on May 05, 2022 Pope Francis arrives on wheelchair during the audience to the Participants to Plenary Assembly of the International Union of Superiors General on May 5, 2022 in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican

In the interview, published in La Repubblica, La Stampa and Corriere della Sera, he also said that the war in Ukraine had been driven by the interests of several empires.

He said the conflict was fuelled by ‘imperial interests, not just of the Russian empire, but of empires from elsewhere.’

He expressed a readiness to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for peace. 

The leader of the Catholic Church has this year increasingly added to speculation that he would stand down from the role.

In January, he added to growing rumours he might abdicate from the position with a sermon on the ‘virtue of stepping aside at the right time’. 

He said: ‘It is easy to become attached to roles and positions, to the need to be esteemed, recognised and rewarded.’

He continued: ‘It is good for us too to cultivate, like [Saint] John [the Baptist], the virtue of setting ourselves aside at the right moment, bearing witness that the point of reference of life is Jesus.

The Pope had previously stated he would step down from the role if his health deteriorated but dismissed general speculation.  

Pope Francis has been head of the Catholic Church since March 2013, this month marking 10 years of his papacy

Five popes have ‘verifiably’ renounced the position through history, with others disputed.

The most recent was Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013 and said he was motivated by his declining health due to old age.

Pope Benedict XVI was the first pope to renounce the position in 598 years, since Gregory XII resigned to end the Western Schism in the Catholic church.

Contemporary popes are generally expected to hold the position until their death.

The new precedent has flared rumours that Pope Francis may too at some point renounce the position.

In December, the current Pope revealed he had already signed a resignation letter years ago to take effect should be become ‘impaired’ by health issues or an accident.


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