At the age of eighty-five, anyone would want to retire. Yet, a pope’s resignation is not so common and the Vatican would have to swiftly replace one pope for another. That’s why recent speculation about Pope Francis’s health has caused somewhat of a frenzy inside the Vatican and out.
Why does everyone think Pope Francis is about to resign? From health issues to strange new meetings with cardinals, there are definitely a few damning hints as to why the pope is on his way out.
Discover why Pope Francis may be retiring soon from his holy role and how he wouldn’t be the first pope to do so.
Clues that reveal Pope Francis’s possible retirement
Pope Francis has shared that he suffers from sciatic nerve pain and constant knee pain. Now, the public has become worried as he’s been seen using a wheelchair in recent weeks. To add more concern, Pope Francis has decided to postpone his trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan which was set for July.
Considering he’s apparently wheelchair-bound, it seems that the pope would struggle to fulfill his duties abroad, but can he still fulfill them at the Vatican?
One other action has also troubled the public. He declared an unusual decision to hold a consistory to name new cardinals during a Vatican vacation month and organized conferences to guarantee his reforms remain intact.
The remarkable consistory will be held on August 27th to initiate twenty-one new cardinals. It’s been reported that sixteen of them will be under the age of eighty. As a result, they would be eligible to be elected by Francis in a forthcoming conclave.
Previously, Pope Francis has made it clear he’d be open to resignation if his health called for it. Back in May, during a meeting with bishops, Francis addressed his knee issues, saying, “Rather than operate, I’ll resign.”
Who opened the door for popes’ resignations?
In the past, the concept of a pope resigning seemed impossible, even unimaginable. Yet, in 2013, Benedict XVI relinquished his role as pope due to his declining physical & mental health.
In 2014, a year after being elected to replace Pope Benedict, Francis told journalists that he would also consider retirement if his health were to affect his ability to serve as pope. “He (Benedict) opened a door, the door to retired popes,” Francis said.
Vatican insiders claim that Pope Francis isn’t leaving
Despite the recent rumors and speculation of Francis’s deteriorating health, insiders have shared that they believe Francis isn’t going anywhere. Well, at least not so soon.
One source told AFP: “In the pope’s entourage, the majority of people don’t really believe in the possibility of a resignation.”
Actually, it’s been shared that such rumors of the pope’s dismissal have been a constant ever since his election. These are considered nothing new within the Roman Curia and are apparently fueled by opponents and those who would benefit from the pope’s resignation. According to Italian Vatican expert Marco Politi, these talks come and go.
“These rumors are encouraged by the pope’s opponents who are only eager to see Francis leave,” he told AFP.
Another indicator of the pope’s longevity is the fact that he’s still scheduled to travel to Canada at the end of July. As shared by the Vatican, Pope Francis currently is receiving injections for the pain in his knee and undergoing physical therapy to keep him healthy.
Do you think Pope Francis is on his way to retirement? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments below.