Pope says he must step down or resign

Pope Francis acknowledges that he won’t be able to travel as much as before and will either have to slow down or step down.

Pope Francis spoke candidly with reporters as he returned from Canada.
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– I don’t think I can continue to travel as much as before, the 85-year-old pope said Saturday as he returned home to the Vatican after finishing a six-day visit to Canada.

There he had to resort to the wheelchair several times due to knee problems.

– I think that at my age and with this limitation, I have to hold back a little to serve the Church. Alternatively, I am considering the possibility of withdrawing, the Pope continued.

Benedikt moved forward

This is not the first time that the Pope has mentioned that he could step down and follow the example of his predecessor Benedict XVI.

He resigned in 2013 due to health problems and now lives a quiet life in the Vatican. It was the first time that a pope had resigned since the Middle Ages, and the decision sent shock waves through the Catholic Church.

Already the following year, in 2014, Pope Francis said that if he had health problems, he would consider resigning. And in May this year, according to Italian media, he joked that he would rather retire than operate on his knee. The statement was reportedly made during a closed-door meeting with bishops.

– Normally

On Saturday, he described a possible departure as a “normal choice”.

– But until now I haven’t knocked on this door. But that doesn’t mean I won’t start thinking about it the day after tomorrow, right? But at the moment I’m not thinking about it, he said.

He called the trip to Canada a test of sorts and admitted that it was really too demanding for a man in his condition and that it was time to change his style.

During his visit to Canada, the Pope asked forgiveness for the injustice that Catholic schools committed against the country’s indigenous population, in relation to the forced transfer of thousands of children to boarding schools.

– Genocide

On the return flight, he called the treatment of the indigenous population genocide.

– I didn’t say the word in Canada because I wasn’t thinking about it, but I described the genocide. And I asked for forgiveness for this process, which was a genocide, the Pope told the journalists who accompanied him on his trip.

Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission determined in 2015 that the forced placement of Indigenous children in boarding schools constituted “cultural genocide.”

From the late 19th century until the 1970s, 150,000 children were exposed to the country’s assimilation policy, the aim of which was to strip children of their original culture, language and identity. Thousands of people died while at the schools, and in recent years a number of unmarked graves linked to the now-closed schools have been discovered.


Darell Ferguson

"Tv guru. Analyst. Lifelong alcohol junkie. Friendly bacon specialist. Twitter nerd."

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