oh Pope Francis He said the time may come for him to consider resigning as head of the Catholic Church — and said he would do so if his health prevented him from serving in the way he needed to. But he wasn’t thinking now, he said.
“The door (to resign) is open – it’s a normal option. But I haven’t knocked on that door until today. I don’t need to think about that possibility. Respect,” he said.
The comments came at the end of a trip to Canada in which he apologized to indigenous peoples for the church’s role in former schools to assimilate indigenous peoples and destroy their own cultures and languages.
It is an extensive and exhausting programming journey.
The Pope speaks to reporters on board the papal plane on his way back from a trip to Canada – Photo: Production and Photo Section/Release via REUTERS
Francis, 85, has said he wants to continue his duties – and if that happens, he will be guided by God about resigning.
Speaking to reporters while sitting in a wheelchair on the papal flight back to Rome from Canada, he said, “Changing popes is not a disaster, there is no obstacle.
In recent months, Francisco has suffered from knee problems that have affected his mobility. He spent most of the Canadian tour in a wheelchair.
But he insists he doesn’t have too many health problems, although he acknowledges the limitations imposed by age.
“This trip is intense,” he told reporters. “At my age, with the limitations of this knee, I don’t think I can travel as fast as I used to. I’m saving a little to continue serving in the Church, or I should consider the possibility. Leaving.”
The pope — whose predecessor, Benedict XVI, resigned in 2013 — also said he wanted to visit Ukraine, but would first consult with his doctors.
During his visit to Canada, the focus was on apologizing to the indigenous people.
Pope Francis wears an indigenous headdress during a meeting with local leaders – Photo: Guglielmo Mangiapane/REUTERS
The Pope became more involved when he interacted with local people – especially survivors of abuse in Catholic schools.
But during the more formal moments of the trip, such as political meetings, his fatigue became more apparent.
In a conversation with journalists during the return trip, he was encouraged by his criticism of the so-called “traditionalists” in the Catholic Church – who would celebrate the Pope’s change too much.
“A church that does not grow is a church that goes backwards,” Francis said. “A lot of people consider themselves traditionalists, but no, they’re going backwards. That’s a sin.”
“Tradition is a living faith in the dead, but your attitude is a dead faith in the living. It is important to understand the role of a tradition – a musician’s heritage is a guarantee for the future, it is not a museum.”
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