Pope Francis revealed that after being elected in 2013, he signed a resignation letter to be used if a serious and permanent medical condition rendered him unable to perform his duties.
Reported ReutersSunday (18/12/2022) it was revealed Pope Franciswho turns 86 on Saturday and appears to be in good health except for a sore knee, in an interview with Spanish newspaper ABC.
Pope Francis has acknowledged delivering the letter to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, which is a holdover from Benedict XVI’s previous papacy. Bertone remained in this position for about six months after the election of the pontiff, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, on March 13, 2013.
Pope Francis has often said he would step down if his health distracted him from leading the Roman Catholic Church of 1.3 billion people worldwide.
“I signed my resignation. Tarcisio Bertone is the foreign secretary. I signed it and told him: ‘In case of obstruction for medical or other reasons, here is my resignation,'” said the Pope Francis.
Pope Francis answered the question of whether he thinks official standards should be established for when health problems or accidents hinder a pope.
“I don’t know who Cardinal Bertone might have given it to, but I gave it to when he was foreign minister,” Pope Francis said, adding that it was the first time he had made it public. .
In an interview with Reuters in July, Pope Francis dismissed speculative reports that his resignation was imminent and reiterated that he could resign one day if his poor health prevented him from leading the Church – which would have been almost unthinkable before Benedict XVI. XIV. . who is currently 95, resigned in 2013. It was the first papal resignation in six centuries.
Since July, Pope Francis has made three international trips to Canada, Kazakhstan and Bahrain and plans to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan from January 31 to February 5, 2023.
Pope Francis was supposed to make the trip last July, but his knee problems forced him to delay it. He now uses a cane for short walks and a wheelchair for longer distances indoors.
In the ABC interview, Pope Francis said he believed Pope Paul VI (1963-1978) and Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) signed similar letters of resignation. However, both popes died in office.
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