Pope Francis Denies Rumors He Will Resign: ‘God Will Tell’ | World

Pope Francis has denied rumors he plans to step down in the near future, saying he is on his way to visit Canada this month and hopes to be able to go to Moscow and Kiev as soon as possible after that.

The pontiff gave an exclusive interview to Reuters in the Vatican last Saturday (2) and the content was released on Monday (4).

Francis also denied rumors he had cancer, joking that his doctors “didn’t say anything about it”, and for the first time gave details about a knee condition that prevented him from performing some duties.

In the conversation, the pope also repeated his condemnation of abortion after the US Supreme Court ruling last month.

Rumors surfaced in the media that a series of events in late August, including meetings with world cardinals to discuss a new Vatican constitution, a ceremony to swear in new cardinals and a visit to the Italian city of L’Aquila, could foreshadow an announcement. of resignation.

Pope Francis during an interview with Reuters in the Vatican – Photo: Remo Casilli/Reuters

L’Aquila is associated with Pope Celestine V, who resigned from the papacy in 1294. Pope Benedict XVI visited the city four years before resigning in 2013, the first pope to do so in some 600 years.

“All these coincidences made some think that the same ‘liturgy’ would happen. But it never crossed my mind. Not yet, not yet. Really!”

Francis, however, repeated his oft-stated position that he might one day resign if failing health made it impossible to run the Church — something that was almost unthinkable before Benedict.

Asked when he thought that might happen, he said: “We don’t know. God will tell.”

Francis also gave details of his illness for the first time in public, saying he had suffered “a small fracture” in his knee when he took a misstep while a ligament was inflamed.

“I’m fine, I’m slowly improving,” he said, adding that the fracture was treated with laser and magnetic therapy.

Pope Francis during an interview with Reuters in the Vatican – Photo: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Francis also dismissed rumors that cancer was found a year ago when he underwent a six-hour operation to remove part of his colon for diverticulitis, a common condition in the elderly.

“It (the operation) was a great success,” he said, adding with a laugh that “they didn’t tell me anything” about the alleged cancer, which he dismissed as “gossip.”

But he said he didn’t want a knee operation because the general anesthesia in last year’s surgery had negative side effects.

Asked about the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the historic Roe v. Wade, which establishes a woman’s right to abortion, Francis said he respects the decision but doesn’t have enough information to speak about it from a legal point of view.

But he strongly condemned abortion, comparing it to “hiring a hired assassin”. The Catholic Church teaches that life begins at conception.

“I ask: is it legitimate, is it right, to take a human life to solve a problem?” he said.

For Francis during an interview with Reuters in the Vatican – Photo: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Speaking of the situation in Ukraine, Francis noted that there had been contacts between Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about a possible trip to Moscow.

The initial signs were not good. No pope has ever visited Moscow, and Francis has repeatedly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Last Thursday, the pontiff implicitly accused Russia of waging a “cruel and senseless war of aggression”.

When the Vatican first asked about a trip several months ago, Francis said Moscow responded that the time was not right.

But he hinted that something might have changed now. “I would like to go (to Ukraine), and I would like to go to Moscow first. The first thing is to go to Russia to try to help in some way, but I would like to go to both capitals.”

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