Pope Francis may abdicate for health reasons. This was reported Monday by the newspaper Libero.
There is increasing speculation in Vatican circles that a conclave is imminent, the newspaper said. The newspaper notes that in December, the pontiff will be 85, the same age as his predecessor, Benedict XVI when he abdicated.
In July, Francis, 84, underwent intestinal surgery under general anesthesia. The pope’s condition will determine his trip to Hungary and Slovakia, scheduled for Sept. 12-15. So far, that trip has been confirmed.
Francis, despite the fact that as a young man he had part of a lung removed after complicated pneumonia, is in fairly good health. Lately, he has been complaining only of pains in his legs. During the Christmas and New Year period, the pontiff canceled a number of activities due to sciatic nerve inflammation. In late February 2020, he had a bad cold at the onset of the pandemic.
On August 19, 2014, Francis admitted to reporters that he, like his predecessor, might abdicate for good reasons, such as health problems. The head of the Roman Catholic Church believes that 94-year-old Benedict XIV, now “pope at rest,” has “paved the way for honorable popes” and will “not be the last on that list.”
In one rare interview, Bergoglio allotted himself “five years.” Francis’ pontificate is in its ninth year.