What if Pope Francis really resigns? Rumors speculating this have been circulating for some time, albeit they are not supported by any official source. The Washington Post he dwells at length on the health conditions of Francesco, 85, who has had a for months inflamed ligament in the knee and started using the wheelchair to get around.
To corroborate the hypothesis of the resignation, also the decision of the Pope of convoke a consistory for 27 August and install 21 new cardinals, including 16 under the age of 80, who would have the right to vote in a conclave (popes generally do not convene consistories at the end of the summer, when Rome is still on holiday). This may mean that Francis will select more than 60% of the figures who will choose his replacement, increasing the chances of a successor who thinks like him. According to some, it could be a sign of the urgency that the Pope feels to prepare the Church for his “departure”.
Not only that: Pope Francis has planned a trip to L’Aquilawhere he will visit the basilica that houses the tomb of Celestino V, one of the few popes who have resigned.
From the Vatican comes some denial: “His health conditions are not brilliant,” he told al Washington Post a senior Vatican official, who asked for anonymity to talk about such a delicate issue. “But this is not enough to impose resignation.”
In fact, the Pontiff shows good resistance: the pain in his knee caused him to skip only some events, but not the important trips to Central Africa – Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan – and in Canada they remain scheduled for July. The Pope also planned a trip to Kazakhstan in September.
Not only. In the Vatican it is thought that Francis does not want to resign while Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is still alive. At 95, Benedict was a former pope longer than a pope. Having two former popes at the same time would make the situation of the new pontiff really complex.
By the end of October, Francis will become the oldest incumbent pope since the time of Leo XIII, who died in 1903 at the age of 93. Before Benedict’s historic resignation in 2013, the resignation was not contemplated for the popes, who continued their mandate until his death. But Francis himself had made it clear that Benedict XVI’s decision “must not be considered an exception”.
Source: Vanity Fair