Pope Francis denies he is planning to resign soon

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In an exclusive interview with Reuters in his Vatican residence, Francis additionally denied rumors that he had most cancers, joking that his docs “did not inform me something about it,” and for the primary time gave particulars of the knee situation that has prevented him finishing up some duties.

In a 90-minute dialog on Saturday afternoon, performed in Italian, with no aides current, the 85-year-old pontiff additionally repeated his condemnation of abortion following the US Supreme Court docket ruling final month.

Rumors have swirled within the media {that a} conjunction of occasions in late August, together with conferences with the world’s cardinals to debate a brand new Vatican structure, a ceremony to induct new cardinals, and a go to to the Italian metropolis of L’Aquila, may foreshadow a resignation announcement.

L’Aquila is related to Pope Celestine V, who resigned the papacy in 1294. Pope Benedict XVI visited the town 4 years earlier than he resigned in 2013, the primary pope to take action in about 600 years.

However Francis, alert and relaxed all through the interview as he mentioned a variety of worldwide and Church points, laughed the thought off.

“All of those coincidences made some suppose that the identical ‘liturgy’ would occur,” he mentioned. “However it by no means entered my thoughts. For the second no, for the second, no. Actually!”

Francis did, nonetheless, repeat his typically acknowledged place that he may resign sometime if failing well being made it unattainable for him to run the Church — one thing that had been virtually unthinkable earlier than Benedict XVI.

Requested when he thought that is perhaps, he mentioned: “We do not know. God will say.”

Knee harm

The interview happened on the day he was to have left for Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, a visit he needed to cancel as a result of docs mentioned he may also should miss a visit to Canada from July 24-30 until he agreed to have 20 extra days of remedy and relaxation for his proper knee.

He mentioned the choice to cancel the Africa journey had triggered him “a lot struggling,” significantly as a result of he needed to advertise peace in each international locations.

Francis used a cane as he walked right into a reception room on the bottom flooring of the Santa Marta visitor home the place he has lived since his election in 2013, eschewing the papal residence within the Apostolic Palace utilized by his predecessors.

The room has a replica of one among Francis’ favourite work: “Mary, Untier of Knots,” created round 1700 by the German Joachim Schmidtner.

Requested how he was, the pope joked: “I am nonetheless alive!”

He gave particulars of his ailment for the primary time in public, saying he had suffered “a small fracture” within the knee when he took a misstep whereas a ligament was infected.

“I’m effectively, I’m slowly getting higher,” he mentioned, including that the fracture was knitting, helped by laser and magnet remedy.

Francis additionally dismissed rumors {that a} most cancers had been discovered a yr in the past when he underwent a six-hour operation to take away a part of his colon due to diverticulitis, a situation widespread within the aged.

“It (the operation) was an ideal success,” he mentioned, including with fun that “they did not inform me something” concerning the supposed most cancers, which he dismissed as “court docket gossip.”

However he mentioned he didn’t need an operation on his knee as a result of the overall anesthetic in final yr’s surgical procedure had had detrimental side-effects.

Papal journey to Moscow?

Talking of the scenario in Ukraine, Francis famous that there have been contacts between Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov a few attainable journey to Moscow.

The preliminary indicators weren’t good. No pope has ever visited Moscow, and Francis has repeatedly condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; final Thursday he implicitly accused it of waging a “merciless and mindless battle of aggression.”

Ukraine war 'perhaps in some way either provoked or not prevented,' says Pope Francis

When the Vatican first requested a few journey a number of months in the past, Francis mentioned Moscow replied that it was not the suitable time.

However he hinted that one thing might now have modified.

“I wish to go (to Ukraine), and I needed to go to Moscow first. We exchanged messages about this as a result of I assumed that if the Russian president gave me a small window to serve the reason for peace … and now it’s attainable, after I come again from Canada, it’s attainable that I handle to go to Ukraine,” he mentioned. “The very first thing is to go to Russia to attempt to assist indirectly, however I wish to go to each capitals.”

Abortion ruling

Requested concerning the US Supreme Court docket’s ruling overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling establishing a girl’s proper to have an abortion, Francis mentioned he revered the choice however didn’t have sufficient info to talk about it from a juridical standpoint.

However he strongly condemned abortion, evaluating it to “hiring successful man.” The Catholic Church teaches that life begins in the meanwhile of conception.

“I ask: Is it legit, is it proper, to remove a human life to resolve an issue?”

Francis was requested a few debate in america over whether or not a Catholic politician who’s personally against abortion however helps others’ proper to decide on ought to be allowed to obtain the sacrament of communion.

Home of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for instance, has been barred by the conservative archbishop of her residence diocese of San Francisco from receiving it there, however is frequently given communion at a parish in Washington, D.C. Final week, she acquired the sacrament at a papal Mass within the Vatican.

“When the Church loses its pastoral nature, when a bishop loses his pastoral nature, it causes a political downside,” the pope mentioned. “That is all I can say.”

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