Pope Francis, the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church, has denied rumors of his resignation and said that his trip to Canada this month was very much on. He also said that he hopes to go to Kyiv and Moscow at the earliest.
In an interview granted at his residence at the Vatican, the Pope also denied reports that he was suffering from cancer and joked that his doctor had not told him about it. Pope Francis also spoke about his knee condition for the first time.
Pope Francis spoke in Italian for 90 minutes without the presence of an aide. The pontiff, aged 85, also reiterated his views against abortion after the ruling by the US Supreme Court last month.
A flurry of events led to the conjecture that Pope Francis was in the process of resigning from the Vatican. He had held a meeting with the cardinals from around the world to finalize a new constitution for the Vatican and inducted new cardinals.
He also visited L’Aquila, an Italian city. The city is linked to the first Pope who resigned in 1294, Pope Celestine V. Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned in 2013 and had also visited L’Aquila 4 years before his resignation. He was the 1st Pope in 600 years to resign.
Pope Francis Was Alert Throughout The Interview And Dismissed Rumors Of His Resignation
But Pope Francis was alert and composed throughout his interview and discussed extensively the Church and international issues. He also dismissed all rumors of his resignation.
He said that the series of events misled people into thinking that he was on the verge of resigning. But it never crossed his mind, he said. He added that he had no plans at the moment, repeating the sentence.
Pope Francis though made it clear that he would resign if his health made it untenable for him to retain his position. It was something unthinkable before the papacy of Benedict XVI.