Vatican City: Pope Francis has denied rumours that he plans to step down soon, stating he will visit Canada this month as scheduled and wishes to visit Moscow and Kyiv as soon as possible after that.
In an exclusive interview at his Vatican residence, Francis also turned down the rumours that he had cancer, saying that his doctors “didn’t tell me anything about it.” He also revealed that, for the first time, his doctors told him regarding the knee problem that has stopped the pope from doing some duties.
The 85-year-old pontiff reiterated his opposition to abortion following the US Supreme Court ruling last month. In a 90-minute chat on Saturday afternoon that was held in Italian without the presence of any assistants.
Rumours were floating in the media that several events in late August were likely to take place, including meetings with a leading dignity of the Roman Catholic Church to discuss a new Vatican constitution, a ceremony to induct new cardinals, and a visit to the Italian city of L’Aquila, which could foreshadow a resignation announcement.
But Francis, who remained alert and answered the questions easily throughout the interview regarding a wide range of international and church issues, laughed the idea off.
“All of these coincidences made some think that the same ‘liturgy’ would happen,” he said. But it never entered my mind. For the time being, no.Really? ”
Francis has not denied that he might step down someday if failing health made it difficult for him to perform his duty and run the church properly-something that had been almost unthinkable before Benedict XVI.
Asked when he thought that may occur, he said, “We don’t know.” “God will say.”