There are rumors that Pope Francis could resign after a spate of health problems that plagued the Pope of late.
Italian and Catholic media are “full of speculation without sources” that the 85-year-old could resign.
Will Pope Francis resign?
NPR said the Pope could prepare to resign after a spate of health problems.
They are fueled by an announcement that Francis will visit the central Italian city of L’Aquila in August for a celebration started by Pope Celestine V – one of the few popes to resign.
Pope Francis, also known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, replaced Benedict XVI, who retired nine years ago.
He was seen as a reformer and was in stark contrast to Benedict.
But he has been stricken by a series of health problems that have hampered his time as Pope.
They include colon surgery, which forced Francis to be in a wheelchair for the past month.
His visit to L’Aquila has also raised eyebrows.
Benedict visited Celestine V’s grave in 2009, some four years before he stepped down.
When was Pope Francis elected?
Pope Francis was elected in 2013 with the mandate to reform the Vatican.
He recently appointed a series of new cardinals who will choose his successor, raising rumors that his agenda will soon be complete.
He will have named 83 of the 132 cardinal voters, increasing his chances of electing a successor ready to push through a similar “mercy before dogma” agenda, according to The Times.
Pope Francis has also invited all cardinals to come to Rome in August to discuss a new Vatican constitution.
It is clear that the new constitution will empower women to lead Vatican branches, impose term limits on Vatican priestly employees and position the Holy See as an institution at the service of local churches, as part of Francis’ campaign to ” to make the Vatican less selfish”. referential and more open to the needs of distant dioceses,” said The Week.
Who replaced Pope Francis?
Pope Francis replaced Pope Benedict XVI in 2013 when he chose to resign.