Pope Francis has signed a letter of resignation in the event of ill health


Pope Francis has revealed in a new interview that he has already signed his resignation letter to be used in case he becomes “deficient”.

Francis made the comment in an interview with Spanish news outlet ABC, published on Sunday, when asked what would happen if a pope was suddenly rendered unable to perform his duties due to health issues or an accident. .

Francis said he wrote the letter several years ago and delivered it to Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who resigned in 2013.

“I have already signed my waiver. The Secretary of State at the time was Tarcisio Bertone. I signed it and said, ‘If I become medically disabled or whatever, here’s my waiver,’” Francis said.

“I don’t know who Cardinal Bertone gave this letter to, but I gave it to him when he was secretary of state,” Francis said, adding that it was the first time he had spoken publicly about the situation. existence of the letter.

Francis said former pontiffs Paul VI and Pius XII also wrote their letters of renunciation for permanent incapacity.

Francis, 86, appears to be in good health apart from knee issues. He has often been seen with a cane and sometimes uses a wheelchair due to pain in his right knee.

Earlier this year he canceled a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan after doctors said he may also have to miss a later trip to Canada unless he agrees to follow 20 days additional therapy and rest for his right knee.

Last year he underwent surgery to remove part of his colon due to diverticulitis, a common condition.

In 2013, Francis’ immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, took the almost unprecedented step of stepping down from his post, citing “advanced age” as the reason and surprising the Catholic world.

It was the first time a pope had resigned in nearly 600 years. The last pope to resign before his death was Gregory XII, who in 1415 resigned to end a civil war within the church in which more than one man claimed to be pope.


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