Following a series of health difficulties, rumors have circulated that Pope Francis may retire.
Unsourced reports in Italian and Catholic media have suggested that the 85-year-old may be about to step down.
Following a series of health difficulties, Pope Francis may be considering stepping down.
They’ve been fueled by news that Pope Francis would visit the central Italian city of L’Aquila in August 2022 for a feast started by Pope Celestine V, one of the few popes to resign.
Pope Francis, also known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, took over for Benedict XVI, who stepped down nine years ago.
He was seen as a reformer who stood in stark contrast to Benedict.
His term as Pope, however, has been hampered by a succession of health problems.
Francis has had to use a wheelchair as a result of his colon surgery.
In 2013, Pope Francis was elected with the goal of reforming the Vatican.
He named a slew of new cardinals to decide his successor in May 2022, fueling speculation that his agenda may be nearing completion.
By the time the new cardinals are formally installed on August 27 at a consistory in Rome, Francis will have named 83 of the 132 cardinal electors, increasing the likelihood that they will choose a successor who will continue Francis’ mercy before dogma policies.
In August, Pope Francis will meet with all cardinals in Rome to consider a new Vatican constitution.
As part of Francis’s campaign to make the Vatican less self-referential and more open to the needs of far-flung dioceses, the new constitution is expected to allow women to lead Vatican departments, impose term limits on priestly Vatican employees, and position the Holy See as an institution at the service of local churches.