Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 22, 2022.Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 22, 2022. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — While concerns regarding Pope Francis’ health have fueled rumors he might soon resign, Brazilian bishops told Vatican media outlets on June 20 that the pope intends to continue in his role as head of the Catholic Church “for as long as God allows it.”

Archbishop Roque Paloschi of Porto Velho said the pope reassured him during a visit at the Vatican on Monday that despite the many challenges the pope faces, resigning “does not cross his mind,” according to an article published by Vatican News.

Seventeen bishops from Brazil will meet with the pope this month for traditional “ad limina” visits, obligatory consultations that bishops from around the world make on a rotating five-year schedule.

“I want to live my mission as long as God allows me and that’s it,” Francis said when asked about his health by the bishops, according to Roque.

Cardinal Óscar Andés Rodríguez Maradiaga compared media reports on the subject to “a cheap soap opera.”

In the same Vatican article, Monsignor Lúcio Nicoletto, the administrator of Brazil’s Diocese of Roraima, said he was impressed by the “great strength” displayed by the aging pontiff, who during the meeting reinforced his commitment to protecting the Amazon rainforest and the Indigenous people who inhabit it.

In early June, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, one of the pope’s cardinal advisers, said the resignation rumors amounted to nothing more than “fake news” and compared media reports on the subject to “a cheap soap opera.”

Rumors of Pope Francis’ resignation have increased after the Vatican announced the cancellation of his planned July papal visit to Congo and South Sudan, citing knee pain. It’s unclear whether the pope will make his expected journey to Canada later next month.

Pope Francis began using a wheelchair in May, not long after the Vatican stated he was undergoing therapeutic injections aimed at lessening the pain in his right leg and knee. The pope has struggled for most of his adult life with sciatica, which has worsened with age.

In July 2021, Francis was taken to the Roman hospital Gemelli for surgery and was kept under observation for 11 days.

Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, shook the Catholic world and beyond when he announced his resignation as pope in 2013. In August, Francis will visit the Tomb of Celestine V, known for having resigned as pope in 1294, in the Italian town of Aquila. Four years before Benedict announced his retirement, he visited the same tomb.

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.

The latest from america

Archbishop Gabriel Mestre of La Plata has resigned unexpectedly after only eight months in the Argentine archdiocese previously headed by Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.
What do you make of a pope who has embraced the L.G.B.T.Q. Catholic community, but who reportedly used a gay slur while reiterating the church’s ban on admitting gay men to seminaries?
It has been 77 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball—and let his Brooklyn Dodgers to new heights in their final years in the borough.
James T. KeaneMay 28, 2024
A day after news broke that Pope Francis had allegedly used a derogatory word in a private conversation with Italian bishops about gay men applying to Italian seminaries, the Vatican has issued an official response.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 28, 2024