Pope Francis has hinted that he may soon consider stepping down if his health became a hindrance to serving in the way that he should.

He gave the hint at the end of a trip to Canada where he was apologized to the indigenous people

The 85-year-old stated his will for the moment to continue in his duties, and will be guided by God as to when he will step down.


“It is not a catastrophe to change Pope, it is not a taboo,” he told journalists from a wheelchair on the plane from Canada’s Arctic territory to Rome.

“The door [to retiring] is open – it is a normal option. But until today I have not knocked on that door. I have not felt the need to think about this possibility – that is not to say that in two days’ time I might not start thinking about it.”

Pope Francis has over recent months suffered ongoing knee trouble that has impacted his mobility. He spent much of his visit to Canada in a wheelchair.

But he has previously dismissed speculation about more serious, life-threatening illnesses.


“This trip has been intense,” he said. “I don’t think I can keep travelling with the same rhythm I used to at my age and with the limitation of this knee.

“I either need to save myself a little in order to continue serving the Church, or I need to consider the possibility of stepping aside.”

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