Francis does not rule out an eventual resignation | The Pope spoke to journalists on the flight back to the Vatican from Canada

Pope Francis raised this Saturday that his eventual resignation “is not a catastrophe” since “you can change the Pope and it is not a problem”although he ruled out that he is thinking of resigning in the short term.

“I don’t think I can continue with the same rate of travel as before,” the Pontiff acknowledged at a press conference aboard the papal plane with the journalists who accompanied him to the six day tour of canada.

“At my age and with this limitation, I must save a little to serve the Church or, on the contrary, think about the possibility of stepping aside. It is not a catastrophe, you can change your Pope, it is not a problem,” emphasized Jorge Bergoglio, 85, who used a wheelchair for the first time on this trip for most of his trips due to the injury that drags on his right knee.

For the Pope, faced with the hypothesis of a resignation, “the door is open, it is one of the normal options, but until today I have not used it. I have not thought of this possibility. But this does not mean that the day after tomorrow I do not think about it. This trip was a bit of a test. In this state you cannot make trips, you have to change the style, perhaps pay the bills for pending trips, “he acknowledged.

The Pope, who covered almost 20,000 kilometers in less than a week, used a cane to move around in closed spaces and used a wheelchair for outdoor trips. “I will seek to continue making trips and being close to people, because I believe that closeness is a way of serving,” she added later in reference to possible trips. Enthroned in 2013the Pope has already made 37 trips outside of Italy.

In this context, the Pope referred to some of his possible trips in the future and repeated his intention to go to Ukraine and carry out the visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan that he had planned for early July and had to postpone so as not to compromise the recovery of the knee.

“I said that I would like to go to Ukrainelet’s see what I find when I return home,” he said in reference to the study of the possible trip carried out by the Holy See and that will continue to be evaluated in Rome, where he arrived this Saturday morning.

I would like to go to Kazakhstanit’s a quiet trip, it’s a congress,” he added later about his almost certain participation in an ecumenical event from September 13 to 15 in the Central Asian country.

I also have to go to South Sudan because it is a trip with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the leader of the Church of Scotland, the three of us, who did the retreat“, he detailed about the ecumenical pilgrimage that seeks the African country after having gathered the political leaders in the Vatican to seek to help a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

Francis anticipated that the trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo could be “for next year”; once the “rainy season” is over. “I have all the good will but let’s see what the leg says,” she said.

Asked about the possibility of undergoing knee surgery, the Pope stated: “surgical intervention is not going. The technicians say yes, but there is the problem of anesthesia, I suffered six hours of anesthesia and I still see the traces, “he recalled in reference to the colon operation he underwent in July 2021.


On the same trip the Pope called “colonialist” the policies of some international credit organizations. “This doctrine of colonization is bad, it is unjust. Even today it is used,” the Pope said when asked at a press conference about the so-called “Doctrine of Discovery,” the name by which papal bulls from the 15th century are known. with which the Church endorsed the removal of land from the natives of Africa and America.

“For example, some bishops in some country told me ‘When our country asks for a loan from an international organization, they impose colonialist conditions, even legislative ones, to give us the loan.“, lamented the Pontiff during the 40-minute dialogue with the journalists who accompanied him on a six-day tour of Canada.

“They make you change your way of life,” the Pope recalled being told by the bishops of the country he did not want to identify, before landing in Rome yesterday. Francis thus recalled the colonization of America and rejected “that mentality that we are superior and these indigenous people are worthless” which, according to him, characterized the arrival of Europeans to the continent.

“This is serious. That is why we must work on what they say. Go back and sanitize what was done wrong, but with the awareness that the same colonialism exists today,” he added, always in response to his opinion on the 15th century bulls. .

“I think this is a problem of all colonialism. Even Today the ideological colonizations Today has the same problem. He who does not get in his way is inferior”, he lamented finally in that direction.

During the press conference on the flight with which he returned to Rome from Iqaluit, the Pope also showed a slight openness to discussing contraception in ecclesial circles.

“So many things have changed. For example, atomic weapons, that their use and possession is now immoral. Or the death penalty, there we are close to immorality,” the Pontiff compared, endorsing the opening of studies at the theological level, although it will be then the Pope, through the magisterium, say “if it goes well or goes badly”.

The context of the Pope’s words is the recent publication in the Vatican editorial of the compilation text “Ethics and theology of life. Scripture, tradition, practical challenges”, in which he opens up the possibility that the use of unnatural contraceptives be acceptable to believers in certain circumstances that “would make it irresponsible” to bring children into the world.

“I know that there is that publication, they are the minutes of a congress and in the congress there are the presentations, they discuss among themselves and make proposals. Those who made the congress did their duty, seeking to go forward with the doctrine, but in the ecclesial sense, then the magisterium will say if it goes well or not. But the duty of theologians is theological reflection,” he later developed.

In addition, with a view to the next elections to be held in Italy on September 25 after the fall of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the Pope called for “civic responsibility” from the country’s leadership.

“First of all I don’t want to get involved in Italian internal politics. Second, no one can say that President Draghi was not a man of high international qualitythat he didn’t have a good career,” he said of the 74-year-old economist whom he appointed in 2020 as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

“I asked a collaborator a single question: How many governments did Italy have in this century? And he told me 20. That’s my answer,” he added, implicitly joining the voices critical of the institutional stability of a country that had 67 governments. since the proclamation of the Republic in 1946, with an average duration of 14 months.

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