Saturday, January 28, 2023

Pope writes his resignation in case of health obstacle

ROME ( Associated Press) – Shortly after being elected pope in 2013, Francis wrote a letter of resignation in case medical problems prevented him from carrying out his duties, the pontiff revealed in an interview published Sunday.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper ABC, Francis said he had given the note to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s then secretary of state. The pontiff said he believes the Vatican’s current number two, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, now has those written instructions.

Francisco, who turns 86 on Saturday, underwent surgery in 2021 to repair a narrowed intestine and has suffered for months from knee pain that forced him to use a wheelchair. Recently, he has been seen using a cane instead of a wheelchair to move around in public.

Asked what happens if health problems or a sudden accident prevent a pope from performing his job, and if there should be a rule about it, Francis replied that “I’ve already signed my resignation.” given.”

“I signed it and said (to Bertone): ‘In case of obstruction for medical reasons or any reason, this is my resignation. He already has it,'” said Francisco, who added that he did at the beginning of his papacy.

Bertone left Secretary of State at the start of Francis’ papacy in October 2013.

Pope joked that now that he had revealed the document’s existence, “someone will now go and ask Bertone for it: ‘Give me the piece of paper! ‘”.

Francisco said that he assumed that Bertone must have passed it on to Parolin, the current Secretary of State.

In the past, the pontiff has praised the decision of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, to resign after he felt his advanced age prevented him from fulfilling his duties. Benedict, who lives in a Vatican monastery, was the first pope to resign in 600 years, and his gesture preceded the election of Francis of Argentina, the first pope from South America.

In interviews, Francisco downplayed his mobility problems and stated that “you rule with your head, not your knee.”

Catholic Church norms require papal resignations to come “freely and appropriately”, as Benedict stunned the world in February 2013 by announcing his resignation before an assembly of prelates at the Vatican .

Nation World News Desk
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