In a shift from previous remarks, Pope Francis has insisted that a pontiff’s ministry should be for life and opting to retire shouldn’t become the norm.
Popes are for life, quitting should be rare: Francis
Pontiffs resigning instead of ruling for life should not become a “fashion” in the Roman Catholic Church and happen only in truly exceptional circumstances, Pope Francis says.
The comments, made in private conversations with fellow Jesuits during his recent trip to Democratic Republic of Congo, were a shift away from previous remarks in which Francis said that longer life spans and medical improvements could make retired popes an institution in the church.
La Stampa newspaper published the comments on Thursday in an article by Father Antonio Spadaro, a Rome-based Jesuit priest who attends the meetings and writes about them afterwards with the pope’s permission.
On February 2 in Kinshasa, Francis was asked about media reports that he could resign.