Rumors are swirling that Pope Francis is about to resign soon, as he canceled his trip to Africa.
The 85-year-old leader of the Catholic Church has lately been limited to a wheelchair, due to a knee injury, which sparked serious concerns about his health.
Pope Francis Expected to Resign Soon
Francis, who became Pope at a time when one of his lungs was weakened, is now facing more intense health challenges.
This is urging him to think about retirement, following the footsteps of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who retired in 2013.
The rumors started prevailing in May when the pope first appeared in a wheelchair after his knee surgery.
When Francis named 21 new cardinals in late May, these retirement speculations intensified; the newly appointed cardinals will play a critical role in selecting the new pontiff.
Lots of rumors flying that Pope Francis, 85, may resign over health issues pic.twitter.com/Nq9nwpkyNW
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 20, 2022
Now, as the Pope called off his long-planned trip to Africa, citing his knee injury, the rumors have increased even further. The pope was supposed to visit South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo next month.
While explaining the cancellation of the trip, Matteo Bruni, the Vatican spokesman, asserted the trip was canceled based on the advice of the pope’s doctor, so his knee therapy is performed in a timely manner.
Pope’s Aides: He Cannot Even Think of Resigning
Usually, Popes prefer to rule until their deaths; however, Francis previously appreciated Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to retire during his lifetime.
He also revealed previously that he would prefer to resign than operate his knees.
So, according to the Wall Street Journal, Pope Francis is also likely to walk on Benedict XVI’s path to set a retirement precedent, which was not seen often in the modern-day church.
The president of Crux Catholic Media, John Allen, noted it is “highly unusual” for the Pope to cancel a trip to which he has been committed to for so long.
Reportedly, the Pope is hiding a more serious illness that is impacting his health rapidly, prompting him to leave the holy designation.
Despite all of this news, people associated closely with the Pope believe otherwise.
Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, who is a close adviser of the Pope in the council of cardinals, noted the powerful media in the United States is propagating “fake news” as he faces “strong opposition” from the country.
According to Maradiaga, the Pope has not even thought of resigning from the church leadership.
Unusual activity at the Vatican as reports break that Pope Francis may be about to resign. (And we are there!) pic.twitter.com/P2AetNECH1
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 20, 2022
Another event that worried different media outlets is the timing of the upcoming event of the Consistory in the Vatican city.
The Pope already announced cardinals from across the globe will gather in Vatican city on August 27; however, such consistories are not held in August usually.
This earlier date, according to Vatican insiders, depicts the Pope as in a hurry to do the all-important things before his resignation so he can leave his position for his successor.
Maradiaga claimed the summit announcement suggested Francis will continue to serve, as he “is perfectly fine” physically these days.