In the press conference during the return flight from Canada, he said that “the door [of resignation] is open”, but that for now he does not consider it; he talked again about his health problems
ROME.- “The door is open.” Returning from his six-day trip to Canada, the first of his pontificate in which he used a wheelchair due to his knee problem, Pope Francis reiterated that, if necessary, he would have no problem resigning from the papacy. although, as he did recently in some interviews , he stressed that he would not do so at this time.
“ The door is open, it is a normal option, but until today I have not knocked on this door, I have not said that I am going to this room, I have not heard of this possibility. But that doesn’t mean that the day after tomorrow I won’t think about it,” said the 85-year-old Pope, answering a question about whether he had ever thought about retiring, at the usual press conference he gave on the plane that brought him back to Rome from the town of Iqualit, “capital” of the Inuit, south of the Arctic Circle.
“But right now, honestly, I don’t know. This trip has also been a bit of a test… it’s true that you can’t make trips in this state, you may have to change your style a bit, reduce, pay the debts of the trips you have left to do, reorganize… But the Lord will tell. The door is open, that’s true”, he added, alluding to his mobility difficulties, of which he spoke with great naturalness.
Faced with another question on the same subject and the fact that he is a Jesuit who tries to do what is the will of Jesus, Francis stressed that he will do “what the Lord says.” “The Lord can tell him to resign. It is the Lord who commands (…). If I – this is a hypothesis – see that the Lord tells me something, that something has happened to me, that I have an inspiration, I have to discern to see what the Lord is asking of me. It may also be that the Lord wants to corner me, He is the boss. This is the religious way of life of a Jesuit, being in spiritual discernment to make decisions, choose a path of work, of commitment as well… Discernment is the key in the Jesuit vocation,” he explained, according to the transcript of the Vatican portal press conference.
In recent months, some have speculated about a possible resignation of the pope after he called a consistory to create new cardinals by the end of August, the date on which he will also travel to the city of L’Aquila, where Celestine’s tomb is located. V, the pope of the “great resignation”, which took place in 1294. Benedict XVI, pope emeritus and predecessor of Francis, prayed there shortly before resigning, on February 11, 2013.
At the press conference, which lasted 40 minutes and in which, unlike the previous times, he was not standing, but sitting, the Pope also reiterated that he does not want to have surgery on his knee, because general anesthesia did not suit him which he underwent on July 4 last year, when he had a far from simple colon surgery.
“The knee operation is not going, it is not going in my case. The technicians say yes, but there is the whole problem of anesthesia: I underwent more than six hours of anesthesia “more than a year ago and “there are still traces”, she stressed. “You don’t play with anesthesia,” he continued, recognizing earlier that, from now on, his international trips should be different.
“I don’t think I can go at the same pace as before. I think that at my age and with this limitation, I have to take care of myself a little to be able to serve the Church or, on the contrary, think about the possibility of taking a step aside , ”he indicated, alluding to the issue of resignation, a step that he always said he would be willing to give, following the example of his predecessor.
“This in all honesty: it’s not a catastrophe, you can change Pope, no problem! But I think I have to limit myself a bit with these efforts , ”she considered. And he listed, anyway, the trips he would like to make: one to Ukraine , complicated due to the ongoing war, but which could take place in August; another to Kazakhstan in September where a congress of religions will take place and another to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which should have been suspended in July and which, according to what he said, will be held next year because at the end of the year it is the rainy season.
The trip to Canada
“I have all the good will, but let’s see what the leg says,” he added, at a press conference in which he was relaxed, in a good mood and obviously happy about his “penitential” trip to Canada, in which more than one Once he apologized for the evil that the Church did to the Canadian indigenous population through the system of residential schools that it implemented in the 19th and 20th centuries, which meant terrible abuses and deaths.
In this regard, he fully acknowledged that yes, there was a genocide in Canada at that time, just as a Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission did in 2015. He did so after a question from a Canadian journalist who pointed out that he had never he used that term in none of the apology speeches made throughout the trip, a fact that some lamented.
“ It is true that I did not use the word because it did not come to mind, but I described the genocide and asked for forgiveness, forgiveness for this work that is genocidal. Take away children, change culture, change minds, change traditions, change a race, let’s say, a whole culture,” he said. “Yes, it’s a technical word – genocide – but I didn’t use it because it didn’t come to mind. But I described that it was true, yes, it was genocide, yes, yes. Calm down, you can report that I have said it was a genocide, ”she said, without half measures.