During an interview with Reuters last September, Francis categorically denied he was going to resign and noted his recovery from intestinal surgery in July was on schedule.
Reuters also reported that when speaking to the Spanish radio network COPE, Francis, 85, dismissed an Italian newspaper report that he might step down, saying: “I don’t know where they got it from last week that I was going to resign … it didn’t even cross my mind.”
The Epoch Times reported Francis said “he is looking forward to a planned visit to Canada in July, and that he hopes to visit Moscow and Kyiv” soon.
The platform also reported that Francis “suggested…that he’s not gravely ill with cancer, joking that his personal doctors ‘didn’t tell me anything about it’ before dismissing it as ‘court gossip.'”
Reportedly, Francis acknowledged he would resign if poor health made it too difficult to carry out his duties. Notably, his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned in 2013 — the first Pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII stepped down in 1415.
Though detailed information is not available, The Guardian reported the pontiff has been confined to a wheelchair since March, reportedly because of a knee injury.
Recently, Reuters reported that Francis suffered “a small fracture” in the knee when he took a misstep. That injury prompted the cancellation of several special Easter week events at the Vatican.
Francis told Reuters: “I am well. I am slowly getting better,” adding that laser surgery on his knee included magnet therapy.
Many consider Francis to be frail. Recent surgical procedures include surgery on his colon to address issues related to diverticulitis.
Brushing aside concerns, Francis told Reuters: “It [the operation] was a great success,” then added that the surgery was not related to cancer.
Reportedly, the pope would like to take on a mediator-type role in the Russian-Ukraine conflict. According to the TASS Russian News outlet, Francis said:
“I would like to go (to Ukraine), and I wanted to go to Moscow first. We exchanged messages about this because I thought that if the Russian president gave me a small window to serve the cause of peace … and now it is possible, after I come back from Canada, it is possible that I manage to go to Ukraine.”
The pontiff added, “The first thing is to go to Russia to try to help in some way, but I would like to go to both capitals.”
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