(PatrioticPost.com)- Pope Francis has insisted that he does not intend to resign from the papacy and said the role is one for life. Speaking with a meeting of Jesuits in South Sudan, the Pope said that his predecessor Pope Benedict, who did resign, did so because he could not continue due to ill health. He added however that this is not “the norm” and is unlikely to happen again. “I believe that the pope’s ministry is ad vitam,” he said, using a Latin translation of “for life.”
Rumors of his impending resignation have followed the Pope since he began his tenure in 2013. At that time, he wrote a resignation letter to Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone but now says he does not know where this letter is and that it was intended only to be applicable if he were to fall into such bad health that he was unable to resign.
The rumors were fuelled again in 2022 when Francis appeared in public using a wheelchair for the first time. He also visited the tomb of Celestine V, who resigned from the papacy after only 5 months. Benedict visited the same tomb in 2009 and left his stole behind, prompting some commentators to speculate that this was a gesture symbolizing his own departure from the Vatican.
In February, the Pontiff canceled several speaking engagements due to a bad cold, further prompting speculation about his ability to carry on. The Pope lost part of a lung in his youth and had a section of his colon removed in 2021.
Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1936. He is the son of Italian immigrants and trained as a chemical technician before joining the church. He became leader of the Jesuit province of Argentina in 1973 and claims to have helped people escape the country during a campaign against leftists by the military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983. He is both the first Jesuit and the first South American to ascend to the papacy.